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.

The Violent High Energy Universe


Victoria Kaspi, McGill University

A glance at the night sky during a quiet walk in the dark countryside suggests that our cosmos is calm and largely unchanging. However, X-ray space telescopes reveal a
radically different Universe – one of enormous thermonuclear explosions, jets spewing from super massive black holes, and giant gamma-ray bursts. These dramatic, violent phenomena in the sky are a testament to Nature's ability to harness huge sources of energy in ways that cannot currently be replicated in Terrestrial laboratories. Dr. Kaspi will describe several of these types of events, their origin, frequency, and what they can tell us about physical extremes currently mysterious to science.

Dr. Kaspi is a world leader in the study of neutron stars – ultradense, rapidly rotating stars that are close cousins of black holes. She holds the Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology, and a Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics in McGill University’s Department of Physics. Her many awards and honours include the Royal Society of Canada Rutherford Memorial Medal for Physics, the Herzberg Medal of the Canadian Association of Physicists, an NSERC Steacie Fellowship, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Young Explorer Prize and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.

The talk will also celebrate Canada’s major contributions to astronomy, during the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

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 June 4, 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 June 1, 2009