UVic Researcher Named TED Senior Fellow

Celebrated cave-art expert Genevieve von Petzinger heads a strong University of Victoria contingent at the TEDx Victoria 2012 conference Saturday, Nov. 17.

The University of Victoria PhD candidate (anthropology) was announced today as a 2013 TED Senior Fellow, which will give her the opportunity to talk on the TED main stage, as well as attend four TED conferences over the next two years and receive various types of support for a specific project. Throughout 2013, von Petzinger will continue her research into geometric signs from Ice Age rock art sites across Europe, working at locations across the continent with the goal of visually documenting these abstract symbols.

“It is an incredible honour to be selected as a TED Senior Fellow,” says von Petzinger. “Only 12 are chosen each year and all 21 regular TED Fellows are invited to compete for a position, so the competition is very stiff.”

Her TEDx Victoria talk will delve into mankind’s deep history as a species and examine archaeological evidence, looking for the first glimmers of a spiritual sensibility that could be seen as the root of today’s religions.

UVic-produced video interview with Genevieve von Petzinger

Drug policy researcher (human & social development) Alan Cassels will discuss how medical screening turns healthy people into patients. Using examples from full body screening, mammography and prostate cancer, he will explain that medical screening might be one of the greatest threats to our health.

Journalist, author and environmental lawyer Calvin Sanborn (law) is the legal director for UVic’s Environmental Law Centre. He will talk about the “Journey to a Man’s Heart”—how a man can throw off the surly bonds of patriarchy, get in touch with his inner life, become his own best friend and beat the “anger habit.”

Jamie Kemp (history in art) is a PhD candidate who lectures in both history in art and medieval studies. She is also educator-in-residence at MediaCore Technologies. Her presentation is about the purpose of technology—from medieval manuscripts to iPads—in the classroom and will showcase treasures from UVic Libraries Special Collections.

Internationally renowned athlete, filmmaker and UVic grad Darcy Turenne (geography/ environmental studies) and UVic alumnus and scientific literacy proponent Reid Gower (philosophy) are also on the bill as speakers. Among the artists and performers for the one-day conference is Impulse Theatre, which was founded in 2010 by UVic theatre students.

TED is a non-profit organization started as a four-day conference in California in 1984. The conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers to speak for 18 minutes or less and the talks are then made available free online (www.ted.com). TEDx is a program of self-organized events with the same spirit of inspirational thought and discussion, on a more local level.

More information about TEDx Victoria: http://tedxvictoria.com/

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Media contacts

Mitch Wright (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6139 or mwwright@uvic.ca

Anne MacLaurin (Social Sciences) at 250-217-4259 or sosccomm@uvic.ca

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Keywords: research, award, anthropology

People: Genevieve von Petzinger

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