Science Literacy Week goes virtual

Next week is Science Literacy Week!

It is a week when we get together across the country to share our love of science, and at McGill Library we have a wonderful virtual program to share with you.

Monday, Sept. 21

  • 2 – 3 p.m. The Art of Communicating Science to Non-Specialists [register]

Wednesday, Sept. 23

  • 10:30 – 11:15 a.m., Urban Heat Island Effect [register]
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Keeping Up with Artificial Intelligence – AI Literacy [register]

Thursday, Sept. 24

  • 5:30 – 7 p.m., Science Literacy Week Book Club: Data feminism, by Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F Klein. McGill users can read the e-book here. Everyone can read this book open access online here. [register].

Sunday, Sept. 27

But wait, there’s more! We have lots of ‘science at play‘ resources for you. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily colouring pages and puzzles made with images from items in our Rare & Special Collections. Or how about a scavenger hunt? Take photos of any of the items on this list during Science Literacy Week and tag both #SciLit and @McGillLib on social media.

Science Literacy Week scavenger hunt:

  • Interact with old tech: cassettes, mini-discs, laser discs, rotary phone, etc…
  • Find something with ‘patent pending’ or a trademark
  • Animal tracks
  • A native plant
  • A native bird
  • A rock bigger than your hand
  • A cumulus cloud 
  • Something made out of natural fibres 
  • Someone riding a bicycle 
  • Make a shadow puppet
  • A rainbow 
  • Something being reused or recycled
  • Condensation
  • A fossil
  • A data visualization
  • A DIY project
  • An example of each of the 6 classical simple machines:
    • Lever
    • Wheel and axle
    • Pulley
    • Inclined plane
    • Wedge
    • Screw

You will also find 360 videos and DIY viewer information on our guide.

Still more! Homecoming and Redpath Museum has their own lineup of virtual events. We have added them to our online calendar so be sure to check them out.

See you soon, friends (virtually).

Science cinema with Kanopy

Science CinemaIt’s Science Literacy Week and this year we’ve added movies to the calendar, selected from the Kanopy streaming video service.

We will also have popcorn, so be sure to join us at 5:30pm in the Redpath Library Building, Research Commons Room A, where the visualization wall is perfect for screenings.

Here is what’s on:

  • Monday: Google and the World Brain

  • Tuesday: I Dream of Wires: The Machine that Shaped Electronic Music

  • Wednesday: Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?

  • Thursday: Top Secret Rosies

  • Friday: GTFO: Get the F**k Out – Women in Gaming

Read descriptions here.

With Kanopy in the Library collection, every day can be movie day. Whether you love classic films or documentaries, there is plenty to explore.

Happy viewing!

Ice Breaker

timelapse_ice_fThis may not be the most seasonal of posts, considering today is the first day of summer, or the most current, since this video caused quite a sensation more than a month ago – but who can resist a gorgeous time-lapse video of an ice breaker traveling through Antarctic waters?

Cassandra Brooks, a Stanford University doctoral student with the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, produced this video aboard the icebreaker, Nathaniel B. Palmer. The video is a time-lapse sequence, compressing about 60 days into less than five minutes. Enjoy!

Photo credit: Peter Rejcek / NSF

1000000000000000 bytes

Who doesn’t love Internet Archive? I am a big user of the Wayback Machine, where they are capturing and archiving websites back to 1996. Take some time to explore thier site and you will certainly find something in the audio, video, or text archive (they recently hit 10 petabytes). For example, I have been listening to a radio mystery series called Mr. and Mrs. North that aired on CBS from 1942 to 1954. What I didn’t realize about Internet Archive is that they are collecting print books with the goal of archiving one copy of every book ever printed – watch this video – it will blow your mind.

Internet Archive from Deepspeed media on Vimeo.

Three minutes to explain yourself

Can you explain your research activities or thesis in 3 minutes to someone outside your field?  Jinna Kim in University Affairs reports that many universities are holding prize-winning competitions that require graduate student participants to communicate their work to judges and an audience in just 3 minutes.  The idea is to teach students how to promote themselves and their research.

McGill University has an annual event called, “3 Minutes to Change the World” that provides a non-competitive opportunity for graduate students to present their research to a general audience.  Below is an example of a presentation from this event:

Particle physics videos from TEDxCERN

Two guys walk into a bar – they just happen to be CERN scientists and they can help explain Higgs boson excitation of the Higgs field.  This particle physics video is one of a series of five videos from TEDxCERN. Waltch all five on the TED blog for a little on the birth of the universe, the history of the web and big data, dark matter, and antimatter.

The raising of our roof

Look up to your right when you enter the Frank Dawson Adams Building from the campus side (or from the Roddick Gates side).  There’s a shiny new cupola that was placed on the roof of the Macdonald Stewart Library Building this week.  Read more about the raising of our roof, and see a brief video of the installation, in the McGill Reporter.