Science Unplugged: Exploring the news and what’s new in the Faculty of Science

Join the Faculty of Science for a series of talks tailored to foster cross-departmental interaction. The Faculty’s Science Unplugged event will take place March 6, from 3 to 4pm, at The Underground restaurant on York University’s Keele Campus.

Matt McGrath

Science Unplugged begins with a stimulating conversation with Matt McGrath, the Faculty of Science Communicator In Residence. McGrath, who is a correspondent with the BBC, specializes in reporting stories focused on the environment. His talk is titled “Cheating the Atmosphere – How Scientists Almost Scuppered an Important Story.” McGrath will speak about a BBC World Service radio investigation called “Cheating the Atmosphere” that delved into the complicated world of carbon accounting and uncovered important evidence of cheating by rich and poor countries alike. Despite widespread knowledge among scientists in this field of the scale of the problems, interviews with more than 30 researchers ran into a wall of silence. McGrath’s talk will look at the reasons behind the reluctance of scientists to co-operate, and how reporters ultimately succeeded in making the program despite the complicating factors. He will explore the lessons for researchers and journalists gained from this experience in how to build trust and effective communication.

McGrath’s talk will be followed by the unveiling of the York Science Core Facility (YSciCore).

Howard Hunter

The first part of the tour will showcase the portion of the YSciCore Facility devoted to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy. Leading the tour will be the centre’s NMR Specialist, Howard Hunter.

In his talk, Hunter will explain NMR, which is commonly regarded as a method for identifying molecular connectivity and structure. NMR also facilitates the analysis and behaviour of intermediates in solution. Hunter’s presentation will briefly explore the study of molecular size and its association in solution using the technique of diffusion oriented spectroscopy.

The Faculty of Science Microscopy Specialist Magdalena Jaklewicz will then take over and lead the Dynamic Imaging portion of the YSciCore Facility tour.

Green Beetle’s eye – taken with Thermo Fisher Scientific Quanta 3D

Green Beetle’s eye – taken with Thermo Fisher Scientific Quanta 3D

From the beginnings of modern science there has been an interest in being able to look (SKOPEO) at small (MIKROS) details of the world. Jaklewicz will outline the properties in the imaging facility’s innovative microscopes that build the images of the nanostructures with light or with charged particles that allows samples to be studied in their natural state. She will take participants through the path to explore how microscopy has migrated from recording topography to gentle and dynamic multidimensional studies.

Peter Liuni

The YSciCore tour concludes with a presentation and tour by Peter Liuni, who is the centre’s Mass Spectrometry Specialist. Liuni’s presentation is titled “High Resolution Science at 1/1000th the Mass of an Atom.”

Mass spectrometry (MS) is the science of measuring atomic or molecular ion mass, and in a matter of decades, it has evolved from the analysis of small-molecules to characterizing the entire proteome of a species. Liuni’s presentation will briefly highlight the monumental developments in MS that lead us to this point, and the exciting new MS technologies available at the YSciCore Facility.

All are welcome to attend. This event is free, however, organizers request that you indicate your interest in this event by registering at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/science-unplugged-tickets-42918026974.

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