Initiative to focus on research feats

Communicating research's role to public is key, says vice-president, Research

Celebrating UBC's research excellence on campus and in the community is the goal of a program being launched from the Office of the Vice-President, Research.

"UBC is the largest research enterprise in the province and yet the depth and breadth of the research being conducted is not well known," says Indira Samarasekera, vice-president, Research. "And it's especially important for us to communicate the role of research in the social and economic well-being of Canada."

The program, called Celebrate Research, comprises a number of activities including the creation of a new UBC Research Web site and a yearly campus-wide Research Awareness Week, says Pharmaceutical Sciences Prof. Sid Katz, who was recently appointed to lead the program.

Celebrating research excellence is a key goal of Trek 2000, UBC's vision statement.

The first research awareness week is planned for March 5-9, 2001 and will include public seminars on key research initiatives, debates on shared research issues, and workshops on new and emerging research areas. Events will be held on campus, at the teaching hospitals and in downtown Vancouver.

A gala awards evening, featuring performances by members of UBC's School of Music, will take place March 8 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

Existing and proposed research weeks and awards events will be integrated into the planning of Celebrate Research. Areas of research that have not been adequately acknowledged will be recognized with the creation of new awards. Katz is a former executive director of Science World in Vancouver and director general and CEO of the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto. Samarasekera notes that his long-standing interest and experience in promoting the public awareness of science will be a strong asset in this more global initiative.

Suggestions for Celebrate Research may be directed to Katz at