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.

Downwind of the Big Smoke - the impact
of air pollution from the Greater Toronto Area
on natural and agro-ecosystems

Dr. Tom Hutchinson
Trent University

At first glance, the environmental effects of air pollution generated by automobiles and industry in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, might seem to be a problem for Toronto alone. But that problem is now being identified in places much further away, with air quality in rural areas now often worse than in Toronto itself. Since 1995, Dr. Tom Hutchinson has been studying the role of Toronto’s air pollution on vegetation growing throughout central Ontario. Even in supposedly pristine forest sites, this research has found direct damage to crops, as well as significant interference in such fundamental processes as the decay of leaves and in pollination. He will discuss the work that led to these findings, as well as their social and economic implications.

Tom Hutchinson is a professor in the Environmental and Resource Studies Program and the Department of Biology at Trent University. As a botanist, he has been internationally recognized for his research on the effect of airborne pollution on soils and plant life. He has also contributed extensively to our understanding of the wide range of stresses that affect terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Besides teaching undergraduate and graduate courses and editing a major scientific journal, he manages a farm operation dedicated to rare breeds of domesticated livestock.

Simultaneous translation will be provided.

--the Speaker of the Senate, the Hon. Daniel Hays
--the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. Peter Milliken
--Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE)

DATE: Thursday, April 11, 2002 from 7:30 am - 9:00 am