Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren

By Sarah Boon, Ph.D. Hope Jahren’s first book, Lab Girl, is a memoir about her career as a scientist from Georgia Tech (1996–1999) to Johns Hopkins (2000–2008) to the University of Hawaii (2009–2016). In engaging prose, it tells the story of how an awkward girl from Minnesota overcame numerous academic challenges (despite being a woman and having a mental illness) to become a world-renowned researcher in partnership with her senior research manager of 20 years,…

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Quantifying Plastics in Canada’s Aquatic Landscapes: Rigour and Repetition

By: Natalie Sopinka  In Canada, plastic pollution of our waterbodies is an emerging concern in a crowd of aquatic stressors. Similar to chemical contaminants such as PCBs, plastics can be pervasive across both time and aquatic food webs. In the oceans, reports of ingested plastic by seabirds have spanned a half century: surveys from 1966–1967 found “plastic toys” in the stomachs of Herring Gull in Newfoundland, and today macroplastics (plastics > 5 mm) and microplastics…

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Announcing the 2016 Outstanding Reviewers

"Peer review is at the heart of the research ecosystem.”—Publons, 2016 SpotOn Report  Heart, backbone, foundation, mainstay, core, whichever word you use, peer review is fundamental to the scholarly publishing of science. Yet, the volunteer efforts of peer review are not often formally recognized or rewarded. Addressing this paucity in recognition is possible. New initiatives and tools are committed to ensuring peer review stays a “pillar of research quality and integrity”.  Last year Canadian Science…

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A Review and R<sub>x</sub> for Canada’s Research Ecosystem

By: Joelle Thorpe, Ph.D., Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellow The views expressed herein are those of Dr. Thorpe and are not necessarily shared by any organizations with which she is affiliated. Every single Canadian should care about the recently released Fundamental Science Review. If you’re unsure why you should care just consider, for a moment, an average day in the life of a typical Canadian: Our Canadian wakes up to the sound of a radio…

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Women in Physics: Dr. Ursula Franklin

This post is part of an ongoing series by Jenny Kliever about women in physics who have inspired others and contributed to the field in unique and impressive ways. The Canadian Journal of Physics will be publishing a special issue on Women in Physics later in 2017. Keep up to date on all CJP activities by signing up for the CJP newsletter. By: Jenny Kliever Dr. Ursula Franklin was many things: physicist, educator, feminist, holocaust survivor,…

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Light Upon Wild Leek: Sustainable Harvesting and Optimal Light Environments for a Vulnerable Forest Herb

The wild leek can be deep-fried, sautéed, and pickled, but it is also a threatened species in Québec, Canada. In a new study published in Botany, researchers at Laval University investigated optimal growing conditions that could aid commercial production of wild leek.    By: Pierre-Paul Dion and Line Lapointe Wild leek (Allium tricoccum; ramps or wild garlic) is a small forest herb very popular for the taste of its bulb and leaves. It usually grows…

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What Experimental Branch Cooling Tells Us About the Beautiful Reds of Fall

Paul Schaberg and his colleagues at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and USDA Forest Service recently published a study in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research. Below, Paul describes the role temperature has in turning the leaves of sugar maple trees red.    By: Paul Schaberg, Ph.D. The transition of leaf colour from the greens of the growing season to the mosaic of green, yellow, and red in autumn is a wonder to recreational “leaf…

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Air & Light & Time & Space, by Helen Sword

By Erin Zimmerman, Ph.D. Most academics have a fraught, love/hate relationship with writing. Though the final product brings pleasure and a sense of accomplishment, the process can be both slow and painful. What’s more, writing is often easy to put off in the push to complete more pressing activities, such as research, teaching, and committee work. This procrastination leads many to end up approaching their writing with a sense of dread and writing in occasional,…

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Budget 2017: Fueling Innovation with Skills Training, Superclusters, and Science

By: Joelle Thorpe, Ph.D., Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellow  The views expressed herein are those of Dr. Thorpe and are not necessarily shared by any organizations with which she is affiliated. The Government of Canada clearly understands the importance of innovation. In fact, the word “innovation” itself appears more than 250 times in Budget 2017—not an easy feat considering the document, released on March 22, is a mere 280 pages in length. It is true,…

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Women in Science: Dr. Caroline Fox

By Sarah Boon, Ph.D. This post is part of an ongoing series by Sarah Boon celebrating Canadian women in science. Read through the archive to learn more about the women shaping science in Canada. Caroline Fox didn’t plan to become a scientist. In fact, as a child she wanted to be a musician, an astronaut, or a firefighter. “I work with quite a few people who’ve wanted to be marine biologists since they were children,” she…

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