Waterloo scientists partner with Research2Reality to showcase Canadian research

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Research 2 reality logo. Research underway at Canadian universities today will change the way we live tomorrow.

Research2Reality is a new social media and television campaign by six of Canada’s top research institutions — including the University of Waterloo. It celebrates the success of researchers at the frontiers of science and brings their high-impact discoveries to the living rooms and laptops of millions of Canadians.

Right now many Canadians don’t understand the scope of cutting-edge work being done in our backyards,” says Research2Reality co-founder and Canada Research Chair Molly Shoichet. “This initiative will bridge that gap between researchers and the public.”

Launched last night at the MaRS Discovery District, Research2Reality aims to enhance Canada’s brand as a leader in innovation, reinforce the importance of continued investment in advanced research and enhance scientific literacy.

The campaign will include six public service announcements airing on the Discovery and Discovery Science channels that examine the ways research impacts issues that matter deeply to Canadians, including health, technology, natural resources and sustainable energy.

Canada Excellence Research Chair Philippe Van Cappellen, and professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, discusses water research as a key to our future health in one of the first-to-air public services announcements.

Canada Research Chair Raymond Laflamme and Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing, discusses the potential of quantum information science and quantum devices in another. Laflamme is also a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Science.

In addition to the television spots, which began airing on May 11, the campaign features interviews with more than 50 Canadian researchers discussing the long-term potential of their work — including three from the Faculty of Science. These ‘orange chair’ interviews videos will be rolled out in stages over the coming months, supported by a Canada-wide social media campaign.

Prof. Melanie Campbell from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, talks about developing a definitive test for Alzheimer’s, based on the presence of certain proteins at the back of the retina. Campbell is also cross-appointed to the School of Optometry and Vision Science.

Ray Laflamme’s interview is about Quantum computers and quantum information systems and Philippe Van Cappellen discusses Ecohydrology — when groundwater, surface water and land features meet.

Waterloo Researchers at R2R Gala

The other six Waterloo researchers participating in the Research2Reality orange chair interviews are: Chris Bauch (Faculty of Mathematics), Chris Eliasmith (Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Engineering), Frank Gu (Faculty of Engineering), Michele Mosca (Faculty of Mathematics), Jatin Nathwani (Faculty of Engineering) and Daniela O'Neill (Faculty of Arts).

Founded by Molly Shoichet, Professor of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and in Tissue Engineering at the University of Toronto, and Mike MacMillan, founder and producer of Lithium Studios Productions, Research2Reality’s founding partners include University of Waterloo, University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia, McMaster University, the University of Toronto and Western University — along with the Ontario Government and Discovery Networks. Discovery Science is the official media partner.