Expert Panel

Dr. Bonnie Schmidt, chair, expert panel and president, Let’s Talk Science:

Bonnie SchmidtDr. Bonnie Schmidt is the Founder and President of Let’s Talk Science, which she started while completing a PhD in Physiology at Western University. She supports the Board of Directors and is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the organization’s strategy.

Bonnie has been active in many national and provincial organizations and initiatives. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Genomics Institute, the Board of Governors of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and on the advisory panel for Impakt: for social purpose. Bonnie was the founding co-Chair of the Science & Technology Awareness Network (STAN). She has served on several federal granting review panels and on the 2010 Coalition for Action on Innovation in Canada led by Rx&D and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. She was also a member of the expert panel that developed Ontario’s Early Learning Framework in 2006.

Bonnie has organized sessions on STEM learning and outreach at national and international academic conferences and has been an invited speaker at many events, including the National Space Science Summit, the Leader to Leader Program for 21st Century Skills, the Canadian Science Policy Conference and the OECD Conference on Global Science, “Declining Student Enrollment in Science & Technology.” She chaired the national panel that developed the Spotlight on Science Learning benchmarking report. Bonnie has also published several papers and reports, which can be accessed through

For her efforts in education, Bonnie has received several awards, including the Top 25 Women of Influence; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award; Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award; Top 40 Under 40; Ontario’s “Leading Women, Building Communities”; YWCA’s Woman of Distinction and Western’s Young Alumni Award.

Dr. David Blades, professor of science education, University of Victoria:

David-BladesDavid Blades is professor of science education and curriculum theory and the director of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Understanding Science at the University of Victoria. He was one of the executive leaders for the NSERC-sponsored Pacific CRYSTALs project at the university and serves as a senior advisor and mentor for graduate students in his department.

He has multiple awards for his innovative approaches to teaching and scholarship and is widely praised by his students, typically receiving some of the highest course evaluations among faculty.

David recently completed a seven-year study of a partnership between a faculty of science and a faculty of education that used innovative teaching strategies to improve the attitudes and understanding of first-year geology students and teacher candidates.

Terry Anne Boyles, vice president, public affairs, Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC):

Terry BoylesACCC represents Canada’s colleges, institutes, CÉGEPs, university-colleges and polytechnics. Terry Anne is responsible for the organization’s advocacy efforts with the federal Government, and also guides the ACCC’s communications and media relations, leadership-development institutes, conferences and policy research areas. Prior to joining the ACCC, she was the president of Saskatoon Region Community College, following several years on the senior management team at Red Deer College in Alberta.

Dr. Karen Burke, director, regulatory affairs, Amgen Canada:

Karen BurkeKaren Burke was the 2011-2012 president of the Canadian Society for Chemistry. She is also the director of regulatory affairs, drug safety and quality assurance at Amgen Canada. She is a member of the executive committee and the research and development leadership team of Amgen Canada, and the North American regulatory affairs senior management team of Amgen.

She holds a PhD in organometallic chemistry from McMaster University, and has worked in the pharmaceutical industry in several roles over a career of more than 20 years, including progressive roles in operations and in regulatory affairs at Astra Pharma Inc. (later AstraZeneca Canada Inc.), culminating in the role of vice president. Dr. Burke is also an active member in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry associations BIOTECanada and Rx&D.

Nancy Demerling, director of marketing, Intel of Canada Ltd.:

Nancy DemerlingNancy Demerling is the director of marketing for Intel Canada. She is responsible for all advertising, media, corporate events, internet marketing, marketing communications, agency management and operations across Canada.

From packaged goods to technology, Demerling’s career has spanned 27 years. Before joining Intel in 2000, she was the national marketing director at Deloitte & Touche. Prior to that, Demerling spent 10 years as head of the marketing group at RJR Nabisco.

Dr. Ulrich Krull, professor of analytical chemistry, University of Toronto, and vice-principal, research, University of Toronto at Mississauga:

Ulrich KrullUlrich Krull completed his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees at the University of Toronto. He is a professor of analytical chemistry at the University of Toronto, and holds the endowed AstraZeneca chair in biotechnology. He presently handles the portfolio of vice-principal, research at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM).

