Peace and Justice - A Celebration of Ursula Franklin

Peace and Justice - A Celebration of Ursula Franklin

Postby Oscar » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:04 am

Ursula Franklin

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Ursula Martius Franklin, CC, OOnt, FRSC, physicist, educator (born 16 September 1921 in Munich, Germany; died 22 July 2016 in Toronto, ON).

Ursula Martius Franklin, CC, OOnt, FRSC, physicist, educator (born 16 September 1921 in Munich, Germany; died 22 July 2016 in Toronto, ON). A specialist in the structure of metals and alloys, she pioneered the development of archaeometry, which applies the modern techniques of materials analysis to ARCHAEOLOGY. She was educated at the Technical U of Berlin and did postdoctoral studies at U of T. After working for the Ontario Research Foundation 1952-67, she joined U of T's department of metallurgy and materials science in 1967.

Franklin has helped develop science policy through the Science Council of Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. She worked on gathering and analysing data on the strontium-90 accumulation in the teeth of children in Canada as a result of fallout from tests of nuclear weapons; the dating of copper, bronze, metal and ceramic artifacts of prehistoric cultures in Canada and elsewhere; and she has tried to educate society and scientists to the impact of science and technology on human survival and quality of life. She is a tireless advocate for Science for Peace.

Her work has received worldwide recognition and brought her many honours. These include a Doctor of Science from Queen's (1985) and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent (1985), and in 1992 she was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1984 Franklin became the first woman to be named a University Professor at U of T.

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Ursula Franklin, renowned Canadian scientist, dead at 94

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'All her career, she was always the first and the pioneer and the woman,' daughter says

By Jonathan Rumley, CBC News Posted: Jul 23, 2016 7:35 PM ET| Last Updated: Jul 23, 2016 8:03 PM ET

Ursula Franklin, one of Canada's most accomplished scientists and educators, died Friday in Toronto at age 94.

Franklin was born in Germany and moved to Canada in 1949 to improve her education after surviving the Holocaust.

The researcher joined the University of Toronto's department of metallurgy and materials science in 1967, and became the institution's first ever female "university professor" (a special designation accorded to a small portion of the faculty) in 1984.
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"All her career, she was always the first and the pioneer and the woman," said her daughter, Monica Franklin.

Franklin accrued a long list of awards and accomplishments throughout her long career. She was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 1990 and named a companion of the Order of Canada in 1992.

In what was arguably her biggest contribution to science, Franklin discovered radioactive substances in Canadian children's baby teeth.

"It was a little disconcerting because it was my teeth," her son, Martin Franklin, recounted. "I was seven or so at the time and while other children had the tooth fairy, mine were being tested for strontium-90."

Franklin's research helped sway world opinion against nuclear weapons testing during the Cold War.


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Peace and Justice - A Celebration of Ursula Franklin - July 25, 2016

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To commemorate the recent death, and to celebrate the remarkable life of Ursula Franklin, we turn to the IDEAS archives, and sample over forty years of appearances by the public intellectual who delivered the 1989 CBC Massey Lectures -- "The Real World of Technology". Highlights include her profound (and still remarkably relevant) response to the events of September 11, 2001.

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"Peace is not the absence of war but the presence of justice… And the presence of justice has been missing in the world for very many people…" -- Ursula Franklin

"Technology is not the sum of the artifacts, of wheels and gears and rails and electronic transmitter. For me technology is a system. It entails far more than the individual material components. Technology involves organization, procedure, symbols, new words, equations, and most of all it involves a mindset..." -- Ursula Franklin

Ursula Franklin was a long-standing and morally important member of the IDEAS family. The principles for which she stood (peace, justice, intelligence, compassion...) remain central to what we try to do, every day. She was first and foremost an experimental physicist and professor of metallurgy at the University of Toronto, but her academic accomplishments spread to many areas -- from the properties of metals and alloys, to the techniques of modern archeology. Her professional interests ranged widely too. Ursula was Director of Museum Studies and involved in an Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. She was a board member of the National Research Council and the Science Council of Canada. A committed Quaker, she was active in peace movements, in efforts to promote international understanding, and in strategies to improve the role of women in society. She was a fellow of the Royal Society and an officer of the Order of Canada. And she appeared frequently on IDEAS, with contributions that stretched over five separate decades. Her first appearance was in 1971; her last in 2013. Her CBC Massey Lectures, in 1989, were published as The Real World of Technology.

"She really looked at the way power weaves its way through a set of social practices. .....and that has been something that has really influenced everything that I've thought about technology. ....the only thing that makes technology journalism worth doing, to me, is the notion that if we think critically about it and we talk about the politics of it, that we can get better at it and we can democratize technologies and we can think more creatively about their impacts, instead of what we normally do, which is to say 'well the genie's out of the bottle! there's nothing we can do about it now!" So the notion that you could think critically about it and there could be a sociology of technology, a political theory about technology.....but also the fact that she was Canadian and a scientist and a woman, all together, were very powerful for me." -- Nora Young, host of Spark on CBC Radio

◾Listen to Ursula Franklin's 1989 CBC Massey Lecture - The Real World of Technology
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◾Listen to Ursula Franklin in A Word to the Wise (broadcast March 6, 2013)
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◾​Listen to Ursula Franklin in War, Peace and Health (broadcast in February 2013)
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