Dusty Johnstone photographs a visitor to the Research Matters Curiosity Shop.Dusty Johnstone photographs a visitor to the Research Matters Curiosity Shop.

Research display engages curious shoppers

Dozens of curious shoppers stopped by a display at Devonshire Mall yesterday to try to get answers to some of their most pressing questions.

The Curiosity Shop, a promotional initiative recently launched by the Council of Ontario Universities Research Matters campaign, set up in the courtyard in front of The Bay. People stopped in to ask a wide variety of questions in multiple disciplines, which will be circulated among researchers at all of Ontario's 21 universities in hopes of obtaining an answer.

"We've had some extremely thought provoking questions from the people who have stopped in to visit," said Dusty Johnstone, a post-doctoral teaching fellow in psychology who was volunteering at the display. "It's been a real eye-opening experience to hear some of the things people are curious about."

Visitors could have a picture taken of them holding up their question on a white board. Those photos and questions were then submitted to the Curiosity Shop website and then sent out to reserach communicators across the province, who were tasked with finding a researcher on their campus capable of answering the question. Visitors were told their answer could be expected to be posted on the site within three to four days.

Some of the questions submitted probed everything from the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament and missing Flight 370 to curing cancer digestive processes.

"This has been a great way to get average Ontarians to engage with researchers here at the university and right across the province," said Stephen Fields, UWindsor's research communications officer.

The Curiosity Shop will be set up today at the CAW Student Centre from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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