Julielynn Wong, B.Sc. M.D., M.P.H., Founder, Center for Innovative Technologies and Public Health, RCI Council Member
Star Trek Replicators are here! Unleash your inner designer and discover how 3D printers are revolutionizing space travel and life here on Earth. Need surgical tools on a long space mission? If you can’t take everything with you, then you’ll have to print on demand. With this in mind, Dr. Julielynn Wong has created ten 3D printable designs of surgical instruments for space missions.
Jean-Bernard Caron, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., Department of Earth Sciences, University of Toronto;
Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology, Royal Ontario Museum
The Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rockies captures a unique moment in time: an “explosion of life” in which all major animal groups appear in the fossil record. New field discoveries led by the ROM promise to help us further understand this critical period in the history of life on Earth.
Dr. Caron’s post-lecture reading suggestions:
Virtual Museum of Canada’s Burgess Shale website, ROM & Parks Canada
Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History,
Stephen Jay Gould, W.W. Norton, 1990.
The Cambrian Explosion, Douglas H. Erwin, James W. Valentine, Roberts and Company, 2013.
Cambrian Ocean World: Ancient Sea Life in North America, John Foster, Indiana University Press, 2014
Donald G. Saari, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., Department Mathematics, Economics;
Director, Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, University of California, Irvine
We have all experienced it at election time: the wrong person won! Voting is used to decide everything from our political leaders to which pizza to order. This timely talk explores how the wrong outcome can sometimes arise due to hidden mathematical peculiarities.
Co-sponsored by the Fields Institute for Research Mathematical Sciences
For further reading on this subject, Dr. Saari recommends:
Chaotic Elections, Donald G. Saari, American Mathematical Society, 2001
Deposing Dictators: Demystifying Voting Paradoxes, Donald G. Saari, Cambridge University Press, 2007 (more technical)
Graeme Spiers, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., Chair Environmental Monitoring, Director, Elliot Lake Research Field Station, Vale Living with Lakes Watershed Centre, Departments of Chemistry, Earth Science and Biology, Laurentian University
Feeding modern society’s insatiable need for metals brings with it an enormous impact on the natural environment, especially in near-pristine Northern regions. Without careful planning, a mine that operates for only 15 – 30 years may continue to affect its surroundings for centuries after it closes.
Leigh Revers, Ph.D., Associate Director of MBiotech Program/Senior Lecturer, University of Toronto – Mississauga
An academic and entrepreneur relates the personal true story of one life scientist’s experiences at the interface of scientific research and the corporate world of drug innovation.
David Jenkins, M.D., D.Sc., Ph.D., Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto;
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, the Director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital
Food production exacts a toll on our environment with raising meat generally less sustainable than growing plants. Eating plants is also helpful in reducing serum cholesterol, blood pressure and improving blood glucose control; all of which should reduce diabetes and heart disease. We will explore the question: is eating plants better for both human and environmental health?
Russell Zeid, RCI Council Member
An hour of family fun and exciting science demonstrations for kids with Russell the RCI’s mad scientist
Free event followed by complimentary treats!
Lesley Campbell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biology, Ryerson University
Cannabis is, for better or worse, once again in the spotlight. This interesting plant has a long botanical and medical history and exploring its evolutionary ecology could reveal insights into how we use Cannabis.
NSERC RCI FOUNDATION LECTURE
W. Ford Doolittle, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University
Recipient of NSERC’s Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering
The ENCODE project, a lavishly funded international effort to map functions onto the human genome, recently declared the notion of “junk DNA” to be bunk. Comparative genomics says otherwise, and suggests that many researchers are seriously confused about the very nature of biology.
Co-sponsored by The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC//CRSGN) and hosted by Ryerson University
The speaker cannot travel at this time. We will attempt to reschedule.
Arnaldo Caruso, M.D., Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, Section of Microbiology, University of Brescia Medical School, Brescia, Italy
Therapeutic vaccination is a promising novel approach to treat HIV-1-infected patients. This therapy boosts or redirects the immune system to neutralize critical HIV-1 proteins that play an important role in triggering immune system problems.
Co-sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute
Christine Wilson, Ph.D., Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University
Explore nearby infant stars and young galaxies at the edge of the universe as seen through the radio-eyes of the ALMA telescope, the largest astronomical observatory on the planet.
Co-sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Mississauga
Wade Knaap, Detective Constable (retired), Faculty University of Toronto Mississauga Forensic Sciences Program
Forensic investigations are often incorrectly portrayed on television and film. This presentation will address these issues and provide the audience with a more accurate depiction of how crime scenes are investigated.
