Tag Archives: Cafe Scientifique

Two September 2013 Café Scientifique meetings in metro Vancouver (Canada)

There’s a Café Scientifique meeting tonight, Sept. 18, 2013  in Surrey, BC (a municipality in metro Vancouver). Here’s more from a Sept. 12, 2013 Simon Fraser University news release,

Café Scientifique – brainpower, bacteria & super seniors

 Simon Fraser University’s popular Café Scientifique series returns to Surrey this fall and the general public is invited to participate and learn more from what the experts have to say about key topics in health.

Three sessions will be held this fall at Surrey’s City Centre Library (main floor) from 7-8:30 p.m. The events are free.

SFU biological sciences professor Gordon Rintoul kicks off the first session on Wednesday, Sept. 18 with a discussion on the changes that occur in healthy brain cells versus those found in people with age-related brain diseases.

Rintoul, a neuroscientist, focuses on mitochondria, microscopic structures within brain cells, which provide energy for cellular process.

“Mitochondria have been called the powerhouses of the cell,” says Rintoul. “Our lab investigates the role of mitochondria in healthy neurons and in disease mechanisms.”

Rintoul will speak about his research and other recent findings linking changes in mitochondria to Parkinson’s disease, stroke and the process of aging.

The study involves over 500 “super seniors” between the ages of 85 and 105, who have never been diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular disease, major pulmonary disease, Alzheimer disease or diabetes. The study looks at genetic features that correlate with long-term good health in these exceptional individuals.

The news release offers a bit more about the Fall 2013 season of Simon Fraser University Café Scientifique meetings,

Sessions to follow include:

Oct. 16: Julian Guttman, an assistant biological sciences professor, will explain how pathogenic bacteria such as E.coli create serious global health concerns, causing disease through their interaction and subsequent control of host cells’ normal cellular functions. Guttman will discuss the conditions that transform bacterial infection into disease.

Nov. 20: Angela Brooks-Wilson, an associate professor of biomedical physiology/kinesiology and a Distinguished Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, will shares insights from her study on health aging.

These presentations are designed to stimulate conversation (from the news release),

Speakers will discuss their health or popular-science related topics for approximately 20 minutes, followed by a discussion with the audience. Reserve your free seat at: café[email protected]

The second Café Scientifique is being held in the back room of the The Railway Club (2nd floor of 579 Dunsmuir St. [at Seymour St.], Vancouver, Canada), and could be a more relaxed affair as it will be accompanied the sounds of slurping beer  on Tuesday, September 24,  2013 at 7:30 pm. Here’s the talk description (from the Sept. 17, 2013 announcement),

 Our next café will happen on Tuesday September 24th, 7:30pm at The Railway Club.  Our speaker for the evening will be Ian Cromwell, MSc. The details of his talk are as follows:
The HPV Vaccine and You: What You Need to Know to Make an Informed Choice
With British Columbia recently approving the HPV vaccine in young women across the province, members of the public have been engaged in a conversation about the value and safety of the vaccine. Ian Cromwell, a health economics researcher at the BC Cancer Agency, will discuss the vaccine and introduce the available evidence supporting the policy. He will also address some of the specific concerns people in British Columbia have about the vaccine, with a grounding in the scientific literature.

Ordinarily the talks at the Railway Club are pretty relaxed but those references to “evidence supporting the policy”, as well as, “a grounding in scientific literature” in the speaker’s description are a little concerning to me given that the “conversation [is] about the value and safety of the vaccine.” I suspect  the only “informed choice” will be yes and any objections will be shot down while reams of scientific literature and evidence are being quoted at whomever has the temerity to question the BC Cancer Agency’s policy.

Dr. Robin Coope will be speaking at Vancouver’s (Canada) Café Scientifique on July 30, 2013

The back room of the The Railway Club (2nd floor of 579 Dunsmuir St. [at Seymour St.], Vancouver, Canada), should be raucous with the sounds of beer slurping and talk of engineering in the life sciences at  the next Café Scientifique Vancouver talk given by Robin Coope on Tuesday, July 30,  2013 at 7:30 pm. Here’s the talk description (from the announcement),

Explain what it is you do again? Engineering in the life sciences

After studiously avoiding biology from high school on, Robin Coope wound up doing a PhD in Physics which involved understanding some exotic failure modes in capillary DNA sequencing. This led to a job at the BC Cancer Agency’s Genome Sciences Centre where he is now the Instrumentation Group Leader. This mostly involves managing the Centre’s liquid handling robots but with various funding sources, projects have involved novel automation platforms for DNA sample prep, as well as several medical devices for cancer treatment and even orthopaedics.

