Canadian Paleobotany and the origin of Plants
by Ingrid Birker (Redpath Museum and Science Outreach)
Jan. 29, 19h30
Hosted by the Montreal Field Naturalists' Club, this presentation examines fossils of some of the earth's earliest land plants and then visits the living fossil trees on campus: the Metasequoia, the Ginkgo and the Tulip Tree. In English. WHERE: Leacock Building, Room 232
FREE. Everyone welcome. No reservations necessary.
Image: Fossilized frond of Archeopteris gaspiensis, an early coniferous plant from the Devonian of Gaspé. Named and described by William Dawson in 1871. On exhibit in the Dawson Gallery, Redpath Museum.
Darwin Day presentation: Dating Early Branches on the Tree of Life
Feb. 16, 16h
By Boswell Wing (Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill).
PHOTO: This wrinkled "elephant skin" texture is a trace fossil of a non-stromatolite microbial mat. From the Burgsvik beds of Sweden, about 600 million years old. From Wikipedia Commons.
March 1, 19h - 1h
Tours / Visites à : 19h, 20h, 21h, 22h, 23h, et minuit
Duration / Durée : ≈ 40 min. chaque visite /each visit
Where / Lieu : Musée Redpath Museum
Université McGill, 859 rue Sherbrooke ouest Metro: McGill Bus: 24
Cost / Coût : $4 regulier OU $2 enfant/etudiant/l'age d'or
maximum pour famille = $10 à la porte / at the door.
IMAGE: Torsten Bernhardt.
EARTH DAY events
Synthetic Futures on Film
April 13, 2 pm
By Britt Way
Synthetic biology is the most recent advancement in genetic engineering that modifies living systems for human ends, applying an "engineer's mindset" to the complexity of nature. From foods, fuels, and medicine to the resurrection of extinct species, the aim of synthetic biology is to replace the factory floor with the living cell. But how is it done? And what are some of the greater social, ethical, and environmental implications of our synthetic futures?
Britt Wray is a biotech researcher and science radio producer making programs for the CBC. Britt will lead a guided tour of the synthetic biology landscape in this talk. Her presentation is accompanied by selected excerpts from a forthcoming documentary film on synthetic biology from Field Test Film Corps that she worked on as an editorial assistant in Portland, Oregon.
Earth Day Workshop: Creepy crawlies around us
April 13, 11h30
Zoom into the fascinating world of insects! With the help of a GUEPE naturalist, discover this often misunderstood universe. Expore the difference between vertebrates, invertebrates and insects. Learn more about insect bodies and how they use their their legs, head and abdomen. Explore their impressive specializations through different games and activities, and discvoer the diversity of the insect world through our collection! (In English).
Parallel Lives in the Greco- Roman World
Sunday, May 4th, 2 pm
By Denis Brault, Professor of Latin and Greek for La Fondation Humanitas. A public reading from the text of Plutarch's Lives on important Greek and Roman figures from history, including Theseus/Romulus, Alexander the Great/Julius Caesar, and Pericles.
FREE, Everyone welcome. Not suitable for young children. In Auditorium.
Image: Embossed pendant with portrait of Alexander the Great. From 4th century. In Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. Taken from Wikimedia Commons.
Science pour tous
Mount Royal flora: the forest and the human story
May 9, 5 - 7 PM
With Eric Richard (Directeur des services éducatifs, Les Amis de la montagne) and First Peoples House (McGill)
This 24 heures de science event helps us to discover stories about the plants that grow on the mountain and learn about the strong connection between native
people and local flora. For instance, Jacques Cartier first described the woodlands of the island in his logs and today Montreal students grow small oak trees in their classroom from seeds that they collect in the Mont Royal forest. The complete talk and walk is two hours. It starts at the Redpath Museum at 5 PM and finishes at the Smith House at 7 PM with refreshments.
Cost: $10 regular adult/ $5 student, child, senior, Max: $20/family.
IMAGE: Sycamore or maple tree. From Wikipedia.
Odysseus and his Women
Sunday, November 17th, 2 pm
By Denis Brault, Professor of Latin and Greek for La Fondation Humanitas. A public reading from the text of Homer's Odyssey (in English) on the theme of the hero Odysseus' encounters and relationship with women. Accompanied by cellist Vincent Bélanger. Program includes a note on the translation of the text and selected readings from Book One: A Meeting of the Gods on the subject of Odysseus; Book Five: Seven years with Calypso; Book Six: Odysseus encounters with the Phaeacian princess Nausicaa; Book Ten: Odysseus and the Sorceress Circe; Book Twelve: The Sirens; Book Thirteen: Odysseus and Athena and Book Twenty-Three: Odysseus returns home to his wife Penelope. FREE, Everyone welcome. Not suitable for young children. In Auditorium.
Images: Prof. Denis Brault and Odysseus and the Sirens depicted on an Attic red-figured stamnos, from around 480-470 BC. In British Museum. Taken from Wikimedia Commons.
