I received an email (Dec. 19, 2018) from the ArtSci Salon folks in Toronto (Canada) about this call for submissions. It’s a bit late but there’s still time (Jan. 14, 2019) to make the deadline, From a December 19, 2018 ArtSci Salon announcement,
Tech Art Fair
February 16 – 18, 2019 at the Ontario Science Centre
Juried Competition: Call for Applications to Participate in the Tech Art Fair
you a tech-focused artist who wants to showcase your work in a diverse
and dynamic public venue? Do you enjoy face-to-face conversations about
what you do? Would you like to expand your network and generate new
synergies within a global like-minded community? The Tech Art Fair at
the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto will highlight creative processes
and provide an opportunity for participants to launch and test-drive
creative ideas during a three-day winter holiday event, anticipated to
attract up to 10,000 visitors. The Tech Art Fair will be complemented by
an online exhibition hosted by the New York-based SciArt Center.
This is a call for applications to participate in the Tech Art Fair to be held in the Great Hall of the Ontario Science Centre from February 16 through to February 18, 2019. Up to 20 applicants will be selected through a juried competition to demonstrate and exhibit work and sell affordable items at the Tech Art Fair. In addition to participation in the Tech Art Fair, participants will be considered for the art studio residences at MOCA Toronto [Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto], leading to an exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre.
Eligible Art and Selection Criteria
call is open to artists, artist collectives, innovative entrepreneurs
and interdisciplinary makers. Original art projects made in classic or
digital media will be considered. This could include installations,
immersive 3D works, innovative craft projects, electronics, Internet of
Things projects and wearables, decorative arts, furniture, functional
glass, ceramics and textiles.
We’re seeking provocative and unconventional art with a connection to science and technology that reveals your creative
process, inspires awe and excitement and sparks dialogue. We’ll also be
looking for work which facilitates interaction, collaboration and
creation with our visitors.
will be provided with a designated space containing one 6-foot table,
two chairs and electrical power. Additional vertical supports (up to 6
feet in height) will be available for a limited number of works.
Opportunities for displaying large-scale art pieces, hanging
installations or video projections will be limited. Applicants selected
by the jury will be required to sign a participation agreement with the
Ontario Science Centre to participate in the Tech Art Fair. Please
review the agreement:
your agreement to execute and fulfill the terms of this agreement is a
pre-condition to consideration by the jury. As set out in the agreement,
you must be in attendance at the Ontario Science Centre during the
Centre’s working hours for the duration of the Tech Art Fair.
Rachel Birnberg and Cecilia Garcia, North York Arts
October 31, 2018, 9 a.m. – Call for Applications opens January 14, 2019, 11:59 p.m. – Call for applications closes January 14 – 17, 2019 – Juried competition underway January 18, 2019 – The Centre begins notifying successful applicants January 26, 2019 – Due date for signed participant agreements February 15, 2019, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Participant set-up complete February 16, 2019, 10 a.m. – Tech Art Fair opens to the public February 18, 2019, 5 p.m. – Tech Art Fair closes to the public
I have looked at the ‘agreement’ and given the constraints and apparent lack of any funding for travel, this call is probably more suitable for artists based in Ontario and/or in close proximity to Toronto. You can find the original call for submissions here on the Ontario Science Centre’s site.
I received (via email) a December 11, 2017 notice from the Canadian Science Policy Centre that the 2017 Proceedings for the ninth annual conference (Nov. 1 – 3, 2017 in Ottawa, Canada) can now be accessed,
The Canadian Science Policy Centre is pleased to present you the Proceedings of CSPC 2017. Check out the reports and takeaways for each panel session, which have been carefully drafted by a group of professional writers. You can also listen to the audio recordings and watch the available videos. The proceedings page will provide you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in all of the discussions at the conference. Feel free to share the ones you like! Also, check out the CSPC 2017 reports, analyses, and stats in the proceedings.
Take a look at the 70+ one-on-one interviews with prominent figures of science policy. The interviews were conducted by the great team of CSPC 2017 volunteers. The interviews feature in-depth perspectives about the conference, panels, and new up and coming projects.
Organized by: Friends of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Keynote: Alan Bernstein, President and CEO, CIFAR, 2017 Henry G. Friesen International Prizewinner
Speakers: Brenda Andrews, Director, Andrew’s Lab, University of Toronto; Doina Precup, Associate Professor, McGill University; Dr Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Quebec; Linda Rabeneck, Vice President, Prevention and Cancer Control, Cancer Care Ontario; Peter Zandstra, Director, School of Biomedical Engineering, University of British Columbia
Discussants: Henry Friesen, Professor Emeritus, University of Manitoba; Roderick McInnes, Acting President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Director, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University; Duncan J. Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Vivek Goel, Vice President, Research and Innovation, University of Toronto
Moderators: Eric Meslin, President & CEO, Council of Canadian Academies; André Picard, Health Reporter and Columnist, The Globe and Mail
Takeaways and recommendations:
The opportunity for Canada
The potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) could be as significant as the industrial revolution of the 19th century.
