We’d like to start this post with exciting news from Ben Chin-Yee. Ben was awarded the 2020 Compassion and Technology AMS Fellowship  for his research on the impact of genomics and artificial intelligence on equity and compassionate care in oncology in his research. Please join us in congratulating Ben on this wonderful achievement!

In the last two months, we had the pleasure of virtually hosting a number of speakers. Meredith Schwartz gave a talk titled “It Takes Two – Trusting the Public in Public Health Messaging and Policy” on December 10th. In January, Christopher Preston was invited by the philosophy of synthetic biology reading group to give a talk on his 2018 book, The Synthetic Age: Outdesigning Evolution, Resurrecting Species, and Reengineering Our World. Finally, graduate student members Jaipreet Mattu and Martin Zelko organized the Emerging Minds’ colloquium. A series of virtual talks by our students ranging from January until April. Two of the colloquium talks were given in January. Paul Istasy gave the first talk titled “The Problem of Trustworthy AI in Medicine”. Our seven current Rotman postdoctoral researchers discussed their academic journey, current research interests, and experiences conducting interdisciplinary research at The Rotman Institute during a roundtable talk at the end of January. Stay tuned for more talks coming up as part of the colloquium in the next few months. Special thanks to Jaipreet and Martin for organizing this fantastic event!

All other news from our members is listed below alphabetically.

Michael Anderson was interviewed by The Dissenter on brain evolution and neuroscience and cognitive science.

Andrew Chater took part in a webinar by the Arctic Institute‘s Migration in Harmony Research Coordination Network on December 8th. 

Benjamin Chin-Yee published a co-authored article in Medical Humanities. A post about the article was published on the BMJ Medical Humanities blog. The article focuses on work Ben did before coming to Rotman, but is part of a broader research area that he will continue while at Rotman.

Michael Cuffaro co-authored an essay review with Emerson Doyle, on Tanya and Jeffrey Bub’s book Totally Random that was accepted for publication in the journal Foundations of Physics.
Michael’s paper: “Grete Hermann, Quantum Mechanics, and the Evolution of Kantian Philosophy” has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming volume: Women in the History of Analytic Philosophy, edited by J. Peijnenburg and A. A. Verhaegh, published by Springer.

Rotman alumnus Robert Foley has a new job as Consultant Assistant Philosophy Content Creator at outlier.org.

Melissa Jacquart had a recent publication come out in the Journal Philosophy of ScienceObservations, Simulations, and Reasoning in Astrophysics”. Melissa was recently interviewed by PhilSciComm about her work at UC’s Center for Public Engagement with Science, and interests in philosophy outreach and engagement

Diane O’Leary was featured in an episode of 5-minute fellows on the The Center for Philosophy of Science’s Youtube channel.

Vicente Raja was featured in The Guardian in an article about his recent paper in Scientific Reports on plant intelligence & plant sentience. The article was also featured in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica

Anthony Skelton, Max Smith and Jacob Shelley were among the winners of the Institute for Earth and Space Exploration (Western Space) inaugural Seed Grant competition. Their project is titled “Health Ethics in Space: Toward a Research Agenda for Space Bioethics”. Anthony’s co-authored paper “‘Overriding adolescent refusals of treatment” was accepted for publication by the JESP.

Max Smith was appointed to the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force by the Ontario government. Max will work to promote ethics and equity in the task force.

Charles Weijer was part of a debate put together by 1Day Sooner and the UCL Bioethics and Medical Law Society on he ethics of COVID-19 vaccine development: “Should we allow healthy volunteers to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 in challenge studies to develop a vaccine?”. Charles’ stance was against it. Charles also took part in a webinar on COVID-19 vaccination policy. Charles spoke about the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 among Canada’s poor, POC, and Indigenous communities on CTV News. Two papers co-authored by Charles titled “Experiences of family of individuals in a locked in, minimally conscious state, or vegetative state with the health care system” and “The multiplicity of caregiving burden: a qualitative analysis of families with prolonged disorders of consciousness” are now available at Taylor & Francis Online. An article published on the London Free Press about the risks of keeping schools open during the pandemic included comments from Charles and talked about his paper published in the journal Clinical Trials. Charles’ comments were also included in an article posted on Western News

Pictured above: Grad students during Paul Istasy’s talk; Andrew Chater during the Arctic Borders in a Global Context webinar; Mike Anderson being interviewed on The Dissenter; participants in the postdoc roundtable (from top left: Jaipreet Mattu, Matt Parker, Niels Linnemann, Rebecca Livernois, Ed Baggs, Vicente Raja, Ben Chin-Yee, and Bartek Chomanski).