Recent News & Appearances

 

May 26, 2014: I presented a paper at the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science (CSHPS) 2014 Congress at Brock University. Topic: "Smashing Atoms and Making Money: Robert J. Van de Graaff's High Voltage Engineering Corporation — Methods and challenges of marketing peaceful uses for particle accelerators during the Cold War."

Blog: The Smashing Mr. Van de GraaffMay 21-23, 2014: I participated in the inaugural workshop: The Science-Policy Interface — International Comparisons — Canada/UK/US at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) in the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, ON, Canada.

May 02, 2014: I presented a paper at Localities: Science and Technology in Places, Spaces, and Times at York University's 4th annual Graduate Student Conference. Topic: "No Clean Room Required. Developing and Manufacturing Robert J. Van de Graaff's Electrostatic Particle Accelerators for Science and Profit in the American Northeast."

Summer 2014: I am delighted to be teaching EAC390 - Technical Writing on Monday evenings this summer at Seneca College (Newnham Campus) in Toronto as part of their Faculty of Continuing Education and Training.

April 07, 2014: My proposal to present a paper at Localities: Science and Technology in Places, Spaces, and Times at York University's Graduate Student Conference has been accepted. Topic: "No Clean Room Required — Developing and Manufacturing Robert J. Van de Graaff's Electrostatic Particle Accelerators for Science and Profit in the American Northeast."

April 05, 2014: I presented a paper at the 14th annual STGlobal Consortium Science and Technology in Society Conference at The National Academies in Washington, DC. Topic: "Smashing Atoms and Smashing Sales — The Prospects and Perils of Manufacturing Particle Accelerators for Science and Profit."

March 18, 2014: My proposal to present a paper at the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science (CSHPS) 2014 Congress at Brock University has been accepted. Topic: "Smashing Atoms and Making Money: Robert J. Van de Graaff's High Voltage Engineering Corporation — Methods and challenges of marketing peaceful uses for particle accelerators during the Cold War."

March 09, 2014: I presented a paper at Cornell University's Northeast Graduate Student Conference in Science and Technology Studies. Topic: "Smashing Atoms and Expectations — Entrepreneurial Science and the Dawn of High-Tech Venture Capital at Robert J. Van de Graaff's High Voltage Engineering Corporation." Read the NESTS program PDF at this link.

STGlobal Consoritium 2014

February 19, 2014: My proposal to present at the Science and Technology Studies Northeast Graduate Student Conference at Cornell University has been accepted.

February 05, 2014: My proposal to present at the 14th annual STGlobal Consortium Science and Technology in Society Conference in Washington, DC. has been accepted. Topic: "Smashing Atoms and Smashing Sales — The Prospects and Perils of Manufacturing Particle Accelerators for Science and Profit."

December 04, 2013: Joined the Accessing Built Environments Subcommittee of Access York — the University's committee for issues surrounding disability and accessibility.

Macleans: On CampusOctober 30, 2013: Macleans - On Campus - "Autunm leaves lift spirits on campus" (Blog Central, "From Acadia to Victoria, students snap photos of fall"). Macleans selected my autunm photo (#43) as one of two to represent York University in the photo gallery of Fall colours at university campuses across Canada. My photo is in here. Storify gallery of photos here. On Instagram at yorkuofficial. All part of the #YorkUFall tagboard on Twitter.

October 30, 2013: I was nominated by a colleague to the Communications Committee 2014 for YUSA (York University Staff Association) at the Annual General Meeting. I accepted the nomination.

October 22, 2013: Toronto Star: "Toronto elephants reach California sanctuary" (Letter to the Editor, "Less risky for elephants").

DEMESCI - International Journal of Deliberative Mechanisms in Science

July 31, 2013: My review of Successful Science Communication is published in Vol 2, No 1 (2013) issue of DEMESCI - International Journal of Deliberative Mechanisms in Science.

July 8-15, 2013: Research trip to the American Institute of Physics in College Park, Maryland, USA was a success. Great staff and I learned a lot about Van de Graaff, his colleagues, and HIgh Voltage Engineering Corporation. Paralleling that were successful trips into Washington DC to do some research at the Smithsonian Institution's Archives and at the National Museum of American History Library.

February 2013: My suggestion of Entre YU is one of four finalists in York University's Intranet naming competition.

November 17, 2012: Toronto Star: "Will war on science plunge us into a new Dark Age? Opinion" (Letter to the Editor, "Science under seige").

November 05, 2012: YFILE: "Ready, set, flip! Flapjacks fly for the United Way" (news photo co-subject; l-r: Marsha, me, Amy, & Norma).

October 25, 2012:York University Mature Students Blog: "Mature Student Success: Keeping up with Edward Fenner-Part 2".

October 22, 2012:York University Mature Students Blog: "Mature Student Success: Keeping up with Edward Fenner-Part 1" (author).

October 19, 2012: YFILE: "International students at York claim three of six City of Toronto awards" (author).

June 26, 2012: YFILE: "Tiananmen Square memorial returns to Keele campus" (alumni news photo credit).

June 2012: Joined the ACMAPS 5-Year Review Working Group.

May 07, 2012: I was once again honoured to be recognized as a Murray Ross Award (President's Medal) winner when I was invited to attend the unveiling of a new permanent memorial to recipients of York University's top awards. I was pleased to meet other recipients and especially pleased to share the event with my wife Linda. Photos on my facebook album (publicly available). Read the YFile story and view the short video.

Blog: The Smashing Mr. Van de GraaffFebruary 29, 2012: I set up and launched my academic research blog: The Smashing Mr. Van de Graaff today.

February 28, 2012: I was a panelist on the Career Conversations Panel Series:"Discovering Careers in Writing & Publishing. View the YorkU Career Centre event page at York University.

February 23, 2012: I hosted a workshop for professors, academic advisors, and teaching assistants: "Getting Better Essays from Your Students." It was part of a series of talks and workshops presented through the Office of the Master, Vanier College, York University.

January 18 and 20, 2012: The Faculty of Graduate Studies posted a story about me "STS student awarded American Institute of Physics grant" which was picked up and tweaked a wee bit by YFILE  two days later: "Part-time student awarded American Institute of Physics grant" and reposted in the newly redesigned YFILE. Thanks to all who have written to me or spokenn to me with congratulations. FGS also posted my Graduate Student Profile along with the article.

American Institute of Physics

December 19, 2011: I received an email today telling me that I have been awarded a grant-in-aid from the Friends of the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics, in College Park, Maryland, USA. Worth up to US $2000, this grant is meant to help reimburse expenses regarding my investigation into Robert J. Van de Graaff and his devices while visiting the Center's Niels Bohr Library & Archives and Emilio Segrè Visual Archives. Thank you AIP for your support!

December 09, 2011:YFILE - "York in the World: New exchange program offers experience in migration culture" (author). The same story rearranged for student readership - YLIFE - "New exchange program offers experience in migration culture."

November 10, 2011: I was a panelist on the Career Conversations Panel Series: Discovering Careers in Communications & Public Relations. View the YorkU Career Centre event page at York University.

November 07, 2011: Today, I successfully dubbed an old 7-inch reel of 1/4-inch audio tape of Robert J. Van de Graaff. It's been 25 years since I used a reel-to-reel machine. With the help of Rob van der Bliek, music librarian and YorkU's Sound and Moving Image Library, I was able to get a good, clean copy on modern media. The old reel was in remarkably good shape since it likely hasn't been played since circa 1967.

November 03, 2011: YFILE: "President's Pancake Breakfast breaks participation record" (news photo subject).

October 12, 2011: YFILE: "TTC site accident affects transit service" (news photo credit). YLIFE: "Classes at Schulich cancelled tonight due to accident" (news photo).

Scientific Instrument SocietyOctober 05, 2011: A £350 (CDN $522) grant came through from the Scientific Instrument Society, based in the UK. Thank you, SIS!

August 18, 2011: YFILE: "Subway construction moves into high gear" (news photo credit). YLIFE version.

 

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Current Explorations


July 8-15, 2013: Research trip to the American Institute of Physics in College Park, Maryland, USA was a success. Great staff and I learned a lot about Van de Graaff, his colleagues, and HIgh Voltage Engineering Corporation. Paralleling that were successful trips into Washington DC to do some research at the Smithsonian Institution's Archives and at the National Museum of American History Library.

August 2011: I visited Bill Van de Graaff for the first time and have added about 1,200+ photographs of Robert's documents and files, plus lots of reports from HVEC (High Voltage Engineering Corporation). Bill and his lovely family reside in Burr Ridge a suburb of Chicago, Illiniois.

July 2011: I visited John Van de Graaff in Northampton, Massachusetts again and have a total of 8,000+ photographs of Robert's documents and files. I also spent some time at the MIT Archives in Cambridge.

August 2010: I spent time with Robert's son John and had a visit with Robert's original generator at the Museum of Science in Boston (see banner image above of the generator in action when newly built at Round Hill, South Dartmouth, Massachusetts in 1933). I also spent some time at the MIT Archives and the MIT Museum. All are preliminary investigations into my research on Robert and his machine for my Master's research and for a potential book.

July 2010: I began preliminary digging into the life, science, and legacy of American experimental physicist Robert J. Van de Graaff as the focus of my Master's degree studies in STS. If anyone has any suggestions, links, or other comments, do let me know. Read the Wikipedia profile of Robert J. Van de Graaff.

E-mail: efenner@yorku.ca >> Smartphone: efenner@rogers.com >> +1.289.380.0364 >> Skype: edward_fenner