Top Ontario university researchers visiting Thunder Bay to discuss “What Matters Now”

February 27, 2014 – Thunder Bay, ON

Fighting malnutrition with fertilizers, keeping clean water flowing, balancing the environmental consequences of economic growth, wearing smart technology, and exploring Aboriginal rights will be in the spotlight as five leading Ontario university researchers discuss “What Matters Now” during a stop in Thunder Bay.  

Hosted by public broadcaster Piya Chattopadhyay, the discussion will take place at Thunder Bay’s Fort William Historical Park on Tuesday, March 4 from 6:30 to 9 pm.

The free public event is the latest in the popular travelling Research Matters campaign to highlight important university research.  It is part of Lakehead University’s Research and Innovation Week.

“University research really can help us to focus on what’s going to matter next,” says Bonnie M. Patterson, President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities, which represents the province’s 21 publicly assisted universities. “But there is also an immediacy to university research that we hope will shine through as a result of this discussion. What does the world need to focus on at this moment? What should our global priorities be to improve lives?” 

Participants are asked to register online at Those who can’t attend can watch a live stream online at 

Researchers will also answer questions from the audience and via social media. 

The public will learn that night who won the grand prizes in the 2014 Virtual Scavenger Hunt, which include several $500 cash prizes for Ontario university students. 

Hundreds of online sleuths have been taking part in the Virtual Scavenger Hunt, which put the spotlight on key research conducted at universities across Ontario. Throughout the month of February, scavengers received 21 online video clues by email. Each clue prompted them to search online to discover research treasure. 

Researchers participating in the What Matters Now event are:

  • Margaret (Peggy) Smith, Lakehead University: What is the way forward for Aboriginal peoples and natural resources?
  • Maria DeRosa, Carleton University: Can nanotechnology help feed the world?
  • April James, Nipissing University: Has Ontario reached a watershed moment?
  • Kate Hartman, OCAD University: What kind of microprocessor are you wearing?
  • Ross McKitrick, University of Guelph: Can economic growth and environmental protection go hand in hand?

Research Matters travels next to Toronto on April 9 and wraps up in Kingston on May 21. The series kicked off in Hamilton on Nov. 4, and stopped in London, Ont. on Nov. 26.

University researchers are improving the health, happiness and richness of life for people around the world. Their work crosses all disciplines and not only changes lives, but is essential to helping government, businesses and communities make informed decisions.

For more details on Research Matters please check out and follow @OntarioResearch on Twitter.


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Media: For more information, please contact Brandon Walker, Media Relations Officer, at (807) 343-8177, or

In 2015, Lakehead University will celebrate 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by a new Strategic Plan (2013-2018), our University is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses, in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Home to Ontario’s first new Faculty of Law in 44 years (Fall 2013) and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine's West Campus, Lakehead is among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities (2014 Maclean’s University Rankings), as well as 1st in Ontario and 2nd in Canada for its innovative research (Re$earch Infosource). Our Orillia campus is the first in North America to be built entirely to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards. Share your Lakehead story as it relates to our Strategic Plan at, and learn more about Lakehead at


COU is a membership organization of 21 publicly assisted universities in Ontario. It works closely with the provincial and federal governments to shape public policies that help universities deliver high-quality programs for students and advance the research and innovation that improves the social, cultural and economic well-being of Ontarians.