3. Canada's heist of big brains
Seoul-born Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, a professor at Brown University known for her work on fake news, is moving to Canada. So is Alan Aspuru-Guzik, a Harvard chemistry professor working on quantum computing and AI.
What's going on: They are among 24 top academic minds around the world wooed to Canada by an aggressive recruitment effort offering ultra-attractive positions, seven-year funding arrangements — and, Chun and Aspuru-Guzik said in separate interviews with Axios, a different political environment from the U.S.
Chun, who grew up in Canada and has lived in the U.S. since 1992, said she will launch a new "digital democracies group" at Simon Frazier University in British Columbia, which will take on the problem of the online echo chamber.
- She spoke of wanting to live in a country "with a strong commitment to public education, funding research and universal health care."
- "That makes a real difference to society," she said.
- She added, "Some of my friends work in climate research. Funding for that is disappearing and that’s disturbing."
Aspuru-Guzik tells a similar story. He will become a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto. He will have a concurrent position at the Vector Institute, an AI research center where Geoffrey Hinton, the father of machine learning, is chief scientific adviser.
- After 20 years in the U.S., Aspuru-Guzik worried watching the rise of the Christian Right and then the Tea Party. When Trump won election in 2016, he said that was the final straw.
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