This French Embassy Science Speaker’s Series will see high-level France-related scientific figures invited to discuss their research on current and future scientific and technological challenges. Its objective is to increase the awareness of French science and Franco-Canadian research. These lectures will provide an opportunity to interact with specialists in a variety of fields, ranging from glaciology and modification of ecosystem in Arctic to astronomy and archaeology.
On May 23rd, Thursday at 5 p.m.
The 21st century will be the century of Biology and, at its core, the genome !
Dr Meulien started his French career with Transgène in Strasbourg, then in Lyon and eventually in Canada with Aventis Pasteur, Toronto. He was the founding CEO of Molecular Medicine Ireland and former Chief Scientific Officer for Genome British Columbia. He is now President and CEO of Genome Canada.
Please subscribe on RSVP2@ambafrance-ca.org
Lecture in French, bilingual exchange with the audience.
April, Monsieur Louis Fortier - Takuvik Unit Scientific Director (CNRS/ U. Laval) - Arctic warming
Scientific adventure on top of the world
Canada Research Chair on the Response of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, Scientific Director of ArcticNet, and Project Leader of the Amundsen Research Icebreaker.
While the futile media debate rages over the reality of climate change, scientists are accumulating proof of accelerating planetary warming. The Arctic world in particular is changing more quickly than even the most pessimistic scenarios predicted. At-sea and satellite observation has revealed spectacularly reduced volumes of ice covering the Arctic Ocean. In 2012, the Arctic pack ice lost more than 80% of its historical volume, perhaps indicating the climate upheaval that our experts had feared. The near-complete disappearance of multi-year ice confirms that there is no going back and that the Arctic Ocean will soon shake off its collar of summer ice for the first time in 13 million years. What kind of climactic, ecological, socio-economical, and geopolitical consequences will this worrying Arctic spring bring? From the disappearance of Arctic megafauna to the opening of the Northwest Passage, from the changing lifestyle of the Inuit to the effects on the climates of temperate zones, Louis Fortier sums up the negative and positive impacts of the observed and anticipated warming of the Arctic. Spectacular images of a transforming world will plunge you into the heart of a modern scientific adventure. In conclusion, Louis Fortier is exploring ways to solve the global warming crisis.
September, Elisabeth Veyrat, submarine Archeologist - The forgotten shipwrecks of the coast of Normandy, “a fascinating discovery of how people lived onboard ships sailing to La Belle Province.”
Elisabeth Veyrat was responsible of the Channel and Atlantic littoral zone with the French Ministry of Culture and Communication’s Department for Underwater and Undersea Archeological Research, until 2010.
Known as the Natière shipwrecks, two French frigates that sank at the beginning of the 18th century became the focus of an archeological dig that led to the discovery of nearly 3,000 artefacts. The work carried out within the wrecks and in the archives revealed the names of the two ships. The Natière 1 shipwreck was identified as the royal frigate La Dauphine, which was built in Havre in 1703 and under the command of corsair captain Michel Dubocage when it sank on December 11, 1704, while returning from privateering voyage. Shipwreck Natière 2 was discovered to be the corsair frigate L’Aimable Grenot, built in Granville in 1747 by shipowner Léonor Couraye du Parc and lost on May 6, 1749, on route to Cadiz with a cargo of linens from Brittany and other goods.
Together, the Natière shipwrecks offer an extraordinary look into the seafaring world spanning the length of Europe and all the way to the New World. Sailors, gunners, coopers, cobblers and the ship’s writer are all revealed in the objects discovered by archeologists. The skeletons of a young monkey, the remains of rats and rabbits, sculpted gourds and coconuts, as well as the tools used in surgery and for the cannons illustrate the day-to-day life of the crews aboard these ocean-going frigates.
July 3, 2012, University of Ottawa: Amaelle Landais - First scientific results from drilling programs initiated during International Polar Year
Amaelle Landais is a paleoclimatologist at Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, IPSL/CNRS/CEA/UVSQ, Gif sur Yvette, France and the CNRS Bronze Medal winner for 2011.
2007-2009 has been the 4th International Polar Year. Its major aim was to demonstrate the leading role of polar region on the global climate. In this context, many international scientific programs have been initiated in Antarctica and Arctic. Field missions are now over and analyses have been conducted in laboratories so that first scientific results are now being published. Within this frame, I will present some large projects in which french research institutes have played an important role. First, the italo-french drilling program TALDICE has provided a high quality ice core covering the last 300,000 years at the border of the East Antarctica plateau. Then, a scientific raid involving French and Russian logistic, EXPLORE, has permitted to study climate of remote East Antarctica and tried to identify the best place to drill a 1,5 million year ice core. Finally, a deep ice core including a long sequence of the last interglacial period (120,000 years before present) has been recovered at NEEM in the North-West of Greenland. Such period is of high interest in the context of the current climate change since temperature was 5°C warmer than today in Greenland.
July 4, 2012: Dan Israel, The Canadian Museum of Science and Technology - The origin of the Universe: new observations and new theoretical
Dan Israel is an astrophysicist with the Theoretical Physics, Gravitation and Cosmology group at the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris.
Study of the Universe as a whole, cosmology, is currently a very active
field of investigation. From the observational point of view, several
past, present and future missions portray the Universe with great
accuracy. However, several crucial aspects are far from being understood.
Firstly, most of the matter content is made of an unknown, non-radiating component, called dark matter. Secondly, the Universe currently undergoa phase of accelerated expansion, due to a cosmological constant difficult to understand. Thirdly, the observed extreme homogeneity of the matter distribution needs very peculiar initial conditions for the history of the Universe. In this talk, I will first describe briefly some of these projects (WMAP, PLANCK, EUCLID, BOSS…) as well as their results, achieved or expected. Then I will explain how they provide both stringent constraints and inspiration for building modern theories of particle physics and unified interactions, as supersymmetry and string theory.
> March 29, 2012: Marcel Babin, Residence of the Embassy of France - Observations and measurements on environmental changes in the Arctic
Canada Excellence Research Chair in Arctic, Director of the International Joint Unit (UMI) between Laval University in Quebec City and France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Babin talked about his seminal research on the interactions of light and matter in the ocean, studies on phytoplankton, light propagation in coastal waters and ocean color remote sensing, which has allowed him to lead revolutionary research in the world’s coastal oceans, and has helped define the future of marine optics.
May 23, 2013