Episode 54

University Education

Dr. Elaine Beaulieu

Dec 31, 2021 | Science

In this episode, we talk all about academia, university education, and what needs to be improved in education for our professors, and students.

Listen on Spotify

About This Episode

In this episode, we talk about the realities, and challenges faced by today’s University students, and professors. Are professors paid enough? Are there too many students today? How can education improve? Dr. Elaine Beaulieu joins me to explore these topics, and share her experience, and opinions, on the topic!

Topics and Timestamps


  • (0:01:02) Beyond the Test Tube, research and the Faculty of Science.
  • (0:01:37) Switching to innovation in education: The why and the how.
  • (0:04:04) Working as a researcher: The PhD and PostDoc.
  • (0:06:55) Science lecturers vs Tenured professors in academia.
  • (0:08:30) Tenure: Why it is still the goal. 
  • (0:10:48) The hierarchy of academia and adjunct professors in science. 
  • (0:13:35) Being a professor: Is it a good choice for a career?
  • (0:15:45) Post-Secondary education funding in Ontario and PhDs in science.
  • (0:17:59) Canada: Not enough funding for science and education.
  • (0:19:34) Job stability and contracts.
  • (0:22:18) PhDs and PostDocs in other countries vs Canada.
  • (0:25:08) Professorship: A vocation.
  • (0:28:53) Studying science and the challenges for students today.
  • (0:31:10) We are all different: The need for flexibility and micro credentials.
  • (0:34:15) Preparing the students: A need for a new design.
  • (0:37:47) Finding the right balance: Applying what is learned.
  • (0:39:55) The peripheral needs: A necessity in the workplace. 
  • (0:42:15) Universities vs Colleges.
  • (0:43:55) Developing new programs for a new world: Turning the machine around.
  • (0:46:55) Teaching online: A mixed experience for students.
  • (0:49:11) Being tough and knowing when to back off.
  • (0:50:35) Coddling and its aftereffects.
  • (0:51:23) Designing policy to be flexible: The muffin comparison.
  • (0:53:13) Being partners in education.
  • (0:56:28) Readiness for work: Not all on the university.
  • (0:58:15) Universities: The need to move away from being the gatekeeper.
  • (1:00:03) Security issues and new ideas.
  • (1:02:30) The public perception of universities and the importance of outreach.
  • (1:05:19) Public lectures and gatherings: How do you market it?
  • (1:07:51) Science communication: The importance of presentation.
  • (1:10:01) Debunking pseudoscience, social media and animation.
  • (1:11:20) Elitism in science and science communication.
  • (1:13:33) Building trust with the community.
  • (1:15:15) When logic goes out the window: Researching falsities. 
  • (1:17:15) Analyzing what’s real.
  • (1:18:20) Communicating to teach: Entertain me.

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