I'm off to Toronto on Wednesday for the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. It's always an interesting few days of scientific exchange, networking and a bit of fun. On Wednesday evening, there's a public forum on stem cell research, which is always well-attended. The exhibitors will provide us with free tote bags, pens, mouse pads, and plush animals.
But I'm especially interested in our keynote speaker, Dr. John Polanyi. It should be interesting!:
Nobel Laureate John Polanyi is a faculty member in the chemistry department at the University of Toronto. His research is on molecular motions in chemical reactions in gases and surfaces. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986.
Polanyi is a fellow of the Royal Societies of Canada (F.R.S.C.), of London (F.R.S.) and of Edinburgh (F.R.S.E.), and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Rome, and the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada (P.C.) and a Companion of the Order of Canada (C.C.).
He was a founding member of both the Committee on Scholarly Freedom of the Royal Society and the Canadian Committee for Scientists and Scholars, an international human rights organization of which he is president. Additionally he was the founding chair of the Canadian Pugwash Group in 1960, and has been active for 40 years in International Pugwash. He has written extensively on science policy, the control of armaments and peacekeeping. He is co-editor of a book, The Dangers of Nuclear War, and was a participant in the recent Canada 21 study of a 21st century defense posture for Canada. He was co-chair (with Sir Brian Urquhart) of the Department of Foreign Affairs International Consultative Committee on a Rapid Response Capability for the United Nations.