Our researchers

Rob Gorbet

Interfaces. Physical interfaces, interfaces between disciplines, interfaces between people. Interface design; interactive artworks; human interaction in collaboration, teaching, and learning.

current highlights: Rob's collaboration with the SSHRC-funded Living Architecture Systems group produced and installed a massive sculptural AI testbed, Amatria, in the new Luddy Hall engineering building at Indiana University, and are preparing for a June to October show at the ROM.

John McLevey

Social network analysis, Science and public policy, Environmental sociology, Sociology of education, Computational social science, Information science, Research methods

current highlights: John and his collaborators have a new book on natural resources, economic development, and tourism in North Atlantic coastal communities accepted at Palgrave Macmillan, and a series of new articles forthcoming. He will be hosting a SSHRC-funded workshop on Climate Change and Energy Futures at Memorial University this fall, in collaboration with Mark Stoddart and Vanessa Schweizer. It builds on a previous workshop at the Balsillie School in 2016, supported in part by the Faculty of Environment. With Rob Gorbet, Allyson Stokes, and Janice Aurini, Dr. McLevey published a report for the Ministry of Education based on a large multi-method study of the effectiveness of classroom-integrated robotics on teaching 21st century competencies. 

Katie Plaisance

Philosophy of the behavioural sciences and the public understanding of science.

current highlights: Katie continued to work on a collaborative project with John McLevey entitled, “Increasing the Impact of Philosophy of Science in Scientific Domains,” which was funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant. They recently published their first paper from this project, based on a large citation analysis of philosophical work, and are completing two additional manuscripts reporting the results of a survey and a set of in-depth interviews of philosophers of science. In addition, Katie started a new collaboration with a group of psychologists at Michigan State University, funded by a Templeton Foundation grant, that applies philosophical insights to psychology to design, carry out, and analyze the first-ever experimental study in human behavioral genetics and its implications for the future of the discipline.

Vanessa Schweizer

Collective decision-making. This includes many processes such as articulating aspirations and values, exercising foresight, confronting uncertainties and risks, and negotiating tradeoffs.

current highlights: With her students and a colleague, Vanessa Schweizer has a chapter on scenarios and how they can be used for organizational reflexivity in the book Organising (for) the Future: How Organizations Manage Things to Come, forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan. In April, Vanessa published an invited editorial in Nature Climate Change on the role of the Shared Socio-economic Pathways in decision support. This spring, Vanessa is hosting a Visiting Scholar from the Delft University of Technology, as well as a NSERC USRA with a KI student.

KI students are involved in a wide range of research at the undergrad level, for example:

  • Each student does a senior research project as part of their BKI degree
  • Hannah Gardiner, 4th year KI student, has been invited to present her paper “Academic Writing and Standard English” at the Scholarship of Undergraduate Literary Studies (SOULS) in March 2019 at Bishop’s University in Quebec. She notes that "As a KI student – and neither an English minor nor major – being asked to present an English essay is not only an honour, it also supports the notion of an interdisciplinary education: that one need not focus their studies exclusively in one discipline to be able to meaningfully contribute as a young scholar."
  • Chloé St. Amand, 4th year KI student, was a Student Moderator at the 2018 Latornell Conservation Symposium, a large, three-day conference/symposium with several hundred attendees from academia, the government, and private sectors. This 2018 theme is "Land to Great Lakes - Relationship Status: It's Complicated". Her experience at the symposium complements her studies in Knowledge Integration and Earth Sciences, specializing in Hydrogeology.

  • Bronwyn McIlroy-Young, BKI'18 presented at the 2018 congress of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS). The congress in Halifax, NS, is an annual meeting of Canadian scientists and other professionals focused on atmospheric, ocean and earth sciences. She was invited by CMOS to present a poster of her KI senior research project on Canadian TV weathercasters and climate change communication.

  • Thomas Huijbregts BKI'15, continued working on his KI senior research project after he graduated, and the paper he wrote about it was accepted for publication at the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces. His paper is entitled "TalkingTiles: Supporting Personalization and Customization in an AAC App for Individuals with Aphasia", and he travelled to Madeira, Portugal to attend the conference.

  • Bronwyn also presented at the Feminist Epistemologies, Methodology, Metaphysics, and Science Studies (FEMMSS 2016) conference at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. She presented her research on gender diverse people in social epistemology, research which originated in a paper that she wrote for the KI core course INTEG 221: The Social Nature of Knowledge.

  • Georgia Lamarre BKI'16 and Akanksha Madan BKI'16 presented at the Science of Team Science Conference in 2016 in Phoenix. They discussed the research they did with Katie Plaisance (Associate Chair, Knowledge Integration) on a number of projects to improve knowledge, skills and understanding of collaborative practices at the University of Waterloo. 

  • Alexandra Olarnyk BKI'15 had her Knowledge Integration senior research project work, "You're Totally on Your Own": Experiences of Food Allergy on a Canadian University Campus, published in the Universal Journal of Public Health.

  • Cynthia McLauchlan BKI’14 presented her KI research project “Does taking a statistics course improve statistical literacy?" at the Statistical Society of Canada annual conference in 2014.
  • Eric Kennedy, BKI’12 presented at the International Conference on the Public Communication of Science and Technology in Florence, Italy in 2012. He shared research connected to his KI senior research project, which investigated the nature of short-term, project-based collaboration between scientists and Indigenous communities in Canada.
  • Kaleigh Eichel, BKI’12 went to the 2012 International Polar Year Conference "From Knowledge to Action" in Montreal, to present her KI senior thesis: "Conveying polar research to the public through audio podcasting." She also attended Congress 2012 of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Waterloo to present her KI senior research project at the Environmental Studies Association of Canada, "Conveying polar research to the public through audio podcasting" and to present an independent studies project at the Canadian Association of Geographers, "Nutrient uptake and primary productivity responses to experimental nutrient enrichment in small shallow, tundra ponds."
  • Trystan Goetze BKI'12 has presented his research, and will be presenting work from his KI senior research project at the Communities of Integration conference in June 2013, during the workshop on Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering (SRPoiSE).