Pint of Science Canada: 2020 Science Festival (ONLINE)

Pint of Science Canada 2020
Monday, May 11, 2020 to Wednesday, May 13, 2020

We bring science to you - wherever you are! Get your computer, your favourite drink, and join us for the show. 54 amazing scientists from across the globe can't wait to share their passion with you - and it's free!

This year's edition also includes family-friendly events, with talks adapted for a younger audience. Grab a pint (of milk), and come do some science!

The hardest part will be to choose which events to attend! We have something you fancy, for sure. For the full program and the links to join the show, see our Program page.

Pint of Science is an international festival organizing public talks in bars since 2013. The Canadian chapter was created in 2016 in Québec and took place in 25 cities across the country in 2019. More than 300 scientists and 7 000 curious people joined us last year.

We’ll be back in bars in 30 Canada cities on September 21-23, 2020. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see you online in May!

Here is a sampling of the full program featuring astronomy and space-themed talks:

Monday, May 11, 3:30pm


Seeing is believing: the building blocks of the Universe
Ben Davis-Purcell, PhD Student in Physics, Carleton University, CERN, Switzerland

How do we learn about the tiniest building blocks that make up everything we know of in the Universe? How do we see particles that are invisible to the naked eye and too small to see with a microscope? How do we study particles that are born and die faster than you can blink? What can we learn from these fundamental particles? Why do we even care? What does E = mc2 really mean? Ben Davis-Purcell is an experimental particle physicist and will (try to) answer these questions and more.

Dr. Dave Williams, Astronaut and aquanaut, Former Director of Space & Life Sciences at NASA

Monday, May 11,  8:00pm


Chasing water on Mars with lasers
Debarati Das, Graduate Student, Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University

Debarati’s research focuses on measuring boron in the rocks of Gale crater to understand ancient water activity on Mars. Boron, a highly water-soluble element, tells us about Martian habitability through water properties and composition. She uses data collected by the laser on the Curiosity rover to identify new boron-rich areas. She also studies Martian geochemistry using terrestrial examples. She analyzes samples from Death Valley using instruments similar to the rover’s to understand processes that caused boron enrichment on Mars.

Cloudy with a chance of dust storms
Dr. Tanya Harrison, Chief Scientist, Professional Martian LLC / Manager of Science Programs, Planet Labs

What’s the weather like on Mars, and how do we know about it? And how did it kill the poor Opportunity rover?! Professional Martian and former Red Planet weather reporter Dr. Tanya Harrison gives a brief overview.

Tuesday, May 12, 8:00pm


Counting Down to Day Zero
Alan Shapiro, Instructor, BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Simon Fraser University

As our climate changes and cities continue to grow, water scarcity in many parts of the world will become the new normal. In 2018, in response to a severe drought, the city of Cape Town, South Africa introduced the idea of 'Day Zero' - the day when the city's water supply would be exhausted. But the idea of 'running out' of water is deeply flawed. In this talk, we will delve into the complicated relationships between cities and water, and explore a few of the solutions that lie at our fingertips.

Mitigate, Adapt—or Suffer: Connecting global change to local impacts and solutions
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Climate scientist, Professor Political Science, Co-director of the Climate Center at Texas Tech University.

Climate is changing — throughout Canada, and for the planet as a whole. Temperatures are increasing, rainfall patterns are shifting, and extreme precipitation and heat wave events are becoming more frequent. Climate change isn’t just a problem for polar bears or future generations any more - it’s affecting us, here and now. Not only that, but the choices we make today will have profound impact on our future: the faster we cut our carbon emissions, the less adaptation will be needed, and the more suffering we can avert. In such a politically charged environment, are we still able to act on climate? Or is it too late? Join Katharine Hayhoe as she untangles the complex science connecting our choices to future impacts and highlights the actions that are being taken to combat this critical issue today.

Tuesday, May 12, 8:00pm


Loony Moons
Christa Van Laerhoven, University of British Columbia, B.Ed. Teacher Candidate

The collections of moons that orbit our giant planets are very like miniature planetary systems, each with their own dramatic history. In her presentation Christa Van Laerhoven will talk about the various moons of the solar system and how they have been shaped by orbital shenanigans with their fellow moons and their host planet.

So, Mars is Trying to Kill You (What Do I Do?)
Dr. Shawna Pandya, Physician/Scientist-Astronaut Candidate/VP of Immersive Medicine, Luxsonic

What does it take to send people to the Moon, Mars and beyond? How do we keep people healthy up on the International Space Station? In this talk, Dr. Shawna Pandya talks about the challenges of the space flight environment, how we can adapt, and the challenges we face as we send humans to increasingly distant and ambitious locales (and the technologies that can help us not just survive, but thrive on Mars).

Wednesday, May 13, 1:00pm


Démonstration de laboratoire de la chimie des nuages
Dr. Nadine Borduas-Dedekind, Chercheuse, l'École polytechnique fédérale de Zürich (ETH)

D’où viennent les nuages? Comment se forment-ils? Bien que les nuages soient d’immenses sculptures de toutes formes dans le ciel, leur origine est infiniment petite. En effet, une gouttelette d’eau contient des molécules importantes pour la formation de nuages. Veux-tu en savoir plus sur la chimie des nuages? On fera une démonstration de laboratoire à la maison. Tu auras besoin d’une bouteille d’eau en plastique, d’une allumette, de l’eau et de la supervision d’un parent. Viens mettre ta tête dans les nuages!

La chasse aux mondes extraterrestres
Dr. Nathalie Ouellette, Coordonnatrice, Institut de recherche sur les exoplanètes, Université de Montréal

L’idée que des mondes extraterrestres puissent orbiter autour des étoiles au-delà de notre Système solaire date de plusieurs siècles, mais ça ne fait que 25 ans que l'humanité a pu prouver leur existence concrètement. Nous connaissons maintenant l'existence de plus de 4000 de ces mondes qui ont des allures des plus surprenantes, et ce n'est que la pointe de l'iceberg! Venez découvrir ces exoplanètes, les méthodes que les astronomes utilisent pour les étudier et ce que nous pouvons apprendre à les observer d'une distance de plusieurs dizaines ou même de centaines d'années-lumière.

Wednesday, May 13, 3:30pm


How a lizard becomes a sea monster
Dr. Michelle Campbell Mekarski, Science Advisor, Canada Science and Technology Museum

Have you ever seen a lizard before? Most lizards on Earth today are pretty small and live in dry, warm places. But millions of years ago, some of the biggest, most ferocious sea monsters were giant swimming lizards. How did that happen? What changes were needed to turn a tiny lizard into a sea monster big enough to eat a dinosaur? And what made them so scary? Let’s take a journey back in time to find out!

Searching for new worlds!
Dr. Frédérique Baron, Astrophysicist, Institute for research on exoplanets, Université de Montréal

For the longest time, humanity knew of only 8 planets. In 1995, the discovery of the first planet around a Sun-like star Sun challenged our knowledge of the Universe. We know now of over 4000 exoplanets. Let's discover together these strange and exciting new worlds!

Wednesday, May 13, 7:00pm


L'Harmonie des Chiffres et de la Nature
Anh-Khoi Trinh, Étudiant au doctorat Physique, Université McGill

De quoi est composé le monde qui nous entoure? De cellules, de molécules, d’atomes, d’électrons? Quelle est la plus petite structure possible dans la nature? Dans cet exposé, je vous présenterai la théorie principale qui fournit une explication à tout: de l'origine de la matière elle-même, à la genèse de notre univers cosmologique: la théorie des cordes.