Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Writer-in-residence at Canadian Light Source

On April 19, 2005, as part of the Rob and Bob Tour -- the joint book tour for Robert J. Sawyer's Mindscan and Robert Charles Wilson's Spin -- Bob and I visited the Canadian Light Source synchrotron facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Out of that visit, the following has come to pass; I will be the first-ever writer-in-residence at this cutting-edge physics-research facility.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan -- International award-winning science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer will be writer-in-residence at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron from June 1 to July 31, 2009. Sawyer, widely regarded as one of Canada's most influential authors and most successful science fiction writers, will use the residency to explore the creative processes at the root of science and art, and increase public discussion of science in Canada.

"Imagination is at the heart of both artistic and scientific endeavours," says Sawyer. "And the science being done in Canada is world-class. The opportunity to immerse myself for two months at one of Canada's -- and the world's -- top scientific institutions will enormously enrich my writing, and I hope my presence will stimulate the imaginations of people at the Canadian Light Source and in the surrounding community. It's a win-win situation."

"This is an amazing opportunity, not only for the staff and national research community of the Canadian Light Source, but also the literary community," says Jeff Cutler, Director of Industrial Research at the Canadian Light Source. "A common thread in Rob's work -- the role that science plays in our humanity and how we understand the universe -- is echoed in our focus on discovery, innovation and progress. The residency is an excellent opportunity to have a world-leading author share in the life of a world-leading science facility."

Sawyer is the author of 20 science fiction novels, which have been published in 15 languages. He is one of only seven authors -- and the only Canadian -- to win all three of the world's top science fiction awards: the Hugo Award (2003) for the novel Hominids, the Nebula Award (1996) for The Terminal Experiment, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (2006) for Mindscan. His novel Flashforward is currently in development as a TV series for the U.S. network ABC. He has taught at the University of Toronto, Ryerson University and the Banff Centre, and is a frequent commentator on the Discovery Channel and CBC television and radio. Several of his stories are set at Canadian science facilities, such as TRIUMF, SNOLab, and the Royal Ontario Museum.

While at the CLS, Sawyer will be performing the duties typical of a writer-in-residence, such as mentoring writers at the synchrotron and in the community, participating in outreach activities, and developing his own work. His wife, poet Carolyn Clink, will join him in Saskatoon during his residency.

The Canadian Light Source is Canada's national centre for synchrotron research. Located at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, the CLS is a powerful tool for academic and industrial research in a wide variety of areas including environmental science, natural resources and energy, health and life sciences, and information and communications technology. CLS operations are funded by the Government of Canada, NSERC, NRC, CIHR, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan. More information.

For more information contact:

Matthew Dalzell
Communications Coordinator
Canadian Light Source Inc
Ph: (306) 657-3739
Cell: (306) 227-0978

Robert J. Sawyer
Robert J. Sawyer has previously been writer-in-residence at the Richmond Hill (Ontario) Public Library; the Toronto Public Library's Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy; the Kitchener Public Library; and the Odyssey Workshop. Quotes and comments from previous residency patrons are here.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site



At January 07, 2009 4:03 PM , Blogger Melody Friedenthal said...

That's fantastic, Rob. I hope, though, it doesn't mean you're going to have to skip ReaderCon?

At January 07, 2009 4:08 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Fear not, Melody. I've already bought my plane tickets for Readercon (Air Canada was having a seat sale).

At January 07, 2009 5:30 PM , Blogger Silverfish said...

That's wonderful news. Sounds like quite the opportunity for you.

Maybe your next book will be set in this location. Hmm.


At January 07, 2009 5:48 PM , Blogger Dwight Williams said...

Rob won't be the first writer to set a story there if he does, but I can guarantee he'll be in very good company if it happens. One of my favourite mystery novelists, Gail Bowen, set up Murder at the Mendel there back in the day. As she lives in Saskatchewan even now, she's set her novels up all over that province.

At January 07, 2009 10:57 PM , Blogger Stephen Kotowych said...

That's very cool news! You seriously have the best job ever :)

At January 11, 2009 11:10 PM , Blogger wynken said...


Just a quick note to say you are on! Woohoo for you!

;-) Louis.

At June 04, 2009 11:44 PM , OpenID knowledgenavigator said...

Thought you'd find these articles timely, Rob....

The Problem: Often Distant From Policy Making, Scientists Try to Find a Public Voice

The Solution: Am I Making Myself Clear? A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public

Of course, you have plenty of great examples from your novels!


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