York researchers launch exhibit documenting Ontario’s wine history

grapes on a vine

York University history Professor Marcel Martel and research assistant Alex Gagné have collaborated with the Archives of Ontario to launch a new online exhibit titled Wine Making in Ontario. Through images, maps and graphs, the exhibit surveys wine production in Ontario from 1866 to 1940.

Marcel Martel
Marcel Martel

Martel and Gagné proposed the exhibit based on their surprising research findings of an active pre-Second World War wine industry that spanned the province, from Windsor to Sudbury.

“When I conduct research on an issue, there are always some unexpected discoveries,” explains Martel. “I was surprised to discover the number of wineries and wine sellers in urban areas, especially in Toronto, and the multicultural ethnic origins of wine makers and sellers, since most of them came from Britain, France, Italy and the United States.”

The exhibit shows how European settlers struggled to use Indigenous-cultivated grape varietals to make European-style wines. It examines the background of various figures in the industry, including farmers seeking wealth and international acclaim, but also Jewish and Italian migrants and women who made wine for domestic consumption. It also considers the impact of prohibition and other headwinds that ultimately delayed the industry’s flourishing until the 1990s.

Barrels at Canadian Wineries Ltd., A. McKim and Co., Niagara Falls. 1941. Photo by Gordon Powley. Archives of Ontario, I0002637
Barrels at Canadian Wineries Ltd., A. McKim and Co. in Niagara Falls, 1941. Photo by Gordon Powley. Archives of Ontario, I0002637.

“As we continued our research, we expected to find a landscape of grape growers and vintners in competition – each vying for their share of the Canadian market,” says Gagné. “Instead, we found a story of co-operation and unity among the multicultural wine makers who dotted the 19th-century Canadian landscape.”

Among their many surprising discoveries, the researchers learned that early Canadian winemakers would share grape cultivation, harvesting and hybridization secrets through publications like Canadian Agriculturist. This collaborative spirit, Gagné explains, aimed to overcome the prevailing belief that Canada’s climate wasn’t suitable for winemaking.

“They sought to convince both the government and the public to embrace Canadian wines,” he says. “While ultimately stymied by the rise of temperance movements and prohibition, their efforts revealed an industry defined by shared knowledge – and, often, even shared vine cuttings – to prove to the world that Canada was home to unique and delicious wine.”

In support of the online exhibit, the Archives of Ontario has also prepared a display of archival records and historical artifacts related to Ontario’s wine history that can viewed until fall when visiting the Archives in person at 134 Ian MacDonald Boulevard, next to the Kaneff Tower on York’s Keele Campus. The Archives is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday.

To view the online exhibit, visit Wine Making in Ontario (or La fabrication du vin en Ontario for the French version).

York’s Institute for Technoscience & Society looks to shape public debate, policy

Institute for Technoscience & Society web page graphic cropped
Credit: Zoran Svilar

York University’s Institute for Technoscience & Society (ITS), established in 2022 as an Associated Research Centre of the new Connected Minds: Neural and Machine Systems for a Healthy, Just Society initiative, is on a mission to build a global hub focused on the complex relationship between technoscience – the scientific study of how humans interact with technology – and society. In particular, the institute is committed to unravelling the configuration of social power that underpins science, medicine, technology and innovation.

According to Professor Kean Birch, the inaugural director of ITS, the institute was established to cement York’s international standing and reputation in disciplines such as science and technology studies, communication and media studies, design, critical data studies, the history and philosophy of science, and other related fields in which York is a global leader. Aligned with the University’s Strategic Research Plan, especially when it comes to the topics of digital cultures and disruptive technologies, its members are actively engaged in research on the social, political, and economic implications of artificial intelligence (AI) and neuroscience.

Kean Birch
Kean Birch

Birch is enthusiastic about the future of research in this area: “We’re seeing a lot of interest in these topics,” he says, “especially in the societal implications of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and other digital technologies.”

He insists, however, the institute’s depth in expertise is not limited to those areas, extending into topics such as the history of science through games design, the global governance of biotechnology and pharmaceutical innovation.

