Remembering Apollo 11

In my opinion, the Apollo 11 moon landing was the highlight of the 20th century. It took everything that humanity had – a culmination of a decade of technology development – to pull together this capability to get us off the planet.

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Merging the Arts and the Sciences

Although I no longer serve as Chancellor of the University of Calgary, I remain in touch with my undergraduate school and help out when I can. I was pleased when Professor Mark Migotti of the Department of Philosophy invited me back to campus recently to meet with his Arts and Science Honours Academy students. The […]

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To Soar with the Eagles

Last month I visited with the Masters students of International Space University. Each year the university, based in Strasbourg, France, offers a one-year graduate studies program to about 40 international students – young professionals who wish to learn more about the space program and who aspire to push back frontiers. This year’s students have completed […]

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Planning for the Best; Preparing for the Worst

On December 3, David Saint-Jacques will launch with two crewmates from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station. David will spend six months aboard the Station as part of the ‘C3’ expedition, Canada’s third long-duration mission. Preparation for an ISS expedition is a significant undertaking requiring the […]

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Let’s regain our place as a nation of explorers

I noticed a tweet this morning from my space colleague Natalie Panek stating that the federal government’s Standing Committee on Finance had launched its pre-budget consultations and deliberations in advance of the 2019 federal budget. Natalie encouraged us to make our voices heard by sharing our priorities with the Committee. I was eager to help. […]

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Looking back on four years as Chancellor

My four-year term as Chancellor of the University of Calgary is coming to an end. It has been an enjoyable ride. Many people think of the chancellor solely as the official who attends formal university events and participates in convocation. The chancellors of Alberta’s three largest universities have responsibilities that go beyond simply presiding over […]

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Honouring a trailblazer

The University of Calgary understands that campus culture must underpin our actions. Campus culture, according to our institution’s Eyes High strategy 2017-22, means overcoming structural, social and cultural barriers to create a safe, inclusive, healthy and respectful environment — one that values diversity and the dignity of every person. We’re still learning about inclusion and […]

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Failure: a critical element on the path to success

Several years ago, when I was a novice astronaut, I was asked to participate in a training simulation. The training session lasted about eight hours and involved mission managers, flight controllers and crew. As a participating crewmember, I was stationed in a high-fidelity simulator of the International Space Station in a building at the NASA […]

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