His professional interests focus in the area of biosensor research, and development of molecular diagnostics technology for biomedical and environmental applications. His research explores the use of nanoscale materials and microfluidics chip technologies to build devices for detection of DNA and RNA targets, and includes nanotechnology for real-time intracellular determination of expression. Some of these device technologies are presently being commercialized, and work by his research team has been fundamental in the launch of four start-up companies. Krull is recognized as one of the leading analytical chemists in Canada.

He has more than 200 refereed publications, has co-authored 60-plus book chapters, co-edited four books and is an inventor listed on more than a dozen patents. He is a fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada. He is the recipient of both the McBryde Medal and the Maxxam Award of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (the top awards for analytical chemistry research in Canada); the University of Toronto Faculty Excellence Award (top award for research-teaching service); as well as a Teaching Excellence Award.

Krull has served as the associate dean of sciences, and also vice-dean, graduate affairs at UTM and vice-president of the Royal Canadian Institute. He is an editor of Analytica Chimica Acta, a major international journal for analytical chemistry. He serves on a number of advisory boards for industry, on boards for organizations that support acceleration of commercialization opportunities, and is chair of the Healthy City Stewardship Centre.

Paul Ledwell, executive vice-president, Public Policy Forum:

Paul LedwellPaul Ledwell is the executive vice-president at the Public Policy Forum, where he leads the forum’s work in innovation and public governance and contributes to thought leadership in areas such as economic development, and health and the environment. He joined the Forum in April 2009, bringing 20 years leadership experience in policy, research, and public advocacy, and extensive work with partners in government, academe, private and voluntary sectors, and the media. At PPF, he is leading a major multi-year and multi-sector project, Innovation Next, which aims to advance a stronger culture and practice of innovation in Canada.

Previously, Paul served as president of the Institute on Governance, as the first director of government relations at the University of Ottawa, as executive director of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and as the chair of the Canadian Consortium for Research. He has provided senior leadership on national initiatives, including the National Dialogue on Higher Education and the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. He has been a commentator in the media, an invited speaker to conferences in Canada and around the world, and has appeared before many parliamentary and other national committees on matters related to economic and social policy.

Bob McDonald, science journalist, CBC Radio:

Bob MacdonaldBob McDonald has been communicating science internationally through television, radio, print and live presentations for more than 30 years. He is the host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks, and is a regular reporter for CBC Television’s The National as well as Gemini-winning host and writer of the children’s series Head’s Up. Bob has also hosted Greatest Canadian Invention and the seven-part series Water Under Fire.

As a print journalist, McDonald has authored three science books and contributed to numerous science textbooks, newspapers and magazines.

In November 2011, Bob was appointed as an officer of the Order of Canada, which recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Bob was recognized for his contributions as a journalist and educator and for promoting the public’s understanding of science.

Penny Park, executive director, Science Media Centre Canada:

Penny ParkPenny has an extensive background in radio and TV science journalism. From 1980 to 1995, she was a producer and senior producer on Quirks and Quarks, the award-winning CBC Radio science program. From 1995 to 2009, Penny worked at Discovery Channel, where she helped develop the show now called Daily Planet, the world’s first nightly TV magazine show about science and technology. Penny has a BA from the University of New Brunswick (linguistics), and a B.Sc (honours) in biology from the University of Guelph.

Otto Wevers, elementary curriculum committee chair, Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario:

Otto WeversOtto teaches science and technology as well as media literacy at Zion Heights Junior High School in Toronto. He has been an associate teacher at Tyndale University College, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and Queen’s University. Otto has written and reviewed science and technology texts for school publishers and was a curriculum consultant and instructional leader for the Toronto District School Board.

Before becoming a teacher, Otto conducted clinical work in rehab medicine and research in orthopedic biomechanics. He holds a B.Sc from the University of Guelph and a bachelor of education from Queen’s University.