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Op-Ed Dr. Neil Bose

Embracing change: Research Week goes virtual for third-annual celebrations

By Dr. Neil Bose

Picture it: St. John’s. Spring. 1987.

A young prof steps into a classroom ready to motivate a new generation of ocean tech admirers.

Fast forward more than 30 years and that same researcher is still proud to inspire and collaborate with young innovators. However, instead of using equipment like overhead projectors and VHS tapes, the cutting-edge technology now includes high-definition underwater cameras and Zoom.

I was that enthusiastic prof.

So much of our world has changed in the last three decades thanks in large part to the technology we take for granted.

Thinking big

The Internet. Wi-Fi. Social media. Online shopping. Hybrid automobiles. Wireless headphones.

All of this technology – and so much more – was either invented or became highly popularized over the past 30 years, thanks to a passion for research, discovery and innovation.

The constant among all of this change is a desire to learn, push the boundaries of knowledge and certainly encourage those around us to think big.

Twenty-five years ago, Webex was created. Today millions of people – including our university community – have incorporated it into their lives.

“I truly hope you are able to take some time during Research Week to collaborate with colleagues.”

If anything, platforms such as Webex have brought our university community even closer together during this pandemic.

Virtual celebrations

Building a stronger Memorial is an undercurrent of our Research Week celebrations, which runs Nov. 23-27.

As you might know, we’re going virtual this year.

Yes, it’s a different approach but going online provides so much more flexibility to all members of our university community – researchers, staff members, post-doctoral fellows and graduate and undergraduate students – who can embrace online technology and be a part of our third annual celebrations.

Now you can log on, listen, learn and participate from wherever you are.

Please take some time to see what’s already included for this year.

We have sessions involving colleagues from a wide variety of units, including Pharmacy, Science, Business Administration, the Ocean Frontier Institute, Grenfell Campus, the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office, Humanities and Social Sciences and so many more.

It’s wonderful to see our units involved again this year.

N.L. benefits

To kick off Research Week, I’m inviting the university community to a panel discussion I am hosting with four of Memorial’s leading Canada Research Chairs.

Pursuit of Knowledge: How Newfoundland and Labrador Benefits from Memorial’s Innovative Research Activities takes place Monday, Nov. 23, from 11 a.m. to noon.

Joining me are Dr. Michelle Ploughman, Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation, Neuroplasticity and Brain Recovery, Faculty of Medicine; Dr. Uta Passow, Canada Research Chair in Biological Oceanographic Processes, Faculty of Science; Dr. Baiyu (Helen) Zhang, Canada Research Chair in Coastal Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science; and Dr. Julia Christensen, Canada Research Chair in Northern Governance and Public Policy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

More details are available here.

If you’d like to join us, please email vp.research@mun.ca for the login instructions for this session.

Author workshop

I am delighted that Memorial is partnering with the internationally respected Elsevier for an Author Workshop, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 24, from 2-3:30 p.m.

To register for this free event, please send your full name, unit (department and faculty) and email address to vprfeedback@mun.ca no later than noon on Thursday, Nov. 19. Those who register will have their names entered to receive a prize, courtesy of Elsevier.

This session is open to members of the university community, including researchers, post-doctoral fellows, PhD and master’s students, librarians and staff members.

More details are available here.

Impact of Memorial

I realize we’re still living through a strange time.

But I truly hope you are able to take some time during Research Week to collaborate with colleagues and learn more about our talented researchers and the impact they are making here in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada and around the world.

I hope to see you online during this year’s celebrations!

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