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Igniting curiosity

First edition of the IGnite: Inspiring Generations through Research short talk series launches Nov. 15 at The Isabel.

First edition of the IGnite: Inspiring Generations through Research short talk series launches Nov. 15 at The Isabel.

The IGnite series will demonstrate that you do not need a PhD to understand a lecture on particle astrophysics. As part of an exciting new research promotion initiative, two Queen’s researchers from completely different fields will discuss, in one hour, some of the universe’s deepest mysteries and greatest miracles.

The IGnite: Inspiring Generations through Research series is a collaboration between the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute and the Office of Vice-Principal (University Relations) at Queen’s. While each event will feature two researchers from different fields discussing their projects and research experiences, events will also include interactive demonstrations and poster presentations from students and additional researchers.

Promising fun with an academic twist, the lecture series will launch Thursday, Nov. 15 at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

Assistant Professor Ken Clark (Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy)

IGnite aims to showcase the diversity of research happening across campus at Queen’s and beyond,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations). “It also offers an opportunity for researchers to actively communicate and share their innovative and ground-breaking work with the public.”

At the inaugural event, Jacalyn Duffin, Professor Emerita (School of Medicine, Faculty of Education, Departments of Philosophy and History), will explore the history of medical miracles, including her role in the canonization of the first Canadian-born saint. Dr. Duffin is the former holder of the Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine and is both a hematologist and a historian, and will be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2019.

The second speaker, Ken Clark (Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy), will explore the mysteries of dark matter and neutrinos, highlighting his work at SNOLAB in Sudbury and IceCube in Antarctica. Dr. Clark is an assistant professor of particle astrophysics, collaborating closely on experimental projects such as PICO, which uses bubble chambers to search for galactic dark matter.

Professor Emerita Jacalyn Duffin (School of Medicine, Faculty of Education, Departments of Philosophy and History)

Both researchers’ projects reveal aspects of our world that few people ever directly encounter. Dr. Duffin will incorporate insights from her time researching in the Vatican Secret Archives, while Dr. Clark will explain that in order to understand some of the world’s smallest particles, called neutrinos, he has had to travel to some of the deepest and remotest locations on Earth. 

“Research only works by making their results known, not just to other scientists but also to the public. So, it is imperative that we share our findings with those whom support us,” says Tony Noble, Scientific Director of the McDonald Institute. “But more importantly, these public events give researchers an opportunity to inspire future researchers and future policy-makers, and illustrate the importance of research and fundamental science in impacting everyday lives.”

The first event (one of a three-part series for the 2018-2019 academic year) is Thursday, Nov. 15, 7-9:30 pm, at The Isabel. Registration is free on Eventbrite and light refreshments will be served.

For more information on the series, see the McDonald Institute’s website.