It turns out that practicing engineering while embedded in a clinical research lab with ready access to physicians and life scientists presents a fantastic opportunity to pursue the fundamental objective of engineering: to identify challenges and develop tools to solve them. The clinic is full of problems and unmet needs but the success of a solution often hinges on subtle issues, so it can take many prototypes and much discussion to get something that works. Working in this science-based industry also elucidates a clear distinction between engineering and science where success in the latter should be measured by publishing important ideas, whereas success in the former is really in making solutions available to a broad audience, which ultimately means commercialization. After seven years of in this field its also clear that the most interesting part of the work is the people and the challenges of communicating with specialists in widely divergent fields.

In this talk, Robin will present some recent projects and reflect on key lessons in what has thus far been a remarkably exciting adventure.

Happy slurping!

Vancouver’s (Canada) Café Scientifique; an origins story on May 28, 2013

Returning to  the back room at The Railway Club (2nd floor of 579 Dunsmuir St. [at Seymour St.], Vancouver, Canada), the next Café Scientifique Vancouver talk will be given by Lars Martin on Tuesday, May 28,  2013 at 7:30 pm. Here’s the talk description, from the announcement,

Nuclear Astrophysics at TRIUMF

Nuclear Astrophysics is the field of science that tries to explain the natural origin of all chemical elements. [emphasis mine] Scenarios that are studied in this field include the Big Bang, the life cycle of a regular star like our sun and cataclysmic events like supernovae. One key ingredient for this endeavour is the experimental study of nuclear reactions in accelerator labs like TRIUMF.

In his presentation Lars Martin will give an introduction into the field of nuclear astrophysics and describe some of the experiments he was involved with as a PhD student at TRIUMF.

That’s all I’ve got.

Ian Bushfield weighs paper with his lasers

Café Scientifique Vancouver (Canada) will be holding a meeting on the subject of lasers and weighing paper at The Railway Club on the 2nd floor of 579 Dunsmuir St. (at Seymour St.) next Tuesday, from the Mar. 19, 2013 email announcement,

Our next café will happen on Tuesday March 26th, 7:30pm at The Railway Club. Our speaker for the evening will be Ian Bushfield.

The title and abstract for his café is:

“Weighing Paper With Lasers”

Until the 1990s, a narrow band of radiation in the far-infrared had remained largely unexplored. Terahertz radiation’s unique interaction with water molecules and weak interaction with most plastic and fabrics make it an ideal probe for a wide range of applications, from security scanners to death rays. One area of interest is in product testing and quality control. In this talk, Ian Bushfield will describe his masters of physics work in developing a technique to use terahertz radiation to obtain the thickness, weight, and water content of paper, for application in paper manufacturing. These non-contact sensors offer industry a way to improve accuracy and production speed by replacing sensors that rely on physical contact with paper reams. This work was supported by the NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship, SFU, and the Honeywell Vancouver Centre for Excellence.

We hope to see you there!

Ian Bushfield has his own website,

I am the executive director of the British Columbia Humanist Association and a passionate advocate for science outreach and education. I have recently completed an MSc in Physics and have a BSc in Engineering Physics. I have worked as a research assistant and as a science summer camp instructor.

I gather Bushfield will be focusing on the work he did for his master’s thesis (from Bushfield’s résumé page),

Master of Science in Physics, Simon Fraser University 2011

Given the description for his talk, I don’t imagine Bushfield will be discussing his interest in humanism although I’m sure he’ll be open to questions. I’ve found the meetings at the Railway Club to be pleasantly fueled by beer, burgers, and conversation about science and any other topics attendees care to raise. (Bushfield was last mentioned here in my Feb. 8, 2013 posting about Charles Darwin Day and the February 2013 Café Scientifique meeting.)

