EVENT REVIEW: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Science #AppelSalon

Last updated: May 7, 2015. This article will be updated when the link to the event recording is available from the Toronto Public Library.DispatchesBannerGMIMAG0159When it comes to getting tickets to the #AppelSalon lecture series hosted by the Toronto Public Library you have to plan ahead and be quick to register. I nabbed two free tickets to this sold out event the day registration opened! As my way of thanking the library I was happy to live-tweet the event and write this review.

     Dispatches from the Frontiers of Science, was held at the Bluma Appel Salon on the second floor of the Toronto Reference Library on May 6 at 7 p.m..  I live-tweeted from my third-row seat. Here are some chronological highlights from this informative evening. I was really pleased to see women scientists with fascinating research as a major highlight of this event. Go #STEM !

     A Toronto Reference Library representative opened the event. Noting that it is York University’s 50th anniversary, the Dean of Science Ray Jayawardhana welcomed the audience. Aside from the guest speaker the researchers were from York University. Moderator Anna Maria Tremonti introduced each speaker then engaged them further at the podium after each presentation with thoughtful questions, probing more deeply into their research findings and predictions.

     The first speaker was New York Times bestselling author Leonard Mlodonow.

     Next up was Professor Matthew Johnson who asked the question “Is our universe the only one?”. His answers were so fascinating and raised so many more questions that he was a darling of the panel discussion at the end of the evening!

     Professor Sapna Sharma then asked the question “Will northern fish populations be in hot water due to climate change?”. Ominous response.


      Professor Demian Ifa asked the question “Will biometrics eliminate privacy?”.  Well, there seems to be a lot more to your fingerprints than you realize, such as what substances you have been in contact with. And this all can go into big databases!  

     Professor Edward Jones-Inhotep asked the question “Should we trust the machines?”. His answers were many-layered and took into consideration a history of the relationship with man and machines. The other panelists were as interested in his response as the audience was! And the final conclusion was a mix of wariness and hopefulness.

     Last, though definitely not least, was Professor Jane Hefferman who entertained and educated the audience with a rousing demonstration of how mathematics can be used for disease modelling asking the question “How can we prevent a zombie plague?”. Need more info? Buy the book from University of Ottawa Bookstore!

     A highly-skilled moderator, Anna Maria Tremonti led a lively panel discussion with all of the speakers followed by Q&A from the audience.  

     And here are some of the post-event comments from the speakers! Bravo to Toronto Public Library for presenting another phenomenal event.  

Watch my Upcoming Events page for details about a selection of other great future #AppelSalon events. If you are interested in having your event covered by me please use the Contact Form. While I am a professional live-tweeter and blogger I do fit in some pro bono coverage for good causes.

Glenda MacDonald