AAAS Events Feb 17 | Heads Up PDF Print E-mail


Below are some science stories you may be interested in following today at the AAAS Annual Meeting. We are on the ground at AAAS - if you’d like some help locating an Canadian expert to interview on these or any other science stories, please call us at 613-249-8209.



Unmuzzling Government Scientists: How to Re-Open the Discourse

Symposium: Friday, February 17, 2012: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

Government scientists in Canada and abroad do publicly funded work that shapes policy and informs debate. But how free are they to speak to the media and the public about their work?

Moderator: Kathryn O'Hara, Carleton University. Discussant: Andrew Weaver, University of Victoria. Speakers include: Margaret Munro, Postmedia News; Francesca Grifo, Scientific Integrity Program, Union of Concerned Sciences

Canadian MP for Kingston and the Islands Ted Hsu has posted an open letter to Canada’s federal scientists regarding this issue online here.  

Several Canadian and international science communication associations have also posted an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper requesting that scientists be allowed to speak freely (available here).

The SMCC is collecting comments on this issue which will be sent out shortly.

The Effects of Early Experience on Lifelong Functioning: Commitment and Resilience

The impacts of early life experiences are better understood now more than ever. What are the effects of early experiences in utero and through the first year of life? And just how plastic are traits like resiliency and commitment as we move into adulthood? Speakers include Janet Werker from the University of British Columbia and CIFAR, as well as Daphne Mauer of McMaster. Dr. Mauer will discuss her work with video games and how they can help the vision of adults who were born with cataracts. Her lab also studies synaesthesia, a phenomenon where people’s brains mix senses, allowing them, for example, to ‘hear’ colours. Speakers include: Janet F. Werker, University of British Columbia; Daphne Mauer, McMaster University, Canada

News Briefing: Feb 17th, 9:00 AM

Event: February 17, 2012: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM

Things that Go Bump: The Latest Discoveries in Particle Physics

Friday, February 17, 2012: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM

In December, researchers at CERN announced they had found a signal that could be the Higgs boson, the final particle in physics’ Standard Model still to be confirmed. Around the same time, researchers in Italy announced they had detected neutrinos going faster than the speed of light. What do these new developments from some fo the world’s most powerful atom-smashers mean for physics? Speakers: Timothy Meyer, TRIUMF; Lia Merminga, TRIUMF

News briefing: Feb 17th, 11:00 AM

Event: 1:00 p.m. PST / 4:00 p.m. EST

SMCC Backgrounder on the Higgs boson


Also of Interest for those at the AAAS in Vancouver

The London Health Sciences Centre has developed an online platform and iPad app that helps cardiac patients track their health. The app includes links to ultrasound images of plaque in the patient’s own arteries, tracking of their cholesterol levels, and links to resources helping with tips on healthier living. Users can also opt to receive email or text notifications of these resources.
Images are available. Contact: Femida Gwadry-Sridhar B.Sc.Phm, M.Sc., Ph.D. Director Medical Health Informatics- Computer Science- University of Western Ontario 519-685-8500 ext. 42690, cell: 519 872 1471 email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Dr. Gwadry-Sridhar is on-site at the AAAS meeting.


Last Updated on Friday, 17 February 2012 14:18