Charles Darwin attends Vancouver’s (Canada) Feb. 12, 2013 Café Scientifique

Next week on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, Vancouver’s Café Scientifique community will celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday. From their Feb. 5, 2013 announcement,

Our next café will be a special event to celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday, Darwin Day, on Tuesday, February 12th, 7:30pm at Science World. (Note: There is no charge to enter Science World for this event, but admittance is to the Science Theatre area, not all of Science World.) Our speaker for the evening will be Dr. Greg Bole from UBC’s Department of Zoology.

He will be appearing in costume and in character, portraying a young Charles Darwin, as he has been for several years to classes and conferences in a wide variety of locations. His talk is titled, “Charles Darwin: Citizen Scientist”, and it will deal with the life and times of the man who developed the theory of evolution by natural selection.

Following Greg Bole’s talk and the Q&A period, Ian Bushfield of the BC Humanist Association will show us the certificate he received from Mayor Gregor Robertson proclaiming February 12, 2013 as International Darwin Day in the city of Vancouver. Finally, we will be screening the 2009 biographical film, “Creation”, starring real-life couple Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Charles and Emma Darwin.

We’re not able to provide beer for sale at this event, but you are welcome to bring your own alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, as well as your own food/snacks. We’ll have some ice available to cool your drinks.

I have seen Dr. Greg Bole perform as Charles Darwin at the Railway Club. ‘Darwin’ was a guest at an evolution rap performance as per my Feb. 21, 2011 posting titled, Performance, feedback, revision: Baba Brinkman’s Feb.20.11 performance.

Notice the reference to alcoholic beverages (beer) and snacks. It’s necessary since this Café Scientifique group usually meets at the Railway Club where they can order beer and food. Science World, aka Telus World of Science, is located at 1455 Quebec Street.

Inside story on doping; build it and they will collide; and physicist, feminist, and philosopher superstar Evelyn Fox Keller visits

Here are a few events being held in Vancouver (Canada) over the next weeks and months. This is not an exhaustive list (three events) but it certainly offers a wide range of topics.

Inside story on doping

First, Café Scientifique will be holding a meeting on the subject of doping and athletic pursuits at The Railway Club on the 2nd floor of 579 Dunsmuir St. (at Seymour St.) next Tuesday,

Our next café will happen on Tuesday January 29th, 7:30pm at The Railway Club. Our speaker for the evening will be Dr. Jim Rupert.[School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia]

The title and abstract for his café is:

The use of genetics in doping and in doping control

Sports performance is an outcome of the complex interactions between an athlete’s genes and the environment(s) in which he or she develops and competes.  As more is learned about the contribution of genetics to athletic ability, concerns have been raised that unscrupulous athletes will attempt manipulate their DNA in an attempt to get an ‘edge‘ over the competition. The World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) has invested research funds to evaluate this possibility and to support studies into methods to detect so-called “gene doping”.  Superimposed on these concerns is the realisation that, in addition to contributing to performance, an athlete’s genes may influence the results of current doping-control tests. Natural genetic variation is an issue that anti-doping authorities must address as more is learned about the interaction between genotype and the responses to prohibited practices. To help differentiate between naturally occurring deviations in blood and urine ‘markers’ and those potentially caused by doping, the ‘biological-passport’ program uses intra-individual variability rather than population values to establish an athlete’s parameters.  The next step in ‘personalised’ doping-control may be the inclusion of genetic data; however, while this may benefit ‘clean’ athletes, it will do so at the expense of risks to privacy.  In my talk, I will describe some examples of the intersection of genetics and doping-control, and discuss how genetic technology might be used to both enhance physical performance as well as to detect athletes attempting to do so.

This is a timely topic  given hugely lauded Lance Armstrong’s recent confession that he was doping when he won his multiple cycling awards. From the Lance Armstrong essay on Wikipedia (Note: Footnotes and links have been removed),

Lance Edward Armstrong (born Lance Edward Gunderson, September 18, 1971) is an American former professional road racing cyclist. Armstrong was awarded victory in the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005, but in 2012 he was disqualified from all his results since August 1998 for using and distributing performance-enhancing drugs, and he was banned from professional cycling for life. Armstrong did not appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Armstrong confessed to doping in a television interview in January 2013, two-and-a-half months after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport’s governing body, announced its decision to accept USADA’s findings regarding him, and after he had consistently denied it throughout his career.

