AAAS Heads Up | Feb 18, 2012 PDF Print E-mail

Press conferences including Canadians

All the press conferences will be broadcast live online. The detailed press conference schedule is available on Eurekalert. If you need more information, call us.

All stories are embargoed until the time of the briefing or the session, whichever comes first. All times are listed in Pacific Standard Time (PST)

10:00 AM : Acid-Washed Genes in Ocean Ecosystems

12:00 PM : The Future of the World's Ocean

1:00 PM : The Language of Bodies

2:00 PM : Forest Fires in Canada and Beyond


Symposia, conferences and events including Canadians

For descriptions, click on the title. All times are PST.

The Social Consequences of Mass Imprisonment in the United States

8:00 a.m. PST / 11:00 a.m EST Feb 18, 2012

Bill C-10, the ‘omnibus crime bill’  is on the table in the Canadian Parliament and includes a range of proposals including new and longer sentences. What does more incarceration mean for a society? A panel of US researchers  will discuss why imprisonment rates in the US are so high, as well as outlining the impacts of incarceration on neighborhoods, social institutions, and social and ethnic stratification.

If you would like to speak to a Canadian expert for comment on this topic, give us a call at 613-249-8209.


Predicting the Future Ocean: The Nereus Program

**Links to images and 3D animations of a changing ocean in the future, below*

The first results from the Nereus program are presented here - an international collaboration looking at how climate change will affect the world’s oceans. Among the findings are that ocean acidification will have a bigger impact than previously thought. Speakers: Villy Christensen, University of British Columbia; William Cheung, The University of British Columbia, Canada

News Briefing: Feb 18th, 12:00 p.m.

Event: Saturday, February 18, 2012: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM

Video: Available here and here

Images: Available here and here

Contact: Villy Christensen 604.562.1151 (cell) or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Acid-Washed Genes and Altered Ecosystems: Biological Tales of Ocean Acidification

News Briefing: 10:00 a.m. PST / 1:00 p.m. EST Feb 18, 2012

Symposium: 1:30 p.m. PST / 4:30 p.m. EST Feb 18, 2012

Discussant: Chris Harley, University of British Columbia

We know climate change is causing it - but what effects will it have on the ocean as a system? Ocean acidification’s effects on individual species include preventing small creatures from building strong shells. How do these effects translate in the marine food web, especially in polar regions or coral reefs, where effects are expected to be strongest?


Gesture, Language, and Performance: Aspects of Embodiment (The Language of Bodies)

Two new technologies by Canadian researchers are presented, dealing with the physical movements associated with speech - everything from sign language to the coordination of orchestras. Speakers: Sidney Fels, University of British Columbia; Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson, University of British Columbia

News Briefing: Feb 18th, 1:00 PM

Event: Sunday, February 19, 2012: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

Video and images are available here.


Media Availability: Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut

Feb 18th, 1:00 PM PST

Chris Hadfield, a civilian astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency, will be available for media questions. Hadfield will be Flight Engineer 1 aboard Russian Soyuz 33 mission and will become the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station in March of 2013.


Forest Fires in Canada: Impacts of Climate Change and Fire Smoke

Sunday, February 19, 2012: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM

How do forest fires impact human health, and how will climate change impact both? Several Canadian researchers discuss topics from the effects of smoke on public health to case studies of recent large fires in Western Canada.

SPEAKERS include: Mike Brauer, The University of British Columbia; Mike Flannigan, Natural Resources Canada; Francis Zwiers, University of Victoria; Richard Routledge, Simon Fraser University; Douglas Woolford, Wilfrid Laurier University

Images are available.


Swimming in Sick Seas *Images available*

Saturday, February 18, 2012: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM

How do pollutants, agricultural runoff, and other chemicals affect marine life? A symposium examines how these contaminants lead to more strandings and deaths among marine mammals. Canadian Stephen Raverty discusses autopsies on marine mammals showing everything from antibiotic resistance to novel pathogens.

Speakers: Stephen A. Raverty, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Lands

Contact: Andrew Trites (organizer) - cell 604-209-8182

Images available: Call Dr. Trites for permission.

There will be a news briefing on this symposium on Sunday, Feb 19, at 10:00 a.m. PST with Drs. Raverty and Trites.