Topical Lectures

Watch for more updates to this multidisciplinary collection of science and technology luminaries who have accepted our invitation to the 2012 Annual Meeting.

Karen Bakker
Water

Donald B. Dingwell
Explosive Volcanism

Honorable Lillian Eva
Dyck

Indigenous Science

Michael Hayden
Genetic Revolution

 

Nobutaka Hirokawa    
Molecular Motors

Joseph LeDoux
McGovern Lecture

Steve MacLean
Collaboration

Julio Montaner    
HIV and AIDS

 

Yolanda Moses
Social Inequality

Robert Smith    
Sarton Memorial Lecture

Carl Wieman    
Science Education

 

Karen Bakker

Professor of Geography; Director, Program on Water Governance, University of British Columbia; Canada Research Chair in Political Ecology

Water Privatization, Urbanization, and Development

Karen Bakker is Professor and Director of the Program on Water Governance at the University of British Columbia. The program is dedicated to interdisciplinary research on a broad range water issues as well as research dissemination to policy-makers and the broader community. Her work covers a broad range of topics, including privatization, transboundary water governance, drought vulnerability, demand management, pricing, and access to urban water supply in developing countries. She leads collaborative interdisciplinary research projects with natural scientists and medical researchers, including an ongoing Canadian Water Network-funded project on Water Security. Fluent in French and Spanish, Dr. Bakker has research experience in Southeast Asia, southern Africa, Latin America, and Europe, and has more than 100 academic publications. Recent books include Privatizing Water: Governance Failure and the World's Urban Water Crisis (Cornell University Press). She regularly acts as an advisor to governments, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations.

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Donald B. Dingwell

Secretary General, European Research Council

Explosive Volcanism in the Earth System

The Secretary General of the European Research Council, Prof. Donald B. Dingwell, is a world-renowned volcanologist. His principal research interest is the physico-chemical description of molten rocks and their impact on volcanic systems. He holds dual Canadian and German citizenship and has taught at all university levels, in five universities, three countries, and two languages. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of Alberta, and is a member of the Academia Europaea and the Royal Society of Canada. He has also been highly active in the proliferation and support of science and science awareness within and beyond national and international societies.

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Honorable Lillian Eva Dyck

Senator, Parliament of Canada; Professor Emerita, University of Saskatchewan; Member of the Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan

The Medicine Wheel and Western Science

Dr. Dyck is well-known as an advocate for women and Aboriginals and is a leading figure and role model in Canada’s scientific community. She began her outstanding career as an assistant in the University of Saskatchewan’s Biochemistry Department and has served as full professor in the Psychiatry Department. Dr. Dyck has published numerous articles in the fields of neurochemistry and psychiatry, and her research has contributed to developing and patenting new drugs which will be useful in helping to treat diseases such as Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s. She also is a member of the Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan.

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Michael Hayden

Professor of Medical Genetics; Director, Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia; Canada Research Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine

Translating the Benefits of the Genetic Revolution for Humankind

Dr. Hayden is one of the world's most renowned geneticists. He has worked to understand the genetic cause of illness in search of better treatments for neurodegenerative disorders, especially Huntington’s disease (HD), which causes uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual faculties, and emotional disturbance. He is the world’s most-cited author on HD, and has developed a predictive genetic test for the condition, now the standard of care worldwide. Dr. Hayden is also co-founder of three national research networks.

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Nobutaka Hirokawa

Distinguished Project Professor, Departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy, and Molecular Structure and Dynamics, University of Tokyo

Kinesin Superfamily Molecular Motors: From Intracellular Transport to Brain Development, Wiring, and Learning and Memory

Nobutaka Hirokawa uses electron microscopy, molecular cell biology and genetics, structural biology, and biophysics to study the structure and functions of major microtubule-associated proteins. He uncovered the many diverse functions of the kinesin superfamily proteins, and was the first researcher to provide a clear answer to the long-standing question of how motor proteins recognize and bind to their own cargoes. The newly discovered KIF17 was shown to transport major receptors for a key excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, namely glutamate, and was revealed to fundamentally control learning and memory through a transcriptional factor CREB. Dr. Hirokawa received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tokyo. After 5 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, and an Associate Professor at Washington University, he became a Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Tokyo. He is a Japan Academy member.

