Science World Speaker Series
Science World Speaker Series
Before the talk begins, join us in a set of interactive, hands-on activities and scientific demonstrations related to the presentation! Talks begins at 7pm, doors open at 6pm, unless otherwise stated.
Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019
The War in Our Genes
Speaker: Mikael Mokkonen, KPU Biology/SFU Biological Sciences
The modern world poses many challenges to human health through new diseases and a rapidly aging population. This modern environment is quite different from the ancestral environment in which humans originally evolved, thus creating a mismatch that may be responsible for a variety of disorders and diseases. This talk will discuss how conflicts of interest in our genomes, mismatches between our genes and our environment, as well as trade-offs between life stages have allowed common diseases and disorders such as pre-eclampsia, cancer, diabetes and even aging to affect modern humans.
Monday, January 20, 2020
Between Science and Mythology: The World of Bollywood Science Fiction Film
Speaker: Dr. Asma Sayed, English
Science fiction, generally recognized as a genre that developed in the late 19th century, usually deals with contemporary social anxieties, and provides a commentary on the issues that we face in our day-to-day lives. The fictional or imagined world is made credible through a variety of real/unreal scientific theories or pseudo-science. In the West, SF films have been extremely popular. However, Indian films do not have significant representation in the SF genre. Hollywood style SF films have not appealed much to the Indian audiences which are all too used to formulaic musicals. Nonetheless, there have been some interesting developments in the field in the last decade. Taking some of the contemporary Hindi science fiction films, especially Ra.One, a 2011 mega-technology cyberpunk film, and PK, an SF comedy, as examples, this presentation will provide an overview of the development of science fiction film in India and open a discussion about the role cinema can play, if any, in raising awareness about ethical use of science and in bringing change to our modern social order.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Believing is Seeing: An Artist and a Scientist Discuss Perception
Speaker: Dr. Farhad Dastur, Psychology & Nicoletta Baumeister
Imagine two shapes: one for the word “bouba” and one for the word “kiki.” Was bouba rounded while kiki had angles? Why do people see objects in abstract art? How can the same dress be different colours to different people? In this image-rich talk, a visual artist and a cognitive scientist reveal how perception is more subtle, more extraordinary, and more interesting that we ever imagined.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
"One morning you wake up sick": addiction, reward, and the brain
Speaker: Dr. Jay Hosking, Psychology
Addiction is often referred to as being "all in your head", or a "failure or willpower", or a disease. We regularly check into "detox" or "rehab", but the overwhelming majority of us who enter these programs go back to drug-taking behaviour. So what does the best available evidence from neuroscience and psychology have to say about the mechanisms of addiction? In this talk, I will present evidence from my field about how addiction hijacks our brains' natural systems for reward, ultimately causing long-lasting changes to the structure and function of our nervous systems and, thus, our behaviour. This research is particularly salient given the current opioid crisis, an era when North Americans are now more likely to die of opioids than automobile accidents, when overdoses are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths every year. Ultimately, to treat addiction, listeners may be surprised to find that neuroscience suggests social, rather than a pharmaceutical, strategies and interventions.
Speaker: Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Healing Nature: Forest Bathing and the Wisdom of Trees
Speaker: Lee Beavington, Biology
Do you live near a green space? You’ll live longer. A short walk amongst trees, what the Japanese call Forest Bathing, reduces stress hormones, slows breathing, and brings calmness. Mounting scientific evidence shows that nature has a phenomenal influence on how we feel and how we act.
Come explore the physiological, emotional and creative influences of the natural world on the human animal: What affect is screen-time having on our children? How can we transform our lives to be more meaningfully connected?