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Breaking down the barriers between academia and the general public. Science Cafes democratize science, taking it out of the domain of the expert and allowing everyone to voice an opinion. Recorded live at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario Canada.

Breaking down the barriers between academia and the general public. Science Cafes democratize science, taking it out of the domain of the expert and allowing everyone to voice an opinion. Recorded live at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario Canada.
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Breaking down the barriers between academia and the general public. Science Cafes democratize science, taking it out of the domain of the expert and allowing everyone to voice an opinion. Recorded live at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario Canada.






Mining Deeper

With increased demand for resources, the mining industry continues to search for new deposits, often in new places. These deposits are often much deeper underground than deposits that have historically been mined. However, mining in difficult landscapes (such as below 2.5km underground) has major challenges such rock stresses and stability, heat on the human body, ventilation, productivity, and energy consumption, to name a few. What innovative ways are people in the mining industry...


Cowboy Science: Regulating Research in an Unregulated World

Unfettered experimentation driven by pure curiosity is giving way to a debate over whether to establish “no-go” areas of science—such as using new gene-editing technologies to produce engineered babies, giving flu viruses and other pathogens new capabilities, and engineering microbes to produce illegal drugs. Should we establish no-go areas of research? Who decides and who enforces it? What are the risks of not establishing regulations? Do we limit our potential by limiting...


Thinking Extinction: Should we try to save all species (and maybe bring some back?)

The current rate of species loss on our planet is alarming, but scientists and conservationists are divided about the best response to this extinction crisis. Is it possible to save all species, and should we even try? What is the value of a species, and what is lost in extinction? If it is not possible to save all species, how should we make decisions about where to focus our conservation efforts? Do we have a responsibility to conserve as many species as possible... or even bring some...


The CSI Effect: What is fact and fiction in forensic science?

TV shows and movies about crime solving have exploded in popularity in recent years, but real-life forensic research is much more complicated, and much more diverse, than what we see on the screen. Is forensic science in the media actually affecting real-life court cases, and are criminals walking free because of junk science? Meet experts from Laurentian's Department of Forensic Science and hear some myths busted about forensics. Supported by NSERC. Panelists included: Dr. Scott...


What's the Perfect Diet?

The beginning of a new year brings with it a flood of new diet and exercise programs promising a new you in the new year. We all want to look better and be healthier, but with this information overload where does one start? Your everyday diet can have major effects on your health and resistance to rampant diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Advice on what constitutes a healthy diet is more prevalent and more inconsistent than ever. High fat? Low fat? High carb?...


Science in Canada's North: Who Speaks for Canada's Arctic?

The uncertain future of Canada's Arctic is a matter of pressing public concern, but most Canadians will never experience this changing landscape firsthand. Most of us must rely instead on information sent back to us by researchers, traditional knowledge holders, and documentarians. But whose stories are being told, and what kinds of images, data, and stories have the greatest impact on motivating public concern? How are scientific and traditional knowledge about Canada's North being...


Darwin's Legacy: Could we ever see another Darwin?

Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection was so revolutionary that it changed the whole field of natural history and the way we see ourselves. Will we ever see another discovery that shifts our paradigms so dramatically? How does evolutionary thought influence current research in molecular genetics? What historical conditions allowed Darwin to arrive at his discovery? In today's research environment, could a self-taught naturalist ever change the way we see our world? Panelists...


Artificial Intelligence: It's not just for robots anymore

Artificial intelligence (AI) is creeping into our homes and lives and has the potential to change how we live more than any other technology. While artificially intelligent software is able to understand what movies or music you will like or autonomously drive you to work, there are still questions, myths and safety issues with AI that need to be addressed. How is AI improving the safety and efficiency of our every day jobs? How can AI be used in health, politics, and the environment? Will...


Are Humans Driving Evolution in Our Backyard Animals?

Cities are relatively recent recent and novel habitats for many animals. Living in an urban environment is not only changing the behaviour of animals but even their core genetic makeup. Habitat fragmentation by roads and highways, the availability of both natural and human foods, the light conditions, and the architecture are all contributing to changes in a range of species.availability of natural foods and human foods, light conditions and architecture are all contributing to changes in...


Science and Belief: Why does misinformation stick?

Most people, at the core, believe themselves to be rational beings. But when you dig down into the psychology of belief, most of us believe things that we have no scientific support for, or hold on to beliefs that we know have been disproven. Why does misinformation stick, and what are the consequences of these mistaken beliefs? As a society, why should we care if people believe things that can be disproven? And at the end of the day, what can we do to make our own belief systems more based...


E-Addiction: Is your cell phone a drug?

Addiction to technology is a growing issue as it infiltrates every point of our lives. We now play hyper-realistic video games, we invest and foster our relationships through social media, and we are expected to be in touch through mobile devices at all times. But when using technology becomes compulsive and interferes with daily life, can we diagnose this as an addiction? E-addiction, like other addictions can cause neurological complications, psychological disturbances, and social...


Fall 2018 Preview

What's Coming up for the Fall 2018 Science Café Season


Regreening Sudbury: How far have we come?

Over the past 120 years, the Sudbury landscape has experienced two dramatic transformations: first from deforestation and pollution and more recently through an ambitious regreening effort. How far have we come towards transforming our city into a sustainable community in a thriving landscape? What remains to be done, and what steps must we now take to achieve our ongoing goals? Discuss these questions, and more, with key players in the regreening effort. Panelists included: Dr. Stephen...


Foreign Aid Projects: Are their impacts sustainable and effective?

Do well-meaning foreign aid NGO projects really have a long-lasting positive impact in the communities they are trying to help? What are the factors behind successful projects, and how can you ensure that your aid is really helping? Come hear the stories of local representatives of foreign aid initiatives, and join the discussion of what works to effect change. Panelists included: Carissa MacLennanDirector of Education and Youth Engagement, Jane Goodall Institute of Canada Jason...


Closing Environmental Research Stations: What's the Impact?

Headlines have been dominated by recent announcements of the closing and withdrawal of funding of several of Canada’s leading environmental research stations, including the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) and Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Lab (PEARL). What is the public value of these research stations? What is the impact that these closures will have on the future of environmental science and policy in Canada? Panelists included: Zen MarianiPhD Candidate, University of...


Truth in Science

Scientific research pushes the boundaries of what we know and uncovers new truths about the world around us. But how is scientific truth established? With sometimes contradictory findings in the news, how do we know what to believe? And since mistakes sometimes slip by the peer-review system, would involving non-scientists boost the integrity of new research? Panelists included: Charles RamcharanAssociate Professor, Department of Biology and Cooperative Freshwater Biology Unit, Laurentian...


Diabetes and Depression

Depression is a serious mental health concern that not only affects brain and behavior—it affects the entire body. While depression is a common mental illness among the general population, it is even more likely to occur in those with type 2 diabetes. There is evidence that depression is both a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes and a risk factor for developing serious complications in people with type 2 diabetes. Doctors and researchers are realizing that physical health...


Science in Canada's North

One of the most identifying and unifying features of the Arctic is ice, and the properties of ice and the ecosystems it supports are fundamental to understanding the Arctic now and in the future. The area of the Arctic that is covered by ice year round has dropped from nearly half to about 20%, with potentially grave consequences for the global climate. This event was part of the Science in Canada's North Café Scientifique Series. Science North gratefully acknowledges the support of the W....


Who owns your body?

The BODY WORLDS family of exhibitions exists because individuals choose to donate their bodies for plastination. This may seem extraordinary, but we all make decisions that require us to consider the "ownership" of our bodies. Panelists for the evening included:David A. MacLean, Ph.DDivision of Medical SciencesNorthern Ontario School of Medicine Carol Collier, Ph.D.Associate ProfessorDepartment of PhilosophyUniversity of Sudbury (Laurentian University) Moderator: Dana MurchisonStaff...


Tiny Particles, BIG Questions: The Science of SNOLAB

SNOLAB is a world-class particle research facility, located two kilometres below the ground at the Vale Creighton mine in Lively. This Café focused on how, and why SNOLAB hunts for dark matter and neutrino particles. Panelists for the evening included:Corina NantaisMaster's studentQueens UniversityDr. Christine KrausProfessorLaurentian University Department of PhysicsDr. Nigel SmithSNOLAB Director Moderator: Simon StrasserStaff Scientist, Science North