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Women of impact

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre will host an announcement by Canada’s Minister of Status of Women on Tuesday.

[Women of Impact]
The federal government is honouring a number of "Women of Impact in Canada", and seeking nominations of additional women to honour. (Supplied Photo)

Editor's note: This event was originally scheduled for Monday, Oct. 1 and has been moved to Tuesday, Oct. 2.

A number of Canadian women of impact will visit Queen’s next week, in a sense.

To launch Women’s History Month in Canada, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister of Status of Women, will make an announcement at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre on Tuesday.

She will launch a Government of Canada initiative called the “Women of Impact in Canada” Gallery – an online museum exhibit where Canadians can learn about and celebrate the accomplishments of women in fields ranging from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); arts; politics; human rights; and women who were trailblazers in new fields. Some prominent Queen’s women appear in the group, including Suzanne Fortier – the university’s former Vice-Principal (Academic) and Vice-Principal (Research) who is now the Principal of McGill University.

Minister Monsef will be hosted by the Queen’s Female Leadership in Politics (QFLIP) student group. Co-chair Meredith Wilson-Smith and Frannie Sobcov were contacted by the Minister’s office earlier this week about the announcement.

“We’re thrilled and proud to have the opportunity to work with Status of Women Canada to amplify the representation of these Canadian women and leaders whose successes often go under-recognized,” says Ms. Wilson-Smith. “The Women of Impact initiative shows every Canadian that women have always had the ability to make trailblazing strides in the face of sociocultural barriers.”

[Queen's University Agnes Etherington Art Centre QFLIP]
Frannie Sobcov and Meredith Wilson-Smith. (University Communications)

“Meaningful relationships between organizations such as these provide an incredible chance for discourse on our shared passion of women’s political leadership,” adds Ms. Sobcov. “It’s an honour to launch Women’s History Month with a woman like Minister Monsef—a living example that age, nationality, and gender are not impediments to a political career in Canada, but rather assets and opportunities.”

The Women of Impact gallery is a living initiative, meaning that Canadians can also nominate a woman of impact in their communities by completing a form on the government’s website.

Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, faculty supervisor for QFLIP, says she was “very excited and honoured” that the Minister will be launching the gallery and Women’s History Month at Queen’s, and believes the gallery is an important initiative.

“Most immediately, it is important because it serves a role modelling function for younger women and girls who will see people like them in all types of roles and fields, particularly in roles as innovators and leaders,” she says. “Also, research is clear that women are less comfortable talking about and promoting their own achievements – so it’s important to have initiatives that ensure women’s achievements receive due recognition.”

The unveiling of the online gallery will take place Tuesday. Oct. 2 at 10 am at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and the event is open to the public.

Visit the Women of Impact in Canada website for a full listing of honorees.

Opening up the Nuremberg Chronicle

[Nuremberg Chronicle]
A hand-coloured 1493 edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle is now part of the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection. A lecture on the book on Wednesday, Oct. 10 is open to the public. (Supplied Photo)

A new course featuring one of Queen’s University Library’s newest acquisitions – a hand-coloured 1493 edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle that is now part of the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection – is opening its doors to the public for an upcoming class.

Members of the Queen’s and Kingston communities are invited to join professors Sharday Mosurinjohn and Richard Ascough (Queen’s School of Religion) and their students for a lecture in Religion and Art (RELS 345) on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 11:30 am at the W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections in Douglas Library. The event, and the Nuremberg Chronicle, will be introduced by Principal Daniel Woolf.

In their remarks, Dr. Ascough and Dr. Mosurinjohn will explore multiple facets of the Nuremberg Chronicle, known as one of the most important and extensively illustrated books of the 15th century.

For 15th century readers it was a chronicon – a history – made of text and image. As an artefact, the book embodies an important story, one of both the fracturing of Europe along socio-political and religious lines and its expansion through trade and exploration – aspects of the globalization we see today.

