"Why Science" airs on Windspeaker radio in Alberta every week throughout September, October, November, and December.
Listen Wednesdays and Fridays on CJWE 88,1
, The Raven
, and Cuzin radio
online. We will update this page
weekly with more information about each subject and guest. Enjoy the features and if you have any questions or comments, please drop us a line
Week of October 11th
Guest: Lee Wilson
Lee Wilson is a professor at the University of Saskatchewan in the department of chemistry.
As your Why Science editor was preparing this post there was a news headline that brought this episode into perspective. “Iqaluit issues Do Not Consume for town’s drinking water
” because of what appears to be fuel contamination. We cannot always tell what is wrong with our water, but as Lee says we sometimes need to rely on science to tell if our water is safe so we can take charge and address some of the issues affecting our water. It involves chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and yes, traditional knowledge.
There was a time when we were confident in the quality and quantity of our water supply, but that is not necessarily the reality today. Lee says the upcoming generation should consider going into science and looking at the world in dual ways to come up with better practices to ensure sustainability.
Week of October 4th
Guest: Michell Hogue
Michelle Hogue is an assistant professor and co-ordinator in the First Nations Transition Program at the University of Lethbridge. Living on the land for as long as Indigenous people have, means being closely connected to the science of the land and that connection has always been part of Michelle's career in science. She says that Indigenous science is life and living, while western science often is a step removed. Michelle has focused much of her time at the University of Lethbridge bridging Indigenous ways of knowing with western education methods. We should also note that Michelle was one of the first to step up and help us with this series and was willing to give her time to an untried idea. Thank-you Michelle!
Week of September 27
Guest: Edward Doolittle
Edward Doolittle is a Mohawk from Six Nations in Ontario and is an Associate Professor at the First Nations University of Canada at the University of Regina.
Think mathematics is not part of your life everyday? Hard to keep track of hockey statistics without math. Or balance a cheque book or set out on a trip without knowing how far you are going or how long it will take to get there. Try building something without measuring. You need it to add a deck to your house. Or think of the box where light was once kept in the beginning
- before the Raven stole the box and let loose the light.
Week of September 20th
Guest: Latiya Northwest
Latiya is from the Samson Cree Nation in Maskwacîs and is a student at the University of Alberta's Environmental and Conservation Sciences and Native Studies program. Environmental sustainability is a global ambition and responsive, community based models have often proved to be a successful approach. The United Nations has targeted areas such as sustainable consumption, sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, forests management, reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. Indigenous communities personify these goals by already having a strong interconnection to the natural world and an ecological view of the world woven in their culture and communities. In this segment, Latiya emphasizes how knowledge of animal behaviour, plant regeneration, and even forest management through prescribed burning has been passed on through generations of storytelling.
Week of September 13th
Guest: Robbie Potts
Robbie is a Plains Cree and works on our Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) project at the University of Alberta. CWD is a fatal prion disease which affects deer, elk, reindeer, and moose. It is found mostly in Saskatchewan and Alberta with a few reported cases in Quebec. It is not passed on to people, but the Government of Canada says that as a precaution, people should not eat any part of an animal that has tested positive for CWD.