Start Date is not before End Date

Filter Events by

85 Queen: Where Did the Universe Come From?

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Virtual Event
Events - Zoom
This is a FREE online talk offered via Zoom Webinar. Please register here.

Tonight's book launch co-authors, Chris and Geraint, will talk about the fascinating exploration of the vastness of the universe. This event is one of several celebrating Science Literacy Week.

Do you ever look up to the stars and wonder about what is out there?

Over the last few centuries, humans have successfully unraveled much of the language of the universe, exploring and defining formerly mysterious phenomena such as electricity, magnetism, and matter through the beauty of mathematics. But some secrets remain beyond our realm of understanding--and seemingly beyond the very laws and theories we have relied on to make sense of the universe we inhabit. It is clear that the quantum, the world of atoms and electrons, is entwined with the cosmos, a universe of trillions of stars and galaxies...but exactly how these two extremes of human understanding interact remains a mystery. Where Did the Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions allows readers to eavesdrop on a conversation between award-winning physicists Chris Ferrie and Geraint F. Lewis as they examine the universe through the two unifying and yet often contradictory lenses of classical physics and quantum mechanics, tackling questions such as:

  • Where did the universe come from?
  • Why do dying stars rip themselves apart
  • Do black holes last forever?
  • What is left for humans to discover?

This book will have armchair physicists turning the pages until their biggest and smallest questions about the cosmos have been answered.


Chris Ferrie is an Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney and the Centre for Quantum Software and Information. His research interests include quantum learning and control. He obtained his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Institute for Quantum Computing and University of Waterloo (Canada) in 2012. Chris’s passion for communicating science has led from the most esoteric topics of mathematical physics to more recently writing children’s books, such as Quantum Physics for Babies, and a whole collection of other titles that make science accessible even for the youngest children. His latest book – Where did the universe come from? And other cosmic questions – explores how the connection between the quantum and cosmos provides our understanding of the universe.

Born and raised in Old South Wales, Geraint F. Lewis is now professor of astrophysics at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on cosmology, gravitational lensing and galactic cannibalism, all with the goal of unravelling the dark-side of the universe. He is the author of two popular books on cosmology – A Fortunate Universe: Life in a finely tuned cosmos and The Cosmic Revolutionary’s Handbook: Or how to beat the Big Bang – both authored with Luke Barnes. A new book – Where did the universe come from? And other cosmic questions – written with Chris Ferrie, explores how the connection between the quantum and cosmos provides our understanding of the universe.


John Donohue is the Senior Manager of Scientific Outreach at the Institute for Quantum Computing, a research institute at the University of Waterloo. John develops educational materials and events for educators and students of all ages to learn about quantum mechanics and quantum information. He earned his PhD in Physics from the University of Waterloo in 2016 with a research speciality in quantum photonics, quantum information, and laser technologies.

View More

85 Queen: Praying to the West: How Muslims Shaped the Americas

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Virtual Event
Events - Zoom
This is a FREE online talk offered via Zoom Webinar. Please register here.

Journalist Omar Mouallem travels to thirteen remarkable mosques and discovers the surprising history of their communities. But what he finds also challenges his own long-held personal beliefs, and even his sense of identity.

“Until recently, Muslim identity was imposed on me. But I feel different about my religious heritage in the era of ISIS and Trumpism, Rohingya and Uyghur genocides, ethnonationalism and misinformation. I’m compelled to reclaim the thing that makes me a target. I’ve begun to examine Islam closely with an eye for how it has shaped my values, politics, and connection to my roots. No doubt, Islam has a place within me. But do I have a place within it?”

Omar Mouallem grew up in a Muslim household, but always questioned the role of Islam in his life. As an adult, he used his voice to criticize what he saw as the harms of organized religion. But none of that changed the way others saw him. Now, as a father, he fears the challenges his children will no doubt face as Western nations become increasingly nativist and hostile toward their heritage.