Yet another story is that of the book itself, which has been around the world and in the hands of many owners and readers in its 500-year lifetime. The Queen’s copy is a stunningly beautiful volume in Latin printed by Anton Koberger on July 12, 1493 and hand-coloured in 1521 by its one-time owner Johann Kruyshaar of Lippstadt (1484-1555), better known as Joannes Cincinnius, a Westphalian humanist, author and scholar of considerable significance. It is a large first edition folio containing 1,809 woodcuts, ranging in size from small medallion portraits to large double-page maps. Joannes Cincinnius’ marginal notes are found intermittently throughout the text.

While there are more than 1,240 extant copies of the Nuremberg Chronicle in Latin and 1,580 of it in German, not all are hand-coloured and of those many are not signed or dated. Joannes Cincinnius’ signature and annotations make this copy unique. 

Now, residing in a collection that is part of a vast network of galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, this book is not only treasured and protected but available for study as artefact, literature, and visual art. Indeed, the images of European cities, maps, portraits, and other illustrations, plus the graphic designs and printing, have made this book famous.

“We’re delighted that our students have access to this inspiring book, and that we’re able to draw upon it in our course to connect ideas across disciplines and cultures,” says Dr. Mosurinjohn.

The Nuremberg Chronicle was acquired thanks to a generous donation from renowned philanthropist Seymour Schulich. It is one of the recent additions to the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection established by Mr. Schulich and Principal Daniel Woolf in 2016. The Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection combines more than 400 volumes from their personal collections. Mr. Schulich has also provided funds to enable additional acquisitions and exhibits, on site and online, with a goal of building and sharing one of Canada’s finest English rare book collections.

RSVP online to attend the lecture.

Learn more about the Nuremberg Chronicle at the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection website.

The Conversation: Why life insurance companies want your Fitbit data

Fitbit data
Insurance companies have been keeping track the physical activities of customers, but previous initiatives were pilot projects. (Photo: Unsplash/John Schnobrich)

I recently predicted that health data from electronic sources could soon be compiled into a health or wellness report and shared with insurance companies to help them determine who they’ll cover.

And now John Hancock, the U.S. division of Canadian insurance giant Manulife, requires customers to use activity trackers for life insurance policies in their Vitality program if they want to get discounts on their premiums and other perks.

Customers can withhold their fitness data, but that will result in higher premiums, which may put life insurance out of reach for low-income earners. This in turn could have an impact on whether would-be homeowners can take out mortgages, some of which can require a life insurance policy on the principle borrower.

The fact that insurance companies track the physical activities of customers has been making headlines for years, but previous initiatives were pilot projects.

Now, customers who don’t want to offer up their health data to John Hancock have two choices: Don’t report it and pay higher premiums, or go somewhere else for their insurance.

But what’s going to happen if other companies follow suit?

Figuring out when you’re having sex?

Your privacy will be infringed upon by apps that pass on to your insurer all of the activities you do while wearing your smartwatch.

That could include steps walked, heart rate, blood pressure – your insurer may even be able to figure out when you’re having sex.

This is nothing new. We’ve long known that wearable technology records “data about you and your condition, activities and day-to-day choices.”

And we know that that data collected by these devices and through our internet activities “continually leak.” In fact, researchers have discovered that 70 per cent of third-party apps collect data that can then be used to create a profile of buying and spending habits.

So is it really a problem that customers use wearable technology like Fitbit and report their healthy activities, such as workouts and healthy eating, to their insurer?

Well, yes. One problem is that this information is not always correct. Fitbit itself acknowledges that “the algorithm is designed to look for intensity and motion patterns that are most indicative of people walking and running” and that it may not always be accurate in reporting other activities, such as riding a bike or working.

Then there’s the question of what happens with your premiums if you stop engaging in these activities. How much time will insurance companies allow women to recover from childbirth before they have to get back to their insurance plan’s requirements for physical activity?

What about people recovering from joint replacements or heart surgery? How long will these people have before their premiums go up?

Active Seniors
Older adults’ exercise activities may not be accurately detected by wearable technology. (Photo: Unsplash/Lucie Hosova)

Older adults at risk

Older adults are especially vulnerable to this sort of data-based gatekeeping. The glitches in wearable technology’s data collection may be amplified with older people, whose exercise behaviour might not be as strenuous as that of younger adults, and therefore subject to more recording errors.

