Bacon and Eggheads

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This flagship series brings together Parliamentarians with experts in science and engineering, showcasing outstanding Canadian research accomplishments. Its purpose is to provide unbiased insight into topical scientific issues, within a non-partisan forum. This prestigious forum represents a unique opportunity for scientists to communicate important findings to a distinguished and influential audience.

The series is organized by PAGSE, an umbrella group of 25 + science and engineering organizations operating under the auspices of the Royal Society, and is supported by NSERC.

When the canary dies


Bridget Stutchbury, York University

Migratory songbirds are experiencing one of the most spectacular declines in numbers of all animal species. It is a sobering thought that Rachel Carson's conservation landmark book, Silent Spring, fingered agricultural chemicals as a likely cause as far back as 1962. Yet in the ensuing decades, pesticide use has continued to grow, especially in the Third World where toxic chemicals are used that would no longer be allowed in developed countries.

Professor Stutchbury will present the latest scientific evidence for the many challenges that humans now present to songbirds and their ecosystems, and specifically for how chemicals and global food policies have become major drivers of songbird declines. Implicit in her message and the science is a blunt warning that the birds are not the only ones at risk.

An internationally recognized expert on migratory songbirds, Dr. Stutchbury holds the Canada Research Chair in Ecology and Conservation Biology at York University. Dr. Stutchbury has followed songbirds to their wintering grounds in Latin America and back to the breeding grounds in North America to understand their behaviour, ecology and conservation. She is author of the book Silence of the Songbirds, which was a finalist for the 2007 Governor General's Literary Award for non-fiction.

Organized by: The Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE)

Sponsored by:

--the Speaker of the Senate
--the Speaker of the House of Commons
--Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Date: Thursday April 2, 2009 from 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Place: Room 200, West Block, Parliament Hill
Cost: No charge to Members of the House of Commons, Senators and Media. All others $20
Registration: Please register by contacting Donna Boag, PAGSE Coordinator: 613-991-6369,
Registration Deadline: Monday March 30, 2009