The Star Spot

In today's episode Professor John Percy, a professional astronomer with a passion for making astronomy and space exploration engaging, joins Justin Trottier at The Star Spot.

Dr. Percy discusses his many educational astronomy activities, from hosting public events, to creating courses and resources for teachers, to finding creative cultural opportunities for outreach such as his work with the Toronto Tafelmusic baroque orchestra on their Galileo composition.

Starting their conversation on Dr. Percy's primary academic interest in variable stars, the two cover the challenges of developing relevant and engaging astronomy curriculum, the role of public science institutions in contributing to the vitality of city life, and how Dr. Percy ended up having an asteroid named after him.

About John Percy

Dr. John Percy is professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of Toronto. He is past president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the Royal Canadian Institute, and as honorary president of the science teachers’ association of ontario and vice-chair of the board of trustees of the ontario science centre.

Among a variety of awards and distinctions, Dr. percy won the 1997Royal Canadian Institute's Sandford Fleming Medal for contributions to public awareness and appreciation of science and technology and the 1999 Jack Bell Award for leadership in science education. He is a fellow of the american association for the advancement of science.

But perhaps his most long lasting recognition came with the naming of his own asteroid. He joins us here at the Star Spot to discuss that honour, and his insights bringing the world of astronomy and space exploration alive to students and learners of all ages.

Direct download: Ep15-JohnPercy-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT

Our guest today is Professor Wendy J. Taylor who joins Justin Trottier at The Star Spot to discuss the Large Hadron Collider, the search for the Higgs Boson and dark matter, and how the new field of astro particle physics may prove that discoveries at the smallest scale can have cosmological implications.

In Current in Space, we present start S0-102 whose superclose orbit to the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy presents a unique opportunity to test Einstein. Then we comment on the Canadian Space Agency's hope for a renewed deal to fly astronauts with NASA's new Orion program in exchange for next generation space robotics, and finally turn to an update on Mars Curiosity and planned activities with its own robitic arm.

About Wendy J. Taylor

Wendy J. Taylor is Associate Professor of Physics at York University and Canada Research Chair in Experimental Particle Physics. She is a member of the university’s High Energy Physics Group as well as its ATLAS group.  ATLAS is a key experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Her research at the Fermilab particle collider showing differences in the production of matter and anti-matter in high-energy collisions is shedding light on the imbalance in matter and anti-matter in the early universe. Professor Taylor is a member of the American Physical Society and the Canadian Institute of Particle Physics.

Direct download: Ep14-WendyTaylor-Complete.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT

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