In addition to the potential under-recording of their fitness activities, many people over 65 years old have at least one illness, which, when combined with data errors, may make them ineligible for discounted insurance programs. This could change the retirement opportunities for many older adults.

And what about the healthy lifestyles that insurance companies reward their customers for living?

Diet, fitness and medication regimes go in and out of favour. Taking “baby aspirin,” for example, to prevent heart attacks and stroke has recently been shown to be ineffective for healthy adults.

Another example of the fickleness of health trends involves healthy eating guru Brian Wansink, who’s had some academic articles retracted, including those that told us not to go grocery shopping when we’re hungry and not to use large bowls when we’re eating.

This all suggests that the food and activity choices of insurance companies are linked to scholarly research.

Conflict of interest?

But what happens if a multinational business owns both insurance and manufacturing companies? Is it possible that insurance perks and discounts could be linked to purchases from their subsidiaries, disguised as “health initiatives?”

In other words, the insurer could reward customers for adhering to a health regimen that might be helpful, but could also be bogus or, in the worst-case scenario, harmful or exploitative while financially benefiting the insurance company.

If legislators don’t get involved, Big Business could end up literally dictating to us what we can and can’t do, or eat, if we want or need insurance.

For those who can’t afford healthy food or recreational fitness, and those who refuse to allow their data to be harvested, life insurance premiums, and other products like mortgages, may drift out of reach.The Conversation

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Lisa F. Carver is and adjunct professor in the Faculty of Arts and Science and Post Doctoral Fellow, SSHRC-funded ACTproject at Queen’s University.

This article was originally published on The Conversation, which provides news and views from the academic and research community. Queen’s University is a founding partner. Queen's researchers, faculty, and students are regular contributors.

The Conversation is seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca

Faculty of Arts and Science publishes annual review

It has been a year to celebrate for the Faculty of Arts and Science. Increased enrolment numbers, combined with significant efforts made towards campus diversification, faculty renewal, and many more exciting initiatives are recognized and celebrated within the faculty’s 2017–2018 Annual Review. Making this year’s edition even more significant is that it marks Dean Barbara Crow’s first year at Queen’s University.

[Faculty of Arts and Science Annual Review]
The Faculty of Arts and Science Annual Review is available online.

As Dean Crow notes, there is much to celebrate within the Faculty of Arts and Science, with many new faculty- and student-centred initiatives coming to fruition “through a reinvigorated focus on research promotion, faculty renewal, and deliberative actions toward equity, diversity, and inclusivity.”

“As we embark on new initiatives, both in the classroom and with our research, the Annual Review is a fantastic way to thank everyone for and to celebrate all of the wonderful accomplishments we achieved together last year. We hope you enjoy seeing what we have been up to and where we are going. 2017–2018 has been an important transitional and transformational year.”

From increased collaboration with the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS), which led to the first-ever career summit event, Life After ArtSci, to the introduction of a suite of recruitment initiatives to support a growing graduate student community, to continued work with our Dean’s Council of amazing alumni who help provide industry insights, the Faculty of Arts and Science made great strides in terms of improving the student experience.

The faculty has celebrated many other notable accomplishments over the past year, but a few of the stand-out moments include:

The 2018–2019 year will see a sustained and expanded focus on the faculty’s priorities: equity, diversity, inclusivity, Indigeneity, international student support, and graduate enrolment. In addition to these major priorities, there will also be new initiatives centred on research prominence, graduate student experience, and financial sustainability through revenue diversification.

“At this time next year, we hope to have as many good news stories to share with you and I hope that you see the gains we are making,” says Dean Crow.

The 2017–2018 Annual Review of the Faculty of Arts and Science, is available online.

The Conversation: Terrorism at the Taj – Hotel Mumbai pulls no punches at TIFF

The new film highlights the things ordinary people can do in extraordinary circumstances.

[Dev Patel in Hotel Mumbai]
Dev Patel stars in in Hotel Mumbai, a movie that depicts the Mumbai terror attacks that took place Nov.26-29, 2008. (Photo: Arclight Films)

Director Anthony Maras’ new film Hotel Mumbai had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film stars Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name), Jason Issacs (Harry Potter) and Anupam Kher (The Big Sick). All of these actors attended the premiere and participated in a compelling Q&A conversation with the audience after the film.