In Praying to the West, Mouallem explores the unknown history of Islam across the Americas, traveling to thirteen unique mosques in search of an answer to how this religion has survived and thrived so far from the place of its origin. From California to Quebec, and from Brazil to Canada’s icy north, he meets the members of fascinating communities, all of whom provide different perspectives on what it means to be Muslim. Along this journey he comes to understand that Islam has played a fascinating role in how the Americas were shaped—from industrialization to the changing winds of politics. And he also discovers that there may be a place for Islam in his own life, particularly as a father, even if he will never be a true believer.

Original, insightful, and beautifully told, Praying to the West reveals a secret history of home and the struggle for belonging taking place in towns and cities across the Americas, and points to a better, more inclusive future for everyone.

Omar Mouallem is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. His journalism has appeared in The GuardianThe New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Maclean’s, WIRED, and more. He coauthored the national bestseller Inside the Inferno: A Firefighter’s Story of the Brotherhood that Saved Fort McMurray, and codirected Digging in the Dirt, a documentary about mental health in the Alberta oil patch. In 2020, he founded Pandemic University School of Writing. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, with his family. Follow him on Twitter @OmarMouallem and find him at OmarMouallem.com. Visit PrayingtotheWest.com for more information.

Dr. Kamal Al-Solaylee, Director of School of Journalism, Writing, and Media, UBC  was previously an associate professor at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University, a theatre critic at the Globe and Mail. He has written features and reviews for the Toronto Star, National Post, The Walrus, Toronto Life, Chatelaine, Quill & Quire, Canadian Notes & Queries, Literary Review of Canada and ELLE Canada.

His bestselling memoir Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes won the Toronto Book Award and was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Lambda Literary Award, and Canada Reads. Al-Solaylee holds a PhD in English from the University of Nottingham. His new book, Brown, has been hailed as "brilliant" by The Walrus magazine, "essential reading" by the Globe and Mail, and was a finalist for the 2016 Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction He holds a PhD in English Literature from Nottingham University.



View More

85 Queen: An Evening with Katharine Hayhoe

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Virtual Event
Events - Zoom
This is a FREE online event - please register here

in conversation with Dr. Sarah Burch 

“A must-read if we’re serious about enacting positive change from the ground up, in communities, and through human connections and human emotions.” —Margaret Atwood, Twitter

Called “one of the nation's most effective communicators on climate change” by The New York Times, Katharine Hayhoe knows how to navigate all sides of the conversation on our changing planet. A Canadian climate scientist living in Texas, she negotiates distrust of data, indifference to imminent threats, and resistance to proposed solutions with ease. Over the past fifteen years Hayhoe has found that the most important thing we can do to address climate change is talk about it—and she wants to teach you how.

In Saving Us, Hayhoe argues that when it comes to changing hearts and minds, facts are only one part of the equation. We need to find shared values in order to connect our unique identities to collective action. This is not another doomsday narrative about a planet on fire. It is a multilayered look at science, faith, and human psychology, from an icon in her field—recently named chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy.

Drawing on interdisciplinary research and personal stories, Hayhoe shows that small conversations can have astonishing results. Saving Us leaves us with the tools to open a dialogue with your loved ones about how we all can play a role in pushing forward for change.


Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist and chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy. She is also the Endowed Professor in Public Policy and Public Law and Paul W. Horn Distinguished Professor at Texas Tech University. She has been named a United Nations Champion of the Earth and one of Time ’s 100 Most Influential People, and serves as the climate ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance. Katharine was a lead author for the U.S. Second, Third, and Fourth National Climate Assessments, hosts the PBS digital series Global Weirding, and has written for The New York Times. Her TED Talk “The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Fight Climate Change: Talk About It” has been viewed over 5 million times. She has a BSc in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto and an MS and a PhD in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Dr. Sarah Burch holds a Canada Research Chair in Sustainability Governance and Innovation, and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Canada. She is the Executive Director of the the University of Waterloo’s Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, and is currently a Lead Author of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007). Her research explores transformative responses to climate change at the community scale, innovative strategies for making progress on sustainability, and the unique contributions that small businesses can make to this solving this complex challenge. 

Dr. Burch holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia, a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford and she was elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars in 2017. Her most recent book, along with co-author Dr. Sara Harris, is entitled ‘Understanding Climate Change: Science, Policy and Practice.’ 

Proudly Supported by:

View More