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Scientific [clear filter]
Saturday, October 19
 

10:00am EDT

Science Literacy Track Inauguration and Coffee
Coffee, snacks, and a vision for the science literacy track.

Moderators
avatar for Derek Künsken

Derek Künsken

Co-Chair (Programming), Can*Con

Panelists
avatar for Stephen Leahy

Stephen Leahy

Biosphere Journalist, National Geographic, etc
Travelled to a lot of weird and wonderful places, met astonishing diversity of people in 25 years reporting on our biosphere - the thin layer of life that supports us - and our interactions with it. Happy to talk about freelancing, media, science, climate, nature, oceans, and lots... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am EDT
Penthouse A - 75 seats

11:00am EDT

AI Keynote: Machine Learning Sees You Now
Artificial Intelligence, more precisely Machine Learning, is already a big part of our lives. Things like facial recognition can impact our everyday experiences in unexpected, and even sometimes illegal ways. Deborah Raji, a Fellow at the AI Now Institute in New York, and a participant with the Algorithmic Justice League which advocates for a world with inclusive and ethical AI, describes what AI/ML can do now, and ways in which it has already been incorporated into society and homes.

Panelists

Saturday October 19, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am EDT
Penthouse A - 75 seats

12:00pm EDT

Break
Saturday October 19, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm EDT
Penthouse A - 75 seats

1:00pm EDT

Climate Keynote: It's Worse Than We Think
Climate Change Keynote: Stephen Leahy, winner of the 2018 SEAL Award for Climate Journalism and 2014 Lane Anderson Award for Best Canadian Science Writing will speak about where we are in 2019. Inaction on climate change is steering the world to the worst case scenarios and this talk will cover climate indicators and consequences we might not know, and what to expect in 2029 and 2039.

Panelists
avatar for Stephen Leahy

Stephen Leahy

Biosphere Journalist, National Geographic, etc
Travelled to a lot of weird and wonderful places, met astonishing diversity of people in 25 years reporting on our biosphere - the thin layer of life that supports us - and our interactions with it. Happy to talk about freelancing, media, science, climate, nature, oceans, and lots... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm EDT
Penthouse A - 75 seats

2:00pm EDT

Economic Keynote: How Emerging Technologies Change Our Workforce, Our Economy & Our Community
When we consider new technologies (from AI to autonomous vehicles to big data to the Internet of Things), we often look at them from a system-wide perspective – but technological change occurs within individual communities, businesses and even careers. Its deepest impacts occur at a local level, transforming workforces, governments, and educational systems. This wide-ranging and engaging session will look at where we are now in local economic and workforce development, and where we may headed in the future.

Panelists

Saturday October 19, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Penthouse A - 75 seats

3:00pm EDT

Imagining a Zero-Carbon Future
Getting to a Zero-Carbon world could reduce some of the damage that we will face in the next 30 years, and will contribute to remediating our climate. One obstacle to getting to a Zero-Carbon Future is a difficulty in imagining what that world and lifestyle would look like? What industries would need to shrink or vanish? What kinds of energy efficiencies will we need in homes, offices, schools? How much would transport need to be reduced, in import/export terms for economies and in personal travel? What incentives and requirements need to be built into our education, legal and tax systems to influence behavior? Journalists, futurists and science fiction writers have important roles in helping society imagine possible futures. Join this exercise in looking forward. All ideas discussed are open season for audience writers to take and run with.