The movie depicts the Mumbai terror attacks that took place Nov. 26-29, 2008, when 10 gunmen belonging to the Pakistan-based militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba staged a series of co-ordinated attacks across the city, ending with a multi-day siege of the luxurious Taj Mahal Hotel that left 164 dead and hundreds wounded.

Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with survivors and witnesses and told from the perspective of hotel guests, staff and to some extent the gunmen, the film sets out to recreate the attacks faithfully and authentically.

The film expertly ratchets up tension and confusion, drawing the viewer into a harrowing experience that is not broken up by lengthy plot digressions or exposition.

Hotel Mumbai provides a raw and rare look behind the curtain of a terrorist attack, inviting the audience to experience its unrelenting and gut-wrenching reality. The film doesn’t concern itself with the contextual details that emerge in the aftermath of a terror plot; instead it replicates the confusion, panic and genuine fear one would feel at the time.

For almost the entire two hour run-time, the viewer is left to struggle with the intensity of that confusion, not knowing when or if safety will materialize.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, popular media in North America has moved from amorphous representations of political violence to a plot format that explicitly uses terrorism, invokes real militant groups and focuses almost exclusively on the United States and Islamic extremism as their bread and butter. Few films actually take the viewer inside the experience of terror plots as they happen; this is where Hotel Mumbai ushers in a new complex path with audiences.

The only potential drawback of this narrative style is that for viewers unfamiliar with the broader political context of terrorism in India — and in Western audiences they may be the majority — there is little information about where the attack comes from or how it fits into the larger story of the Indian subcontinent.

Terrorism in India

The Mumbai gunmen were trained in Pakistan and, as depicted in the film, carried out their attack with direction via mobile phones from planners in Pakistan’s metropolis port, Karachi. The gunmen were found to be members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistan-based militant group that was also responsible for a 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi.

The existence of groups like LeT is a significant sore spot in India-Pakistan relations. India accuses Pakistan of enabling or even encouraging such groups and Pakistan consistently denies these allegations.

LeT emerged out of the radicalization of the Kashmir conflict — a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over which country has the right to govern the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley. This conflict began with the 1947 partition of British colonial India into the two sovereign nations of India and Pakistan and has gone through numerous phases of escalation and détente.

India’s continued military presence and the human rights abuses carried out by security forces in Kashmir provide a major source of grievance to some Indian and Pakistani Muslims. Although India is home to the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia, Muslims in India are heavily disadvantaged in comparison to the Hindu majority. They also experience higher rates of poverty and lower literacy levels.

Despite this, the vast majority of Muslims — whether in India or elsewhere — consistently reject religious extremism.

Everyday heroism

As a suspenseful and emotional snapshot of the events of November 2008, the film certainly succeeds. The audience’s applause felt genuine and visceral, not polite or obligatory. The cast themselves were visibly emotional on stage, notably when Maras revealed that one of the real-life survivors of the attack portrayed in the film was present in the audience. This survivor (unnamed here to avoid spoilers) received an immediate and emotional standing ovation.

The film is full of heroes, but not the kind that audiences are accustomed to seeing in movies about terror attacks. In Hotel Mumbai, heroes can die with the casual and unceremonious pulling of a trigger, just like anyone else. Though the film uses character archetypes, it does so in a way that disrupts common film tropes associated with the genre.

For example, the local police are brave but are hopelessly outgunned and out of their depth when faced by trained insurgents with automatic weapons. Armie Hammer’s character, the white American male that so often saves the day in Hollywood blockbusters, spends most of the film wanting to protect his family but having no real idea how to do so.

By contrast, Anupam Kher’s Chef Oberoi displays a quiet dignity by relinquishing his opportunity for escape in favour of protecting the hotel guests by calmly hosting them in one of the hotel’s hidden lounges. Dev Patel, as always, gives a memorable performance as a hotel staff member who just wants to get back to his family but displays remarkable courage and compassion along the way.

Just as there is no Hollywood action hero ready to jump in and save the day, Hotel Mumbai also steers clear of depicting the kind of one-dimensional villains that dominate most films in the spy or terrorism genres. The attacks in the film (as in real-life) are brutal, shocking and almost casual in their indifferent disregard for human life.

