Science & Technology

Looking beyond textbooks: Must-go Montreal science events

The break is over…. Gone are the sweet days of relentlessly refreshing Minerva’s transcript page and ignoring our families to reread the entire Percy Jackson series in our confined rooms (just me?). McGill students must now return to their beloved campus, faced with bleak early-morning McMed hikes and the endless McGill Communications emails that they will never actually read. But fret not, dear readers, for The Tribune’s Science and Technology section has prepared a list of upcoming events to reinvigorate your passion for learning—or at least quell your boredom. 

Ocean-Based Urban Development: Speculation, Sand, and Sustainability 

Whether through a pineapple under the sea or news of the human-made Palm Islands surrounding Dubai, you may already be familiar with ocean-based urban development. 

Sarah Moser, associate professor in McGill’s Department of Geography, will host a talk on this topic for the Indian Ocean World Centre Speaker Series on Jan. 17 at 3 p.m.

The seminar, hosted in Peterson Hall, will focus on the significant surge in ocean-based large-scale projects over the last two decades due to real estate investments and neoliberal policies favouring free markets. At a time when artificial islands can serve as the foundation for the construction of entire cities, especially in countries like China and the Maldives, urban planners and policymakers have raised a lot of questions about economic and environmental costs. Moser will also shed light on the use of sand in these projects, specifically in the context of global warming and rising ocean levels. 

Geotop: Dr André Pellerin – Exploring the Extremes: The Mysteries of Lake Untersee in Antarctica

There are not many areas that still hold mystery to humankind, where few can venture back alive: The centre of a volcanic eruption, Snake Island off the coast of Brazil, my apartment the morning after a party, and the deep, frozen lakes of Antarctica. André Pellerin, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, will discuss his exploration of the latter for the Geotop seminar series on Jan. 30 at 12:30 p.m.

Taking place at Université du Québec à Montréal’s President Kennedy Pavilion, and on Zoom, Pellerin will recount his expedition to Lake Untersee in East Antarctica, one of the largest freshwater lakes. His focus is on better understanding the evolution of life on Earth billions of years ago. Searching the depths of this 160-metre abyss, Pellerin discovered a unique microscopic world—one where microbial prowess triumphs over multicellular inhabitants, revealing a captivating realm reminiscent of Earth’s most ancient oceans.

The 3rd Annual Cannabis Scientific Symposium: From Plants to People

Okay, so hear me out…. Like every science symposium, the Third Annual Cannabis Scientific Symposium comes with a hefty price tag—starting at $107.83. Nonetheless, for those few aficionados, this symposium may be worth the cost. 

Hosted at the McGill University Health Centre Research Institute on June 3 and 4, this event is dedicated to better understanding the chemical and metabolic nature of cannabis, especially as its legalization in Canada approaches the six-year mark. If you are interested in learning about new research in cannabis agricultural science, post-harvesting processes, medical trials, or new safety policies, you will surely find some answers or gain new questions at this symposium. 

So, McGillians, buckle up for a semester that promises more than just textbook cramming and caffeine-fueled study sessions. Here’s to a semester filled with knowledge, curiosity, and a sprinkle of unexpected fun!

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