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Science Literacy Week @ McGill: 2015 Lecture series

Events happening across campus during science literacy week

Lecture on climate change

Prof. Shaun Lovejoy

Why the warming can't be natural: Harnessing butterflies for climate closure

Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 4 pm

Location: Redpath Museum auditorium

Climate science has concentrated on proving the theory that the post-industrial warming is largely caused by human agency and last year, the International Panel on Climate Change upgraded its assessment of the theory from “likely” to “extremely likely”. Meanwhile, the skeptics have continued to tout their theory that the warming is simply a giant natural fluctuation. In order to end the scientific part of the debate - to reach “climate closure” - it is therefore necessary to demonstrate that the skeptics’ competing giant fluctuation theory has such a low probability that it can be confidently dismissed. We summarize a new and straightforward disproof that achieves this closure with 99.9% confidence so that the only viable explanation is anthropogenic.

I describe a scientific breakthrough that exploits the atmosphere’s extreme instability - the “butterfly effect” – the cause of a special type of randomness with a memory that is so enormous that we are still feeling the effects of century - old fluctuations. Randomness with elephantine memory not only leads to climate closure, it also leads to improved seasonal, annual and decadal forecasts.

Lecture on global health

Prof. Madhukar Pai

Global health: Opportunities to make a difference

Thursday, September 24, 2015, 4 pm

Location: McIntyre Medical Building, room 208/9

As technological and other advances have increasingly made the world a more connected, and smaller place, global health has taken on even greater importance as diseases and viruses now make their way more rapidly around the planet. Although globalization brings challenges, it also offers tremendous opportunities for academic universities to make a meaningful contribution. This talk will introduce global health and the biggest global health challenges, and outline the various opportunities the field provides for students looking to make a difference.

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