Wade Knapp is retired from Toronto Police Services, where he did Forensic Identification and Scenes of Crime Officer Coordinator.
Spencer C.H. Barrett, PhD. FRS, FRSC, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto
Plants exhibit unrivalled diversity in the ways they reproduce including clonal propagation, self-fertilization, and mating with numerous partners simultaneously. Understanding plant sexual diversity is of importance for both basic and applied research, and I will show how diverse approaches from Darwinian natural history to genomics have provided novel insights into sex lives of plants.
Spencer Barrett is a globe-travelling evolutionary biologist. His work on the reproductive biology, genetics and evolution of flowering plants has garnered many awards. Spencer sits on the RCIScience Council.
Allison McGeer, MD MSc FRCPC, University of Toronto, Canada, Mt. Sinai Hospital
Despite the evidence that vaccines save lives and prevent illness, many of us remain willing to believe that vaccines are dangerous and at least two Canadian universities have defended courses that suggest that children should not be vaccinated. I will discuss why we have so much trouble interpreting and applying scientific evidence about vaccination.
Allison McGeer is the Director of Infection Control at Mt. Sinai Hospital and serves on Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunizationand the Infection Control Subcommittee of the Ontario Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee.
Frauke Zeller, PhD, Ryerson Universoty
David Harris Smith, PhD McMaster University
This talk will introduce hitchBOT, a cultural robot and arts and science project. Drawing on the experiences with the hitchBOT project, we will discuss the cornerstones of the conception and design of a cultural robot, focusing on the importance of personality in robots, and critically discuss the role of social and cultural robots in our society.
Frauke Zeller & David Harris Smith are interested in, among many other things, human-robot interactions. Developed to help in this research, hitch-BOT has received much attention during its adventurous travels.
Eric Poisson, BSc, MSc, Ph.D, Department of Physics, University of Guelph
General relativity, Einstein’s greatest scientific achievement is turning 100 this year. The speaker will describe how a companion body can raise a tide on a black hole, much as the Moon raises a tide on Earth and what consequences this can have on the motion of the two-body system.
Eric Poisson is an award-winning physicist specializing in black holes and gravitational waves. In 2006, he won the Canadian Association of Physics Herzberg Medal for outstanding achievement by a physicist aged 40 or less.
This talk is co-sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada — Mississauga Centre
Trevor Charles, PhD University of Waterloo
Advances in molecular genetics now make it possible to envision building designer microbes or plants. This presentation will explore the science behind genome engineering, discuss some of the potential applications, and look towards what the future might bring.
Follow up reading: Starved for Science, Robert Paarlberg.
Dr. Charles has provided his slides for us for reference: genome engineering lecture RCI edited
**NOTE: this talk replaces Feeding the World by Boosting Crop Health by Dr. Charles Després. We are working with Dr. Després to reschedule his talk in a future series.
In partnership with Ontario Genomics
Enjoy Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade!
The President of the Royal Canadian Institute for Science is pleased to invite you to the 2015 Fleming Award Ceremony
November 16, 2015 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
“Embrace the geek in you, make a difference, and tell people about it.”
This year’s Royal Canadian Institute Fleming Medal & Citation winner is Dr. Molly Shoichet.
A professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Toronto, Dr. Shoichet has won kudos internationally for her work on hydrogels – versatile materials that can act help rebuild damaged tissues in the body. Since September 2014, as the senior advisor to the President of the University of Toronto on science and engineering engagement, Dr. Shoichet has also focused on building public awareness about what scientists do all day.
Come and hear Dr. Shoichet share how she is using an innovative media campaign to engage Canadians in science.
The lecture follows the presentation of the Fleming Medal by the Honorable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Honorary Vice Patron of the Royal Canadian Institute.
Monday, November 16, 7:30 pm, OISE auditorium.
Free and open to the public.
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Auditorium, 252 Bloor St. W, Toronto, ON
Direct access from St. George Subway station (Bedford St. end).
Angela Schoellig, M.Sc, Ph.D, Head of Dynamic Systems Lab, Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), University of Toronto
In contrast to their early industrial counterparts, robots have become increasingly safe, capable and affordable. A new generation of robots will operate alongside humans in complex and changing environments. I will show how we prepare robots for their new tasks by, for example, enabling them to “learn” and to automatically adapt to new situations.
Angela Schoellig was recently named one of “25 women in robotics you need to know about” by Robohub.org. You can watch her vehicles performing slalom races and flight dances on her popular YouTube channel.