Nominated for the People’s Choice Award: Canada’s Favourite Science Blog

Good news, science fans! Actually, three pieces of good news. It's Science Literacy Week here in Canada. Our own Sci/Why writer Simon Shapiro is receiving an award on Wednesday Sept 20th, 10:30 am at the Ontario Science Centre for his book Higher, Faster, Smarter. Hurray for Simon! And, hurray for all us Sci/Why writers, because our blog Sci/Why has been named to the Top 12 Short List for People’s Choice Award: Canada's Favourite Science Blog. Starting today, Tuesday September 19th,…

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Exploring the World Through Travel: Rapa Nui’s Moai

By Margriet RuursI was lucky enough to take a trip to Easter Island, Chile, earlier this year. I had booked a flight from Santiago. Before getting there I imagined an old, small airplane. I don’t know why – but I had thought it would be a local airline with an old prop plane. The opposite turned out to be true: Latam is part of One World and operates a brand new Boeing 787 on the…

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Chicks in the City

By Claire EamerI usually live a peaceful, semi-rural life on a small island in the Salish Sea. There are plenty of animals in and around the island, both wild and domestic, but our particular patch of island rarely features anything much bigger than a hummingbird. And, admittedly, the occasional passing raccoon or river otter, but we discourage them. They tend to leave smelly presents behind.This week, however, I'm in the city - smack in the…

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Chicks in the City

By Claire EamerI usually live a peaceful, semi-rural life on a small island in the Salish Sea. There are plenty of animals in and around the island, both wild and domestic, but our particular patch of island rarely features anything much bigger than a hummingbird. And, admittedly, the occasional passing raccoon or river otter, but we discourage them. They tend to leave smelly presents behind.This week, however, I'm in the city - smack in the…

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Science is the Practice of Constructive Ignorance

I have a theory* that there are three kinds of ignorance.The first kind is what I'd call neutral ignorance. The gentle, perfectly understandable kind that arises due to a simple lack of knowledge:Ignorance: lack of knowledge, education, or awareness (Merriam Webster)There is no shame in not knowing something, and there's no shame in not having access to the education or experience that would provide that knowledge. This kind of ignorance is much closer to innocence,…

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Science is the Practice of Constructive Ignorance

I have a theory* that there are three kinds of ignorance.The first kind is what I'd call neutral ignorance. The gentle, perfectly understandable kind that arises due to a simple lack of knowledge:Ignorance: lack of knowledge, education, or awareness (Merriam Webster)There is no shame in not knowing something, and there's no shame in not having access to the education or experience that would provide that knowledge. This kind of ignorance is much closer to innocence,…

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NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer

By Paula JohansonThere's been a new job posting at NASA, for a Planetary Protection Officer.Sounds like something from the film Men In Black, doesn't it? But for NASA, planetary protection isn't so much about people resisting invasion by giant space bugs. It's about tiny germs.NASA needs to avoid "organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration." Policies for planetary protection apply to all space flight missions, whether they might carry Earth microbes or…

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Jellyfish Aren’t Just for Saltwater

By Adrienne Montgomerie“Mom, we saw jellyfish!” “No way. We’re in a lake. Jellyfish are saltwater creatures.”“No, really, honey," his dad said. "There were jellyfish.”“Well that’s cool,” I said with total skepticism.The next day, I said I wanted to see the jellyfish. Totally bracing for the “we’re just kidding” punchline, off we went. Canoeing into a little bay of a medium sized lake in eastern Ontario, my son dipped a pail in the water, and pulled…

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An amazing science librarian’s retirement party

By Paula JohansonAmong all the science news this summer of various kinds across Canada, here's a piece of good news about a person who spent a career working in a science field. After 40 years as an engineering librarian, Randy Reichardt has retired. His colleagues and friends gathered on June 28 at the University of Alberta to celebrate his retirement -- dozens in person and dozens more watching an online live feed of his retirement…

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Arctic Publisher Shares Northern Voices, Traditional Knowledge

By Gillian O'Reilly Looking for engaging, appealing and informative science-themed and technology-themed books that incorporate traditional knowledge? Look no further than Inhabit Media.Inhabit Media, an Inuit-owned publishing house based in Iqaluit and Toronto, aims to “promote and preserve the stories, knowledge and talent of northern Canada.” The company publishes a wide range of books for adults and kids, plus two magazines: Kaakuluk: Nunavut’s Discovery Magazine for Kids and Pivut: The Magazine for Nunavut Youth. With…

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