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Tyler Shendruk | Fulcrum Staff

THE TEDxTALK AT the U of O was a big success and showcased the best and brightest our university has to offer. Here are some of our favourite speakers of the day.

Mark Salter, professor of political science

“What is the point of education if the information is available to all?”

While teaching one day, Salter realized that lecturing was an outdated method of education. No longer seeing himself as a “gatekeeper” to knowledge, he now crowd-sources his syllabuses, giving students the power to decide what they study.

Andrew Pelling, assistant professor of physics

“You know, it used to be that in these type of talks, I could be a bit more creative and wild, but I’ve noticed that I’m just doing this everywhere now.”

Pelling wowed the crowd with his laboratory’s ability to hack biological systems the old-fashioned way—rather than altering cells’ genetic codes, Pelling can create surprising biological systems by altering their surroundings. Growing mice cells in the cellular scaffolding of an apple core was a clear crowd favourite.

Robert McLeman, associate professor of geography

“I learned a ton this morning… I mean, I didn’t know that you could grow mouse cells inside an apple core. It kind of frightens me that you can, but it’s interesting to see that people on campus are doing that.”

McLeman warned that the coming climate change will have a major impact on human migration patterns but also advised against being afraid of waves of environmental refugees, reminding the audience that Canada is a country of immigrants that could benefit from those seeking a fresh start.

Lee Jones, founder and editor of Art & Science Journal

“How do we encourage moments of awe and wonder in everyday life? … Artwork with themes of science, nature, and technology can be catalysts for eureka moments.”

Jones is a U of O student but also the founder and editor of the Art & Science Journal. Through her journal, Jones uses the collision of art and science to foster a sense of wonder.

Alyse Schacter, U of O health sciences student

“It was amazing. I think everybody learned from everyone who was there. We all had very different topics.”

Schacter, a 21-year-old advocate for the de-stigmatization of mental illness, spoke candidly about her experiences with severe treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder and advocated that openness can reduce suffering.