Build it and they will collide

Next, both TRIUMF (Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics) and ARPICO (Society of Italian Researchers and Professionals in Western Canada) have sent Jan. 23, 2013 news releases concerning Dr. Lyn Evans and his talk about building the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN (European Particle Physics Laboratory) which led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson. The talk will be held at 6:30 pm on Feb. 20, 2013 at Telus World of Science, 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver,

Fundamental Physics Prize winner to deliver public lecture Wed. Feb. 20 at Science World

Back to the Big Bang – From the LHC to the Higgs, and Beyond
Unveiling the Universe Lecture Series
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 at 6:30 PM (PST)
Vancouver, British Columbia

(Vancouver, B.C.)  The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is history’s most powerful atom smasher, capable of recreating the conditions that existed less than a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. The construction of the LHC was a massive engineering challenge that spanned almost 15 years, yielding the most technologically sophisticated instrument mankind ever has created.

Join Science World and TRIUMF in welcoming Dr. Lyn Evans, project leader for the LHC construction, in his Milner Foundation Special Fundamental Physics Prize lecture. In this free event, Dr Evans will detail some of the design features and technical challenges that make the LHC such an awe-inspiring scientific instrument. He will also discuss recent results from the LHC and touch on what’s next in the world of high-energy physics. The lecture will be followed by an audience question and answer session.

Dr Evans, born in Wales in 1945, has spent his whole career in the field of high energy physics and particle accelerators. In 2012, he was awarded the Special Fundamental Physics Prize for his contribution to the discovery of the Higgs-like boson. See http://www.fundamentalphysicsprize.org

Tickets are free, but registration is required.

See  http://fpplecture.eventbrite.ca

Physicist, feminist, philosopher superstar Evelyn Fox Keller

Here’s the information available from the Situating Science Cluster Winter 2013 newsletter,

The UBC [University of British Columbia] Node and partners are pleased to welcome Dr. Evelyn Fox Keller as Cluster Visiting Scholar Th. April 4th. The Node and partners continue to support the UBC STS [University of British Columbia Science and Technology Studies] colloquium.

There is more information Fox Keller and the first talk she gave to kick off this Canadawide tour in an Oct. 29, 2012 posting. She will be visiting the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary (Alberta) just prior to the April 4, 2013 visit to Vancouver. There are no further details about Fox Keller’s upcoming visit either on the Situating Science website or on the UBC website.

Poetry, science get togethers, and/or song in Vancouver (Canada)

I’ve been asked on occasion how one (this was from another writer) keeps creative. Sometimes banging out one piece after another can exhaust every creative idea or approach you’ve ever had and your writing, or if you’re in another field, your work has become pedestrian and/or repetitive. It’s not possible to avoid the problem entirely but I find that checking out other writers (both in fields similar to my own and entirely dissimilar) and checking out events and projects that are in unrelated fields can help a lot. So, this is a potpourri of events some science-oriented and some not and some literary-themed events and some not, but all are taking place in Vancouver, BC, Canada sometime in January or February 2013.

First off, jazz vocalist, Colleen Savage is offering SingShop,

‘SingShop© – the basics’ gives you a fun introduction to the
vocal technique and essential musical skills that you need to make singing
a life-long enjoyment.  This is the course that grows with you because we review,
renew and strengthen the ‘the basics.’

You will relax! Breathe deep! and Express your unique, clear sound.
We’ll build and blend our sound, developing ‘the ear’ and the ensemble singing skills that
lend themselves to every popular style – gospel, blues, doo-wop, jazz and world beat.

‘SingShop© – the basics’ starts Monday, Jan. 28th. and runs to Mar. 4th.
with 6 evening classes from 7 till 8:30 p.m.  The Studio is just off Commercial Drive.

To register for SingShop, please contact Rosemary at the Movable Music School (604) 733- 5571.
Fee is $120.    Thank you!  – Colleen

In addition to learning to sing, you can explore the science/music relationship at Symphony of Science (many videos and downloads) and/or at the Musicians and Science blog.

For the explorer/memoirist/poet  in you, here’s  a set of courses with Ingrid Rose (it’s a bit late to register for some of these but you may want to contact Ingrid personally to see if there’s room),

writing from the body  jan 8 – feb 26

8 tuesday mornings 9:30-12:30  $200

it takes time    it takes attention   time

and again     attention

to words and how

they come

into awareness   their

import   our transport

our bodies know what we want to say and how to write it.

this course will take the writer on a journey of breath sound and movement in good company;  will give you time, encourage attention, feedback & writing explorations to grow your writing fin & wing.

writing memoir: re-minding & re-drafting the story jan 9 – feb 27

8 wednesday evenings 6:30-9:30   $200

you want to tell this story that fascinates and deceives you

how to pin it down–

the ever-changing formlessness of a life still lived?

this series will focus on what’s under the surface and help edge it into the light–through writing exploration, readings, listening to your own & others telling, feedback and at-home writing assignments.

writing the body electric  sunday 3 feb  10:30-17:00

$100 includes light lunch @ studio in eastside vancouver

The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud,
Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming,
Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening,
…O I say, these are not the parts and poems of the Body only, but of the Soul…                               Walt Whitman

For those who have some poetry or excerpts from other works ready to be heard, here’s a call for readers at Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio’s (TWS) next event in February 2013,

February Call for Readers – TWS Reading Series

This is the official call for readers for our next TWS Reading Series. If you can’t be in Mexico on February 7, why not be at Cottage Bistro [470 Main Street Vancouver]? Featured readers will be contacted in seven days. If you’d like to be considered, please respond to this email with the following information:

  • Your name:
  • The genre you plan to read:
  • The year you attended TWS (if you did):
  • The last time you read for our Reading Series (if you have):
  • Your 50 word bio for the playbill

[email protected]

Please Note:

  • There are only seven reading spots per month. In order to avoid problems associated with the first-come, first-served approach, we will receive bios of those who are interested in reading for 48 hours and then set the playbill based on a balance of current TWS participants, alumni, emerging writers, and established authors. If you’ve been trying for a while and haven’t been able to secure a reading spot, be sure to try again. Our policy is that people can potentially read every four months to give everyone an opportunity
  • Reading spots will be confirmed within seven days and a playbill will be sent out in January. Only confirmed readers are contacted.
  • Each reader is given 10 minutes total speaking time. This includes your selection and any introductory remarks you choose to make. Please time yourself in advance.

Thanks and remember, daffodils often bloom here in February.

Karen & Ivan

TWS Reading Series Co-hosts

If you prefer to listen, you may want to reserve that Feb. 7, 2013 date or here”s another opportunity coming more shortly, a poetry reading at Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Harbour Centre campus in downtown Vancouver,

Wednesday, January 16 [2013[

Lunch Poems @ SFU

Time: 12-1pm

Place: Teck Gallery, Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings St.

Cost: Free

Come to the Teck Gallery to enjoy two poetry readings. Stick around for a question and answer session after. This week’s sessions features the poetry of lunch poems @SFU features Daniel Zomparelli and Elizabeth Bachinsky.

There are also a couple of science-themed get-togethers,

Wednesday, January 16 [2013]

Café Scientifique

Time: 7-8pm

Place: CBC, 700 Hamilton St.

Cost: Free, reserve by emailing [email protected]

Café Scientifique: Stem cells and the treatment of congenital heart disease. New techniques that generate inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represents a powerful new approach to the study and treatment of congenital heart disease and other genetic disorders. Dr. Glen Tibbits, of SFU’s Dept. of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, will focus on how iPSCs can be used to investigate the causes of congenital heart diseases, create new strategies for their treatment and potentially lead to a new era of personalized medicine in managing patients with these disorders. Refreshments will also be served.

Note: There are four different Café Scientifique groups in Vancouver. One meets at the Railway Club but is organized (or at least seems to be organized) by folks at the University of British Columbia (UBC), another is the LSI (Life Sciences Institute) Café Scientifique  and this is definitely organized at UBC; there’s also the Canadian Institutes of Health (CIHR) Café Scientifique (Science on tap; next meeting:  Does Communication Really Matter in Cancer Care? on Jan. 30, 2013 at Steamworks Brewing Co. 375 Water Street, Vancouver) which is associated with UBC (again) and now,there is a fourth Café, this one organized at SFU. I wish these folks would get together and have one gathering place for their notices, as well as, putting up notices institution by institution.

