Dr. Kevin Hewitt

Dalhousie University
Email: kevin.hewitt@dal.ca
Speaker webpage: www.canphyscounts.ca

Ms. Anastasia Smolina

University of Toronto
Email: anastasia.smolina@mail.utoronto.ca

Date of Live Presentation: Mon, 14-Feb-2022
Location: youtu.be/EJLpz4AZflc


CanPhysCounts: The first national EDI survey of the Canadian physics community


There has never been a comprehensive survey of the physics community in Canada. Together with the Canadian Association of Physicists and the Laurier Centre for Women in Science (WinS), in November 2020 our team organized the largest-ever survey of the Canadian physics community. The objective was to answer three main questions: who are the physicists in Canada, what do they do, and what are their experiences in the physics community? We received over three-thousand responses, giving us the statistical power to investigate research questions that have never been studied before. Our team of physicists and social scientists with expertise in equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives are working on a thorough analysis, and would love to share some of our newest findings with the community. While we have published some overarching demographic data in a preliminary report, we are now able to dive deeper into the survey results and ask harder questions, such as: Do we see evidence of the famous "leaky pipeline" in our community? Do undergraduate students feel welcomed in their departments? How have caregiving responsibilities affected physicists' careers? Do people of colour experience more harassment in their places of work? As we have now asked these questions, it is time for our community to reckon with the results, and work towards building a better future.

Short bio

This talk will be presented by the two co-founders of the CanPhysCounts project, Dr. Kevin Hewitt and Anastasia Smolina.

Dr. Hewitt is a full Professor in the Department of Physics & Atmospheric Science, and former Chair of Senate (2015-2021) at Dalhousie University. In his Molecular imaging lab, he has developed novel nanoparticle probes for cancer imaging and treatment, new optical imaging approaches and a prototype medical diagnostic tool. He completed his B. Sc., Physics & Biology at the University of Toronto (1992), where he received the UofT Physics prize. At Dalhousie he unified his deep and abiding interests in science and community engagement by co-founding (in 2003) the award-winning Imhotep’s Legacy Academy, a STEM outreach program for Black students from junior high to university. He’s featured in Cool Black North, a film which explores the unique and vibrant Canadian Black Community and its role in our country’s contemporary identity. His contributions have been recognized by a Youth Community Service Award (1999), the Harry Jerome Award for Professional Excellence (2014), Nova Scotia Discovery Centre Science Champion (2018), NSERC Award for Science promotion (2021), and the Rosemary Gill award for service to students (2021).

Anastasia Smolina is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto in the Department of Medical Biophysics, working on medical imaging research. She has 10+ years of experience working on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives in science, and chaired the 2017 Canadian Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics. She is currently working with Kevin Hewitt as Guest Co-Editors of a Special Issue of the Physics in Canada magazine, titled "Inclusion for Excellence", the first issue which will focus on equity and inclusion within the Canadian physics community.

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