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John P. Mcgovern Lecture in the Behavioral Sciences

Joseph LeDoux

Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science and University Professor, Center for Neural Science, New York University

The Emotional Brain

Dr. LeDoux has carried out pioneering and comprehensive studies of the neuroscience of fear learning and fear memory. In an animal model, he traced the fear processing circuit from sensory systems to the amygdala, identified the lateral nucleus of the amygdala as a key sensory region and a site for synaptic plasticity, and showed that the connections from the lateral to the central nucleus are essential for processing fear responses. He has also elucidated the phenomenon of extinction, related extinction to the medial prefrontal cortex, and shown how medial prefrontal cortex interacts with the amygdala in extinction. His work has substantial clinical relevance for the treatment of anxiety disorders.

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Steve MacLean

President, Canadian Space Agency

International S&T Collaboration

Dr. MacLean flew onboard Space Shuttle Columbia and performed experiments that included the evaluation of the Space Vision System. Previously, he was the Chief Science Advisor for the International Space Station before being appointed the Director General of the Canadian Astronaut Program. Prior to his current position, he served as Chief Astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), coordinating astronaut activities. He also championed studies, served on steering committees, and was the Canadian voting member on an international panel responsible for the selection of crews and crew operations on the station. He also actively promoted an alignment of university activities with CSA's space priorities.

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Julio Montaner

Professor and Head of Division of AIDS, University of British Columbia; Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Providence Health Centre; Past President, International AIDS Society

Toward the Control of HIV and AIDS: Comprehensive Treatment as Prevention

Julio Montaner is one of the world's leading HIV/AIDS researchers. A former president of the International AIDS Society, he directs BC Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and is a founding Co-Director of Canadian HIV Trials Network. Montaner pioneered the use of adjunctive corticosteroids for AIDS related Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. His work also played a significant role in establishing the relationship between the development of HIV resistance to nucleoside analogues and clinical progression of the disease. His recent work has focused on the study of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) as prevention, optimal use of HAART, salvage therapy, new antiretrovirals, hard-to-reach populations, and harm reduction. He has received numerous awards for his research and contributions to the field. His achievements have benefited thousands of people living with HIV around the globe.

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Yolanda Moses

Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Riverside

Origins of Social Inequality in Complex Societies

Dr. Moses' research focuses on the broad question of what are the origins of social inequality in complex societies through comparative ethnographic and survey methods. She has explored gender and class disparities in Caribbean and East Africa. More recently her research has focused on issues of diversity and change in universities and colleges in the United States, India, and South Africa. She is currently involved with a national public education project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation on the meaning of race in every day life.

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George Sarton Memorial Lecture in the History and Philosophy of Science

Robert Smith

Professor of History and Classics, University of Alberta

Making Science Big: From Little Science to Megaprojects?

Robert Smith is a scholar of history and the classics, and he directed the Science, Technology, and Society Program in the Faculty of Arts. His research interests center on the history of astronomy and U.S. science and technology, especially the history of space science. Among his research projects is a study of a multi-billion dollar “Big Science” project, the James Webb Space Telescope, under construction by NASA, CSA, and the European Space Agency. Big Science has become one of the central elements of both contemporary science and the workings of modern nation states. His lecture will examine the rise of Big Science and the critical policy issues it raises.

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Carl Wieman

Associate Director for Science, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the U.S. President

A Scientific Approach to Science Education

Dr. Weiman works on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education reform and the overall health of the federal R&D enterprise. He was a Distinguished Professor of Physics and Presidential Teaching Scholar at the University of Colorado, and is a fellow and former chair of a joint federal-university institute for interdisciplinary research in the physical sciences. Dr. Wieman's extensive research in atomic and laser physics has been recognized with numerous awards including sharing the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001 for the creation of a new form of matter known as "Bose-Einstein condensation." He has also worked extensively on research and innovations for improving science education.

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