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Fourth annual Science Literacy Week returning with 700 events

For the love of science and literature
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Science Literacy Week, a nationwide celebration of science-based literature, is set to take place September 18–24 for its fourth consecutive year. Its founder, Jesse Hildebrand, is a U of T alumnus whose dual passion for science and literature inspired the event’s creation.

The event began as an attempt to get libraries to showcase their science book collections, said Hildebrand. When he graduated from U of T with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, he noticed a certain lack of science books on display in libraries. He voiced his concern, encouraging libraries to make their collections more prominent. Three years later, in 2014, he created Science Literacy Week.

“I just wanted to reach as many people as possible… Science is increasingly in the news — if you look at the eclipse, millions of people have looked up all across Canada and the United States — everywhere! If you look at climate change, if you look at genetically modified food, whatever you are looking into, science plays some role,” continued Hildebrand.

Gaining repute as a celebration of science open to everyone, Science Literacy Week will host approximately 700 events reaching coast-to-coast. The event is partnered with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Indigo Books & Music Inc.

Through Science Literacy Week, Hildebrand has been able to reach out to children and adults across Canada to celebrate science-based activities, scientists, and science communications.

Notable events:

Fossil work with Professor Marc Laflamme

In this interactive lab session with an Assistant Professor in U of T’s Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, you will learn to identify fossils and recreate a 450-year-old sea floor.

Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Time: 12:00–1:00 pm

Location: Davis Building, room 1087, 3359 Mississauga Road

Admission: Free

Intro to 3D design

Learn to use Fusion 360 and Sculptris applications to create simple 3D designs at this hands-on workshop.

Date: Tuesday, September 19

Time: 6:30–8:00 pm

Location: Toronto Public Library, College/Shaw Branch, 766 College Street

Admission: Free with registration

Not your Granddad’s Weed

Forensic toxicologist Jim Wigmore will be discussing the history of cannabis, the various forms it can take, the difference between smokable and edible cannabis, as well as the potential of cannabinoids in the field of medicine.

Date: Thursday, September 21

Time: 6:00–7:00 pm

Location: Toronto Public Library, St. James Town Branch, 495 Sherbourne Street

Admission: Free

Open Data Book Club

As part of a monthly book club, this event gathers data miners, analysts, and engaged Torontonians to sit down with staff responsible for government open data sets to investigate its trends.

Date: Thursday, September 21

Time: 6:00–8:00 pm

Location:Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street

Admission: Free

The Story Collider

This event is happening for the first time in Canada. It features various U of T professors who will host live storytelling sessions to share their personal trials, tribulations, and triumphs as they relate to their scientific ventures.

Date: Thursday, September 21

Time: 6:30–9:00 pm

Location: Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Avenue

Admission: $10 with registration

Meet Zuul, a New Armored Dinosaur at the ROM!

Zuul crurivastator was an armoured dinosaur with a tail club, and its skeleton is supposed to be the best-preserved one of all time. Join paleontologist Dr. Victoria Arbour to learn more about Zuul.

Date: Friday, September 22

Time: 7:00–8:00 pm

Location: Toronto Public Library, S. Walter Stewart Branch, 170 Memorial Park Avenue

Admission: Free