For those who find the Café Scientifique plethora somewhat confusing, there is the ScienceOnlineVancouver meeting planned for Jan. 17, 2013. Thematically this is on target but the group is meeting at The Whip Restaurant and Gallery and Neighbourhood House rather than at Science World as is more usual.


Refresh for 2013
Jan. 17, 2013 at 7 pm
The Whip
229 E. 6th Avenue

Happy weekend!

Pulling the trigger on the Higgs—Vancouver’s (Canada) Sept. 25, 2012 Café Scientifique

Dr. Isabel Trigger, from TRIUMF (Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics laboratory), will be presenting at Vancouver’s next Café Scientifique event on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 at 7:30 pm in the Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir St. (at Seymour St.) in downtown Vancouver.

From the Sept, 18, 2012 event announcement,

The title and abstract for her [Isabel Trigger] café is:

Higgs for the Masses : a peek under the hood of the universe

This summer experiments at the world’s largest particle accelerator at the CERN laboratory in Geneva announced discovery of a subatomic particle “consistent” with the one  believed to give matter its mass.  The Higgs Boson sparked extraordinary levels of public attention and media interest, in part due to the particle’s nickname (“god particle”), but also since its  discovery is the result of  a 40-year quest involving tens of thousands of scientists.   But what, exactly, is a Higgs Boson? Why is it important? Who found it, and how?  And what do we do with it now that we think we’ve found it? This talk will explore the Higgs Boson and what it means for our understanding of the universe at its most basic level.

I think it helps to know a little more about Trigger (from her biography page on the TRIUMF website),

Isabel Trigger graduated with a B.Sc. from McGill in 1994 and went on to complete an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. at the Université de Montréal between 1994 and 1999. Her M.Sc. thesis, “Evolution du spectre de dépôts énergétiques dans les détecteurs au silicium irradiés en protons,” studied the ultimate performance of silicon-based precise tracking detectors in the presence of radiation for the LHC. Her Ph.D., “Mesure des couplages trilinéaires anomaux des bosons de jauge avec le détecteur OPAL au LEP,” included definitive measurements of the self-coupling of standard model gauge bosons and is considered one of most challenging experimental analyses performed at the Large Electron Positron (LEP) Collider.

Dr. Trigger was awarded the competitive CERN Research Fellowship in 1999, leading to the exceptionally rare offer of a CERN research staff position in 2001. She personally performed the most general and comprehensive search for the “chargino” particles predicted by supersymmetric theories.

Isabel was also a leader in the CERN [European Particle Physics Laboratory] team designing and testing the alignment system that monitors the relative positions of the 22 m diameter ATLAS endcap muon chambers with 50 μm [micrometre] accuracy. In 2005, TRIUMF recruited Dr. Trigger to lead the establishment of an ATLAS physics analysis group. She is currently the ATLAS-Canada physics coordinator.

From what I understand they are now declaring the Higgs boson exists when I last reported (my July 4, 2012 posting) on this topic, scientists at CERN were pretty sure it existed. I’m sure Trigger will have the latest information.

On a completely other note, I think café  is a bit of a misnomer for the Vancouver events held at the Railway Club, since this is a beer drinking establishment. So, be prepared to drink beer in a back room on Tuesday night (Sept. 25) while you listen to talk about the underpinnings of the universe.

Nanomaterials and energy storage talk at Vancouver’s (Canada) Café Scientifique on July 31, 2012

The Tuesday, July 31, 2012 talk for the local (Vancouver, Canada) Café Scientifique will be given by Dr. Michael O. Wolf, a chemist at the University of British Columbia. The talk is schedule for  7:30 pm at the Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir St., 2nd floor andWolf’s topic is,

How nanomaterials can be used to change the way we collect and store energy in the future.
Growing global energy demands and the potential for environmental catastrophe require a dramatic shift in how we obtain and utilize energy. The vast majority of energy currently used by humans is produced by combustion of fossil fuels.  Fossil fuel consumption is driving significant increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, threatening the planet with mass extinctions, starvation, and rising sea levels. With global energy demands projected to increase by 50% in the next 25 years, the rapid development of renewable “clean” energy sources, as well as methods to store this energy and harness it, are needed.  This talk will explore how a special class of substances called nanomaterials offer the potential of breakthroughs in solar energy harvesing and energy storage.

Wolf’s research page is here and the Wolf Research Group page is here.