Saturday, September 29, 2007

Big Ideas: Saturday September 29, 2007

Every weekend TV Ontario broadcasts talks given by prominent thinkers at lectures given in Toronto. The broadcasts are at 4pm Saturday, repeated at 4pm on Sunday. You can also watch them on the Big Ideas website. The host, Andrew Moodie (photo below), often has insightful comments so it's better to watch the actual TV broadcast than the website video presentations. While Moodie is good, he's not as good as the previous host, Irshad Manji, in my opinion.

Today's lecturers will be of interest to Sandwalk readers. University of Toronto students will be familiar with Sue Varmuza.
Mark Abrahams
Marc Abrahams, editor of The Annals of Improbable Research and one of the organizers of the annual Ig-Nobel Prize ceremonies at Harvard University, discusses the work of scientists and academics that, "first makes you laugh, and then makes you think". Highlights of the lecture include discussions of a study that proves that Kansas is flatter than a pancake and a paper investigating The Forces Required to Drag Sheep Over Various Surfaces.

Sue Varmuza
The second lecture in this episode of Big Ideas is by University of Toronto Zoology researcher Susannah Varmuza who discusses the evolving field of Epigenetics and what research into such things as mouse coat colour is telling scientists about the age-old "nature versus nurture" debate.
Here's the link: Susannah Varmusa.

1 comment:

  1. "not as good as the previous host, Irshad Manji, in my opinion."

    Her website: