'This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate science'
Concordians will soon be treated to an extravaganza of science-related events.
From May 12 to 21, for the first time, the university is taking part in Science Odyssey, a national series organized each year by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Science Odyssey unites universities and colleges, museums and science centres, libraries, teachers and students, government departments, community organizations, science promoters, researchers and scientists.
Last year, 341 partners put on 626 events across 222 Canadian cities.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate science at Concordia,” says Kim Sawchuk, associate dean of Research and Graduate Studies for the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS). Sawchuk spearheaded the initiative with a group of graduate students.
“I am tremendously proud of them and the wide variety of events they’ve been working on.”
These include the keynote speech “Jar of Fears: Do We Fight CO2 or Embrace It?” by Canadian nanoscience pioneer Geoffrey Ozin (University of Toronto), exhibitions of science-themed art, a Junior Science Odyssey day for families, and Beyond Disciplines: Science Facts and Fiction, an evening discussion.
Panelists at this last event will talk about everything from superhero powers to zombies to mind control (including a live demonstration).
“We really do have something for everyone,” says lead organizer Paola Andrea Rojas Gutiérrez, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. When she’s not event-planning for the Odyssey, Guitérrez works with the Lanthanide Research Group to develop newer and more effective cancer treatments.
“Our goal with Science Odyssey is to make science exciting and accessible in creative and unexpected ways.”
‘Imagery normally reserved for the lab’
Darian Stahl is a PhD student in humanities. She planned the May 12 Life Lab Image Gallery, and the May 18 Science Art Gallery and Vernissage events taking place in the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV).
"As an artist who works with biomedical imaging technologies, I am thrilled to curate works that join the hard sciences with the fine arts,” she says.
“These artists use methods and imagery normally reserved for the laboratory to give a humanist perspective on scientific findings.”
Stahl somehow found time to plan the Science Odyssey events when she wasn’t busy preparing her award-winning presentation for Concordia’s “3-Minute Thesis” competition this year.
Sawchuk hopes 2017 will mark the beginning of an annual Science Odyssey tradition at Concordia.
“I’m really looking forward to sharing the great work we are doing in the sciences with the broader community.”
These events come to Concordia with the support of the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies.
Find out more about Science Odyssey 2017 at Concordia.
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