Bill Nye, Neil Degrasse Tyson, David Suzuki and Carl Sagan (though I’m not a massive Sagan fan compared to others mainly because I wasn’t exposed to him much growing up).
Einstein, Michio Kaku, Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin. Hmmmm. The trouble is there are so many amazing scientists but so few are known publicly unless they’re either super famous or public educators of science.
*thumbs up to all the scientists* Famous or not. :D
I missed the first half of the first talk because I got there 20+ minutes late. I got lost. >.>
Anyways, the woman was speaking about new observations from the ESA’s Planck mission on the cosmic microwave background. She was super technical, and I didn’t understand a lot of the finer details. It had to do with a power law representation of angles of observation of the cosmic microwave background which allowed them to sort the temperature changes by size. She didn’t do a good job of explaining those sorts of things, to anyone who hadn’t studied cosmology/physics/astronomy/etc.
The general points of the talk were:
-There is a little bit more matter and a bit less dark matter than originally thought.
-The universe is slightly older than it was previously said to be (I think by 0.1 billion years)
-Some anomalies showed up which challenge the standard model of physics, such as the asymmetry of the CMB.
The second talk I enjoyed a lot more. It was on the possibilities of alien life and alien civilizations in the universe.
It was basically going through Drake’s Law, and using our modern understanding of each value to make a decent guess at the chances of alien civilizations existing in the milky way.
In the end the value it spat out was ~1 other in the galaxy. Which seems a bit disappointing, but keep in the mind there are over 100 billion galaxies, so the chance of alien civilizations occurring across the universe is still pretty high. And the values for most of the equations are still being debated, so it was very hypothetical. He also talked about Fermi’s Paradox in if there are lots of civilizations, why haven’t we heard anything, etc. Talking a bit about criticisms of SETI and looking for intelligent life.
He went on to talk about the history of our solar system and our search for life on mars, and the possibilities of life being found in the moons of Saturn and Jupiter (Ganymede, Enceladus and Europa) due to the likely hood of sub surface water. Then some cool facts on the state of our knowledge of exoplanets and other solar systems, and the scales of the universe (how far nearest stars are, how far voyager spacecraft is, etc).
He also talked about the hardiness of some organisms, like a bacteria that is resistant to radiation, the vacuum of space and cold temperatures. It basically has 3 extra copies of its dna, that it stores in different parts of its body, so if its damaged by radiation it can quickly repair itself.
The guy did a way better job at explaining and was kind of funny, but awkward. XD
Overall it was pretty good, even if not much of it was new to me. I’m glad I went. :Dme science nasa esa vancouver ubc universe the universe cosmology space outer space Astronomy scientist scientists exobiology exoplanet exoplanets seti physics cosmic microwave background astrophysics bc british columbia
Since most of you guys don’t live in Vancouver, if you’re interested I can make a review of the talks tonight or tomorow. Let me know if you’re interested. :)
The talks are:
"What We Know about The Structure of The Universe"
Speaker: Graca Rocha - Staff Research Scientist Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
"Home Alone: Why Microbial Worlds Might Be Common
But Intelligent Civilizations Exceedingly Rare”
Speaker: Pascal Lee - Senior planetary scientist at the SETI Institute, the chairman of the Mars Institute, and the director of the NASA Haughton-Mars Project at NASA Ames Research Centerme vancouver ubc university of british columbia canada bc british columbia science astronomy space outer space exobiology NASA SETI scientific research scientist scientists universe the universe
science research integrity scienctific scientist scientists positive negative psychology medicine health negativity spin