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How "Save the Whales" started: speech at York U

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October 17, 2005

Source: York University:

How "Save the Whales" started: speech at York U

TORONTO, October 17, 2005 -- Renowned science historian Graham Burnett will speak at York University Tuesday about how society decided to try to save the world’s whale population.

A fascinating range of biological, linguistic, and neurological research began to focus on whales in the mid-twentieth century, says Professor Burnett, of Princeton University, leading to a "Save the Whales" effort in the 1960s.

Burnett’s lecture is the inaugural presentation in the 2005-2006 Science and Society series, being offered by York’s Bethune College. He will deliver his lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in room 109 of the Accolade West Building, located on York’s Keele campus.

A historian of science, Burnett’s interests include the history of natural history and the sciences of the earth and the sea, from the 17th to 20th centures, including cartography, navigation and the mapping of bodies of water. His recent research has looked at the role of the geographical sciences in European colonialism. He has also studied Charles Darwin, the history of exploration, and early modern optics, and has been published widely.

The Science and Society series presents seminars by visiting speakers on scientific topics of broad public interest and is intended to promote discussion between different disciplines, both within the university and beyond.

This year’s series centres on the topic "Oceans: The Life Around Us." The current scientific interest in exploring the deep oceans stems from several roots: climate change research, physical oceanography, marine biology and ecosystem modeling. At the same time, the oceans are also increasingly the focus of critical environmental and political concerns.

All talks are open to the public. For more information about the series, visit the Bethune College Web site.

York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada’s most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as 180,000 alumni worldwide. York’s 10 faculties and 21 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation.


For more information, contact:

Janice Walls, Media Relations Coordinator, York University, 416-736-2100 x22101/



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