Selected number of rush tickets available at the door for Dispatches from the Frontiers of Science May 6

FSc Dispatches from the Frontiers posterEditor’s note: Due to the popularity of this event, a limited number of rush seats will be made available on the day of the event, beginning at 6pm. Rush seat ticket holders are not guaranteed admittance and will be admitted into the event at 6:50pm if seats are available. Unclaimed reservations will be released to standby customers 10 minutes prior to the start of the program. This event takes place at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, located on the second floor of the iconic Toronto Reference Library building.

Is our universe the only one? How do we prevent a zombie plague? Will biometrics eliminate privacy altogether? Will climate change put fish in hot water? Should we trust the machines?

On May 6, the Faculty of Science presents Dispatches from the Frontiers of Science at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library. This free event, moderated by CBC broadcaster Anna Maria Tremonti, aims to shed light on these and other questions. In addition, the event has opening remarks by Faculty of Science Dean Ray Jayawardhana and guest speaker Leonard Mlodinow, physicist and author of The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos. In his book, Mlodinow guides readers through the critical eras and events in the development of science, all of which, he demonstrates, were propelled forward by humankind’s collective struggle to know.

York University Professors Jane Heffernan (Mathematics & Statistics), Demian Ifa (Chemistry), Matthew Johnson (Physics & Astronomy), Edward Jones-Imhotep (Science & Technology Studies) and Sapna Sharma (Biology) will engage in these topics and address five big science questions for the next 50 years:

  • Living in a world surrounded by machines, aiding us in thinking, working and communicating, they can be seen as extensions of us as human beings. However, what about their effects on humanity and the ability to control them?
  • Biometrics, a measurable physical characteristic can be used to classify a person’s identity and cannot be forged or shared. This is great for remembering passwords, but evolving technologies allow companies and governments to have major access to our data, what are the prevalent privacy concerns being raised?
  • Is there a multiverse? Do other regions exist that may consist of diverse histories and properties? At the center of cosmology and string theory emerges a prediction that we could exist in one of the most interesting types of multiverses possible.
  • Focusing on our globe, a developing point of concern is climate change. Lake temperatures are changing around the world in response to changing climate, which makes freshwater fish species vulnerable. How does climate change affect these fish and does that in turn affect us?
  • Above sea level, we explore how to prevent a zombie plague. Could the astounding answer to saving ourselves in the event of a zombie pandemic be math?

Each one brings a unique perspective to the conversation that will be sure to intrigue your mind.