Meeting of the Minds Conference

What is genetic fingerprinting? Why do bears wear pants? Will a person change their risky behaviour after exposure to frightening information? What is voluntourism, and how can it affect developing countries? Is there a more efficient way to distribute wireless services? Who are the people asking all of these questions, anyway?

Join the best and brightest undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral researchers at the University of Lethbridge for a Meeting of the Minds and get answers to these –and more – questions on Saturday, Mar. 10 in Markin Hall.

The Meeting of the Minds Conference, hosted by the U of L Graduate Students' Association and sponsored by the School of Graduate Studies, is geared to bring research to an external community audience, and all presentations are open to the general public and free to attend.

The day concludes with a reception and poster presentation display at 5 p.m., a cocktail dinner and a 7 p.m. talk by pioneering U of L neuroscience researcher Dr. Bryan Kolb.

Meeting of the Minds promises to deliver a surprising and educational day of more than 30 talks and poster presentations which represent the wide variety of research taking place on campus at the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral level. This is the sixth annual event of its type on campus.

"It is extremely important as a researcher to be able to present your work in a way that is understandable to an external audience," says spokesperson Samantha Dawson. We are looking at this event as a way to not only explain what we do, but to gain experience in public presentation skills and networking."

With more than 500 people conducting research and taking graduate studies at the U of L, Dawson says the opportunity to learn from each other is also extremely valuable.

"We don't have time to drop into someone else's lab and ask them what they are up to, so our event also gives us a chance to learn even more about what our colleagues are working on," she says. "We hope that this sparks collaboration between people who might not have previously thought of working together."

Dawson says that conference organizers have worked hard to encourage participation from all areas of campus.

"We had people from different faculties review papers – for example, a biological sciences presentation might have been reviewed by someone from fine arts or management, and vice versa. This ensured that there was a good level of external review and requests for clarity. If the reviewer didn't understand it, it was unlikely a broader community audience would understand it."

This year's conference promises to be the largest to date.

"With the Meeting of the Minds theme and external focus, hopefully we will draw more people to campus to learn about graduate studies and the diversity of work taking place here," says Dawson.

For a complete list of presentations, check the Notice Board.