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Seminar to highlight RSC researchers

[RSC Seminar]
Queen’s University’s John Burge, left, Pascale Champagne and Ian McKay will be presenting their research at the Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar of the Royal Society of Canada, being held Saturday, April 11 at The University Club.

A special event featuring four recent additions to the Royal Society of Canada will offer a vast array of research being done at universities in eastern Ontario.

Four researchers – three from Queen’s and one from the University of Ottawa – will make presentations on their work at the Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar of the Royal Society of Canada, being held Saturday, April 11 at The University Club.

The topics are wide-ranging from microalgal biofuels and a closer look at the life of an “engaged intellectual,” to coronary artery disease and the links between architecture and music.

John Burge, of Queen’s School of Music, will be presenting “What I Mean when Describing Architecture in My Music?”

As he explains there are similarities in various art forms, including structure.

“While structure in music can really be quite an abstract concept, it is not uncommon to borrow analogies from other art forms such as the visual arts or literature to explain the organization of a composition's musical form,” he says. “Recently, in my own composition Cathedral Architecture, an almost 40-minute work for organ and orchestra, I found myself making tangible connections between the architectural design of a cathedral and the resultant musical work's form.”

His lecture at 2 pm will incorporate recorded examples that will help demonstrate the connections he has found in his approach.

He also points out that the seminar offers an opportunity to meet others who are passionate about their research and are leaders in their field of study.

“As a creative artist, I know that I continually find a spark of inspiration in the unlikeliest of moments and the sharing of intellectual ideas can be a great stimulus for one's own creativity,” Dr. Burge says. “I certainly look forward to this opportunity to broaden my own horizons and knowledge base.”

Others taking part in the seminar, and the times of their presentation, are:

• Ian McKay – Department of History – Queen’s – The Embattled Liberalism of C.B.Macpherson: Reflections on the Life of an Engaged Intellectual (10 am)

• Pascale Champagne – Department of Civil Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering – Queen’s – Microalgal Biofuels: What Makes Them Green? (11 am)

• Ruth McPherson – Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Ottawa Heart Institute – The Genetics of Coronary Artery Disease (3 pm)

Organizers expect that the event will once again help with the sharing of ideas, for the speakers as well as those who attend.

“Participants, including our four speakers each year, make fruitful contacts among each other and the audience; contacts which stretch between the four universities represented and which cross disciplinary lines,” says Pierre du Prey, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Art History and a co-chair of the event with Mike Sayer, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy. “Overarching themes emerge as if by magic from the diverse papers presented and the discussion that follows them. In this way arts and science become reunited by the common quest for knowledge.”

The forum, hosted by Queen's and actively encouraged by the RSC, gives New Scholars and Fellows of the Society, as well as members of the general public, a chance to benefit from discourse at the highest level, Dr. du Prey adds.The presentations are open and free to the public and start at 10 am at The University Club. Individuals can attend any or all of the talks. A lunch is held for Fellows of the RSC and guests for a cost of $30. Registration for the lunch is required through Dr. Sayer at sayerm@physics.queensu.ca.

Queen’s is also scheduled to host the Royal Society of Canada’s annual general meeting in 2016. The Royal Society of Canada was established by an Act of Parliament in 1882 as Canada’s national academy. The organization helps promote Canadian research and scholarly accomplishment, and advises governments, non-governmental organizations and Canadians on matters of public interest.