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Research Guides

Science Literacy Week 2019

An annual nationwide festival of science taking place Sept 16-22, 2019 - events at UofT Libraries and UofT

Why Science Literacy?

Watch these great videos about sci lit and the magic of science.


Neil deGrasse Tyson fields questions on the importance of science literacy during a Q&A session at the 2010 World Science Festival in New York City. 

Ted Talk: The Real Future of Space Exploration

In this passionate talk, legendary spacecraft designer Burt Rutan lambasts the US government-funded space program for stagnating and asks entrepreneurs to pick up where NASA has left off.

Ted Talk: How Humans Could Evolve to Survive in Space

If we hope to one day leave Earth and explore the universe, our bodies are going to have to get a lot better at surviving the harsh conditions of space. Using synthetic biology, Lisa Nip hopes to harness special powers from microbes on Earth -- such as the ability to withstand radiation -- to make humans more fit for exploring space. "We're approaching a time during which we'll have the capacity to decide our own genetic destiny," Nip says. "Augmenting the human body with new abilities is no longer a question of how, but of when."

Ted Talk: How We Could Turn the Cold of Outer Space into a Renewable Resource

What if we could use the cold darkness of outer space to cool buildings on earth? In this mind-blowing talk, physicist Aaswath Raman details the technology he's developing to harness "night-sky cooling" -- a natural phenomenon where infrared light escapes earth and heads to space, carrying heat along with it -- which could dramatically reduce the energy used by our cooling systems (and the pollution they cause). Learn more about how this approach could lead us towards a future where we intelligently tap into the energy of the universe.

Ted Talk: Elon Musk's SpaceX Plan to Fly You Across the Globe in 30 Minutes

What's up at SpaceX? Engineer Gwynne Shotwell was employee number seven at Elon Musk's pioneering aerospace company and is now its president. In conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson, she discusses SpaceX's race to put people into orbit and the organization's next big project, the BFR (ask her what it stands for). The new giant rocket is designed to take humanity to Mars -- but it has another potential use: space travel for earthlings.