Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Visit your local museum

We've finally hit some consistent nice weather here in Ottawa, so spending the day inside isn't at the top of everybody's list. Still, there are a couple of cool exhibits coming up at local museums that are worth a look.

First up is Living in Space which opens at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum Thursday May 12.
Be part of the adventure and learn how to adapt to the rigours of daily life in space for months at a time on board the International Space Station (ISS). Discover how astronauts in the weightless environment work, entertain themselves and tackle such basics as personal hygiene, eating and sleeping among the stars. Become inspired by the engineering of this space station that sustains life and Canadian scientific experiments that reap a myriad of benefits. This modular, highly interactive exhibit incorporates multimedia with various objects, replicas and components used daily by astronauts during a mission to present the technical, psychological and physical challenges of life in space. Experience the extreme conditions on board the ISS-an incredible ecosystem in itself. So, are you up for the challenge?
You can read more about it here. It sounds like it's worth a visit.

Later this summer, the Canadian Museum of Nature will be hosting Extreme Mammals.
From the largest land mammal, to the smallest, to the just plain weird, Extreme Mammals explores the surprising and often extraordinary world of extinct and living mammals.

Find out what makes a mammal "extreme". Learn why some species died out while others thrived. And discover what you have in common with all other mammals.

An incredible array of specimens—including the museum's own "missing link" discovery, Puijila darwini—add up to an extremely exciting experience.
I had the privilege of attending a preview of this exhibit before it first opened two years ago at the American Museum of Natural History. Since then, it's been on tour and will be in Ottawa starting June 3, for the duration of the summer and beyond (June 3 to November 6, 2011).


Friday, May 06, 2011

Cancer Research Blog Carnival #45

The latest edition of the Cancer Research Blog Carnival (#45!) is now live. You can go check it out here.


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

What does a Harper majority mean for science?

The federal election is in the books, with Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party winning a majority, the NDP having their best-ever showing, and the first ever Green Party member elected to parliament. Over at The Intersection, guest blogger David Ng, a science literacy academic at UBC, muses about what the Harper majority means for science:
As is the norm for any democratic action, this is good and bad depending on your perspective and ideals. Those who make their homes in the business or economic front generally see the result as a positive; whereas those who value fairness, ethical government practices, and social issues tend to look upon the election as a daunting and frustrating setback. In this mix, however, is the scientific point of view. And speaking as a Canadian scientist, I want to use this space to make the case that all things being considered, this is a fundamentally bad moment in history for Canadian science.
What follows is a 4-point argument about the Harper government's past attitudes and actions towards science.