A Year in Review: Top 20 CIFAR stories of 2022
CIFAR’s 40th year was fittingly monumental, from welcoming a new president, to launching the second phase of Canada’s national AI strategy
We are counting down our most popular stories in 2022 — a particularly exciting year for CIFAR.Kicking off 2022, we celebrated our 40th anniversary and welcomed new CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars, as well as Canada CIFAR AI Chairs.
By year’s end, the organization paid tribute to Alan Bernstein after 10 years as President and CEO, and welcomed Stephen Toope as his successor. Meanwhile throughout the year, CIFAR researchers continued working to solve the greatest questions and challenges facing humanity.
Here are the #CIFARTop20 stories of the year:
20. This year marked the start of our 40th anniversary celebrations. We launched the festivities by looking back on 40 years of innovation at CIFAR.
19. Leah Cowen, co-director of the Fungal Kingdom program, discussed the difficulty of treating infectious fungal disease and her work to develop new treatments: Believe the Impossible: The Future of…Treating Infectious Fungal Diseases
18. A study published by Adrian Owen, Koerner Fellow and Brain, Mind & Consciousness program co-director, is illuminating the effects of brain fog on people recovering from COVID-19. The work was supported by a Manulife CIFAR Population Health & Well-being Grant: Western-led study hammers home severity of post-recovery COVID troubles (via CBC)
17. The 2022 issue of CIFAR’s REACH magazine featured the next generation of research leaders, who are grappling with big questions, from understanding the origins of life, to the consciousness of self: REACH, 2022 issue
16. Noting the Pan Canadian AI Strategy in stimulating innovation through investments in science, Alan Bernstein, President Emeritus at CIFAR, and Meric Gertler, University of Toronto President, co-authored an op-ed on the need for Canada to invest more in science and innovation: The U.S.’s huge investment in science and innovation demands an equivalent approach in Canada (via The Globe and Mail)
15. What if forgetting is a beneficial feature of our brains? A 2022 paper by CIFAR Child & Brain Development fellows Tomás Ryan and Paul Frankland suggested exactly this: Keep forgetting things? Neuroscience says it might be a hidden brain advantage (via inc.com)
14. In an interview with CIFAR Anil Seth, program co-director of the Brain, Mind & Consciousness program, discussed his career’s work on consciousness, his latest projects, and his book, “Being You”: Deconstructing the conscious experience and “being you”
13. A recognized thought leader in science and technology research-funding, Lissa Matyas, CIFAR’s VP, Global Government Affairs, shared her vision for CIFAR’s global presence: Expanding CIFAR’s global reach
12. In a new documentary, key members of CIFAR’s Humans & the Microbiome program warned that the extinction of healthy bacteria in human bodies could drive a global health crisis: CIFAR researchers star in new microbiome documentary, The Invisible Extinction
11. Can we make AI less racist? This summer Elissa Strome, Executive Director of the Pan Canadian AI Strategy, and Golnoosh Farnadi, Canada CIFAR AI Chair (Mila), discussed the urgent need to fix bias in AI: Can we make artificial intelligence less racist? (via Toronto Star)
10. Will we find water on Mars? John Mustard, program co-director of the Earth 4D program talked about water on Mars and mapping the structure of planets in 3D: Believe in the Impoissible: The future of Mars exploration
9. Scientists have long tried to explain how cuprates superconduct at far warmer temperatures than other materials. Last year, André-Marie Tremblay, a Fellow in the Quantum Materials program, pointed to a theory. In 2022, he was proven correct: The high-temperature superconductivity mystery is finally solved (via WIRED)
8. Diversity is what leads to bold questions and solutions. In an essay for REACH Magazine, Ekua Quansah, Head of EDI at CIFAR, explained this further: Equity, diversity and inclusion does not come at the expense of research excellence
7. From credit scores, to health care, to the criminal justice system, AI is helping humans make decisions. But do these decisions benefit everyone? Dhanya Sridhar, Canada CIFAR AI Chair (Mila), shared her expertise: Believe in the Impossible: The future of Fairness in AI
6.This year, we interviewed Carolina Tropini, a fellow in the Humans & the Microbiome program, to learn about her work on the human microbiota — and the potential this field has in advancing precision medicine: Believe in the Impossible: The future of human gut health
5. In 2022, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry launched the second phase of the Pan Canadian AI Strategy, led by CIFAR in partnership with Amii, Mila and the Vector Institute. The renewed strategy charts a path for continued growth of Canada’s AI ecosystem: CIFAR announces plans for second phase of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy
4. This year, eight leaders in AI research were named Canada CIFAR AI Chairs at Amii and the Vector Institute, advancing Canadian leadership in AI for priority areas including health, energy & the environment, fundamental science and responsible AI: CIFAR, Amii and the Vector Institute name eight new Canada CIFAR AI Chairs
3.As Alan Bernstein stepped down as President and CEO of CIFAR this fall, he wrote a message looking back on his decade of leadership, and spoke about the power of science to change the world: My last message as President and CEO of CIFAR
2. Stephen Toope, President and CEO at CIFAR, was interviewed for The Logic, sharing his future vision for CIFAR, its role in commercializing research, and how social and natural sciences can address some of the world’s greatest challenges: From Cambridge to CIFAR: Stephen Toope on his global ambitions for the prestigious organization (via The Logic)
1. This summer, CIFAR announced its newest cohort of CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars — a stellar group of early-career researchers advancing work in solar energy, space, and quantum technology, just to name a few: Meet the 2022-2024 cohort of CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.