Phil will be giving a keynote lecture at the University of Toronto’s Department of Materials Science & Engineering on July 15th at 10am ET. You can register now here.
To celebrate the start of a year at MSE that commemorates the legacy of Prof. Ursula Franklin, the first female professor at UofT to receive the honour of University Professor in 1984, I will talk about the nature of impact through the lens of her remarkable life. I describe her contributions as a scientist, author, feminist, pacifist, and philosopher and reflect on what makes someone impactful. I propose that impact occurs at the interface and edges of fields and disciplines, and that deep expertise in one area is less impactful than translation of skills across areas. I conclude by sharing how my own personal experiences at the interface of technology, policy, and entrepreneurship have been more challenging and fulfilling than specialization in one area alone.