Faculty of Science presents Feasting at the Table of Elements lecture series at Toronto Public Library

Periodic table

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the periodic table of elements. How were the elements discovered and do they affect our daily lives? Come to the Faculty of Science’s annual public lecture series at the Toronto Public Library this fall to find out.

This year’s series, Feasting at the Table of Elements, features speakers from the Department of Chemistry discussing the chemical elements in tattoos, in the air we breathe, in the scent of conifers, how they affect the making of beer and more.

The series will begin on Sept. 26 and will run until Nov. 18. All lectures in the series are free and open to everyone at Toronto Public Library branches across the city. Here is this year’s lineup:

poster advertising the feasting at the periodic table event. All copy is reproduced in the story

The Chemistry Behind Tattoos

Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m.
Runnymede Branch

Chris Caputo
Christopher Caputo

Although tattoos have been around for millennia, their popularity has only recently skyrocketed. Now nearly 25 per cent of all Canadians have at least one tattoo. What makes the colours so vibrant and what makes them stay in your skin forever? As new technologies develop, it raises the question: do tattoos have to be permanent? Professor Christopher Caputo will discuss the science behind tattoos to illuminate answers to these questions.

Every Breath You Take: The Chemistry of Air

Wed., Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m.
Eatonville Branch

Cora Young
Cora Young

Air is usually invisible, so it’s easy to assume it’s simple, yet it’s composed of a wide diversity of tiny molecules – not merely oxygen – some of which could be harmful and travel great distances. How do we know what’s in our air? Professor Cora Young will tell us this as well as how it influences air quality, climate and our health.

The Periodic Table of the Elements: 150 Years Young and Still Growing

Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.
Runnymede Branch

Pierre Potvin
Pierre Potvin

What is an element? How do chemists identify them? Where are they used? Why is it called a periodic table? And why is it useful? In answering these questions, Professor Pierre Potvin will highlight the surprising importance of chemical elements in all aspects of our lives.

The Science of Beer-Making: More than Barley, Water, Hops and Yeast

Nov 13 at 7 p.m.
Don Mills Branch

Hovig Kouyoumdjian
Hovig Kouyoumdjian

From its inception in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to the resurgence of the craft beer phenomenon, beer making applies chemistry to everyday life. Be it mass produced or home brewed, it follows the same process. Professor Hovig Kouyoumdjian discusses the science of beer and highlights the chemistry behind it.

The Five Senses of Holiday Chemistry

Monday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.
Bloor/Gladstone Branch

Derej Jackson
Derek Jackson

With the holiday season approaching, our senses are bombarded with all sorts of seasonal stimuli. Professor Derek Jackson will present a thematic overview of the chemistry behind the scent of a pine tree, the popping sounds of a Christmas cracker, how hand warmers work and more.

To learn more about these lectures, visit science.yorku.ca/TPL.