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Howard Burton

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Howard Burton

Howard Burton wwwperimeterinstitutecasitesperimeterwwwpil

First Principles: The Crazy Business of Doing Serious Science

Howard burton joe tozer mickleham 2010 bluegrass festival

Howard Burton is the host and CEO of Ideas Roadshow, a multimedia venture featuring long-format conversations with scholars, scientists and other experts Howard has filmed more than 100 conversations on a diverse range of subjects including philosophy, physics, education, genetics, mathematics, history and political science and the collection is expanding rapidly. He creates pedagogical videos, eBooks and MP3 files that are based on these conversations. Burton holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics and an M.A. in philosophy.


Howard writes a weekly essay for the new blog called In Search of Refinement: Reflections of an Ideas Prospector. Howard shares his perspective on his encounters with his fascinating guests and what it is like to be behind the camera.

Howard was the founding Executive Director of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, from 1999-2007. As Executive Director of Perimeter, Howard created a top international centre for research and outreach. Howard has extensive experience in communicating sophisticated ideas to students and to the general public. He has given a wide variety of presentations to group audiences. To ensure the community had an opportunity to become actively involved in the science and discovery of the Institute, Howard initiated several educational outreach programs. In addition, he hosted a popular monthly public lecture series (500 attendants each time), an International Summer School, the annual Einstein Plus Teachers’ Workshop and numerous student and teacher seminars.

Howard interacted extensively with organizations and government bodies at local, regional, provincial, national and international levels. Additionally, he promoted science and education through the media – participating with CBC Radio and Television, CTV News, TV Ontario, CNN International, MSNBC and other international broadcasters. He also contributed a regular column to The Kitchener-Waterloo Record for many years and has been published in various other media, including Canadian Architect and The Times of India. Dr Burton is a former board member of the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and has been involved in a host of other community initiatives. Howard received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Waterloo.

His book, First Principles: The Crazy Business of Doing Serious Science, tells the history of the founding years of Perimeter Institute (second edition in Kindle format is called First Principles: Building Perimeter Institute).

The memoir Burning Down UNESCO: An Innovative Guide to Fundraising is about what happens when a skeptical physicist finds himself tasked with fundraising for UNESCO. Howard invokes his sense of strategy and humour to invert the standard fundraising approach: concentrating first on what should be done with the money before considering how best to attain it.

A critical conversation with onora o neill howard burton


Howard Burton Wikipedia