But the gunmen themselves remain undeniably human. In one scene, we see the terrorists coldly gunning down unarmed civilians and in the next we see them teasing each other about whether there is pork in the canapés. Later, we see the inner conflict of one of the gunmen, who seems to be in over his head as he oscillates between crippling self-doubt and brutal determination.

It is the dissonance between these two dimensions that make this depiction of terrorism so compelling. We also see how the attack impacts each of the attackers in subtly different ways, reinforcing that each has been drawn into this act of horrific violence through their own distinct motivations, whether religious, political or socio-economic.

It is not necessarily that the gunmen in this movie are relatable or sympathetic in the traditional sense (for the most part they are not), but they are resolutely human and that is part of what makes their violence so disturbing. The viewer is asked to face the uncomfortable truth that the people who carry out these attacks might not be the monsters hiding in the shadows that we so often see depicted on screen, but are simply ordinary people carrying out extraordinary acts of brutality.

Despite the horror that this film paints with such gritty and meticulous attention to detail, Hotel Mumbai is ultimately not about violence as an act that is carried out upon passive victims. Instead, it is about the resistance, resilience and quiet heroism of people confronted by chaotic scenarios filled with impossible choices.

Rising terrorism on ‘soft targets’

The film asks us to challenge easy assumptions and to rethink any sensationalist preconceptions we may hold about how we would, or would not, react in such a crisis.

Hotel Mumbai feels every bit as relevant today as if it had been released back in 2008 when the attacks occurred. If anything, the passage of a decade has perhaps made the tragedy of the Mumbai attacks resonate even more strongly with international audiences.

Massacres carried out by armed gunmen in “soft targets” such as hotels, train stations and shopping malls have become depressingly common in recent years.

Historically most of al-Qaida’s most well-known attacks have used explosives, making them devastating in their death tolls but also relatively difficult to plan and execute.

Since 2014, ISIS has popularized the strategy of using any and all weapons available to attack public spaces, making attacks carried out by their sympathizers incredibly challenging to prevent. This style of attack is widespread across the ideological spectrum with notable examples including the Norway massacre of 2011 and the Las Vegas shootings of 2017.

Hotel Mumbai is ultimately intended as an “anthem of resistance” for those who survive such attacks, a quiet memorial of those who don’t and a sobering snapshot of the chaos of terrorism for those who, fortunately, have never found themselves inside its brutal plot.The Conversation

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Emily LeDuc is a Doctoral Candidate and Teaching Fellow in the History Department at Queen's University. Joseph McQuade is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for South Asian Studies, a branch of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation  provides news and views from the academic and research community. Queen’s University is a founding partner. Queen's researchers, faculty, and students are regular contributors. The Conversation is seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca.

Up close and personal with a deputy minister

The Fall Policy Talks series opens with a personal look at the balancing act of a deputy minister.

Malcolm Brown, Deputy Minister of Public Safety, speaks to a packed room of School of Policy Studies graduate students and Queen’s and Kingston community members. (Photo: University Communications)
Malcolm Brown, Deputy Minister of Public Safety, speaks to a packed room of School of Policy Studies graduate students and Queen’s and Kingston community members. (Photo: University Communications)

A packed room of School of Policy Studies graduate students and members of the Queen’s and Kingston community listened keenly to the stories and advice of Deputy Minister of Public Safety Malcolm Brown, the first speaker of the Fall 2018 School of Policy Studies “Policy Talks” Series.

“At the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, we make decisions that impact Canadians’ physical safety and environments. For example, at the Canadian Border Security Agency, 300 to 400 decisions are made every day on who to allow into the country,” says Mr. Brown. “In an emergency preparedness capacity, we’re responsible for planning for what we hope never happens, from natural disasters to threats to the continuity of government.”

A Queen’s alumnus, Mr. Brown (Artsci’82) holds the most senior public service position at Public Safety, advising the Minister and acting as the connection between bureaucracy and politics. The department covers a large portfolio, including Correctional Services Canada, Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA), Parole Board of Canada and the RCMP. Mr. Brown spoke about the role he plays in public policy and the relationships he manages to keep the portfolio running efficiently.

