New campaign aims to connect Ontario university researchers with the public

Through a new province-wide campaign, Ontario university researchers are getting off their campuses into other communities to talk about the ideas, issues and stories emerging from their research that affect everyday life in countless ways.

The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) launches “Research Matters” today at 4:30 pm at the COU booth of the OCE Discovery Conference. The campaign begins with a website and blog that showcase new stories and ideas emerging from Ontario university research. The campaign, which will speak to daily issues and reflect the full diversity of university research, will continue through 2012-2013 with public events held around the province designed to allow the public to engage directly with researchers.

“The work of thousands of university researchers in Ontario affect industry, government and community life in a multitude of ways,” says Alastair Summerlee, Chair of COU and President of the University of Guelph. “Those stories about how researchers help people build stronger communities, get more out of work and leisure time, and achieve a better quality of life deserve to be told.”

“This campaign will connect more Ontarians directly with researchers and their ideas,” says Bonnie Patterson, COU President and CEO. “Ontarians can rightly take pride in the fascinating and highly diverse research underway here.”

Businesses grapple with changing demands for work-life balance while parents grapple with children who love music but hate music lessons. Climate change demands new solutions for mines, wind turbines and Ontario wines. The medical community strives to find better methods for diagnosing, treating and preventing medical conditions from autism to Alzheimer’s disease. Nanotechnology and non-Newtonian physics help solve everything from energy storage issues to violent crimes. Northern Ontarians look to modernize how they build communities, while construction companies look to modernize how they build bridges and roads.

Ontario university research is the common thread that ties these and hundreds of other stories together.

“We have a responsibility to get the great ideas coming out of our labs and offices into the public debate,” says George Dixon, Vice-President of Research at the University of Waterloo and chair of the Ontario Council on University Research, the COU affiliate that created the campaign. “I am delighted to introduce this province’s many outstanding researchers who are quietly working to change the world.”

Visit the Research Matters website at
Follow the campaign on Twitter at @OntarioResearch
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For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Grass
Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs
416-979-4341 or 416-707-6787