Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

April 20, 2005

Event to Celebrate Einstein, Reflect on U of G’s Contributions

Einstein made a difference in the world. What difference is the University of Guelph making? Find out May 2 at a special public event intended both to reflect on the University’s research and scholarly contributions to society and to celebrate the centenary of Einstein’s so-called “miracle year.”

The event, called “Research @ Guelph: A Reason to Reflect and Celebrate,” begins at 3 p.m. in War Memorial Hall. It’s free of charge and open to the University community and general public, including secondary school students. It will include a public lecture by Gilles Paquet, president of the Royal Society of Canada, on “Einstein as a Reframer: The Relevance of Einstein Today.”

Paquet, a member of the Order of Canada, is a professor emeritus and senior research fellow at the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa, where he also served as dean of the Faculty of Administration and was the founding director of the Centre on Governance. He also taught economics at Carleton University for 18 years and was dean of its Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. An active radio, television and print journalist since the 1970s, Paquet is the author or editor of more than 30 books and some 350 papers or book chapters and is an award-winning scholar. He has served as president of the Social Sciences Federation of Canada and as secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Economics Association.

Prior to Paquet’s lecture, Prof. Alan Wildeman, vice-president (research), will discuss the University’s broader societal impact. He has solicited input from the community on what single U of G discovery or creation has had the biggest impact on the world. Sharing the subsequent “greatest hits” collection during an event celebrating Einstein’s annus mirabilis will give people “an opportunity to uncover all the ways in which the creativity of Guelph’s minds has made a difference where a difference has really mattered,” Wildeman said. “People see themselves as citizens in a broader community, and U of G has a long tradition of doing work that can be translated into real-life applications.”

Wildeman hopes the event will underline pride in the Guelph community and an appreciation of the University’s diverse contributions. He draws a parallel between applications of University research and the life of Einstein, whose contributions span not just science but also humanitarian endeavours.

In 1905, Einstein, then 26, published five landmark papers, including his theories of special relativity and the photoelectric effect, in which he described light as packets of energy that behaved like particles. “To me, the Einstein annus mirabilis is an occasion to reflect and an opportunity to use reflection as inspiration for the future,” said Wildeman.

To share your ideas about U of G’s single greatest research or scholarly contribution, contact

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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