The School of Policy Studies hosts Policy Talks, a weekly series that covers a broad range of policy topics. Mr. Brown’s opening talk for the series gave the audience a look behind the scenes of one of Canada’s most high security departments.

“I report directly to the Clerk of the Privy Council Office and support the Minister, and I manage the relationship between the Minister and the department,” says Mr. Brown. “Deputy Ministers need to understand their Ministers to make this work. Figuring out how my Minister works and takes in information is crucial. If you don’t work together properly, you both operate in a vacuum.

“It’s essential that I, as the Deputy Minister, am the most trusted public service advisor to the Minister. Transparency and respect between other leaders in the portfolio departments keeps stakeholders in the loop, while also allowing me to manage those relationships.”

Audience members peppered the Deputy Minister with questions after his speech, including what it takes to be a leader in federal government.

“Impatience,” he says. “You can’t be satisfied with how things always are. You need to politely, and with respect, challenge the ways we’ve always done things.”

Many of the talks will be livestreamed this year. For details on this and upcoming Policy Talks, visit the School of Policy Studies website.

Miller Medal winner moved mountains

Queen's University Professor Emeritus Raymond Price honoured by the Royal Society of Canada for a lifetime of work.

A lifetime of research contributions to academia and industry by Queen’s University Professor Emeritus Raymond Price has been recognized by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). Dr. Price has been honoured with the RSC’s Willet G. Miller Medal in Earth Sciences.

Dr. Price (Geological Science and Engineering) has been acclaimed nationally and internationally for his exploration and graphic descriptions of the geology, geophysical setting, origin, and tectonic evolution of the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains, and also for his conceptual models of tectonic processes at various scales.

Dr. Price will be awarded with a national honour named for Willet G. Miller, who was appointed to the Department of Geology, School of Mines in 1893, and the first person to teach geology at Queen’s. The university later honoured Willet G. Miller by bestowing his name on Miller Hall in 1931.

“The RSC’s Miller Medal is a prestigious recognition of Dr. Price’s distinguished research career and his influence on resource, environmental and geoscience policy in Canada,” says Kimberly Woodhouse, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). 

Beginning in the 1950s, Dr. Price’s work for the Geological Survey of Canada and in academia has explored the geodynamics of mountain building. He has greatly influenced fundamental thinking on the dynamics of plate tectonics and mountain building while also ensuring the economic implications of his ideas were well known in the petroleum industry.

Dr. Price first joined Queen’s in 1968, was invited back to the Geological Survey to become director general and later assistant deputy minister, and rejoined Queen’s in 1990 where he accepted the chair of a scientific working group looking at the engineering, geological, and environmental merits of deep geological disposal of high level nuclear fuel waste.

“I certainly can’t think of a more deserving geoscientist than Dr. Price for this award,” says colleague Laurent Godin. “Dr. Price has been influential in so many ways. His work and dedication to geosciences has had profound influence on our understanding of how mountain belts form and evolve. Beyond his world-class scientific research, Dr. Price has done exemplary service to science and society, serving and often chairing countless international scientific committees. Most importantly, he has shared his knowledge and wisdom through mentorship of hundreds of students and colleagues - and continues to this day. His dedication to science, policy-making, and generous mentorship deserves to be known and recognized.”

The impact of Dr. Price’s work has been recognized by numerous honours. Dr. Price became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1972, Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Science in 1988, Foreign Fellow of the European Union of Geosciences in 1989, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1997 and Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003. In addition, he has received honorary doctorates from four Canadian universities and many other awards.

For more information visit the RSC website.

Queen’s remembers Professor Emeritus C.E.S. (Ned) Franks

Queen’s University is remembering the accomplishments and contributions of C.E.S. (Ned) Franks, a professor emeritus in the Department of Political Studies and the School of Physical and Health Education.

[CES (Ned) Franks]
Professor Emeritus C.E.S. (Ned) Franks died on Tuesday, Sept. 11. (University Communications) 

Dr. Franks taught at Queen’s for 35 years, and was a leading expert on Canada’s parliamentary system. He died Tuesday, Sept. 11. He was 81.