To support this diversity of knowledge, ITS is organized into the following four research clusters to help create synergies and support collaboration:

  • Technoscientific Injustices, which deals with the implications of emerging technoscience, its impacts on different social groups, and how to create just and inclusive science and technologies;
  • Technoscientific Economies, which deals with the entanglement of science and with different economies, what kinds of innovation get promoted by which kinds of economy, and how to support responsible and inclusive innovation;
  • Technoscientific Pasts & Futures, which deals with how the future of science and technology is bound up with our pasts and how the past helps us to build hopeful visions of and policies for the future; and
  • Technoscientific Bodies & Minds, which deals with the societal implications of prevailing understandings of health risks, diseases, and health-care delivery, as well as how prevailing understandings reinforce social injustices, inequities and divisions.

The institute is making its impact known in Canadian debates about the role of science and technology in society. Recently, Birch was interviewed by the CBC about the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against Apple Inc. for antitrust violations; and his recent opinion pieces about personal data as a collective asset and the social costs of generative AI were published in the Globe and Mail.

ITS plans to continue on this trajectory through regular events and policy briefing papers, as well as interventions in public and policy debates.

“York is incredibly well-placed to make an important social, political, and economic impact when it comes to these issues,” explains Birch, “because of the institutional strength and expertise of faculty and early career researchers here.”

Schulich partnership seeks to address global infrastructure gap

Two engineers working on solar panel roof

Schulich Real Assets – an area within York University’s Schulich School of Business that focuses on tangible investments – is teaming up with the Global Infrastructure Investor Association (GIIA) to offer the next generation of leaders more tools and resources to help them tackle the climate crisis through sustainable infrastructure projects.

Schulich is one of a few schools around the world offering graduate education focused on the increasingly important and evolving real assets field, with both a master of business administration specialization in real estate and infrastructure and a unique, 12-month Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure program.

This new partnership is designed to help increase private investment into infrastructure projects that are supporting the global transition to cleaner energy.

Jim Clayton
Jim Clayton

“We look forward to working together with GIIA and its members towards the common goal of promoting an infrastructure investment ecosystem that mobilizes private capital,” said Professor Jim Clayton, the Timothy R. Price Chair in Real Estate and Infrastructure at Schulich and the MREI program director. “We are excited by the alignment and synergy of the collaboration.”

Through new research and educational programming opportunities, Schulich students will now be empowered with knowledge and resources to deliver the infrastructure that communities need to thrive, with GIIA’s global membership base also helping them to expand their networks and experience.

“It is critical to empower emerging leaders in our industry with the skills and specialist knowledge that enables them to unlock the potential for infrastructure investment, so we can grow the market, and bring in the capital to make the major investments that governments alone cannot afford,” said Jon Phillips, chief executive officer of GIIA, which represents 100 of the world’s leading investors and advisors in infrastructure.

“Since Canada is already a hub for innovation in the infrastructure investment industry, partnering with Schulich makes good sense,” he said.

Schulich launches new diploma for metals, minerals industry

Workers in a Singaporean shipyard disembark a gas vessel during a planned fire drill

York University’s Schulich School of Business has announced the launch of a new Global Metals and Minerals Management (GMM) Diploma, designed to address the needs of the entire metals and minerals value chain by developing leaders who will navigate the transition to a global low-carbon economy through responsible minerals development and use.

A leader in mining and minerals management, Schulich launched an MBA specialization in Global Mining Management in 2012 – one of the first of its kind. Now, it’s looking to continue to advance its educational opportunities for those in the sector.

“Schulich’s newest diploma will provide a world-class business education to current and future leaders in companies working within the mining and minerals industry,” says Detlev Zwick, dean of the Schulich School of Business. “The program will develop leaders who can implement responsible strategies that create wealth for all stakeholders throughout the entire value chain.”

Schulich’s new diploma program – which includes online classes, one-on-one coaching and two in-person residences held in different centres around the globe each year – will commence in June and be offered over a nine-month period.

Program benefits include in-person experiential learning through site tours and the opportunity to hear from a diverse range of industry insiders. The program can be completed as a standalone diploma or concurrently with Schulich’s master of business administration (MBA) degree.

Global Mining Management co-directors Claudia Mueller and Richard Ross.
Global Mining Management co-directors Claudia Mueller (left) and Richard Ross (right).

The GMM Diploma is co-directed by Richard Ross, former Chair and CEO of Inmet Mining Corporation, who has over 40 years of experience in the metals and minerals industry; and Claudia Mueller, a PhD candidate and leadership consultant for the past decade to a broad range of metals and minerals companies.

“The Global Metals and Minerals Management Diploma provides an MBA level of education while enabling working professionals to continue full-time employment,” says Ross. “The classes are taught by industry professionals and stakeholders who have in-depth metals and mining knowledge and experience; and the classes will combine Schulich MBA students with diploma students, ensuring a rich and diverse mix of backgrounds and experience.”

As they launch this new program, Ross and Mueller are supported by dozens of individuals who have expertise, knowledge and experience in the metals and minerals industry. This includes the GMM Stakeholder Working Group, made up of Indigenous people and individuals who are well versed in all aspects of environmental, social, and governance regulations and practices in the metals and minerals industry.

For more information and to apply, visit the Global Metals and Minerals Management Diploma web page.

YSpace program gets boost for under-represented founders

hands holding out food banner

YSpace will receive more than $476,000 in new funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) over the next two years to expand its Food & Beverage Accelerator program across the country and support over 100 racialized and women founders to scale and thrive in the industry.

YSpace created Ontario’s first food and beverage accelerator in 2019 to help grow consumer packaged goods ventures in the field. The five-month program provides customized workshops, expert mentorship and peer-to-peer circles to ventures as they develop their strategy, grow their network and scale their business.

To date, the YSpace accelerator has supported 93 ventures and over 200 entrepreneurs who are scaling into mass retail, raising funds and getting acquired. Many ventures in the program have seen exponential growth and established valuable connections in the industry.

YSpace Food Accelerator entrepreneurs gather at the September 2023 Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) Pitch Competition. From left: Ari Alli – Noble Snacks, Charlene Li – EATABLE, Kieran Klassen – Heartwood Farm & Cidery, Dominique Mastronardi – The Happy Era, Rebecca Prime – Beck’s Broth, Muna Mohammed – eight50 Coffee).
YSpace Food Accelerator entrepreneurs gather at the September 2023 Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) Pitch Competition.
From left: Ari Alli, Charlene Li, Kieran Klassen, Dominique Mastronardi, Rebecca Prime and Muna Mohammed.

One example is EATABLE, a company that produces all-natural gourmet popcorn with flavours inspired by classic cocktails, wines and spirits, which has expanded their retail footprint to over 1,600 doors across Canada and the U.S. “As part of the YSpace Food Accelerator, we connected with industry experts who helped us grow 19 times in revenues since our launch in 2019,” says Charlene Li, co-founder and CEO.

Another example is Zing, which creates vegan and gluten-free condiments and seasoning salts that are designed to be pantry shortcuts. It is available in over 400 retail doors across Canada and the U.S. “YSpace programming and mentorship helped our company develop and execute an effective retail strategy that allowed us transition from an e-commerce to an omni-channel business,” says co-founder and CEO Jannine Rane.

The new funding provided by the AAFC’s AgriDiversity Program will support under-represented groups in the food and beverage industry and help provide them with the resources to build their entrepreneurial and business skills. The program was created under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a $3.5-billion, five-year agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector.

“We are thrilled that our Food & Beverage Accelerator will soon be able to support racialized and women founders nationally,” says David Kwok, director of entrepreneurship and innovation at YSpace. “We have built a robust and impactful program, and now with the funding resources to serve these groups, we can expand not only our reach but impact across Canada.”

In his role as Canada’s minister of agriculture and agri-food, Lawrence MacAulay has seen first-hand how integral women are to creating a thriving economy. “A more diverse and inclusive labour force can provide significant benefits to the agriculture sector by supporting competitiveness and risk management, innovation and rural vitality, and sustainable growth,” he says.

The new Food & Beverage Accelerator program will build and implement specialized tools and resources to support the unique challenges faced by under-represented groups in the consumer packaged goods and agri-food sector. To achieve this, YSpace will be leveraging its expertise from both ELLA, which provides dedicated programming for women entrepreneurs, and the Black Entrepreneurship Alliance, which provides specialized streams for Black entrepreneurs to better engage with those communities. YSpace will also look to leverage those experiences and expertise to consciously expand its offering into other under-represented communities in consultation with those communities.

“This specialized and comprehensive programming designed for under-represented communities doesn’t quite exist yet on a national level and will fill an ecosystem gap in the consumer packaged goods and agri-food sector,” says Judy Wong, consumer packaged goods program advisor at YSpace. “This is incredibly important for both our economy and the entrepreneurial ecosystem to further drive growth and innovation in the agri-food sector.”

Further information about YSpace and its diverse programming for existing and aspiring entrepreneurs can be found through its website.

Continuing Studies Building earns gold for sustainable design

School of Continuing Studies Building

Further solidifying York University’s place as an international leader in sustainability, York’s School of Continuing Studies Building has achieved LEED Gold certification from the Canadian Green Building Council. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is the global building industry’s premier benchmark for sustainability.

School of Continuing Studies Building
School of Continuing Studies Building exterior.

The six-story, 9,012-square-metre, 50-classroom building, which opened last spring at 68 The Pond Road on York’s Keele Campus, was designed by global architecture firm Perkins&Will, led by architects Safdar Abidi and Andrew Frontini. Its twisted design is said to symbolize the school’s twist on the traditional mission of continuing studies – that is, to solve Canada’s most pressing labour challenges by connecting employers to a highly skilled talent pool through innovative program offerings.

“Our stunning, architecturally twisted learning facility emphasizes sustainable practices, safeguards the environment and lowers operating costs,” said Christine Brooks-Cappadocia, assistant vice-president, Continuing Studies. “This purposeful design, with its abundant natural light and other innovative features, is welcoming and promotes a healthy atmosphere so we can focus on what matters most: excellence in programming and a vibrant community for student interactions.”

Some of the building’s most notable environmental features include: a self-generating heat recovery system; an infrastructure-ready, solar-powered water heater; a high-performing façade system for weather resistance; and daylight harvesting to offset electric lighting requirements. The building is believed to be well positioned to achieve net-zero emissions in the future due to its low energy consumption and ability to accommodate solar photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight into electricity.

But contrary to popular belief, LEED is not only about energy-efficient design. It also considers occupant wellness, an area where the School of Continuing Studies Building focused much attention. Designed with the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in mind, the building houses a lactation room for nursing mothers and a payer room, plus guide rails, automated doors, standing desks, screens for the visually impaired, elevators and large, wheelchair accessible hallways.

“LEED is a comprehensive sustainability objective,” explained Norm Hawton, director of design and construction for Facilities Services at York, “ranging from site selection and recycling of materials to designing for energy performance, minimizing waste, encouraging wellness – from daylighting to healthy commuting, by providing bicycle racks and showers – and thinking holistically about how this building will contribute to a sustainable lifestyle.”

According to Hawton, the LEED Gold certification could not have been achieved without the contributions of the School of Continuing Studies students, instructors and staff who were instrumental to both the scoping and design phases of the project, the University administrators, consultants, and construction and design teams.

“It was the collaborative participation by all throughout the project, from the initial building concept through to successful operations supporting continuing education, that led to LEED quantify the success of the School of Continuing Studies Building in this way,” he said.

In addition to this new sustainability certification, the building has also been recognized for its interior design achievements. Last October, the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) named it one of the most vibrant, innovative and inspiring educational spaces of the year – a true testament to York’s visionary leadership in the higher-education building space.

York conference inspires next generation of environmentalists

Change Your World conference 2024 team. Photo credit: Daniel Horawski

With news of environmental crises coming at us at an increasingly alarming rate, it can be easy to dwell on the doom and gloom of it all. York University’s Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change (EUC) is doing its part to prevent that with its annual conference, Change Your World, which aims to empower Ontario’s youth to be the next generation of global changemakers.

Last week, some 500 Ontario high-school students and their teachers from more than 25 schools gathered in Vari Hall on York’s Keele Campus for the conference, where they spent the day learning how they can make a sustainable and equitable difference in the world – and its future – through a series of activities and workshops hosted in partnership with environmental and community partners from across the province.

Change Your World conference attendees gathered in Vari Hall. Photo by Daniel Horawski.

“At a time when there is a great deal of despair and ‘eco-anxiety’ concerning the state of the planet, it was inspiring to see young people coming together as active citizens to envision a different future,” said Philip Kelly, interim dean of EUC. “Connecting schools and environmentally-focused organizations for thoughtful discussions through events like Change Your World is an important role for the Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change in our wider community.”

Pictured, left to right: keynote speaker Joanne Huy, EUC Interim Dean Philip Kelly, keynote speaker Alicia Richins. Photo by Daniel Horawski.

Students began the day by hearing from the conference’s keynote speakers, beginning with Interim Dean Kelly and ending with alumna Alicia Richins, director of strategy and governance for youth sustainability leadership organization Leading Change Canada and creator of multimedia platform the Climateverse.

Richins challenged the audience to consider their passions when choosing what change they should focus on and encouraged them to boldly share ideas, work collaboratively and never give up on their goals to make positive change.

“This annual event is all about showcasing ways youth can lead the change we need in our communities and around the world,” said Lily Piccone, strategic enrolment and communications officer at EUC and Change Your World conference co-ordinator. “Through inspiring keynote speakers, like our very own YU alumni Alicia and Joanne, and our community partners, the students can see local citizens that have turned their passion into a profession and are making positive change for people and the planet”

Toronto-based singer-songwriter and climate activist Brighid Fry performed at the 2024 Change Your World conference.

The students were then able to let their interests guide them by choosing two breakout sessions to participate in from a variety of offerings, including: a workshop on how to build resiliency in the face of anxiety about the future; a giant, immersive board game about power, peace and the planet; hands-on time with wind turbine models and solar panels; a tree identification walk; talks on green infrastructure, climate futurism, the importance of wetlands; and much more.

Following their lunch break, participants were treated to a special guest performance by Toronto-based singer-songwriter and climate activist Brighid Fry, recognized as one of the Top 25 under 25 by non-profit organization the Starfish Canada for her work on sustainability in the music industry. Students wrapped up their day of immersive learning with another workshop and enjoyed one final keynote address by community engagement professional and York alumna Joanne Huy, who shared her passion for transforming lives and communities through learning experiences and making local change in the York University and Jane-and-Finch communities.

Watch the video recap of the day’s events below:

For more information about the annual conference, visit the Change Your World website.

York hosts conference examining impact of AI on law

Update: New information after publication of this article indicates the March 13 conference will now be held online only.

Leading legal thinkers from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and beyond will gather to assess the seismic impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the law during a special conference on March 13 sponsored by the Osgoode-based Jack & Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime & Security.

All York community members are welcome to attend the hybrid event, titled Artificial Intelligence and the Law: New Challenges and Possibilities for Fundamental Human Rights and Security, which will take place both online and in person in 014 Helliwell Centre on York’s Keele Campus from noon to 6:15 p.m.

Trevor Farrow
Trevor Farrow

“I am delighted that this incredibly important discussion is being hosted at Osgoode Hall Law School,” said Osgoode Dean Trevor Farrow.

“Academics, lawyers, policymakers and the public are already heavily influenced by and reliant upon AI,” he added. “Osgoode very much sees itself at the centre of these discussions and innovations.”

By bringing together researchers with AI expertise across various fields of practice, conference speakers and attendees can engage with larger questions about law’s role in the regulation of emerging technologies, legal neutrality, ethics and professional responsibility, said Carys Craig, associate dean of research and institutional relations, who will speak on AI and copyright.

Carys Craig
Carys Craig

“I’m very excited about this conference,” she said. “Osgoode is known for its thought leadership and critical, interdisciplinary thinking, which is exactly what is needed as Canada grapples with the rapid acceleration of AI across almost every facet of society.”

The featured speakers will also include Professor Barnali Choudhury, director of the Nathanson Centre.

“Although AI offers numerous opportunities to society, it also poses risks, particularly in relation to human rights and security,” Choudhury noted. “Lawyers should be well versed in these risks to ensure that AI use aligns with legal standards.”

 Barnali Choudhury
Barnali Choudhury

The conference’s comprehensive examination of artificial intelligence will include the growing use of generative AI, which powers tools like ChatGPT, said Professor Valerio De Stefano, a co-organizer of the event and a panellist who will address today’s challenging issues around AI and work. 

“The law will have to react to a lot of the challenges that arise from artificial intelligence in order for society to thrive on the opportunities that AI offers,” he noted.

De Stefano said that almost no area of the law will be left untouched, including criminal, copyright, labour and tax law. Conference speakers will also dig into the implications of AI for legal ethics, practice and education.

Valerio De Stefano
Valerio De Stefano

“It’s extremely important that lawyers, both academics and practitioners, start discussing how to react to all these new things that are coming out of the AI landscape – and this is the opportunity to do that,” he added. “There’s a lot of people at Osgoode that do top-notch, groundbreaking research on law and technology.”

Other speakers will include Professor Jonathon Penney, who will examine whether AI safety standards are really safe, and Professor Allan Hutchinson, who will discuss AI and law’s multiplicity. Rounding out the list of Osgoode experts are Professor Sean Rehaag, PhD student Alexandra Scott and Osgoode PhD alumnus Jake Okechukwu Effoduh, now a law professor at Toronto Metropolitan University.

In the afternoon, De Stefano will chair a roundtable discussion on AI, due process and legal ethics. Panellists will include: Dean Farrow; Professor Patricia McMahon; Professor Richard Haigh; Glenn Stuart, the executive director of professional regulation for the Law Society of Ontario; and Professor Amy Salyzyn of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.

Registration is required. For more information about the event, email nathansoncentre@osgoode.yorku.ca and copy vdestefano@osgoode.yorku.ca.

New working group builds on York’s leadership in social procurement

small houses businesses on blocks connected

York University is a leader in social procurement – a process that considers how buying goods and services can positively impact the social well-being of communities and assist in reducing poverty, promoting economic and social inclusion, and supporting local economic development and social enterprises. A new working group is seeking staff to help advance its efforts further.

For York University staff who aspire to become advocates for social procurement and whose roles involve a significant focus on purchasing, an exciting opportunity awaits. Strategic Procurement Services is actively seeking staff to join a social procurement working group with the goal of building social procurement awareness across York’s campuses. This group will, in part, help build tools and resources and identify future areas to build capacity to strengthen York’s leading social procurement program.

The group – and its future efforts – looks to build upon York positioning itself at the forefront of championing social procurement, taking a proactive approach to educate and engage its staff in the principles and practices of social procurement.

Among its recent endeavours is a pivotal new Anchor YU course, built from York’s Anchor York U Framework, designed to highlight the ways participants can champion social procurement within their respective roles alongside other ways to contribute to community wealth-building. The inaugural course held last fall received widespread attendance and positive feedback. Due to popular demand, a second offering is now available, and interested individuals are encouraged to register early to secure their spot through YU Learn.

York University’s success in social procurement has not been confined to its campuses; it has extended its impact across the province. The institution’s social procurement vendor portal, developed as an open-source tool, has become a catalyst for collaboration. Recently, York has signed memorandums of understanding with five university and college partners, designed to collectively build a robust social procurement ecosystem, leveraging York’s tools and expertise. This joint effort involves both institutional and community working groups, fostering a shared commitment to advancing social procurement practices.

As the University continues to lead the way in social procurement, these initiatives underscore its dedication to fostering a culture of sustainability and social responsibility. Through education, collaboration and community engagement, York is empowering its staff to become champions of social procurement, both within the University and across the broader community.

To express your interest in the social procurement working group, reach out to Brent Brodie at bbrodie@yorku.ca. To learn more about social procurement at York and the University’s current impact, visit the Social Procurement web page.

New lecture series to spotlight York’s research leadership

innovation image

York University’s Organized Research Units (ORU) are launching the Big Thinking Lecture Series, which will feature researchers, artists and activists taking up some of the world’s most pressing issues and ideas in their fields, from water research and aging to digital literacy and more.

As a leader in research and innovative thinking, York has a lot to show in the ways its faculty and students are helping right the future with big ideas. The new lecture series, which will consist of various talks and artistic events held throughout the calendar year, will see expert York speakers present research and creative works that span their respective fields, which include muscle health, Indigenous knowledges and languages, youth and aging, Canadian studies, technoscience and society, feminist activism, and Jewish social and political thought.

John Tsotsos
John Tsotsos

“This bold new series will showcase the depth and breadth of research excellence generated by York’s Organized Research Units and their commitment to fostering critical thought and dialogue on today’s global challenges,” said Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation. “The Big Thinking Lecture Series builds on York’s proud tradition of interdisciplinary scholarship and participatory research. I applaud the ORU directors for bringing this series forward.”

The inaugural lecture of the series, titled “Vision Beyond a Glance,” is presented by the Centre for Vision Research and will feature John Tsotsos, a Distinguished Research Professor in the Lassonde School of Engineering. He will explore the meaning of vision and explain how we effortlessly perform visual tasks many times a day. The in-person event will take place on Jan. 26 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in 519 Kaneff Tower.

For more details about the inaugural event and the series itself, visit yorku.ca/research/bigthinking.