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.

Things are falling into place -- Gravity rules

Dr. Robin Riddihough
Natural Resources Canada

Gravity keeps the coffee in the cup and the cup on the table. It rules our lives and yet remains one of the great mysteries of science. The acceleration of a falling body turns out to be key to understanding how a pendulum keeps time, measuring the shape and mass of the earth and figuring out where we are on its surface.

2002 marks 100 years of gravity measurements in Canada. Gravity meters are now accurate enough to see the solid ground move up and down each day in response to the tidal attraction of the moon. They help us find our buried natural resources, define our continental shelf and navigate ballistic missiles. Today's gravity measurements underpin the accurate satellite positions needed for air traffic and detect the slow creep that may presage the next earthquake on the west coast.

Dr Robin Riddihough graduated with degrees in geology and marine geophysics from London, England in 1961. He worked for 25 years as a research scientist conducting gravity and magnetic surveys in Italy, the UK, Ireland, the USA and Canada, becoming an authority on the plate tectonics of the North-East Pacific Ocean and publishing over 75 papers. He was Chief Scientist of the Geological Survey of Canada from 1987 to 1993 and is currently an Emeritus Scientist with the Polar Continental Shelf Project.

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: Tuesday, April 8, 2003 from 7:30 am - 9:00 am