“Queen’s and Canada have lost a great political scientist in Ned Franks. He had a long career which included mentoring many students who have gone on to distinguished careers in academia, the public service, journalism, and politics,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf. ”An expert on Canada’s parliamentary system he served as a regular adviser to government and media. He also participated in Queen’s governance, most recently on the former Campus Planning and Development Committee.”

Born in Toronto, Dr. Franks attended Upper Canada College, earned his BA (1959) and MA (1965) from Queen’s, and his DPhil from Oxford.

He returned to Queen’s as an assistant professor in 1967 after working for several years with the Government of Saskatchewan, including a stint as clerk assistant of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly.

Throughout his career at Queen’s, Dr. Franks’ influence and reputation was felt well beyond the university and his advice and insight were regularly sought out by fellow scholars, governments, and media.

“He was a kind of larger-than-life figure both here in the department but also in the scholarly community and beyond. His intellectual breadth was incredibly broad and deep. He had a passion for knowledge,” says Jonathan Rose, an associate professor in Political Studies. “I don’t know any other political scientist who has written respected books on canoeing and Parliament. His sense of wonderment about things beyond and outside of the narrow discipline of political studies was incredibly refreshing and demonstrated a love of learning about the world.”

Dr. Franks was Dr. Rose’s supervisor during his master’s studies at Queen’s and later became his colleague when he joined the Department of Political Studies. He was strongly influenced by Dr. Franks’ sense of rigour and the importance of precision in scholarship.

“Here was an academic who continued the best tradition of Queen’s, which is to make connections between policy making and scholarship,” Dr. Rose says. “I think one of the reasons Queen’s politics is respected in Ottawa is because of this close connection and regular advice that scholars like Ned would provide governments of all political stripes.”

In addition to more than 100 articles and chapters in books, Dr. Franks wrote or edited 14 books and monographs, including The Parliament of Canada, The Canoe and White Water, and Dissent and the State. His work included explorations into public administration, government accountability, parliamentary government in Canada, aboriginal self-government, canoeing, sport and politics, Canada's North, issues related to nuclear energy, and politics in India.

He also wrote numerous influential op-ed pieces for newspapers and magazines and was asked by national and international media for his insight on important issues on the Canadian political agenda. 

In 2002, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and, in 2004, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society awarded him its 75th Anniversary Medallion.

In 2007 the Queen’s University bestowed its Distinguished Service Award upon Dr. Franks in recognition of his four decades of leadership and work on campus planning, including playing a key role in the planning and construction of Mackintosh-Corry Hall as well as a major renovation and expansion program for the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

“With gentle humor, positive reinforcement and comprehensive knowledge you have presided and offered wise counsel as the university sought to improve planning activities for the practice of commissioning buildings, and procedures for selecting leading architects and adopting competitive processes,” a section of the award citation reads. “The results may be found in the record of award-winning structures renewing one of Canada’s historic institutions.”

Dr. Franks also played the roles of an adviser on student life matters and a supporter of student self-government, serving as a mentor to generations of student leaders in the Alma Mater Society, and twice was appointed as honorary president.

Funeral arrangements will be announced once finalized.

Research takes flight

Queen’s University researcher Luc Martin takes to the skies with the Snowbirds to study team dynamics.

Anyone who has been to an airshow in Canada is probably familiar with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, a military flight demonstration team that thrills spectators with their aerobatic performances. Since 2015, Queen’s University researcher Luc Martin, an expert in team dynamics, has been working with the Snowbirds in their high-risk environment where effective communication is critical.   

In early June, Dr. Martin, a professor in the Queen’s School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, took to the air with the team during a media flight which gave him an even deeper appreciation of the communication and teamwork that occurs between formation pilots during a flight.

[Luc Martin and Snowbirds]
Queen's University professor Luc Martin (School of Kinesiology and Health Studies) took to the air this summer with the Snowbirds. (Supplied Photo)

“I likely could not do the experience justice if I tried to put it into words,” Dr. Martin says. “As a researcher, it helped me to appreciate the conditions that this team must navigate, which is unlike any other group I have studied. Because they perform as a collective in such an intense, high-risk environment, they are ideal for studying team-building efforts, cohesion, leadership, and communication.”