Science on Stage: The Science of Comedy
Sunday, October 20th, 14h
What’s so funny to some people and not funny at all to everybody else? Scientists are still trying to discover where the funny bone is and just what part of the brain makes us laugh.
Nothing is a sure thing comedy wise. It is one of life’s greatest mysteries. The Greeks said it all had to do with the four humours, if they were unbalanced so were you and nothing amused you. Some people believe that if you try to analyze comedy, you kill it. E. B. White said that examining Comedy was like dissecting a frog, they both died from it. This Science on Stage event is a staged reading of a new play by McGill Alumna Colleen Curran (B.Ed '81) called GODOT AT THE COCONUT GROVE, and brought to you by Playwrights Workshop and McGill Science Outreach.
Colleen Curran’s play TRUE NATURE first presented in Redpath Museum’s Science on Stage Series and went on to premiere at Centaur Theatre in 2011. FREE, Everyone welcome. In Auditorium. Image: Wikimedia Commons.
Special exhibit: Lady Into Fox
Monday August 12th, Guided tour at 13h
Lady Into Fox is an exhibition which dates back to the late Victorian era and the tale of a woman who suddenly transforms into a fox and how she and her husband struggle to come to terms with her new physical form and the eventual change in their natures. It is an exhibition which challenges notions of fact, fiction, science, authority and the miraculous. Come join Dr. Aidan Gillian for the short film depicting the novella, a guided tour of the Lady Into Fox collection of artifacts, with tea to follow!
FREE. In English. No reservations necessary. Everyone welcome. Starts in Auditorium.
Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine Symposium (WISEMS) on October 8, 9, 2012.
The "best of" WISEMS have been compiled as a Webcast.
Past and future challenges for Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine with Margaret Rossiter (Marie Underhill Noll Professor of the History of Science at Cornell University), Ruby Heap (University of Ottawa), Rima Rozen (Associate Vice-Principal, Research & International Relations, McGill), Peter Campbell (Queen's University) , Ariane Marelli (McGill University, Harvard Medical School).
Reaching for the stars by Astronaut Julie Payette.
Challenges facing women today in science, engineering and medicine with Suzanne Fortier (President, NSERC), Rose Goldstein (VP Research, McGill) , Marianna Newkirk (Medicine, McGill University), Catherine Potvin (Biology, McGill University) and Tracy Webb (Physics, McGill University).
Student reflections about WISEMS: Katharine Yagi, a graduate student in McGill Biology, reflects on the presentations and how the information affected her as a young woman scientist at McGill. She even adds some very personal information about her mother’s experiences as a young fisheries biologist in Ontario in the late 1970s. Here is her concluding sentence with a recommendation to continue WISEMS: “In reflection I think having an annual WISEMS symposium would be very influential and a good idea. ... to help inform the public of the issues women are still having in the workforce, particularly in science and engineering. I really think most people don’t even realize women would have issues like these, largely because they don’t think of women working in science-related positions in the first place."
IMAGE: Carrie Derick, photo by Watson Davis, probably taken at the British Association of Science meeting, Toronto, Canada, August 1924. From Smithsonian Archives, retrieved from Wikipedia Commons.
Funding and support for WISEMS from the Beatty Memorial Lectures Committee /Cette conférence est présentée grâce à l'aide financière du Comité des conférences commémoratives Beatty, Situating Science (SSHRC), McGill Science Outreach (Dean of Science), McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC), McGill History and Classical Studies, and McGill Faculty of Medicine.
The Colour of Science
Sunday, February 24, 3 pm
By Dr. Frederic Bertley (Vice-President, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia) This presentation includes an introduction to the importance of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) as well as an interview with Dr. Momar Ndao (Assistant Professor and research scientist in the Department of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases at McGill) who studies parasitic diseases and screens for therapeutic drugs as well as develops vaccines to prevent parasitic diseases.
This program is brought to you by The Garvey Institute, The Franklin Institute and the Redpath Museum.
November 17: Bronwyn Chester's Tree Dedication Ceremony
Read The Gazette article about this event. To contribute to a special fund that has been set up for McGill's planted landscape please send a cheque made out to Bronwyn Chester Fund, McGill University or Allocation # 05187. Mail to: Donation and Record Services, McGill University, Martlet House, 1430 Peel Street, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 3T3. Bronwyn’s tree, Amelanchier laevis , commonly known as the Shadbush, Smooth Serviceberry, or Indian Pear, likes to grow in slightly shaded areas. Bronwyn liked it because it is one of the earliest native trees to produce fruit. As she said in her article about this species: “A sweet city is a city, which in my books, has fruit for the picking! “. From Bronwyn's article entitled “Paying service to service berries”.
Check this NFB documentary short film Sacrée montagne - Les arbres, about Bronwyn's keen interest and respect for trees.