Our first piece of exciting news in this bi-monthly post comes from Francesca Vidotto. Francesca was named Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Foundations of Physics in June. The CRC program is designed to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds in engineering, natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences and is one of Canada’s highest research honours. Our next piece of exciting news comes from Jackie Sullivan. Jackie was elected to the Governing Board of the Philosophy of Science Association (PSA) in June. We’d also like to share some great news from Heather Stewart. Heather has accepted a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University beginning this fall. Please join us in congratulating Francesca, Jackie, and Heather on these marvellous achievements!

In May, the Emerging Minds Colloquium Series wrapped up with a wonderful talk from Chris Letheby on the Philosophy of Psychedelics. The series was a great success with each talk captivating a large audience. Thank you to all of our speakers, and special thanks to Jaipreet Mattu and Martin Zelko for their tremendous efforts in creating and organizing this new series!

The Rotman Graduate Student Conference (RGSC2021): Complexity & Explanation also took place in May. The conference featured keynote lectures from biologist, Dr. Daniel McShea (Duke University) and Presidential Professor of Philosophy, Dr. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (City University of New York). We’d like to give a special thanks to our organizing committee Hershy Jaiprakash, Yen-Tung Lee, Madhavi Mohan, Jaipreet Mattu, Varun Ravikumar, Nick Stark, Cameron Yetman & Martin Zelko for putting together this wonderful conference!

The Philosophy of Logic Math and Physics Graduate Student Conference organized by Martin Zelko, Dimitris Athanasiou, Thomas De Saegher, Yichen Luo, Andrew Tweedie, and Todd Nagel took place in June. The conference was a success with various captivating talks including a talk on Quantum Physics by keynote speaker James Weatherall of the University of California, Irvine.

Finally, we had the pleasure of welcoming a new postdoctoral researcher, Mahi Hardalupas. Mahi has primary interests in the philosophy and ethics of AI and will be co-sponsored by The Rotman Institute and the Faculties of Science and Engineering (her new profile page is coming soon!). Welcome, Mahi!

All other member news is listed below in alphabetical order.

Museum London celebrated its 80th birthday in May and created an online exhibition “80ML” which focuses on the people, makers, artists, and citizens who call London, Ontario home. The exhibition featured contributions from Michael Anderson and Carolyn McLeod. 

Jon Bowen presented a poster entitled “Towards Gibsonian Mindreading” at the 47th annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology on June 30.

Adam Koberinski gave three talks in the last two months. The first was at the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Science annual meeting, titled “Regularizing (away) vacuum energy”, he was also invited to give a talk titled “Lambda and the limits of effective field theory” to the Southern California philosophy of physics group, and finally, Adam participated in a workshop on the Philosophy of Lambda, organized by the Bonn History and Philosophy of Physics group. He participated in a debate on the cosmological constant problem with Mike Schneider (Chicago) and David Wallace (Pittsburgh).

Rotman alumna Alida Liberman was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at Southern Methodist University.

New Scientist magazine made a short film for their Youtube channel tiled “The Meaning of Meaning” about Carlo Rovelli, giving insight into his past and how it made him a better scientist.

Anthony Skelton and Lisa Forsberg  argue for the (ideally mandatory) vaccination of children in their article “3 reasons for making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for children” published in The Conversation. The article was cross-posted in Western NewsAnthony and Lisa gave a presentation at the Ethics of the COVID-19 Pandemic workshop put together by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology. They also talked about their work on the ethics of vaccinating children on BBC’s PM Programme. Anthony was a guest on The Dilemma Dudes podcast where he discussed ethics, ethical dilemmas, and more.

An article posted on the Otago Daily Times about UFO sightings included comments from Chris Smeenk.

Max Smith and the WHO ACT Accelerator Ethics & Governance Working Group published a commentary, Ethical and policy considerations for COVID-19 vaccination modalities: delayed second dose, fractional dose, mixed vaccines, in BMJ Global Health.

Heather Stewart guest edited the latest American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy with Arianna Falbo from Brown University.

Jackie Sullivan gave a talk at the Summer Seminar in Neuroscience and Philosophy hosted by Duke University.

Charles Weijer took part in a webinar on Challenges and Applications of Cluster Randomised Trials in a pandemic put together by the Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit – Queen Mary University Of London. Charles was also part of the Society for Clinical Trials 42nd annual conference where he gave a talk alongside Seema Shah titled “Ethics and future of human challenge trials with SARS-CoV-2 to speed vaccine development”. Charles published an article in the Journal of Trauma and Orthopaedics on whether surgical placebo controls are ethically justifiable, arguing that they are.

Pictured above: Heather Stewart, who recently accepted a tenure-track position at Oklahoma State University; Chris Letheby & Sid Rankaduwa during the final Emerging Minds Colloquium talk; Jackie Sullivan giving her talk at the Seminar in Neuroscience and Philosophy.