Marvin Westwood

Seeking Some Divine Inspiration

This psychology professor grew living up on a farm. Now he hikes up mountains in search of cosmic renewal.


Marvin Westwood is a Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia. We asked him everything from what historical figure he would like to meet to what inspired him to become a scientist 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 inspired you to become a scientist?
Ever since I was in junior high school I was interested and curious about biology. Growing up on a farm, I had ample opportunity to observe life formation and life transitions, and this led to an expanding curiosity.

If you could meet any historical figure who would it be and why?
Tommy Douglas, who is credited with establishing Medicare in Canada, and to explore with him his values around being a responsible public servant who committed his life to bring health care to all people as part of the just society. What role did is his personal faith play in this work? What sustained his commitment to see this established?

What do you read?
Mostly professional journals related to my profession.

If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?

What do you like to do for fun?
I like to paint; mostly interpretive type of images and nature. Hiking in the Rockies, high up, as this is where I sense/experience the cosmic presence of creation and the Divine. It’s a place of personal renewal and connection!