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  7:30 pm, Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Fairmont Lounge, St. John's College

How Science is really done:
a story of duels, harems, heroines, and a cold case of murder

Jaymie Matthews

University of British Columbia

Textbooks tend to depict scientists as saints, known only for their contributions to knowledge, but rarely as colourful human beings - sometimes heroic, sometimes flawed, sometimes both. Science is an objective process conducted by subjective scientists. It is insightful and entertaining for understand the difference. I have chosen a few examples of astronomers and astrophysicists whose life stories would make hit Hollywood screenplays. What's the connection between Newton's Principia and life insurance? Between alchemy, celestial dynamics and murder? Between harems and computer clusters? And who defied the scientific establishment, her own PhD supervisor, and her own instincts to show that the Sun and stars are made mostly of hydrogen and helium? Find out at this talk, when PITP meets CSI and traditional physics meets tabloid paparazzi.

To learn more please visit his research group webpage.

Additional resources for this talk: slides, video.