We have several exciting announcements to share in this bi-monthly update! First, two of our faculty members were recently recognized for scholarly excellence by the Office of the President at Western University:

  • Pauline Barmby was one of three Western Researchers named a 2022 Distinguished University Professor. Established in 2005, the Distinguished University Professor Award recognizes sustained excellence in scholarship over a substantial career at Western. Scholarship is broadly defined to include research, teaching and service to the community.
  • Rotman Director Chris Smeenk was named a Western Faculty Scholar in 2020, but due to COVID restrictions the award ceremony was delayed. Smeenk received his award at a reception held on April 20. Established in 2005, the Faculty Scholars Award recognizes significant recent scholarly achievements in teaching or research. Nominated by faculty deans and selected by the Faculty Selection committee chaired by the Provost, the recipients have an international presence in their discipline and are considered all-round scholars.

Among our trainees, two doctoral students defended their theses & we have some fantastic placement news to share:

  • Ben Chin-Yee was awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue his PhD in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Ben will be working on the philosophy of precision oncology, a project which combines his interests in philosophy of medicine and haematology-oncology. The University of Cambridge announcement describes the incoming class of 2022 as follows: “This year’s cohort comprises 79 new scholars. The scholars, who come from 30 countries, will begin their studies in October. They are studying subjects ranging from food security and bat reservoirs for viral diseases to how gut hormones control food intake and blood glucose levels.”
  • Cory Goldstein (supervised by Charles Weijer) defended his PhD thesis titled, “A critical examination of informed consent approaches in pragmatic cluster-randomized trials” on March 29. He accepted a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and has already begun his new position.
  • Dimitrios Athanasiou (supervised by Chris Smeenk) defended his PhD thesis titled, “Effective Field Theories: A Philosophical Appraisal” on April 22.

Please join us in congratulating Pauline, Chris, Ben, Cory & Dimitrios on these wonderful achievements!

As always, our members have been busy & have a number of additional items to share. All other news from our members is listed below alphabetically.

Pauline Barmby published her first work of fiction this month! Check out Memory, Unmasked on Kindle.

Andrew Chater published a review essay in the journal Nationalism and Ethnic Politics titled “Empowering Indigenous Peoples through Self-Government: Progress and Challenges.

Rob Corless was the external examiner for John A. Campbell, York University (PhD), examiner for Juan Pablo Gonzalez Trochez (CS, Western, Masters), Ryan Sandford (CS, Western, Masters), and Saiyue Lyu (CS, Waterloo, Masters) this April. He also gave a talk “Bohemian Matrix Geometry” at the Joint Lab Meeting of the Ontario Research Centre for Computer Algebra, held virtually on April 22. (View the video for a practice version here: https://youtu.be/8wcr6lAAbak).

The volume “Mathematics Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” was published in March. It includes an article co-authored by Jack Betteridge, Rob Corless, Eunice Chan (Rotman alumnus), James H. Davenport & James Grant titled, “Teaching Programming for Mathematical Scientists“.

Rotman alumnus Craig Fox gave a colloquium talk in Jerusalem at the Sidney M. Edelstein Center for History and Philosophy of Science entitled: “The End of the Beginning: On a methodological tension in early Universe cosmology.”

Craig Fox is co-organizer of a conference planned for this August at the Sidney M. Edelstein Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The call for papers for The Future of the Past: Philosophical issues in the “historical sciences” has a submission deadline of June 1. Conference organizers are especially interested in contributions focussing on geoscience, astro-science, forensic science, archaeology, and historical dimensions of social science.

Michael Montess published “Fro​m HIV/AIDS to COVID-19: Feminist Bioethics and Pandemics” in the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics.

Michael Montess was a judge for both the Manitoba High School Ethics Bowl and the Ontario High School Ethics Bowl, events where high school students discuss ethical dilemmas and compete for the opportunity to qualify for the national competition.

Michael Montess was also the invited guest speaker for the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) Health and Society Student Association (HSSA) Policy Case Competition.

Anthony Skelton will be visiting Somerville College at the University of Oxford for the Trinity Term, working on, among other things, the reception of Mill’s The Subjection of Women.

Maxwell Smith published three journal articles:

  1. Katz R, Salamanca-Buentello F, Silva DS, Upshur REG, Smith MJ. (2022). R&D During Public Health Emergencies: The Value(s) of Trust, Governance and Collaboration. BMJ Global Health, 7: e007873.
  2. Downar J, Smith MJ, Godkin D, Frolic A, Bean S, Bensimon C, Bernard C, Huska M, Kekewich M, Ondrusek N, Upshur R, Zlotnik-Shaul R, Gibson J. (2022). A Framework for Critical Care Triage During a Major Surge in Critical Illness. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia. doi: 10.1007/s12630-022-02231-2
  3. Voo TC, Smith MJ, Mastroleo I, Dawson A, and the WHO Ethics & COVID-19 Working Group. (2022). COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates and Lifting Public Health and Social Measures: Ethical Considerations. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal. doi: 10.26719/emhj.22.023

Maxwell Smith contributed to a guidance document published by the World Health Organization, titled “Emergency Use of Unproven Clinical Interventions Outside Clinical Trials: Ethical Considerations“.

Maxwell Smith was appointed to the Advisory Committee for the Annual Report of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

An article co-authored by Heather Stewart (Rotman alumnus), Emily Cichocki, and Carolyn McLeod titled “A Perfect Storm for Epistemic Injustice: Algorithmic Targeting and Sorting on Social Media,” is forthcoming in the special issue of the Feminist Philosophical Quarterly: Feminism, Social Justice, and AI, edited by Carla Fehr.

Pictured above: Chris Smeenk accepts his Faculty Scholar award from Sarah Pritchard (Western University Provost) and Alan Shepard (Western University President); Pauline Barmby accepts her Distinguished University Professor Award from Sarah Pritchard (Western University Provost) and Alan Shepard (Western University President); Cory Goldstein pictured following his successful thesis defense.