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.

Wrestling with phosphorus -- how new Canadian environmental technology is helping address an urgent global problem


Donald S. Mavinic, The University of British Columbia

Nothing is simple about phosphorus. The agricultural fertilizer that makes it possible to feed the world is poison for many of the world's rivers, lakes and coastal systems. And now, concern is rising that future supplies of the mineral may not be adequate to meet demand.

University of British Columbia (UBC) civil engineer Donald S. Mavinic is the co-inventor of a new Canadian technology that is earning rave international reviews for helping cities and towns remove phosphorus from wastewater and convert it into fertilizer. He will talk about the challenges and rewards of bringing a new environmental technology to market in today's economy, and the larger issue of what more will be needed soon to tackle the global phosphorus problem.

Dr. Mavinic has headed the Environmental Engineering Program at UBC since 1984, and is the author of more than 250 papers and technical reports. In 1992, he was awarded the Albert E. Berry Medal by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering for major contributions to environmental engineering in Canada. He is a Member of the Board of OSTARA Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., a UBC spin-off company he helped found in 2005. He also acts a special advisor on nutrient recovery technologies and global phosphorus shortages to the European Union and the governments of the United States, China and Australia.

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 November 26, 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 Manager: 613-991-6369,
Registration Deadline: Monday November 23, 2009