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TRIUMF and ECUAD find “Common Ground”

30 August 2013

Where do the synergies and similarities between pure art and pure science lie? This was the question posed to outgoing TRIUMF Director Dr. Nigel Lockyer and Dr. Ron Burnett, Emily Carr University President and Vice Chancellor during “Common Ground: A dialogue on curiosity and creativity” held on August 27th at Emily Carr’s Motion Capture Studio. The event was moderated by Sharad Kharé, a local digital media producer and communications specialist.

The discussion centered on the fundamental similarities between “pure art”, represented by Dr. Burnett, and “pure science” communicated by Dr. Lockyer. The event provided an unprecedented opportunity to make public the kinds of understanding that has been reached through the Artists in Residence program organized every year between TRIUMF and Emily Carr University. 

Both leaders highlighted the fundamental quest for knowledge in each discipline, as well as the importance of communication with the public at large both individually, and as a united front.  After the moderated dialogue, guests were invited to ask questions for an open discussion. [Top Photo, L to R: Nigel Lockyer, Sharad Khare, Ron Burnett] 

This event rounded out a season of fascinating public discussions hosted and participated in by prominent TRIUMF Researchers this past year including Dr. Abhishek Kumar’s talk for TEDxStanley Park and Dr. Anadi Canepa at the Public Salon hosted by former Vancouver Mayor, Sam Sullivan.

Dr. Kumar’s TEDx talk highlighted that the implications of the discovery of the Higgs boson will not be known for decades to come, and full understanding of the universe may still be a fundamental question in research and society. Dr. Canepa joined discussion with leaders from a variety of disciplines and vocations at the public salon to discuss the appeal of scientific research, and how international collaboration has become a key part of physics today. Both of these talks set a strong foundation for the Common Ground event, which tied in TRIUMF’s budding relationship to Emily Carr University through the Artists in Residence program held every year.  

Events and discussions like these truly exemplify the strength of the core collaborations which build understanding across all disciplines, and which seek to advance knowledge of our universe in ways both scientific, and expressive.

Special thanks to Jennifer Gagné (TRIUMF) and Ingrid Koenig (Emily Carr), as well as Sharad Kharé for their contributions to making “Common Ground” possible. An edited video of the event will be made available and posted to the public soon through Kharé Communications (


Videos of Abhishek’s TEDxStanley Park talk and Anadi’s Public Salon presentation can be viewed here:

- By Ariane Madden, Communications Assistant