The Fall 2015 Lectures

FREE public one-hour lectures followed by a question period

TORONTO:Sundays at 2 pm (doors open at 1:15) Macleod Auditorium, Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto 1 King’s College Circle (Nearest Subway is Queen’s Park Station) Parking on campus, pay/display; limited disabled parking available. MISSISSAUGA:Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at Noel Ryan Auditorium, Ground Floor, Mississauga Central Library, 301 Burnhamthorpe Road W. Parking under the library is free after 6 p.m. Enter via the ramp accessed from the southbound lane on Duke of York Boulevard between City Centre Drive and Burnhamthorpe Road.
NEW FOR FALL 2015!

More Toronto library lectures | New Markham library lectures | New special events in Toronto and Calgary

Details coming soon!

We thank the University of Toronto and the Mississauga Central Library for their support.
Oct
1
Thu
2015
True Crime – The Science of Crime Scene Investigation @ Mississauga
Oct 1 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Knapp_w150Wade 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.
WEBCAST

Oct
18
Sun
2015
Evolution of Plant Sexual Diversity: Natural History to Genomics @ Toronto
Oct 18 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

bbarrett_w150Spencer 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.

Oct
25
Sun
2015
The Earth Is Flat And Vaccines Cause Autism: Think About It. @ Toronto
Oct 25 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

McGeer_w150Allison McGeer, MD MSc FRCPC, University of Toronto, Canada, Mt. Sinai Hospital
WEBCAST

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.

Nov
1
Sun
2015
hitchBOT – A Cultural Robotics Projects @ Toronto
Nov 1 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

zeller_harris_smith_w150Frauke Zeller, PhD, Ryerson Universoty
David Harris Smith, PhD McMaster University
WEBCAST

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.

Nov
5
Thu
2015
Riding the tide on black holes @ Mississauga
Nov 5 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Poisson_w150Eric Poisson, BSc, MSc, Ph.D, Department of Physics, University of Guelph
WEBCAST

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

Nov
8
Sun
2015
Genome Engineering. Should we do it? (Can we afford not to?) @ Toronto
Nov 8 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

trevor_charles_5Trevor Charles, PhD University of Waterloo
WEBCAST

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

Nov
15
Sun
2015
No Lecture Today @ Toronto
Nov 15 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Enjoy Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade!

Nov
16
Mon
2015
Fleming Medal & Citation Ceremony @ OISE Auditorium
Nov 16 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

fleming medalThe 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

 

Shoichet

Photo: Brigitte Lacombe

 “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).

 

Nov
22
Sun
2015
Revolution in Robotics: Will the Next Robot Be for You? @ Toronto
Nov 22 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Schoellig_w150Angela Schoellig, M.Sc, Ph.D, Head of Dynamic Systems Lab, Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), University of Toronto
WEBCAST

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.

Nov
24
Tue
2015
Genes, Genomes and Proteomes @ Thornhill Community Centre Library
Nov 24 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

RCI Lectures_NovemberRonald Pearlman, talks about Novel Insights and Applications and genetics. In partnership with the Markham Public Libraries.

REGISTER

Nov
29
Sun
2015
Are Fish Populations in Hot Water Because of Climate Change? @ Toronto
Nov 29 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Sharma_w150Sapna Sharma, PhD, Department of Biology, York University

Around the world, lake surface water temperatures are changing. Ontario lakes are an important bellwether for this as they are home to both the northern or southern limits of many freshwater fish species. As the climate changes, these limits shift, making Ontario fish particularly vulnerable. I will discuss how the northward march of the feisty smallmouth bass puts angler-favourites, trout and walleye, at long-term risk in Ontario.
WEBCAST

Sapna Sharma researches the impact of stressors, such as climate change, invasive species and habitat degradation to refine overall environmental predictions. Sapna’s lab is committed to outreach, producing educational resources for younger learners.

Dec
3
Thu
2015
The Hotspur Property @ Mississauga
Dec 3 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

2015_Dec3_RobertsSiobhan Roberts, Journalist and Author
WEBCAST

Author Siobhan Roberts discusses the powerful and promiscuous curiosity of her latest biographical subject, the profoundly playful Princeton mathematician John Horton Conway. Conway is famous for his “Game of Life” which creates emergence, or complexity from simple conditions, a concept adapted from pure mathematics to such diverse fields as biology, economics and computer science.

Siobhan Roberts is a Toronto journalist and author whose work focuses on mathematics and science. Her first book, King of Infinite Space won the Mathematical Association of America’s 2009 Euler Prize for expanding the public’s view of mathematics.

Dec
6
Sun
2015
FUN FOR KIDS @ Toronto
Dec 6 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

zeidRussell Zeid, RCI Council Member

For those ages 6 to 12, experience the forces of physics through a series of demonstrations and experiments with volunteers participating during an hour of science discovery and fun.

pueblo science