The Lives of Evidence A multi-part national lecture series examining the cultural, ethical, political, and scientific role of evidence in our world.
They are kicking the series off with what appears to be a two city tour of Vancouver and Saskatoon (from the announcement),
The Press and the Press Release: Inventing the Crystal Meth-HIV Connection
Cindy Patton, Canada Research Chair in Community, Culture, and Health
Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University
What does the rise and fall of a scientific fact look like? In her analysis of the Crystal Meth-AIDS superbug connection in US media coverage, Dr. Patton explores scientific evidence as it circulates through the lab, the media, and society. Scientific studies, expertise, and anecdotal human-interest stories are used to “prove” a causal relationship between the (probably temporary) rise in crystal use and a (less than clear) rise in HIV rates. But far from helping to avoid hasty and ill-conceived policy in a moment of panic, the media coverage justifies something more problematic: discrimination and medical policing that appear to rest on scientific proof.
Monday February 3, 2014, 4 PM Buchanan A-201, University of British Columbia, 1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC
Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 4 PM CST / 5 PM ET Room 18, Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan, 25 Campus Drive, Sakatoon, Saksatchewan Watch the U. Sask reprise live online here: www.livestream.com/situsci
The Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada) is about to have its art glass windows (“Lux Gloria”) complete with solar panels hooked up to the Saskatoon Light & Power’s distribution network. It’s not often one sees beauty and utility combined. You can see the stained glass windows as they appear, from outside the cathedral, on this book cover for “A Beacon of Welcome” A Glimpse Inside the Cathedral of the Holy Family,
“A Beacon of Welcome” A Glimpse Inside the Cathedral of the Holy Family [book cover downloaded from http://holyfamilycathedral.ca/holyfamily-parish-life/59-gala-week-books]
Emily Chung’s July 29, 2013 news item for CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) online describes the project at more length,
“Lux Gloria” by Sarah Hall, at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon, is currently being connected to Saskatoon Light & Power’s electrical distribution network, confirmed Jim Nakoneshny, facilities manager at the cathedral.
The artwork, which consists of solar panels embedded in brightly coloured, hand-painted art glass, had just been reinstalled and upgraded after breaking and falling into the church last year.
According to Kevin Hudson, manager of metering and sustainable electricity for Saskatoon Light & Power, the solar panels are expected to produce about 2,500 kilowatt hours annually or about a third to a quarter of the 8,000 to 10,000 kilowatt hours consumed by a typical home in Saskatoon each year.
In fact, the installation will become Saskatchewan’s first building-integrated photovoltaic system (BIPV), where solar panels are embedded directly into walls, windows or other parts of a building’s main structure. It’s a trend that is expected to grow in the future as the traditional practice of mounting solar panels on rooftops isn’t practical for many city buildings, including some churches.
Chung’s article features some specific technical information about the solar art windows supplied by artist Sarah Hall,
In the case of the Cathedral of the Holy Family, each solar panel was a different size and was trapezoidal in shape, Hall said. As a result, “all the solar work had to be hand soldered.”
Because the solar cells aren’t transparent, Hall adds a high-tech “dichroic” glass to the back of the cells in some cases to make them colourful and reflective.
You can find more images of Hall’s work on her website. Unfortunately, Hall does not provide much detail about the technical aspects of her work.
The Cathedral of the Holy Family features a book about their stained glass windows,
“Transfiguring Prairie Skies” Stained Glass at Cathedral of the Holy Family [book cover downloaded from http://holyfamilycathedral.ca/holyfamily-parish-life/59-gala-week-books]
Here’s more information about the book,
“Transfiguring Prairie Skies” Stained Glass at Cathedral of the Holy Family written by Bishop Donald Bolen and Sarah Hall, photography by Grant Kernan and Sarah Hall. A 116 page hard cover book which includes incredibly detailed close-up shots of our stained glass windows, complete with poetic and theological reflections for each window.
The technique was first suggested in 1939 but wasn’t feasible until the advent of computers and their algorithms. Researchers at the University College of London have found a way to improve the quality of 3-D images of nanomaterials. From the Aug. 7, 2012 news release on EurekAlert,
A new advance in X-ray imaging has revealed the dramatic three-dimensional shape of gold nanocrystals, and is likely to shine a light on the structure of other nano-scale materials.
Described today in Nature Communications, the new technique improves the quality of nanomaterial images, made using X-ray diffraction, by accurately correcting distortions in the X-ray light.
