Innovation and the Disrespect of Scientific Invention

“Innovation is the creation of better or more effective products, processes, technologies, or ideas that are accepted by markets, governments, and society. Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a new idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.” Dean Roger Martin of the Rotman School of Business, an iThinker pondering Canada’s innovation gap, writes in a recent op-ed piece that “The first lesson is that commercial success and impact is more about innovation than about invention.
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Addendum to Arnold Memorial Workshop: Khesin on Pinzari Talk

  The following message is a guest post by Boris Khesin. Boris summarizes the wonderful talk given by Gabriella Pinzari at the workshop. –Jim Colliander Gabriella Pinzari (30min talk) described her joint result with her advisor Luigi Chierchia on a recently found fix for the famous KAM theorem, or rather for its application to the stability of the Solar system. Namely, the original KAM theorem inArnold’s 1963 paper claimed the persistence of the Liouville tori for perturbations of integrable systems under some nondegeneracy assumption - some determinant must be nonzero.
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Edinburgh Arnold Memorial Workshop Notes

I am at an interesting workshop in Edinburgh entitled Dynamical systems and classical mechanics: a conference in celebration of Vladimir Arnold 1937 - 2010. Boris Khesin and Serge Tabachnikov have coordinated a Tribute to Vladimir Arnold which will soon appear in consecutive issues of the Notices of the AMS. These tributes were shared at the workshop and are also available here: Arnold1 Arnold2 I will post below my notes from the talks.
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Anticipating the Report of Canada's Expert R&D Panel

I was happy today to learn that Canada Post issued a stamp honoring my Toronto colleague and Nobel Laureate John Polanyi. The stamp is issued as part of the celebration of the International Year of Chemistry. This bit of good news tempered the alarming developments across the ocean where actions by the EPSRC appear to be destroying the scientific fabric of the UK. Here in Canada, despite an anomalous 2011 Discovery Grants competition for math/stats and recent news that some of my colleagues’ appeals were rejected, I hope to soon hear good news from the Expert R&D Panel which will hopefully reset Canada’s priorities and shore up support for basic research.
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Île de Berder Workshop Notes

I am at a workshop on Île de Berder. The post below contains the notes I am taking during the talks. I apologize (especially to the speakers) for misquotations and typos but I hope the notes might be useful. Tuesday 2011-09-06 Rafik Imekraz: Non resonant normal form for perturbed quantum harmonic oscillator Study high sobolev norms of solutions $\psi$ solving a NLS with harmonic trap and a nice smooth bounded potential.
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Evolution Labels Needed on Medicines

Self-qualified intellectuals, like Texas Governor Rick Perry, have a right to know! I was born in El Paso: I have a right to know! Parents of American kids have a right to know! Does the Theory of Evolution have anything to do with our medicines? Which ones? Flu shots? Cancer treatments?   Medicines which are designed based on the Theory of Evolution should have a visible disclosure label. Here are two suggestions for images that might be appropriate for the evolution disclosure label:  
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Troublesome Trends at NSERC

I was troubled to learn recently that: 1. NSERC awarded far fewer postdocs and grad student fellowships in 2011 vs. 2010. The official statistics reveal that NSERC awarded less than half the number of PDFs in 2011 than were awarded in 2010. Master’s awards are down. Doctoral awards are down. NSERC communicated an official explanation in reply to N. Ghousshoub’s post on this news, but the numbers still trouble me.
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Wisdom from Vannevar Bush on Science Research Policy

Timeless and timely extracts from Science: The Endless Frontier by Vannevar Bush: Scientific Progress is Essential Advances in science when put to practical use mean more jobs, higher wages, shorter hours, more abundant crops, more leisure for recreation, for study, for learning how to live without the deadening drudgery which has been the burden of the common man for ages past. Advances in science will also bring higher standards of living, will lead to the prevention or cure of diseases, will promote conservation of our limited national resources, and will assure means of defense against aggression.
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Fields Institute Establishes Fields Medal Symposium

I was very happy to receive an email yesterday announcing that the Fields Institute has established a symposium to honor the Fields Medalists. Please find the text of the announcement I received posted below:   FIELDS MEDAL SYMPOSIUM The Fields Institute is delighted to announce the establishment of the Fields Medal Symposium. The Symposium will take place annually in Toronto at the Institute, celebrating the achievements of one of the recently announced Fields Medalists.
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Canada Should Leverage its Connection to the Fields Medal

  John Charles Fields was born in Hamilton Ontario in 1863, graduated from the University of Toronto in 1884, and got his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1887. Fields helped establish the National Research Council, the precursor to NSERC. Canadians should be proud that John Charles Fields diplomatically unified the International Mathematical Union during the time between WW1 and WW2 to create the International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics, known colloquially as the the Fields Medal.
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