18th August 2010 Ottawa, Canada

Let the team introductions begin: Dr. Shiva Amiri

So now you know a bit more about what we do here as the UK Science and Innovation team in Canada, but who are we?

For my next trick, I’ll start introducing you to my fellow team members. This way you will get an idea of who else will be blogging here with me, but also of the experience and perspectives that each individual within our group has to offer!  Although I *may* be biased…I feel that we currently have an excellent team.  There is a mix of backgrounds that compliment each other in terms of areas of scientific expertise, work experience, as well as regional experience/contacts.  We communicate well amongst ourselves, and endeavour to better communicate (amongst ourselves and with our stakeholders), as well as to identify new avenues of communication to better reach out to (new and existing) stakeholders (this blog is but one example of that). 

So…over the next few weeks, I will be introducing my fellow team members to you, our readers. I don’t have photos of everyone as of yet, however I should have some together by next week (fingers crossed), and will be able to link them in.  My slightly longer term goal is to create enough of a photo database to create a Flickr account, which we can use to share all of our exploits with any interested parties :P.

Without further ado, please let me introduce you to the fearless leader of our UK Science and Innovation Canada team, Dr. Shiva Amiri.  Before I give you over to her, I’ll devote a couple of lines to my experience of working with Shiva.

Photo by Frank Wimart

Whenever you meet your line manager (a.k.a. boss) for the first time, it’s a bit intimidating – when you fly to another city to do so, it’s maybe a bit more intimidating.  Shiva, Claire (to whom you will be introduced shortly) and the rest of the British Consulate General’s team in Toronto, made me feel right at home (this was my 3rd day in the office, yikes!).  They were welcoming, informative, friendly and encouraging…all the things you could ask for in co-workers.  I still feel this way, 2.5 months later 🙂 . Shiva herself is very engaged in working to promote science and science policy in the community.  She writes for CurioCity, The Mark, works with Let’s Talk Science, and is an organising Committee member for the Canadian Science Policy Centre.  She is an excellent teammate and an upstanding member of the scientific community. Here she is:

Shiva Amiri :

I started working as a Science and Innovation Officer at the British Consulate General in Toronto in June of 2007, taking on the role of team lead for UK Science and Innovation in Canada (in March 2010.  My role is part of a greater Science and Innovation Network (SIN) under the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). The SIN Network works to facilitate scientific collaboration between UK and Canadian universities and research laboratories and encourage innovation by providing access to the best technologies and policies. 

About me: 

I was born in Tehran, Iran and came to Canada at the age of ten.  I grew up just north of Toronto, Ontario. I received an Honour’s Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto with a double major in Computer Science and Human Biology. While working on my undergraduate degree, I also worked at the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research (formerly known as the Best Institute for Medical Research) in the Bioinformatics and Proteomics program, working on software to predict mass spectroscopic data for entire proteomes.  It was this experience that prompted me to continue on to graduate work, a PhD in Computational Biochemistry at the University of Oxford.

I have a great interest in science policy and evidence based decision making.  I am an active member of the Canadian Science Policy Centre, where I am a member of the organising committee and play a role in various sub-committees.  Apart from science and policy, I enjoy running, writing, photography, and music.

So that is Shiva, our fearless leader!  Stay tuned for introductions to our other team mates, for postings and guest postings!

As per usual, all your questions, comments and feedback are always appreciated, so please feel free to participate in the conversation!


About Nicole Arbour

Based in the National Capital, I cover the federal S&T sector, national S&T organisations, as well as local industry and academic partners. I manage the UK’s Science & Innovation Network…

Based in the National Capital, I cover the federal S&T sector, national S&T organisations, as well as local industry and academic partners. I manage the UK’s Science & Innovation Network in Canada, and our contribution towards the wider Canada-UK relationship. This year my focus will be working towards the delivery of the Canada-UK Joint Declaration and the Canada-UK Joint Innovation Statement. In my spare time I like to cook and spend quality time with my family. Find me on Twitter @narbour