Dr. Martin’s research revolves around group dynamics and the actions, processes, and changes that occur either within or between groups, and what those might mean for various individual or team level outcomes. He visited the Snowbird’s base in Moose Jaw, Sask., where he observed the pilot selection process.

The newly-selected pilots became the central figures in Dr. Martin’s investigation into how new members are chosen and integrated. He then followed their transition from newcomer to veteran (when they were involved in selecting future members), through to their retirement from the team – a timeframe that normally lasts only two years.

“I’ve found that the team has a very clear understanding of the type of pilot they are looking for, and skill or capability is only a part of it,” says Dr. Martin. “There are many other characteristics sought and the team has purposefully included strategies throughout the selection process to identify them. It’s important to recognize that while these pilots represent the elite of the elite, the success of the show (and the safety of each member) rests on their ability to work together, and this takes high levels of trust and accountability.”

While few people are likely to find themselves working in such demanding environments, there are certainly important take home points that could benefit anyone who works in a team setting.

“Although having a clear understanding of the type of member you’re trying to recruit is critical, you need to go one step further and design selection processes that allow you to specifically evaluate those characteristics,” says Dr. Martin. “It’s also necessary to show the incoming members exactly what to expect, as demonstrating clear normative expectations early can facilitate their integration into the group.”

Dr. Martin published his initial observations of the Snowbirds in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. His co-author on the project was Mark Eys from Wilfred Laurier University.

Two faculty named Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Fellows

Queen’s researchers awarded one of Canada’s highest academic honours for health scientists.

Queen's researchers Robert Ross and Michael Green
Queen's University researchers Robert Ross and Michael Green.

Queen’s University researchers Robert Ross (Kinesiology) and Michael Green (Health Sciences) will be formally inducted into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) Fellowship, one of Canada’s premier academic honours, on Thursday, Sept. 13. As internationally-recognized researchers, Drs. Ross and Green were selected for their global leadership, academic performance, and scientific creativity.

“Drs. Ross and Green have left indelible marks on their respective disciplines and, through their knowledge translation efforts, have improved physical health and access to health care for Canadians,” says Kimberly Woodhouse, Interim Vice-Principal (Research).

Dr. Ross has been recognized nationally and internationally for his research and knowledge translation activities concerning the unique role physical activity has in the management of lifestyle-based disease. Since 1992, he has received $8.3 million of research funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), won two of the most prestigious international awards for excellence in exercise science research, and served as the first vice-president of the Ontario College of Kinesiology and chair of the American Heart Association Program Committee for the Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health.

“The generation of knowledge that leads to the creation of strategies designed to manage lifestyle-based disease, and the translation of that knowledge to the end user, has been my life’s work,” says Dr. Ross, of the Queen’s School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “It is an honour to be named to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences for our work thus far, and I look forward to using the platform provided as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences to continue promoting the message that exercise is medicine, and consequently, improving the health of Canadians."

Dr. Green is a leader in academic family medicine in Canada and head of the Department of Family Medicine at Queen's University. He is recognized across Canada and internationally for effective collaborations with Indigenous communities, and was instrumental in creating the College of Family Physicians Fact Sheet on Systemic Racism and Indigenous Health and on Canada's competency framework for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Health. His research with Indigenous communities was recognized with a major Impact award from the Ontario SPOR Support Unit, and he leads the INSPIRE-PHC research program that includes six universities and 35 researchers.

“I am very grateful to be named as a fellow by the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences,” says Dr. Green. “I have spent my career working toward increasing access to and equity in primary health care, and improving Indigenous health. I see this award not just as recognition for how far we have come in those efforts, but as emphasizing the need to continue these improvements into the future.”

Drs. Ross and Green will be named to the CAHS Fellowship at a ceremony in Ottawa, joining the ranks of other Queen’s CAHS Fellows, including Anne Croy, Susan Cole, Roger Deeley, Stephen Archer, Jacalyn Duffin, John Rudan, Chris Simpson, Elizabeth Eisenhauer, and others. The CAHS is one of Canada’s national academies, along with the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering. These academies inform government and the public on issues critical to health care and health improvement.

Learn more about the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Fellowship.

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