UofT Keynote Lecture: On The Nature of Impact, Lessons from Ursula Franklin

To celebrate the start of a year at the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto that commemorates the legacy of Prof. Ursula Franklin, the first female professor at UofT to receive the honour of University Professor in 1984, I 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.

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Toronto-St. Paul's

Toronto-St. Paul’s is on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. 

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