Joanna Szurmak M.A.Sc. M.I.St.
- Research services and liaison librarian, now also coordinator of instruction, at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) Library working with the Psychology and Anthropology departments and the Robotics and Forensic Science programs;
- leads the knowledge synthesis service assisting with scoping and systematic reviews; teaches two of the Systematic & Scoping Review Bootcamp sessions
- edits the weekly UTM Library COVID-19 Newsletter sections Local GTA Updates, COVID-19 Dashboards, Resources & Guidelines; co-curates the editorial policy
- on the planning committee of the BRIC2022 conference
- seconded to the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation (CTSI) at the University of Toronto, 2010 to 2013, to build instruction capacity among academic librarians.
- PhD candidate at the Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies at York University, Toronto, ON; studying Jane Jacobs as a knowledge producer.
- Holds graduate degrees in electrical engineering and information studies from the University of Toronto.
- Co-authored Population Bombed!, a book short-listed for the 2018-2019 Donner Prize; please see reviews and op-eds.
- Produced a podcast, Bright Lights, Big Sauga, highlighting the quirkier side of UTM with Clearday founder Dr. Claire Carver-Dias, a UTM alumna and Olympic medalist.
- Worked in research labs, the Canadian telecommunications industry, and university libraries both in Canada and in the U.S.
Publication Highlights (for complete list please see the Publications tab):
Desrochers, P., & Szurmak, J. (2021). “Opinion: Food ‘self-sufficiency’ is a recipe for disaster.” Financial Post (August 18).
Desrochers, P., & Szurmak, J. (2021). “Opinion: Don’t ban plastics. They help green the Earth.” Financial Post (June 30) (More detailed original version available at Fraser Institute).
Szurmak, J. (2021). Accentuating the Negative: Why Eco-pessimism Has Become Elite Religion. Breakthrough Journal 13 (Winter 2021).
Desrochers, P., Geloso, V., & Szurmak, J. (2021). Care to Wager Again? An Appraisal of Paul Ehrlich’s Counter-wager Offer to Julian Simon, Part 2: Critical Analysis. Social Science Quarterly. vol. 102, no. 2 (2021), pp. 808-829. doi: 10.1111/ssqu.12928
Desrochers, P., Geloso, V., & Szurmak, J. (2021). “Care to Wager Again? An Appraisal of Paul Ehrlich’s Counter-bet Offer to Julian Simon, Part 1: Outcomes.” Social Science Quarterly. vol. 102, no. 2 (2021), pp. 786-807. doi: 10.1111/ssqu.12920
Desrochers, P., & Szurmak, J. (2020). Population growth and the governance of complex institutions: People are more than mouths to feed. In Jenkins, M. E., Simmons, R, & Wardle, C. H. (Eds.), The Environmental Optimism of Elinor Ostrom (Ch. 4, 91-148 pp.). Logan, UT: The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. Retrieved from www.thecgo.org
Desrochers, P., & Szurmak, J. (2020). The Environmental Benefits of Long-Distance Trade: Insights from the History of By-Product Development. In Jenkins, M. E., Simmons, R, & Wardle, C. H. (Eds.), The Environmental Optimism of Elinor Ostrom (Ch. 6, 173-210 pp.). Logan, UT: The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. Retrieved from www.thecgo.org
Desrochers, P., & Szurmak, J. (2020). “Seven Billion Solutions Strong: Why Markets, Growth, and Innovation Are the Antidote to Eco-Pessimism.” Breakthrough Journal (Vol. 12, Winter 2020). Retrieved from thebreakthrough.org/journal/no-12-winter-2020/seven-billion-solutions
Desrochers, P., & Szurmak, J. (2019).“Population Density and Resource Abundance: Turning the Malthusian Logic on its Head.” New Geography (July 10).
Desrochers, P., & Szurmak, J. (2019).“The More the Green Crusade Changes, the More It Remains the Same.” New Geography (May 15).
Thuna, M., & Szurmak, J. (2019). Telling their stories: A study of librarians’ use of narrative in instruction. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 45(5). Retrieved from doi.org
Szurmak, J., Laflamme, M., Thuna, M., Ahmed, M., & Dhillon, K. (2019). A qualitative interview-based pilot study of discipline selection narratives by undergraduate science students: in search of “aha” moments and “bottlenecks”. Discussions on University Science Teaching: Proceedings of the Western Conference on Science Education, 2(1). Retrieved from ojs.lib.uwo.ca
Szurmak, J. (2019). The science loop: How cognitive biases contribute to the intellectual entrenchment at the root of junk science. The Financial Post (June 20).
Szurmak, J., & Desrochers, P. (2018). The one-sided worldview of eco-pessimists. Quillette (3 December, 2018). This was a response to Dr. Christian Berggren’s Quillette review of the Roslings’ book Factfulness.
Desrochers, P., & Szurmak, J. (2018). Population bombed! Exploding the link between overpopulation and climate change. London, UK: Global Warming Policy Foundation. (258 pp.).
“You think you meet people by chance, but when you look back on your life you realise there was nothing random going on at all.” ― Jerome Bruner, 2007 interview.