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
Dr. Michael Strong, Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Distinguished University Professor at Western University
Rather than being a single disease entity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is now considered to be a syndrome in which the death of motor neurons occurs through a wide range of pathological processes. However, there is now emerging a consensus view that alterations in RNA metabolism play a critical role and perhaps the final common pathway uniting these pathological processes. In this lecture, we will review the evidence that, for the majority of cases, that ALS is a disorder of RNA metabolism.
In partnership with the Gairdner Foundation
Prof Bryan Gaensler, Director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, and Canadian Science Director for the Square Kilometre Array
Some of the biggest questions about our Universe are as yet unsolved. How did the first stars form? What is the mysterious “dark energy” that is pushing the Universe apart? And are there other planets out there like our own, perhaps harbouring life? To answer these and other key questions, astronomers are about to build the biggest telescope ever conceived, the Square Kilometre Array. Prof Gaensler will describe this enormous international project, the results it promises to deliver, and the major role being played by Canadian scientists and engineers in this exciting endeavour.
In partnership with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Toronto Centre
Photo credit – Daniel Boud, University of Sydney
For more information on this topic:
Square Kilometer Array – Canadian website
Jane Heffernan, PhD, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University
Mathematical models can be used to describe the spread of infectious diseases and how infections affect your immune system. We will discuss diseases such as influenza, measles, pertussis, and HIV.
Professional Engineer with the Province of Ontario, Assistant Professor in the Biological Engineering program of the University of Guelph, Director of the BioNano Laboratory
The risk of a major biological incident in farmed animals, such as the emergence of a novel infectious agent and/or a global pandemic, is on the rise due to globalization and ecological pressures. Anticipating when and where an incident may occur can enable a timely and well-informed response. The 4th revolution in agriculture has begun, bringing novel technologies such as Internet of Things, SMART and Precision Agriculture and mobile ‘apps’ for disease surveillance. I will discuss nanosensor biotechnologies for innovative detection and advanced diagnostics for farmed animal health management.
Chris Fletcher, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo
Human activities are changing Earth’s climate, making it imperative to determine the impact on climate if we continue to use fossil fuels. I will explore computer models of the climate system which allow us to gaze into the future by making projections of how Earth’s climate could evolve over the coming century.
Hosted by Ryerson University.
Large-scale brain models have become a mainstay of “big science”. Currently, Canada has the largest functional brain model known as “Spaun”. This brain model produces behaviour comparable to people and animals. Researchers use Spaun to understand normal brain function, disorders, the effects of drugs and how to build smarter artificial agents.
Catherine Scott, PhD Student, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto Scarborough
Darwin wrote, “who indeed could suspect that [spiders] should be susceptible of the finer feelings? Yet such is the fact.” The private lives of spiders are filled with fine scents, sounds, and silk. This discussion of the sophisticated sexual communication system of the black widow spiders is the perfect way to celebrate both Valentine’s day and Darwin’s theory of sexual selection.
Catherine’s blog: spiderbytes.org, @Cataranea on twitter
Cesar Hidalgo, Associate Professor at MIT, Director of Macro Connections at MIT Media Lab
Making sense of data requires the development of tools that can transform data into narratives. In this presentation I show various examples of tools that we have created at The MIT Media Lab that facilitate the ability of people to construct visual narratives from large datasets. These data visualization engines include (i) the Observatory of Economic Complexity (atlas.media.mit.edu), a comprehensive effort to visualize international trade data; (ii) DataViva (dataviva.info), a tool visualizing data for the entire formal sector economy of Brazil; (iii) Pantheon (pantheon.media.mit.edu), a tool focused on human collective memory centered on data from globally famous biographies; (iv) Immersion (immersion.media.mit.edu), a tool that focuses the interface of email on people to reveal your personal story of professional and personal interactions; (v) Place Pulse and StreetScore (pulse.media.mit.edu & streetscore.media.mit.edu), which are tools exploring the physical evolution of cities, and (vi) DataUSA, a tool that visualizes public data for the entire United States. I conclude by demoing a prototype of (vii) DIVE, a data visualization and integration tool that helps automate the creation of data driven narratives.
In partnership with the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences
Mr. Ken Knox,
Chair of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Council (STIC), CEO of Knox-Vannest Inc
The Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) is an independent body that advises the Government of Canada on science, technology and innovation. With STIC’s latest “State of the Nation” report, I will explore how Canada’s performance compares to the rest of the world in science & technology innovation.
For further reading, visit the STIC website and download the “2014 State of the Nation” report.