Scott Campbell

Dr. Scott M. Campbell is currently Director of the Centre for Society, Technology and Values and a Lecturer in the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

His main research interest is the history of computing in Canada, and he has  co-authored a book on the topic with Zbigniew Stachniak: Computing in Canada: Building a Digital Future, Canada Science and Technology Museum, Transformations Series #17, Ottawa, Ontario, 2009.

Campbell has a Ph.D. in the history of technology from the University of Toronto, and a B.Math/CS from the University of Waterloo. He can be contacted at

The title of his talk is “From Icarus to the Bronze Rat: Appreciating Technology and Failure”.

Katie Plaisance

Dr. Kathryn Plaisance is an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Knowledge Integration (with a cross-appointment to the Department of Philosophy) here at the University of Waterloo.  After obtaining a Bachelors of Science in molecular biology and philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, she went on to complete a Masters and then a PhD in philosophy at the University of Minnesota.  Before coming to Waterloo, Dr. Plaisance held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for the Philosophy and Ethics of Science at the Leibniz University of Hannover in Germany.

Dr. Plaisance’s interests lay in the philosophical issues in the human behavioral sciences as well as public understanding of science and, more recently, interactional expertise and socially relevant philosophy of science.  In the past, she has worked with behavioral geneticists and philosophers alike, and is now completing a research project concerning “Interactional expertise, Collaboration, and the Philosophy of Science”.

Her speech will focus on how failures to include and/or trust others can lead to failures in creating useful scientific knowledge.

Geoffrey Hayes

I am a native of Waterloo, Ontario where I went to Lexington Public School and Lincoln Heights Public School. Doug Lorimer taught my first university history course, Twentieth Century British History. My second history course was a History of French Canada with Terry Copp. With Terry Copp’s support, that book was published in 1986 as The Lincs: A History of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment at War. Soon after joining UW fulltime, I embarked on some local history. I was commissioned by the Waterloo Historical Society to write Waterloo County: An Illustrated History. With Mike Bechthold and Andrew Iarocci, I edited Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment (Waterloo: WLU Press, 2007) in time for the 90th anniversary of Vimy Ridge. With Mark Sedra, I edited,Afghanistan: Transition Under Threat(Waterloo: WLU Press, 2008). I continue to take many battlefield study tours leading veterans, their families, students and teachers to Northwest Europe. Currently I am a member of the University of Waterloo Senate and the University’s Board of Governors.

Paul McKone

Originally I hail from Stratford, Ontario, home of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival, and the Ontario Pork Congress. The combination of these accounts for my theatrical leanings, and for my tendency to be a “ham.” My educational background includes a three-year diploma in Watchmaking (yes, really) from George Brown College, and a one-year launch at Mechanical Engineering during my tender youth.

I’ve made my home in Waterloo, Ontario since 1981, when I started an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Following graduation, I was offered a position with the University, which I took in order to earn back my tuition (along with something extra for pain and suffering).

I recently finished a stint with the UW Staff Association. The work was challenging and the people were interesting; occasionally the adjectives were reversed.

My interests include the Shad Valley Summer Program, theatre (onstage and off), improvised comedy, stained glass, woodworking, home repairs, painting, and the visual arts in general. I play B flat clarinet (and B flat Bass clarinet), and am an enthusiastic – if under-appreciated – amateur singer. In my spare time I wonder why I have no spare time.