Rotman members finished off 2018 with a busy December. One exciting piece of news came from Adrian Owen, who has been named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) as part of the 2019 New Year’s Honours list recognising “the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people” across the United Kingdom. Please join us in congratulating Adrian for this distinctive honour! We’d also like to recognize Chris Smeenk, who has been promoted to Full Professor. Congratulations to Chris on this fantastic achievement!

Before departing for the holidays, members of the Rotman Institute, BrainsCAN, and the Brain and Mind Institute came together for a Western Interdisciplinary Research Building potluck and floor crawl–a fantastic way for us all to get together and share delicious food! We’re looking forward to future events with our colleagues here in WIRB.

And finally, for those who missed our recent post, this year we celebrated four doctoral students in the Institute who successfully defended their theses.

Check out all other member news for this past month, listed alphabetically below.

A chapter by Klodian Coko, “Towards a Mutually Beneficial Integration of History and Philosophy of Science: The Case of Jean Perrin,” is forthcoming in the edited volume The Past, The Present, and The Future of Integrated History and Philosophy of Science. A preprint version of the chapter is available here.

Research by Rob Corless on Bohemian matrices was the focus of an article (and cartoon!) in Siam News, Rhapsodizing About Bohemian Matrices.

Becky Ellis will be giving a talk, titled ‘Transform your city with urban permaculture’, at the Guelph Organic Conference on January 27.

The Permaculture for the People podcast, run by Becky Ellis, recently featured an interview with Steve D’Arcy,  professor of Philosophy at Huron University College and author of ‘Languages of the Unheard‘, in an episode titled, ‘Building an environmental movement that can win!‘.

A paper by Adam Koberinski, titled “Mathematical developments in the rise of Yang-Mills gauge theories“, was recently published in Synthese.

Rotman alumnus Alex Manafu has two recent publications: Manafu, A (Ed.) (2018) Multiple Realizability and Levels of RealityStudies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part A., and Manafu, A (2018) “Introduction: Multiple Realizability and Levels of Reality” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A68:1-2.

Vicente Raja recently gave two talks in Australia: “Agency, Experience, and the Environment” at University of Wollongong on December 3, and “Don’t Trust the Body Snatchers! Predictive Processing and Disembodied Cognitive Science” at the 1st Conference of the Australasian Society of Philosophy and Psychology, at Macquarie University on December 5 – 7.

Rotman alumna Catherine Stinson published an article about online Terms of Service agreements called I read the Terms of Service, so that you don’t have to, and a report about AI in Health called Healthy Data: Policy solutions for big data and AI innovation in health–both are available on the Mowat Centre website. 

Catherine Stinson gave the inaugural lecture of the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics Lecture Series: Ethics and Governance of AI for Health. Video and discussion of the talk, titled “Policy Solutions for Big Data and AI Innovation in Health”, can be seen here.

Jackie Sullivan was published in December: (2018) Optogenetics, Pluralism and Progress. Philosophy of Science 85: 1090-1101.

Charles Weijer was appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Medical Ethics, part of the BMJ Journal group. In 2016, JME was ranked number 1 in the “Top 50 Bioethics Journals” by Georgetown University. Charles is also a longstanding member of the editorial board of the journal Bioethics.

In December, the Ethics of Pragmatic RCTs Research Group held a face-to-face meeting to discuss ongoing conceptual and empirical projects related to individual cluster randomized trials, stepped wedge trials, and other pragmatic designs. Guest Dr. Scott Kim (Department of Bioethics, U.S. National Institutes of Health) was invited to give a widely attended talk on “What are the research risks of pragmatic RCTs comparing ’standard of care’ treatments?” The group was also joined by Rotman alumnus and new research team member Dr. Ariella Binik (Department of Philosophy, McMaster University) who spoke about her work on equipoise on stepped wedge cluster trials. The research team’s next face-to-face meeting is in New Orleans in May 2019.

Pictured above: The celebration in honour of Chris Smeenk included a homemade crumble & raspberry charlotte, baked by Marie Gueguen; Members of Rotman, BMI and BrainsCAN enjoy the taco bar included in the WIRB holiday potluck & floor crawl; The Ethics of Pragmatic RCTs Research Group (including Cory Goldstein, and Rotman alumni Spencer Hey & Ariella Binik); event poster for Vicente Raja’s talk, “Agency, Experience, and the Environment”; Catherine Stinson presenting “Policy Solutions for Big Data and AI Innovation in Health”; a comic on Bohemian matrices by mathematician, John de Pillis (courtesy of Siam News).