I have worked for decades with scientists, engineers, and other technical experts across all levels of government and post-secondary institutions. I’ve always been struck by the vast amount of fascinating research projects, scientific and technological advancements, and other incredible work being done by untold numbers of experts working in the public sector in every part of Canada.
The people of Canada own that work. It has a profound impact on every Canadian’s day-to-day life. Yet a lot of people do not know that it even exists. Being in the communications business, I have assembled a team and am launching a podcast to tell the story of public sector science in Canada and the impact it has on all of us. Each episode will look at the history of a Canadian innovation that people use every day. The first episode explores how artificial intelligence is changing Canadian agriculture.
Future episodes will explore the melting of Canada’s permafrost and how critical thinking can help people navigate the world. The podcast is called Own the Science and is available on most podcast apps. The website also offers more information and a place to propose subjects for future episodes.
November 2 is Kermit the Frog’s 66th birthday.
November 18 to 24 is World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, which aims to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers, and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.
Have you heard about the infodemic? Coined in 2003, the word is not (yet) recognized officially by most authorities. It is a portmanteau, blending “information” and “epidemic,” referring to a rapid and far-reaching spread of information, both accurate and inaccurate. As facts, rumours, and fears mix and disperse, it becomes difficult to learn essential information about an issue. Most of us have seen increasing examples of this since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Historians have suggested that sometime around the 1600s, it became impossible for a person to know everything. Speculations about the last person to do this include Francis Bacon, Thomas Young , and even Leonardo da Vinci. These days, though no individual can hope to know everything, many of us are privileged to have a wealth of information at our fingertips, just a few clicks or taps away. The process of acquiring information from the Internet has been likened to trying to get a drink of water from a firehose, with the added danger that some of the liquid we consume might not be particularly thirst-quenching, and some might even be toxic!
At CFIC, one of our goals is to help people find rational, science-based, and evidence-based answers to their questions. To that end, following are just a few sources we have filtered out of the stream from the firehose, and found to be accurate, informative, and also often entertaining.
- Your Local Epidemiologist — translating science for public consumption
- Skeptical Raptor — vaccines, cancer, nutrition, evolution
- Science-Based Medicine — goes without saying
- Snopes — fact-checking, from the serious to the ridiculous
- Skeptics Guide to the Universe — science, critical thinking
- Sawbones — medicine, current and historical
- White Coat Black Art — medicine
- Point of Inquiry — science, skepticism, critical thinking
- Nature Magazine
Do you have webpages, blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels that are your go-to for information? Please let us know in the comments.
NEWS & EVENTS