A Deep Dive Into Something New

When he's not investigating the phenomenon known as change blindness, this researcher is checking out what's underwater.


Ron Rensink is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Psychology at the University of British Columbia. His research looks at how people fail to notice major visual changes in their environment, a phenomenon known as ‘change blindness’.

We asked him everything from what he likes most about being a scientist to exploring new worlds beyond the lab through scuba diving in hopes of giving you a better understanding of what goes on outside the lab for one of the best minds in Canadian research.

What do you like most about being a scientist?
The chance to explore. This includes looking at old questions in new ways, as well as looking at phenomena never investigated before.

What advice would you give young researchers?
Follow your passion, and try to make a difference; don’t just mark time. But be practical – make sure it’s something that would be wanted.

What are you reading right now? 
A relatively new biography of Leonardo da Vinci, and a collection of science-fiction short stories.

What do you like to do for fun? 
Travel, as well as snorkelling/scuba diving. Both involve worlds that are new (at least, to me) – they’re really just other forms of exploring.

If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?
A writer. Maybe science fiction. Some would say I do this already!

Aside from things for your survival, what item would you most want to have with you on a deserted island?
A diving set, including mask, snorkel, and fins.

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Research2Reality is a groundbreaking initiative that shines a spotlight on world-class scientists engaged in innovative and leading edge research in Canada. Our video series is continually updated to celebrate the success of researchers who are establishing the new frontiers of science and to share the impact of their discoveries with the public.