The Globe and Mail: How a ‘professor-entrepreneur’ career track will help solve Canada’s innovation problem

A researcher wearing a protective suit, mask and gloves using a forcep holds up the tooth of someone who died during the Black Death pandemic

'The more we know about the way things work on the other side of the street, the more likely it is our innovations will reach the marketplace, where they can serve to improve the way we all live,' writes Engineering Professor Tohid Didar.

On a recent Uber ride, the driver asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was a professor.

“What do you teach?” he asked.

I explained that while I teach engineering, I actually spend more time doing research in my field, which mainly involves developing biomedical devices and materials that can be used for diagnostics and preventing the spread of pathogens.

“Oh, so you’re a scientist!” the driver said with some surprise.

That conversation and many others like it make me wonder how we can open up the perceptions and definitions of what professors do.

Click here to read the full opinion piece by associate professor Tohid Didar in the Globe and Mail.

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