Edward Thomas' research interests are driven by Queen's 1918 decision to ban black students from admission to its medical school and the opportunity it presents for exploring how institutional power, collective memory and cultural tropes are served by narrative structures. In addition to documentation and analysis, he is also considering the narrative mechanisms by which the affected students' stories were effectively erased from the university's collective memory and the ensuing impact on its institutional culture. What can such narrative mechanisms tell us about the formation of an institutional history, institutional culture, or the cultural exchanges between institutions and their peers? How does narrative mechanism serve or diminish constructs of institutional professionalism, racism, nationalism, ethical conduct or achievement & recognition? Can historiographers improve their understanding of historical intent based on an expansive, systematic model of narrative mechanics?
Edward works full-time for Queen's University as an innovation & research development manager at Innovation Park in Kingston, ON. He provides advisory services to disruption-minded scholars, entrepreneurs, executives, administrators and public officials seeking to solve problems, fund R&D, launch startups, solve social problems, expand businesses and attract investment. He was a full-time journalist prior to completing graduate training in chemical engineering at Queen's. During his research & innovation career at Queen's, he has been regularly engaged in proposal development, having designing and co-managed more than $100-million in funded initiatives. Through his consulting practice, he has been working on a systemic model of persuasive writing, based on reverse-engineering of decision-making psychology.