KPU-Science World speaker series goes wild

Tue, Jul 18, 2017

Welcome to the jungle.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and Science World are embarking on their wildly successful annual speaker series with a journey through the Amazon.

Recently back from the Amazon rainforest, psychology instructor Dr. Farhad Dastur and biology instructor Lee Beavington will guide guests on a sensory tour of the largest tropical rainforest and river on the planet on July 25 at Telus World of Science.

”The Amazon is now 20 per cent smaller than it was 40 years ago,” said Dastur. “Given the Amazon's immense biological and cultural significance, and the answers it holds to the problems of both today and tomorrow, we are compelled to ask, ‘what would it mean if we lost the Amazon?’ ”

Dastur and Beavington led an interdisciplinary field school into the Amazon in May, guiding students on an unforgettable experience in Colombia’s Calanoa Natural Reserve.

Dastur will begin the talk by asking the audience, like his students, to consider the Amazon’s immense biological and cultural significance, and the answers it holds to the problems of both today and tomorrow.

Beavington will follow by delving into the rainforest’s ecology, people’s disconnect from nature, and the importance of wonder in education.

“Both Farhad and I teach our students about the interconnectedness of the world,” said Beavington. “There are parallel lessons to be learned from the Amazon and Canada about biodiversity, climate change, sustainable development, and respect for Indigenous peoples and their knowledge.”

Both instructors will emphasize the importance of using interdisciplinary systems and design thinking when considering complex problems.

The KPU-Science World speaker series is a partnership developed between KPU and Science World that supports the expansion of science in our communities. Five more talks ranging from nature-deficit disorder in kids to human and animal waste to wellness technology apps are scheduled for fall 2017 and spring 2018.

“Science World B.C. is thrilled to be partnering once again with KPU to host our cutting-edge speaker series,” said Scott Sampson, president and CEO of Science World. “With talks spanning topics such as climate change, health and wellness, and the meaning of the Amazon, this year’s lineup of presenters will undoubtedly engage and inspire audiences.”

Why the Amazon matters
Dr. Farhad Dastur presents Where forest, river, and sky conspire
Lee Beavington presents Nature as teacher
WHEN: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. for hands-on activities and demonstrations prior to the presentations.
WHERE: Telus World of Science, 1455 Quebec St., Vancouver
INFO: The event is free and open to the public. Guests must register prior to the event at

Photos of Dr. Farhad Dastur and Lee Beavington in the Amazon are available on Flickr.

More upcoming KPU-Science World talks:

  • I knew it and so did you! Social cognition across the lifespan
    Dr. Daniel Bernstein
    Sept. 25, 2017
  • First we eat with our eyes: what multisensory research has to say about how to eat, drink & be merry
    Dr. Kristie Dukewich
    Nov. 28, 2017
  • Written in ice – glaciers and climate change
    Dr. Johannes Koch
    Jan. 23, 2017
  • Why we need to talk about poo
    Dr. Paul Richard
    March 6, 2018
  • What’s App with your health? Exploring technology applications for your wellness
    Leeann Waddington & Dr. Karen Davison
    May 30, 2018

Story by communications team

For more KPU news: