Reflections about Research Month at York University

York Research Communications embarked on a new venture to showcase York Research for the university community over the month of November. Not a group to miss out on a chance to schmooze with our researchers and their collaborators, the Knowledge Mobilization Unit was present at all four sessions within Vari Hall, a terrific venue to showcase research as it is open, bright and draws upon a large crowd throughout the day.  The sessions focused on Four disciplines:

  • Health
  • Science & Engineering
  • Fine Arts
  • Social Science and Humanities

Each discipline demonstrated some unique, collaborative, and very cool research projects.   And for the KMb Unit, being present in these four distinct research fairs provided unique perspective on research at York.  Here are some reflections:
1.       Students care about research – I was impressed with the number of undergraduate students who had genuine interest in research being profiled. This went beyond their obvious desire to find employment.  Students cared about research and while this was not necessarily surprising, it was very impressive.
2.       We have cool things to see, touch and experience in the world of research.  We can be honest here…research can make us feel like 9 year olds in toy stores.  We want to touch, see and experience research in viewing exhibits.  And huge props to Fine Arts…no, literally, huge props were brought out by the Faculty of Fine Arts (that screen was massive!)
3.       Let’s hear it for York Research Communications!  Even if she is a staff of one, Elizabeth Monier Williams is always expanding her efforts to showcase and support York Research through relevant communications efforts.
4.       Knowledge Mobilization fits in well to the research landscape at York.  I’m proud we were present at all four research fairs.  It is important to be visible but more important to be relevant, and I believe we have achieved a level of recognition and respect.  We have considerable work to do still, but we’re moving in a positive direction!