Lynne Quarmby, a Simon Fraser University scientist with a passion for promoting the importance of science to life's sustenance, will have a captive audience during the world's largest science fair in Vancouver.
The cell biologist will talk to 30 top-flight American high school science students and their teachers on Feb. 16 at the American Junior Academy of Science's annual conference (AJAS) at the SFU Burnaby campus.
The AJAS conference dovetails every year with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference, which is at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Feb. 16 to 20, this year.
The AAAS, the publisher of the journal Science, is the world's largest scientific organization bringing together scientists, policy-makers and the public to advance science and science education.
The AJAS is the United States' only honour society recognizing and inducting as lifetime Fellows the crème de la crème among American high school students producing outstanding scientific research. Many of their teachers are AJAS members too.
AJAS delegates take advantage of the two conferences' coincidence to tour local science institutions, share their research and attend the larger conference's sessions.
Quarmby is relishing the opportunity of addressing the American junior scientists with her speech, Science, Serendipity and Society, 8:45 to 9:15 a.m., at the SFU Diamond Alumni Centre. She will use engaging stories and examples to illustrate the importance of basic research and next-generation researchers being able to balance human curiosity and creativity with technological advancement.
"Without basic research and the willingness of society to fund it we wouldn't have cell phones, cancer cures, better roads and hospitals and other inventions that have game changing results in society," explains Quarmby.
Named one of B.C.'s 100 most influential women by The Vancouver Sun, Quarmby blogs and writes regularly for an on-line literary magazine about the importance of basic, and not just applied, research.
She hopes her captive audience at the AJAS conference breakfast will run with her message that dependable and increasing funding of basic research shouldn't "be a perpetual hard sell" to taxpayers and governments.
Following Quarmby's address, several internationally recognized SFU scientists -- Byron Gates, Neil Branda, Max Donelan, David Vocadlo and Ash Parameswaran --will take the AJAS delegates on a guided tour of labs spanning several disciplines.
Simon Fraser University
Public Affairs and Media Relations (PAMR)
Quarmby photo on Flickr: