Renaissance and reflection


In June of 2017, I formally stepped down from my role as Vice President of Research and Director of the Rotman Research Institute. I’d been VP for about 8 yrs., but have been in administration for about the last 15 yrs. What hit me as June approached was that for the first time in quite a while I would be heading back to being full-time scientist. This of course led to the usual wave of insecurities that all of us face when faced with such a change.  One of my wise fellows characterized this as my “renaissance”.

Maybe that’s not too far off. Renaissance, the French word for rebirth, has been used to characterize a period following the Middle Ages in Europe where there was a surge of interest in Classical scholarship and values. As a scientist, first and foremost, this new period opens the door to reflecting on where my research is going, what the burning questions are, and what I want to discover. This brings a great deal of excitement!  But also caution – within the first few weeks of planning for the next year I was going to:

1)   Learning dynamical systems theory
2)   Write a book
3)   Recode the Partial Least Squares software
4)   Learn music theory
5)   Take up piano
6)   Visit Marseille, London, Berlin, Bloomington, Los Angeles, Brisbane, Barcelona, and Nelson, BC.
7)   Be a cowboy
...okay, maybe not the last one. 


What’s clear is that my renaissance will require a bit of discipline. It will be easy to get lost in the plethora of new opportunities and end up not really going anywhere. So, my task is to decide not only what I want to do, but importantly what I no longer want to do. This last part is a hard one for many of us. But sometimes letting go can be as rewarding as discovering something new.

So this first blog entry really just marks to beginning of this new venture. I look forward to sharing more of what we discover over the coming years.

Welcome to our lab’s new website!

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