Moderators
avatar for L.X. Beckett

L.X. Beckett

Toronto author and editor L.X. Beckett frittered their misbegotten youth working as an actor and theater technician in Southern Alberta before deciding to make a shift into writing science fiction. Their first novella, “Freezing Rain, a Chance of Falling,” appeared in the July/August... Read More →

Panelists
avatar for Mark Robinson

Mark Robinson

Mark Robinson is a Canadian adventurer, storm chaser, and meteorologist. Recently named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Explorers by Canadian Geographic, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. Mark has chased (and has been chased) by tornadoes across Canada and... Read More →
avatar for Stephen Leahy

Stephen Leahy

Biosphere Journalist, National Geographic, etc
Travelled to a lot of weird and wonderful places, met astonishing diversity of people in 25 years reporting on our biosphere - the thin layer of life that supports us - and our interactions with it. Happy to talk about freelancing, media, science, climate, nature, oceans, and lots... Read More →
avatar for Rick Overwater

Rick Overwater

Rick Overwater is a Calgary-based journalist, fiction author, and nationally distributed recording artist/songwriter. His latest graphic novel, Futility: Orange Planet Horror is currently shortlisted for a 2019 Aurora Award in the graphic novel category. His latest short story, “House... Read More →
avatar for Lynne Sargent

Lynne Sargent

Lynne Sargent is a writer, aerialist, and Ph.D student currently studying at the University of Waterloo. Her work has been published in venues such as Strange Horizons, Wild Musette, and Twisted Moon Magazine, among others. She was a 2018 Rhysling and 2018 Aurora Award Nominee.


Saturday October 19, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm EDT
Penthouse A - 75 seats

4:00pm EDT

Technology-Driven Labor Market Disruption: The New Industrial Revolution
The New Industrial Revolution – It may be that in 30 years, you will be driven to a hospital in a driverless car, for an appointment made by an automated scheduler that verifies your identity visually to meet with your doctor to discuss results from an AI radiologist. Between machine learning advances in pattern recognition, algorithms that can emulate routine decisions like bank loans and driving, and advances in robotics, we're no longer sure what portions of which jobs can be replaced by cheap automization. What policies in education, law, social assistance, housing, transport does Canada need to be preparing now to be ready for massive and unpredictable changes in the labour market?

Moderators
avatar for Lynne Sargent

Lynne Sargent

Lynne Sargent is a writer, aerialist, and Ph.D student currently studying at the University of Waterloo. Her work has been published in venues such as Strange Horizons, Wild Musette, and Twisted Moon Magazine, among others. She was a 2018 Rhysling and 2018 Aurora Award Nominee.

Panelists
avatar for Jason M. Harley

Jason M. Harley

Assistant Professor, McGill University
Jason M. Harley is a university professor and junior research scientist at McGill and the McGill University Health Centre Research Institute. Their research examines psychological processes in surgical training using simulations and advanced technology. Jason’s research on topics... Read More →
avatar for Adam Shaftoe

Adam Shaftoe

Critic, author, podcast personality, workforce development practicioner, not-for-profit manager
Adam Shaftoe writes reviews, essays, and fiction. His essays and reviews have previously appeared in On-Spec Magazine, Jamais Vu - The Journal of the Strange Among the Familiar, and Onder Magazine. His current labours include a novella-length review of Cowboy Bebop, because the world... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm EDT
Penthouse A - 75 seats
 
Sunday, October 20
 

10:00am EDT

The Ongoing Permanent Depletion of Water Resources
 In Canada, we often think of water as a renewable resource taken from lakes and rivers. In fact, in Canada and many other parts of the world, water is extracted from aquifers that take thousands of years to refill. This process is facilitated by industrial and environmental laws and lack of awareness in citizenry. This conversation gathers the viewpoints of journalists, ethicists, public policy academics and science fiction writers to survey the trend lines and identify policy action.

Moderators
avatar for Charlotte Ashley

Charlotte Ashley

Charlotte Ashley is a writer, editor and bookseller living in Toronto. Her fantasy and science fiction short stories have appeared in F&SF, Clockwork Canada, Luna Station Quarterly, Kaleidotrope, PodCastle, and elsewhere. Her historical fantasy, “La Héron,” was nominated for... Read More →

Panelists
avatar for Stephen Leahy

Stephen Leahy

Biosphere Journalist, National Geographic, etc
Travelled to a lot of weird and wonderful places, met astonishing diversity of people in 25 years reporting on our biosphere - the thin layer of life that supports us - and our interactions with it. Happy to talk about freelancing, media, science, climate, nature, oceans, and lots... Read More →
avatar for Rick Overwater

