Rothesay pupils’ Canada adventure: Days 1-3

Joshua McFadden and Bonnie Caldwell at the Ontario Science Centre.
Joshua McFadden and Bonnie Caldwell at the Ontario Science Centre.

Rothesay Academy pupils Joshua McFadden and Bonnie Caldwell are now well into their three weeks in Toronto on the Baird of Bute Society’s Canadian science scholarship.

The pair’s first two days were spent at the Ontario Science Centre: on day one they were given free rein to ‘get lost in the science’, as their contact at the centre, Dr Christine Pigeon, put it, and visited the facility’s Omnimax Theatre and planetarium before meeting Dr Peter Nord, vice-chairman and chief medical officer of Providence Healthcare, to find out about the journey from research to clinical trials to daily practice.

Day two featured an in-depth tour of the OSC’s ‘The Human Edge’ exhibit, as well as another Omnimax film - this one on the many biological processes which take place in the human body without its owner ever being aware of them - and, later, a chance to join in with an experiment in ‘transgenics’ involving the DNA of a luminescent jelly fish and a batch of E.coli bacteria

Day three began with a meeting with pharmaceutical lawyer Jason Markwell to learn about the process of securing funding for medical research and acquiring rights and patents to drugs and shares in the research involved in creating them.

Josh and Bonnie also attended a lecture given by Professor Patrick Gunning, the pioneering scientist who hails from Bute and is gaining worldwide attention for his work on finding a cure for cancer, and Dr Hazel Markwell, director of the Centre for Clinical Ethics in Toronto, who, with her husband Chris, the Baird of Bute Society’s founder, has a home on the island.

On top of that they’ve been sampling some of the quality food available at the city’s restaurants - with burgers, pasta and sushi all getting rave reviews so far!Read Bonnie and Josh’s latest blog posts in full at - and keep an eye on The Buteman’s website for news of their latest activities!