Archive | May, 2013

Busy month for science lovers in Vancouver

9 May
2013 May9FeaturedImage

Image credit left to right – Microsoft clip art; NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI); Microsoft clip art.

I am starting to feel extremely guilty about not being able to put out some blog posts in the past two weeks. My work is starting to get to me, which can be both a bad and a good thing. The bad thing is that I currently have no life (wake up, work, go home, sleep) – I am starting to work on being less antisocial :P. The good thing though, is that it means I can give you some insights about a few upcoming science events in Vancouver!

First of all, I want to use this chance to officially launch my Events page. I will be updating the Google calendar on the page regularly with science and science communication events (mostly in Vancouver, but could be international too). If you are already using Google calendar, the easiest way to follow it is to subscribe to it by clicking on the Google Calendar icon on the lower right. If you know of events that are not posted there, give me a shout. I will also try tweeting events with the hashtags #ScienceInVancouver in the future.

So here are a few things that I am working on at the moment:

The Role of Gender in Science Communication, May 10

“The Role of Gender in Science Communication” will be panel discussion moderated by BC Centre of Disease Control Senior Scientist and TV show host Jennifer Gardy, with panelists including Bob McDonald (Host of CBC Radio One’s Quirks and Quarks), Dr. Carin Bondar (Host for Discovery International and blogger for Scientific American; her YouTube channel Wild Sex is about to get 6 million views);  and Cam Cronin (Public Programmer, HR MacMillan Space Centre). I am really excited to be meeting them in person. We will start giving out numbered standby tickets at 4pm (we have min 25 seats for the public – first come first served). This talk is part of the Creating Connections conference, whose focus is on the participation of women in science, engineering and technology. For more info about the talk, visit the conference page, check out the Creating Connections website.

Science Rendezvous – May 11

This is a Canada-wide science celebration (so if you are not in Vancouver, but are at a major Canadian city, then something might be happening in your neighborhood). There are a few activities planned throughout the University of British Columbia, including lab tours and booths with hands-on activities. My department’s outreach program will have many hands-on activities, some robotics stuff from the Engineering Physics lab, and also our hovercraft. I know Chemistry has a ton of activities planned (see their video below). This will be a pretty awesome Family friendly day…come join us!

Physics & Astronomy Open House – May 25

Are you interested in the latest update about the Higgs Bosons? The discoveries made through the Hubble Space Telescope or the MOST, Canada’s space telescope? How can we use physics principles to detect cancer markers in blood samples? Or help make our lives “greener”? Tour some of our labs (laser, superconductor, enough said), check out what students can do in the Engineering Physics lab, or use a solar telescope to check out the sun. Here are just a few things we have planned for the open house. And if these are not good enough reasons – I am the organizing lead for this and I want as many people as possible! 😀 The Open House is on the same day as the UBC Alumni Weekend and there will be many other free public lectures available on the same day (and free parking in the North Parkade if you register – for free – with the Alumni Weekend; the events are open to all, including non-alumni).

Free public lectures: Dr. Malcolm Longair on Quantum Mechanics and Cosmology – May 27 and 28

My department is hosting the Canadian Astronomy Society Annual Conference from May 28-30. Because of this conference, we have invited Dr. Malcolm Longair to speak on Cosmology on May 28th and how we come to learn about the history of our universe. This lecture is a public lecture and Dr. Longair will speak on a non-technical level, incorporating many videos and simulations. My “source” tells me that Dr. Longair is an excellent public speaker (source being my boss, who actually was a student of Longair like, 20-30 years ago).

Dr. Longair also recently wrote about Quantum Mechanics, which he thinks is the “at the root of essentially all aspects of contemporary life.”  He will be talking about the history of its development on May 27th. Again, this will be a public lecture, given at a non-technical level, and should be pretty awesome as well.

I think that’s all for May. And yes, I am involved in the planning of all these above, so I have a legit reason to be slacking on my blog. Regular posting should resume in June 😀 Meanwhile, check out my twitter page to stay in touch!

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