The University of Toronto Mississauga held its fourth annual Science Literacy Week last week, where it highlighted national scientists and science communicators across Canada.
Hosted from September 18 to September 22, this year’s SLW was coordinated by the staff at the UTM library, an assortment of UTM faculty, and student science promoters representing Let’s Talk Science, DIY Bio Toronto, and the J. Tuzo Wilson Club.
Faculty members hosted a series of nature tours called Campus Walks and Talks throughout the campus in order to give insight on their discipline of specialty within UTM’s science departments.
During the tours, the faculty held talks such as “The Science of Climate Change” hosted by Professor Kent Moore, “Fossils of UTM” hosted by Professor Marc Laflamme, and “Bird Watching at UTM” led by Professor Sanja Hinic-Frlog.
Students had the opportunity to participate in an interactive demo in which members of DIY Bio Toronto created ice cream using liquid nitrogen, while myth-busting common misconceptions and beliefs pertaining to different branches of science.
Tutorials on DIY science experiments, fossils of soft-bodied organisms from around North America, and various precious and fine minerals were laid out for public display.
An array of information graphics, illustrations, and animations showed details of paleontological research conducted on a fossil specimen from professor Robert Reisz’s laboratory. The display was the product of alumni, students, and faculty of UTM’s biomedical communications professional graduate program.
Jesse Hildebrand, alumnus of the University of Toronto’s Department of Ecology and founder of Science Literacy Week, referred to the week-long initiative as “a celebration of science,” in a statement to The Medium.
Hildebrand originally founded the initiative to encourage libraries to bring their science collections out into the limelight. He believes that his intention of disseminating knowledge to the public has sparked enthusiasm among individuals from all walks of life.
“Everyone has something to gain from science,” he said. “The response has been incredible.”
Last year, SLW included 500 events organized by over 140 partners in 60 cities across Canada. According to the library’s event page, SLW has expanded into a national program that has been accredited and supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.