Howard Burton

PI's Founding Executive Director Seeks New Challenges 


WATERLOO, ON, May 2007 - Howard Burton, Founding Executive Director, has left Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) and is seeking new challenges. The search for a long term successor is well underway - a process involving collaboration by the Institute’s Faculty, the Board of Directors and the esteemed Scientific Advisory Committee. Scientific Direction at PI is provided on an interim basis by senior scientists of the Researcher Executive Committee. 



Burton had headed the Institute, fostered through the determination and overwhelming generosity of Mike Lazaridis, PI’s founder and Board Chair, since inception and achieved an impressive list of accomplishments. 

Reflecting on this, Burton says - "I am very proud of what I have accomplished in building Perimeter Institute - it has been exceptionally satisfying to see so much of my ambitious vision become a reality in less than eight short years since I began this journey.  The chance to create a top international centre of research and outreach excellence has been a once in a lifetime opportunity to tangibly implement my passionate beliefs in the merits of pure research and scholarship; and I have particularly enjoyed the strong personal relationships I developed with so many outstanding staff and scientists the world over, many of whom are now integrally involved with PI."  Burton, who is also passionate about music and literature, plans to pursue new literary projects in future.

The founder of Perimeter Institute, Mike Lazaridis, commends Burton on his many contributions - “Howard has been instrumental in helping us build a truly world class institute.  He has done a remarkable job, with passion and ingenuity, in creating the very successful research operations, ground breaking outreach programs and so much more that directly enhances Canada’s role and international impact in basic science and education.  He leaves an extremely strong institute and we are well positioned to move forward in the next, exciting phase of development at Perimeter.  I wish Howard well in his future activities and know they will be equally successful.”

A recent review by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which examined all of the Institute’s past achievements and future plans, concluded that – “PI has been a great success on a world-wide scientific scale, for Canadian science, and for education and outreach. A number of major research achievements can be attributed directly to the existence of PI.”  The independent review panel also found that – “PI’s plans for the future are excellent and the Institute appears very well prepared to move ahead with its proposed plans for the next five years.”  

Past Authored Articles

Past Public Speaking

Dr. Burton provided a wide variety of presentation to group audiences. You can view the following presentations online:

Past Group Presentations

Research, Outreach and Beyond
Presentation to the Ontario Association of Science Teachers
May 26, 2006

Conceiving, Founding, Connecting and Reaching Outwards
Presentation to the Royal Society of Canada and OECD Diplomatic Group
April 27, 2006

Friends of the Library (Transcript Only)
Invited presentation to UW's Friends of the Library Group
May 17, 2005

Past Public Lectures and EinsteinFest

First Principles: Building an Einstein Factory
Presentation held during EinsteinFest
October 22, 2005

Bistro Banter: Following in the Footsteps - Searching for the Next Miracle
Presentation held during EinsteinFest,
moderated by Howard Burton, with Gary Horowitz, John Stachel and Artur Ekert
October 23, 2005

Bistro Banter: Humanitarian and Physicist - Exploring the Man and the Scientist
Presentation held during EinsteinFest,
moderated by Howard Burton, with Robert Schulmann, David Rowe and John Dawson
October 16, 2005

Bistro Banter: Inventors, Inventions, Conquerors and Conquests - The Ingredients for Success
Presentation held during EinsteinFest,
moderated by Howard Burton, with Mike Lazaridis, Robert Friedel and James P. Delgado
October 9, 2005

Einstein: Relativity and Beyond
Public Lecture Panel Discussion,
moderated by Howard Burton, with John Stachel, Lee Smolin and John Moffat
May 4, 2005


Talks by Howard Burton