Faculty of Science news
SKEPTICAL INQUIRER: Miracles are pretty rare events. Except on television’s Dr. Oz Show, where they appear with astonishing frequency. Oz of course doesn’t claim to raise the dead or part the Red Sea, but he does raise people’s hopes of parting with their flab. And he’s certainly not shy about flinging the word miracle about. But it seems miracles fade as quickly as they appear.
Physics World cites work by South Pole Telescope team Scientists in McGill’s Astrophysics group have been honoured in Physics World magazine’s list of top 10 breakthroughs in physics for 2013.
Drilling in Japan Trench by international scientific team finds unusually thin, slippery geological fault The devastating tsunami that struck Japan’s Tohoku region in March 2011 was touched off by a submarine earthquake far more massive than anything geologists had expected in that zone.
Congratulations to Prof. Niky Kamran (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) for receiving the 2014 CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize, Canada's premier prize in mathematics. Professor Kamran's achievements lie in the areas of analysis and differential geometry. The prize citation highlights both his work on the topic of exterior differential systems and his contributions to the mathematical analysis of the Einstein equations of general relativity.
Congratulations to the Faculty of Science's two most recent winners of the Principal’s Prizes for Excellence in Teaching! At Fall Convocation on November 25, 2013, Prof. Ariel Fenster, Department of Chemistry, received this prize in the Faculty Lecturer category, as did Prof. Kenneth J. Ragan, William C. Macdonald Chair in Physics, in the Full Professor Category.
Congratulations to K. Peter Russell, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics! He was recently named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society "for contributions to algebraic geometry, for mentoring the next generation of mathematicians, and for professional leadership at the highest levels."
Congratulations to Professor Catherine Potvin (Department of Biology) and to our Principal, Dr. Suzanne Fortier! They were recently named as Women Pioneers by Status of Women Canada on the occasion of Women's History Month. Visit their website for profiles on Professor Potvin, Dr. Fortier, and 27 other distinguished Canadian women.
The year was 1982. "Food for Thought", a new and innovative course conceived by Drs. David Harpp, Joe Schwarcz & Ariel Fenster. Designed to provoke some thought, separate fact from fiction and of course, digest everything there is to know about food. And now, 17,000 students later, you too can take this course. FOR FREE. That's right. McGill presents its very-first MOOC (massive open online course), & the McGill Office for Science and Society (OSS) is up at bat. Are you ready for some Food for Thought?
Information is the key to life. We want to know what to eat, how to protect our environment, what risks to avoid and what to do if illness strikes. But when it comes to acquiring information, it is the best of times and the worst of times. It is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness. Newspapers, television, radio and of course the Internet bombard us with information at an unprecedented rate, but when it comes to scientific issues the quality of the information is variable.
The Redpath Museum now offers videoconferences to school groups of any grade or age level. Visit the Museum without having to take a field trip! Choose from three presentations: Meet the Triceratops, Egyptian Life, or Quebec Biodiversity. The sessions are streamed live, last one hour, and feature a museum educator in the Redpath Museum galleries.
Forbes: Dr. Schwarcz comments on whether natural products can protect us from mosquitos with West Nile Virus
Almost 40,000 people in the United States developed West Nile virus last year and 1,549 died because of it. Compare that to 1999, the first year the disease was seen in North America, when only 62 people were reported infected.
Got an itch for knowledge? From July 11 to December 15, 2013, the Canal Savoir network will be broadcasting features from several series, including the Cutting Edge Lectures in Science; Mini-Science; the Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine Symposium; and more. Refer to the schedule to find out when to tune in, and to find out more about each episode. Canal Savoir is a non-profit, Quebec-based television network that strives to make higher learning accessible to everyone.
Edmonton—Graduate students in the Faculty of Engineering will have the opportunity to get the inside track on communicating with non-technical audiences and tech commercialization during the Faculty of Engineering Graduate Research Symposium. Keynote speakers Joe Schwarcz and Peter Hackett will share their experiences and expertise with symposium attendees and volunteers.