UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 06 | Mar.
Stellar scientists to speak
Nine of the top Canadian women scientists in the world will pay
tribute to the legacy of the late Prof. Michael Smith in a public
symposium to be held at UBC on April 7.
Called Women at the Frontier of Exxcellence (sic), the event honours
the vision and support of Smith who donated a portion of his 1993
Nobel Prize award to the Society for Canadian Women In Science and
The endowment enables the organization to sponsor mentorship and
outreach programs aimed at encouraging women of all ages to follow
a career path in science or technology.
"Michael had a vision that Canadian women can and will shape the
future of science and technology," says Psychiatry Asst. Prof. Jane
Roskams, chair of the local organizing committee. "Bringing these
eminent scientists together to share their knowledge with the public
and students is one way we can build on that vision."
The symposium is hailed by some on campus as the Lillith Fair
of science because, like the popular concert series, it is the first-ever
exclusive gathering of women who are stars in their field. Speakers
come from Canada, the US and the UK and include several UBC alumni.
Presentations range from theoretical physics to cancer research
and brain development.
"These people are world leaders in their field and impassioned
about their work -- you couldn't ask for better models for women
considering a career in science or technology," says Roskams.
Speakers include McMaster University Physics and Astronomy Prof.
Catherine Kallin, a UBC alumna who specializes in superconductivity.
Originally from Grand Forks, B.C., Kallin grew up in foster homes
in Vancouver. She entered the science program at Vancouver Community
College and then transferred to UBC.
Kallins' research has been recognized with some of science's premier
Princeton University Molecular Biology Prof. Shirley Tilghman
studies the genome or complete genetic code of mammals.
Raised in Vancouver, Tilghman was one of the youngest members
named to the US National Academy of Sciences. In 2000 she was named
Senior Women Scientist of the Year by the American Society for Cell
Other speakers include Geraldine Kenney-Wallace, Julia Levy, and
Students from high schools in the Lower Mainland and beyond will
attend. Speakers will also make presentations at local Vancouver
high schools and host UBC departments.
The symposium takes place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Wesbrook
Building, lecture hall 100. Admission is free for students with
ID; $15 for registrants and $20 at the door.