Recent Posts

Blog

Most of the things in our "Treasures" series are living organisms. I think this is partly because lots of living organisms are easy to identify with: they exist on a scale similar to ours and are easy to categorize as discrete entities. Phenomena are a little...

Science provides discovery. Design provides clarity. Together, they provide an endless fascination with the world. This mantra has continued to guide my creative process since joining the Talk Science to Me team in February. My first couple of projects with Talk Science To Me involved collaborating to produce both online and print publications. With...

Dr. David Ng is definitely our kind of person. In addition to being smart as a scientist, he’s an excellent and inventive communicator with a great instinct for creating hooks. He’s also very skilled at devising relatable premises that are truly capable of carrying a...

If you know anything about basic science, it’s likely you’ve yelled at a television show for flagrantly making things up when it would seemingly be just as easy to ask an expert. Or a graduate of grade 8, for that matter. The people who go through the most pain are those in frequently represented fields: forensic scientists, lawyers, that sort of thing. I can only assume drug dealers and superspies have just as much trouble watching their fictional counterparts. This is all very understandable, I think. The story may be fictional, but as long as it’s grounded somewhere in the real world, some of us will at least want the internal mechanisms of the narrative to cohere—we want the moving parts to be there, even if they can’t really work. This attitude becomes harder to justify when the world of the narrative bears less resemblance to our own. How pedantic can you really be about the invented science of Star Trek? Very pedantic, it turns out. It turns out things like space combat aren’t pure speculation at this stage; there are some basic physical constraints that will probably apply no matter how technologically advanced we get. But really, there’s no limit. (Even Harry Potter got (dreadfully) re-written by someone who thought the system of magic in the stories wasn’t logical enough.)

Lots of beautiful science happens in the chemistry building at UBC. Photo by Tr1plefilter, 2008 (public domain).The University of British Columbia (UBC)’s Department of Chemistry is housed in one of the most beautiful buildings on campus (which you may have seen in one or two X-Files episodes). But even more beautiful is what goes on inside the building: it's home to world-class researchers whose work has contributed to groundbreaking discoveries and scientific developments.

And since these scientists are in the same city as Talk Science to Me, we were excited to have an opportunity to work with some of them last month. Talk Science was hired to copy-edit seven grant proposals for funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The proposals we worked on outlined innovative ways to address issues ranging from climate change to cancer treatment.