the canada issue
A new way to tell the research story
Professor Vivek Goel
You may well be reading this issue of Edge on a smartphone or tablet.
But you couldn’t do that when Edge was launched in 2000. In fact, we didn’t even publish an online edition at first. Websites and online communications were still in their infancy. And that was only 16 years ago.
We founded Edge to tell the story of how University of Toronto researchers and scholars help us all to understand the challenges facing the world. U of T was one of the first universities in Canada to devote an entire magazine to research. And it made perfect sense in 2000 to create a print magazine.
That would change quickly. Faster than most of us thought it would.
As Edge was gaining an audience through the early 2000s (and winning a wealth of awards in Canada and the US), communications was undergoing a stunning revolution. In fact, we are living the revolution every time we tweet, upload a photo to Instagram, post a blog and share video on Facebook. The new ways of telling stories are in a sphere now that was impossible to imagine even 16 years ago.
As a result, we have also seen change in how content is consumed. For example, Google News has changed our ability to scan for topics across a broad range of sources, rather than reading a single source cover to cover.
With that in mind, it’s time to change how we tell the U of T research story.
Edge itself was an innovation in 2000. In the coming months, the University will innovate again with the launch of a new main website. We will use it – and our social media channels and other digital tools – to re-invent how we tell the world about U of T research and its immense contributions to global society across all our media rather than focusing research content in a single source.
For the time being, we are reflecting this theme of change by devoting this final issue of Edge to an examination of what’s next for Canada in a variety of crucial areas as we prepare for our country’s sesquicentennial.
And we pay tribute on page 12 to the spirit of innovation that has always driven U of T research. The first Edge cover story in 2000 was about what was then an out-of-the-box idea in how to conduct research: the Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (CCBR). Today the Donnelly CCBR is one of the world’s great hubs for life sciences research. We pay tribute to its founders – Professor James Friesen and the late Professor Cecil Yip – in this final issue.
Finally, I must thank Paul Fraumeni for his ongoing commitment to telling the story of research at U of T. Paul founded Edge and put together every issue with tremendous care as it charted new territory in university communications. I know he will do the same in his new role in University of Toronto Communications.
I hope you enjoy this issue – and the new ways we tell the U of T research story long into the future.
Professor Vivek Goel
Vice President, Research & Innovation