Last fall, I hosted a celebration to mark the 10th anniversary of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics. Several scholars from the institute spoke at the event, and each remarked that the opportunity and freedom to pursue curiosity-driven research is what drew them to U of T.
In a single decade, the Dunlap Institute has cemented its position as one of the world’s great centres for research in astronomy and astrophysics. Yet it would not exist were it not for a visionary gift from the Dunlap family. The institute is a great example of how inspired giving can have a profound impact in a field in a short period of time.
The Boundless campaign has enabled the University of Toronto to attract some of the brightest minds in the world. But for us to continue to compete globally for the best students and scholars, philanthropy will be essential.
To build on the success of Boundless, we’re aiming our sights even higher.
U of T has the capacity to address questions that span the sciences, humanities, social sciences and the professions. For example, we are able to investigate the fundamental science behind burgeoning fields such as regenerative medicine, artificial intelligence and gene-editing therapy, to examine their implications from ethical, legal, social and philosophical perspectives, and to create valuable new companies based on these technologies.
As we look to the near future, we are already setting ambitious goals. Thanks to an historic gift from Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman, we’re establishing the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre, which will create the country’s largest university-based hub for innovation. The centre will house our research pioneers in machine learning, data analytics, genomics and personalized medicine. Situated close to several of the country’s top hospitals and the MaRs Discovery District, the building will be a symbol of U of T’s leading role in Canada’s knowledge economy.
The $100-million investment will also support the launch of the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society, whose mission will be to explore the ethical and societal implications of AI and other emerging technologies.
With your support, we believe we can make further headway on many of the fundamental questions facing humanity. It’s an exciting journey to be on – and we hope you’ll stay with us as it unfolds. The future truly is Boundless.