Diversity in Physics Empowers Innovation

This panel will take place on Friday October 28th from 17:00 – 18:30.  The student moderator for this panel is Jennika McIntosh – if you have questions you are interested in having the panellists discuss, please email us!

Innovation is a consequence of scientists challenging barriers and the status quo. Diversity in beliefs, skills, and experiences allows for more ideas to be challenged. It is critical that STEM fields be a place where people can work without prejudice and in the absence of fear. Accommodations in academia and in industry should be accessible for individuals with learning challenges. Marginalized groups in science have unfortunately been compelled to be more inventive and resilient due to the additional barriers they have faced. We all want to feel like we are worthy of the space we fill, but underrepresentation leaves individuals feeling dreadfully inadequate and incapable. In this panel we will discuss the evolution of the scientific community from a time when the roles of women were limited. We will consider the factors of race, ethnicity, age, income, and accessibility, while examining whether the lack of representation is a deterrent for marginalized groups. Our panel members will also consider how restrictions in physical communication prompted by the ongoing pandemic have affected diversity in physics.

Please see the biographies of our panellists below!

Photo of Dr. Gwen Grinyer of the Univeristy of Regina, a participant in the EDI panel discussion at CUPC 2022.

Dr. Gwen Grinyer

Dr. Gwen Grinyer (she/her) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Regina who researches a wide variety of topics including the structure of short-lived radioactive nuclei, neutrinoless double beta decay, and nuclear astrophysics. In addition to her physics research, she is a prominent advocate for the 2SLGBTQ+ community and is leading the project 2SLGBTQ+ in STEM: Understanding the Barriers that looks at the climate and challenges faced by queer and transgender people in STEM fields.



Dr. Shohini Ghose

Photo of Dr. Shohini Ghose of Laurier University, a participant in the EDI panel at CUPC 2022.Inspired by the example of Rakesh Sharma, the first astronaut from India, Dr. Shohini Ghose (she/her) has carved out a very successful career as a Professor of Physics and Computer Science and NSERC Chair for Women in Science & Engineering (CWiSE) at Laurier University, where she is a leading expert in quantum information science.  Ghose co-authored an introductory astronomy textbook and is the author of the well-reviewed popular science book Clues to the Cosmos.  In addition to her prolific scientific activities, Dr. Ghose has served the Canadian physics community as a past President of the Canadian Association of Physicists, and was named a TED Senior Fellow in 2018.  She is the founding Director of the Laurier Centre for Women in Science.

Dr. Liliana Caballero

Portrait photo of Dr. Liliana Caballero, a panellist at CUPC 2022.Dr. Liliana Caballero, an assistant professor at the University of Guelph, conducts research in the field of theoretical nuclear astrophysics. By studying the affiliation between neutrinos and phenomena such as supernova and neutron star mergers, Caballero’s research strives to provide the necessary insight required to better understand gravitational wave signals and nucleosynthesis, responsible for the formation of many of the heavy atoms in the periodic table. In addition to her research activities, Dr. Caballero served on the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force at the University of Guelph and organized a bi-weekly Women in Physics lunch series to share ideas on how to support women in physics.