Transatlantic Science Week 2014 to explore the hot topics of cold places

October 21st, 2014

Sarah McDonald

As the world grapples with the question of how best to address climate change, many scientists are looking to some of the coldest places on Earth for answers.

To that end, Transatlantic Science Week 2014 (TSW2014) brings together scientists, policy-makers and industry leaders from Norway, Canada and the United States to share knowledge and approaches for dealing with the challenges unique to the Arctic, with a focus on societies, sustainability and safety.  The conference also aims to strengthen the link between research and education surrounding arctic issues.

This year, the Royal Norwegian Embassies in Ottawa and Washington, D.C., have partnered with the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, the Research Council of Norway, the National Research Council Canada, the University of Toronto and others to bring TSW14 to Toronto. It will be held at the MaRS Centre and Hart House October 27—29.

This is only the second time in its thirteen year history that this important annual conference will be held in Canada.

Speakers and moderators from U of T include:

  • History professor and director, Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History, John English, who will moderate the opening session
  • Physics professor and director of the School of the Environment, Kimberly Strong, who will moderate a panel on arctic climate science
  • Physics professor and principal investigator of the Canadian Sea Ice and Snow Evolution Network Paul Kushner, who will speak on arctic climate science
  • PhD candidate in political science, Wilfred Greaves, who will speak about arctic safety and cross border knowledge needs
  • Scientific director of the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research and assistant professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Susan Chatwood, who will moderate a panel on current and emerging issues around the impacts of climate change on human rights and health of indigenous peoples.
  • Director of strategic initiatives, in the Office of the Vice President Research & Innovation, Elissa Strome, who will give a talk on international institutional research collaborations

Professor Peter Lewis, U of T’s interim vice president, research and innovation, who is slated to moderate one of the plenary sessions, says the conference will provide a valuable chance to share knowledge essential to ensuring responsible development in the Arctic. “U of T is honoured to have been asked to host,” he says. “This is a wonderful opportunity to bring together northern countries to identify common issues and work together to address them.”


An iceberg in Norway. Photo: Wen Nag,

An iceberg in Norway. Photo: Wen Nag,