Canada’s global advantage in deep learning (a subset of machine learning) stems from the pioneering work of Geoffrey Hinton and early support from CIFAR and NSERC.
AI could mark a turning point in Canada’s innovation performance, fueled by the highest levels of venture capital financing in nearly a decade, and underpinned by publicly funded research at the federal, provincial and institutional levels.
The Canadian AI advantage can only be fully realized by developing and importing skilled talent, accessible markets, capital and companies willing to adopt new technologies into existing industries.
Canada leads in the combination of functional genomics and machine learning which is proving effective for predicting the functional variation in genomes.
AI promises advances in biomedical engineering by connecting chronic diseases – the largest health burden in Canada – to gene regulatory networks by understanding how stem cells make decisions.
AI can be effectively deployed to evaluate health and health systems in the general population.
AI brings potential ethical and economic perils and requires a watchdog to oversee standards, engage in fact-based debate and prepare for the potential backlash over job losses to robots.
The ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social (GEL3S) aspects of genomics have been largely marginalized and it’s important not to make the same mistake with AI.
AI’s rapid scientific development makes it difficult to keep pace with safeguards and standards.
The fields of AI’s and pattern recognition are strongly connected but here is room for improvement.
Self-learning algorithms such as Alphaville could lead to the invention of new things that humans currently don’t know how to do. The field is developing rapidly, leading to some concern over the deployment of such systems.
Training future AI professionals
Young researchers must be given the oxygen to excel at AI if its potential is to be realized.
Students appreciate the breadth of training and additional resources they receive from researchers with ties to both academia and industry.
The importance of continuing fundamental research in AI is being challenged by companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon which are hiring away key talent.
The explosion of AI is a powerful illustration of how the importance of fundamental research may only be recognized and exploited after 20 or 30 years. As a result, support for fundamental research, and the students working in areas related to AI, must continue.
Organized by: Kirsten Vanstone, Royal Canadian Institute for Science and Reinhart Reithmeier, Professor, University of Toronto [in Ontario]
Speakers: Chantal Barriault, Director, Science Communication Graduate Program, Laurentian University [in Ontario] and Science North [in Ontario]; Maurice Bitran, CEO, Ontario Science Centre [take a wild guess as to where this institution is located?]; Kelly Bronson, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa [in Ontario]; Marc LePage, President and CEO, Genome Canada [in Ontario]
Moderator: Ivan Semeniuk, Science Reporter, The Globe and Mail [in Ontario]
In fact, all of the institutions are in southern Ontario, even, the oddly named Science North.
I know from bitter experience it’s hard to put together panels but couldn’t someone from another province have participated?
Ah well, here’s hoping for 2018 and for a new location. After Ottawa as the CSPC site for three years in a row, please don’t make it a fourth year in a row.
I have several bits of news, mostly about upcoming event. Tour bits pertaining to the upcoming Canadian Science Policy Conference, one bit about science rapper, Baba Brinkman and his new album (and some of his upcoming events), and one bit about Art The Science.
Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC)
The 2017 Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) takes place Nov. 1 – 3, 2017 in Ottawa and in the last couple of weeks there have been a number of announcements meant to entice procrastinators or the easily distracted or the somewhat reluctant to register.
(1) An Oct. 10, 2017 announcement (received via email) trumpets an opportunity to have lunch with Canada’s new Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer,
CSPC 2017 is pleased to announce Canada’s new Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer, will be attending the 9th Canadian Science Policy Conference. Dr. Nemer will discuss her insights on her new role as the Chief Science Advisor. The luncheon session will be on Thursday, November 2 , 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. Don’t miss this opportunity to ask your questions to Canada’s Chief Science Advisor.
For anyone who’d like more information, I posted about Dr. Nemer’s appointment in a Sept. 26, 2017 piece.
(2) Onto the next announcement which arrived in an Oct. 13, 2017 email,
CSPC 2017 is pleased to announce that the Minister of Science, Honourable Kirsty Duncan, will be the guest of the keynote session and will address the delegates on the evening of Thursday, November 2 , after the networking reception. Minister Duncan will also be attending the Evening of Celebration and Inspiration on November 1 and will present the Youth Award of Excellence in Science Policy.
(3) The latest ‘guest’ announcement arrived in an Oct. 23, 2017 email,
CSPC 2017 is pleased to announce that Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Julie Payette [former astronaut], the Governor General of Canada, will deliver remarks at the Evening of Celebration and Inspiration on Wednesday, November 1 .
Join us to celebrate 150 Years of Achievement in Canadian Science at the CSPC 2017 Evening of Celebration and Inspiration. There will be a networking reception at 4:30 PM open to all conference delegates.
The Evening of Celebration and Inspiration will begin at 5:30 PM and is open to all conference delegates who have RSVP’d specifically for the Evening.
Highlights of the evening will include:
Address by the Governor General
Keynote Lecture by Dr. Neil Turok, ‘We Are Innovators’
Youth Award of Excellence Ceremony presented by Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science
Short remarks by Dr. Art McDonald and Dr. Remi Quirion
Other special program features to be announced soon
A recent poll commissioned by the Ontario Science Centre paints an alarming picture of the public perception of science in Canada (http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/technology/science-attitudes-survey-2017-1.4298800). 43 percent of Canadians believe that scientific findings are a matter of opinion, while 66 percent agree that false information reported as fact (‘fake news’) is affecting their knowledge of science. The poll does present a silver lining, however. 82 percent of Canadians would like to know more about science and how it affects our world.
For me as a science communicator, these results are both a source of worry and an opportunity. At its core, they speak both to the disconnect between Canadian scientific institutions and the public and to the decreasing value of information in the age of post-truth. In that context, my mission as a science communicator is to facilitate a conversation between science and society to engage the public in Canadian science.
When Nikki Berreth and I founded Science Slam Canada in Vancouver in 2016, we hoped it would offer a new way to make science personal, relatable, and accessible. The speed and energy with which it grew was something we couldn’t have predicted. In the span of a year, it evolved from a fun side project into a multi-city network hosting a range of events and enabling scientists to better connect with their communities.
So what exactly is a science slam? Based on the format of a poetry slam, a science slam is a competition that allows a range of scientific knowledge holders, including researchers, students, and educators to share their science with a general audience. Competitors have five minutes to present on any science topic and are judged based on communication skills, audience engagement, and scientific accuracy. Use of a projector or slideshow is not allowed, but props and creative presentation styles are encouraged.
The slam format provides an informal medium for the public and the scientific community to connect with and learn from each other. Science slams generally take place in bars, cafes, or theaters, which remove scientists from their traditional lecture environments. The lack of projector also takes away a common presentation ‘crutch’ and forces competitors to engage with their audience more directly.
Competitors and judges are chosen through a selection process designed to support diversity and maximize the benefit to speakers and the audience. Past speakers have ranged from students and researchers to educators and actors. Judges have included professors, media personalities, comedians and improvisers. And since the event is as much about the audience as about the speakers, spectators are asked to vote for their favourite speaker.
As moderators for the CSPC 2017 Science Slam workshop, Nikki Berreth and I are excited to give a voice to the local science community. The slam will showcase young scientists and science communicators from the Ottawa area, including graduate students, undergraduate students, and government scientists sharing topics from the treatment of brain cancer to the use of drones for enhancement of wireless connectivity. We promise you an action-packed workshop, an engaging learning experience, and an interactive discussion about science communication in Canada.
There is apparently a Science Slam Canada group of some kind. They had a super slam in May 2017 which was the culmination of a year of science slam events in Vancouver. You can find their Youtube channel here.
Alan Shapiro who is listed as a science communicator and co-founder of both Canada Science Slam and a business, LitScientist, has a science background. Another science communicator who appears to have never taken any training in communication? It puts me in mind of a favourite story about Canadian literary great, Margaret Atwood. Most likely it’s apocryphal but anyone whose heard one of her earlier interviews (she seems to have mellowed in the last few years) can hear her voice. As the story goes, there was a dinner at a tony (upper crust) home in Toronto where Atwood was seated beside a brain surgeon who turned to her exclaiming at his good luck. He was retiring and wanted her advice as he intended to take up writing in his sunset years. Atwood turned to him and agreed it was great good luck as she too was retiring and now intended to take up brain surgery.
It’s lovely to see people get involved in science communication but the field does require discipline, skill, training, and practice. It’s possible Shapiro is a ‘natural’ but even naturals need to work at it eventually.
Baba Brinkman and his consciousness rap
The Rap Guide to Consciousness was released on Oct. 13, 2017 according to an announcement received from rapper Baba Brinkman via email,
Today is the day The Rap Guide to Consciousness hits digital stores, which means if you haven’t heard it yet I encourage you to give the record a listen, and if you’re in a “supporting independent artists” kind of mood, perhaps even pay to download it. But whether you pay or not, please write a review on iTunes or Amazon, where the opinions of others go a long way towards convincing people to give it a chance. Or write me an email reply telling me what you think, and I’ll write back and try to persuade you to post your thoughts online if they are complimentary. Ah, the glorious interplay of human consciousness!
Speaking of consciousness, here’s a thought experiment about what it would be like to live without it, a new music video for one of the songs on the mew album: Zombie. The thought experiment works like this: listen to the rap as I describe the details of what a Zombie is like, and if you think you can imagine what I’m describing, some philosophers think this feat of imagination counts as evidence against a strictly material basis of consciousness. I confess that I can’t imagine what I’m describing in the song, just as I can’t imagine (but can describe) a perfect circle with four corners, but I’m interested to know if you can. Here’s a link to the video [Note: the video is embedded below this notice].
I also continue to tour and perform the show. Here’s a video of a recent event at YouTube Studios here in New York, the 25th anniversary of Skeptic Magazine, featuring Michael Shermer and Deepak Chopra discussing contrasting views of consciousness, and me rapping about it.