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.

Living with Forest Fires: Lessons from Fort McMurray


Mike Flannigan, Univerity of Alberta

Every year, for millennia, thousands of small fires and dozens of large ones break out in Canada’s boreal forest. This will continue as long as people work, build, live, and play in the boreal forest. Disaster can strike when fires occur near populated areas. Last spring's Fort McMurray wildfire was a reminder of how dangerous forest fires can be. It forced the unprecedented evacuation of 90,000 people, caused insured losses of over $3.5 billion, and dampened Canada's GDP growth for 2016. Dr. Mike Flannigan will explain the current state of fire science and what it tells us about coexisting with fire in a flammable environment.

Dr. Flannigan is a professor at the University of Alberta’s Department of Renewable Resources and the director of the Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science, a three-way partnership with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Canada, and the University of Alberta. He received his BSc in Physics from the University of Manitoba, his MSc in Atmospheric Sciences from Colorado State University, and his PhD in Plant Sciences from Cambridge University. Dr. Flannigan's primary research interests include interactions between fire and the weather and climate, the potential impacts of climatic change, lightning-ignited forest fires, and landscape fire modelling. He has been studying fire for over 35 years and has published over 200 papers. Dr. Flannigan was the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Wildland Fire (2002-2008) and has taken on leadership roles in activities related to understanding the global impacts of fire with the US National Assessment on Global Change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme’s Fire Fast Track Initiative, and Global Change Terrestrial Ecosystems.

This breakfast is sponsored by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Presentation will be in English.

Organized by: The Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE).
Supported by: CANARIE inc. and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and many other sponsors.

The Speaker of the Senate
The Speaker of the House of Commons

Date: Thursday, September 29, 2016, 7:30 am - 8:30 am (Hot breakfast is ready by 7am)
Location: Parliamentary Dining Room, Centre Block
Cost: No charge to Members of the House of Commons, Senators and Media. All others $25. Payment must be made in advance by credit card. No refunds for cancellations after September 26, 2016


Contact information: Donna Boag,, 613-991-6369