Dr Jesse Clark, lead author of the study from the London Centre for Nanotechnology [at the University College of London] said: “With nanomaterials playing an increasingly important role in many applications, there is a real need to be able to obtain very high quality three dimensional images of these samples.
“Up until now we have been limited by the quality of our X-rays. Here we have demonstrated that with imperfect X-ray sources we can still obtain very high quality images of nanomaterials.”
You can see the differences for yourself in this image provided by the researchers,
Figure: Shown on the left is the three dimensional image of a gold nanocrystal obtained previously while on the right is the image using the newly developed method. The features of the nanocrystal are vastly improved in the image on the left. The black scale bar is 100 nanometres (1 nanometre = 1 billionth of a meter). Downloaded from http://www.london-nano.com/research-and-facilities/highlight/advance-in-x-ray-imaging-shines-light-on-nanomaterials
The researchers have also provided two videos, the first features the current standard 3-D image of a gold nanocrystal and the second features the improved image,
The Aug. 7, 2012 news release originated from an article (Aug. 2012?) by Ian Robinson and Jesse Clark for the London Centre for Nanotechnology (part of the University College of London) giving context for the research and describing the technique (Note: I have removed a link),
Up until now, most nanomaterial imaging has been done using electron microscopy. X-ray imaging is an attractive alternative as X-rays penetrate further into the material than electrons and can be used in ambient or controlled environments.
However, making lenses that focus X-rays is very difficult. As an alternative, scientists use the indirect method of coherent diffraction imaging (CDI), where the diffraction pattern of the sample is measured (without lenses) and inverted to an image by computer.
Nobel Prize winner Lawrence Bragg suggested this method in 1939 but had no way to determine the missing phases of the diffraction, which are today provided by computer algorithms.
CDI can be performed very well at the latest synchrotron X-ray sources such as the UK’s Diamond Light Source which have much higher coherent flux than earlier machines. CDI is gaining momentum in the study of nanomaterials, but, until now, has suffered from poor synchimage quality, with broken or non-uniform density. This had been attributed to imperfect coherence of the X-ray light used.
The dramatic three-dimensional images of gold nanocrystals presented in this study demonstrate that this distortion can be corrected by appropriate modelling of the coherence function.
Professor Ian Robinson, London Centre for Nanotechnology and author of the paper said: “The corrected images are far more interpretable that ever obtained previously and will likely lead to new understanding of structure of nanoscale materials.”
The method should also work for free-electron-laser, electron- and atom-based diffractive imaging.
That mention of the UK’s Diamond Light Source reminded me of the Canadian Light Source located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I imagine this work will open up some possibilities for the researchers there.
For those who would like to read more about the work, here’s a citation for the article,
There’s a new report on nanotechnology safety studies, the ‘EMERGNANO report‘. The researchers surveyed environment, health, and safety studies internationally, determined which ones fit their criteria, and have now provided an assessment of the findings. Short story: there are no conclusive findings which is troublesome given the number of nanomaterial-based products that are making their way into the international marketplace. Michael Berger on Nanowerk News offers an excellent assessment of the situation vis a vis technophobic and technophilic approaches to emerging technologies and their attendant safety issues,New technologies are always polarizing society – some only see the inherent dangers, others only see the opportunities. Since these two groups usually are the loudest, everybody else inbetween has a hard time to get their message across and with objective information and facts. Nanotechnologies are no different. The nay-sayers call for a total moratorium everytime scientific research with concerning conclusions is published while opportunistic hypsters are only interested in selling more products or reports and ridicule even the faintest objections and concerns as uninformed panicmongering.
For more, please go here. I notice that Andrew Maynard (mentioned frequently here due to his 2020 Science blog and his position as Chief Science Advisor for the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies) is one of the authors.
There’s a nanotechnology-type conference being held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada this week (June 17 – 18, 2009). They have a big synchroton facility there and, I believe, it is the only such facility in Canada, which according to their video, is one of the most advanced such facilities in the world. The 12th annual meeting features a public lecture, ‘Science Fiction as a Mirror for Reality‘, by Robert J. Sawyer, an internationally renowned Canadian science fiction author. For details about the conference,go here. For information about the synchroton in Saskatoon, go here. For information about Robert J. Sawyer, go here. (Media release noting the event can be found on Nanowerk News.)