Rick Overwater

Rick Overwater is a Calgary-based journalist, fiction author, and nationally distributed recording artist/songwriter. His latest graphic novel, Futility: Orange Planet Horror is currently shortlisted for a 2019 Aurora Award in the graphic novel category. His latest short story, “House... Read More →
avatar for Kelly Robson

Kelly Robson

Writer, SFWA
Kelly Robson is an award-winning short fiction writer. In 2018, her story “A Human Stain” won the Nebula Award for Best Novelette, and in 2016, her novella “Waters of Versailles” won the Prix Aurora Award. She has also been a finalist for the Nebula, World Fantasy, Theodore... Read More →
avatar for Lynne Sargent

Lynne Sargent

Lynne Sargent is a writer, aerialist, and Ph.D student currently studying at the University of Waterloo. Her work has been published in venues such as Strange Horizons, Wild Musette, and Twisted Moon Magazine, among others. She was a 2018 Rhysling and 2018 Aurora Award Nominee.


Sunday October 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am EDT
Penthouse A - 75 seats

11:00am EDT

Data is the New Gold Rush
Data is the New Gold Rush: Data is the limited resource required for the development of AI, and AI will transform the costs and profitabilities of many industries, much as the introduction of electricity and electronic transformed many economic ventures. Major technology companies in the United States and China have early head starts in the race for data, and in many cases, we ourselves are being mined for profitable resources. How does the competition for data affect people whose data is being collected? What kind of balance of privacy and economics should policy makers be looking for? How can children (and adults!) become data-rights-savvy enough to engage with elected officials? Companies have become large worldwide partly as a result of weakening anti-trust laws – is being big necessary for success in AI when the resource is information?

Moderators
avatar for Chandra Clarke

Chandra Clarke

Chandra Clarke wears many hats, sometimes all at once, which makes it hard to get through doorways. A recovering entrepreneur, she founded the editing company Scribendi.com, which was acquired in 2017. She will also admit to having been a freelance writer, with publishing credits... Read More →

Panelists
avatar for Geoffrey Hart

Geoffrey Hart

Geoff works primarily as a scientific editor, specializing in authors who have English as their second or third language. He's a fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, and has published hundreds of articles and several books to help others communicate better. In his spare... Read More →
avatar for Lynne Sargent

Lynne Sargent

Lynne Sargent is a writer, aerialist, and Ph.D student currently studying at the University of Waterloo. Her work has been published in venues such as Strange Horizons, Wild Musette, and Twisted Moon Magazine, among others. She was a 2018 Rhysling and 2018 Aurora Award Nominee.


Sunday October 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am EDT
Penthouse A - 75 seats

12:00pm EDT

Break
Sunday October 20, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm EDT
Penthouse A - 75 seats

1:00pm EDT

Cryptocurrencies to CryptoKitties and Beyond
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that allows us to create trustless, decentralized systems with an immutable history. Such systems have found some application in finance through the speculative markets created by cryptocurrencies. They have also enabled criminal activity through providing new, difficult to track, ways of transacting value. However, these (mis)applications are not the only use case for blockchain. The technology has evolved from replicating simple ledgers to complex state machines, which can be used for performing more involved computations and thus opening new possibilities in supply chain management, insurance, and other businesses typically left to trusted third parties (such as escrow services). In this talk, expert Michael Birch will discuss some of the technical details of how blockchains work in the context of these past and future applications of the technology.

Panelists
avatar for Michael Birch

Michael Birch

Lead Developer, CasperLabs
Michael Birch is a physicist turned software developer who now works at CasperLabs, a blockchain startup. Michael received his masters in physics from McMaster University, after which he decided to leave academia. Unbeknownst to him at the time, this started his journey to becoming... Read More →


Sunday October 20, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm EDT
Penthouse A - 75 seats