The Poet and the Astronomer Seek Meaning in an Expanding Universe

“The world is large-

                                    It contains multitudes.

                                    I look with all embracing eyes

                                    And tell you what I see.

                                    Do I contradict myself ?

                                    Very well, I contradict myself.

                                    If you are not bedazzled yet

                                    Look differently, and marvel !”

“Leaves of Grass”

Walt Whitman

 

Modern scientific discoveries have shed considerable light on the questions of how did it begin and how did we get here? However, it is only when science, concerned with “knowing” and poetry, concerned with  “feeling”, converge, do we come closer to a complete picture of ourselves and our place in the Universe. These components of our human experience are not mutually exclusive but complementary. No wonder the night sky is the hunting ground for scientists, theologians, philosophers and poets.

Series Date: 
Thursday, October 20, 2016 to Thursday, November 24, 2016
Price: 
45.00 CAD
Product variations: 
Title:
The Science and Beauty of the Milky Way
0.00 CAD
Date: 
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Time: 
10:00 AM
12:00 PM
Location: 
Bayshore Community Centre

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and

the thought has found words.”

                                                               Robert Frost

 

We inhabit a wonderful and beautiful Universe. Our "Science", concerned with knowing, and our "Poetry", concerned with feeling, provides complementary avenues to understanding our existence. Scientific understanding and poetic beauty are two sides of the same human coin.

About the lecturer 

Doug Cunningham

Doug Cunningham is a retired science and outdoor education teacher and has been an amateur astronomer for over 46 years. Doug has always enjoyed the adventure of scientific inquiry and his fascination with the Great Ideas of Science permeated his lessons. He loves the scientific narrative and is fond of the idea that the Universe is composed, not only of atoms and energy, but of stories. Doug considers the pursuit of science as a grand, intellectual and poetic adventure.

Over the years Doug has been a featured speaker at many conferences and symposia; but now, in retirement, he greatly enjoys presenting the ideas and themes of science to Associations of Lifelong Learners. This will be the sixth time that Doug has been a featured BALL lecturer.

 

Title:
Galaxy Structure and the Discovery and Mapping of Dark Matter
0.00 CAD
Date: 
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Time: 
10:00 AM
12:00 PM
Location: 
Bayshore Community Centre

“We couldn’t keep from wondering if we might

somehow be seeing our own origins.”

                    Robert E Williams    Hubble Deep Field Team Leader

 

 Dark Matter provides the invisible scaffolding for our wonderful and beautiful Universe and yet, its scientific nature eludes us. Poets and astronomers find inspiration under a night sky filled with stars.

About the lecturer 

Doug Cunningham

Doug Cunningham is a retired science and outdoor education teacher and has been an amateur astronomer for over 46 years. Doug has always enjoyed the adventure of scientific inquiry and his fascination with the Great Ideas of Science permeated his lessons. He loves the scientific narrative and is fond of the idea that the Universe is composed, not only of atoms and energy, but of stories. Doug considers the pursuit of science as a grand, intellectual and poetic adventure.

Over the years Doug has been a featured speaker at many conferences and symposia; but now, in retirement, he greatly enjoys presenting the ideas and themes of science to Associations of Lifelong Learners. This will be the sixth time that Doug has been a featured BALL lecturer.

 

Title:
The Recent Discovery of Dark Energy
0.00 CAD
Date: 
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Time: 
10:00 AM
12:00 PM
Location: 
Bayshore Community Centre

“Eventually we reach the dim boundary - the utmost limits

of our telescopes. There we measure shadows, and we

search among ghostly errors of measurement for landmarks.”

Edwin Hubble - On Measuring the Expanding Universe

                                                           

On the largest of scales our Universe is very weird. In 1998 two groups of astronomers discovered that, for the past 6 billion years, the expansion of our Universe has been accelerating due to a repulsive “dark energy” that permeates all space. The most profound mystery in astrophysics!

About the lecturer 

Doug Cunningham

Doug Cunningham is a retired science and outdoor education teacher and has been an amateur astronomer for over 46 years. Doug has always enjoyed the adventure of scientific inquiry and his fascination with the Great Ideas of Science permeated his lessons. He loves the scientific narrative and is fond of the idea that the Universe is composed, not only of atoms and energy, but of stories. Doug considers the pursuit of science as a grand, intellectual and poetic adventure.

Over the years Doug has been a featured speaker at many conferences and symposia; but now, in retirement, he greatly enjoys presenting the ideas and themes of science to Associations of Lifelong Learners. This will be the sixth time that Doug has been a featured BALL lecturer.

 

Title:
New Discoveries in OUR Solar System
0.00 CAD
Date: 
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Time: 
10:00 AM
12:00 PM
Location: 
Bayshore Community Centre

“Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold,
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
  When a new planet swims into his ken;”

John Keats - “On First Looking into Chapman's Homer”

The textbooks are being rewritten. All the major bodies of our solar system have now been visited by our robotic spacecraft and their discoveries have revealed a beautiful, yet still mysterious, solar system. Even better, our Earth, with its unique biosphere, is now clearly defined within the context of a larger, dynamic and evolving planetary system.

 

About the lecturer 

Doug Cunningham

Doug Cunningham is a retired science and outdoor education teacher and has been an amateur astronomer for over 46 years. Doug has always enjoyed the adventure of scientific inquiry and his fascination with the Great Ideas of Science permeated his lessons. He loves the scientific narrative and is fond of the idea that the Universe is composed, not only of atoms and energy, but of stories. Doug considers the pursuit of science as a grand, intellectual and poetic adventure.

Over the years Doug has been a featured speaker at many conferences and symposia; but now, in retirement, he greatly enjoys presenting the ideas and themes of science to Associations of Lifelong Learners. This will be the sixth time that Doug has been a featured BALL lecturer.

 

Title:
Are We Alone?
0.00 CAD
Date: 
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Time: 
10:00 AM
12:00 PM
Location: 
Bayshore Community Centre

             

                        “If the Universe is teeming with Aliens, WHERE IS EVERYBODY ?”

                        Enrico Fermi - Nobel Prize Winning Physicist

 

What makes Earth such a wonderful incubator for the evolution of life? Finding other Earth-like planets in distant solar systems is a current area of research, but communicating with any extraterrestrial intelligence is a different proposition.

 

About the lecturer 

Doug Cunningham

Doug Cunningham is a retired science and outdoor education teacher and has been an amateur astronomer for over 46 years. Doug has always enjoyed the adventure of scientific inquiry and his fascination with the Great Ideas of Science permeated his lessons. He loves the scientific narrative and is fond of the idea that the Universe is composed, not only of atoms and energy, but of stories. Doug considers the pursuit of science as a grand, intellectual and poetic adventure.

Over the years Doug has been a featured speaker at many conferences and symposia; but now, in retirement, he greatly enjoys presenting the ideas and themes of science to Associations of Lifelong Learners. This will be the sixth time that Doug has been a featured BALL lecturer.

 

Title:
Human Evolution and the Rise of Consciousness
0.00 CAD
Date: 
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Time: 
10:00 AM
12:00 PM
Location: 
Bayshore Community Centre

“Replay the evolutionary tape a million times and I doubt

 that anything like Homo sapiens would ever evolve again.”

                                                            Stephen Jay Gould - “ A Wonderful Life”

 

From a "Big Bang" origin, 13.8 billion years ago, our Universe expanded, cooled, developed structure, evolved life and, through our species, acquired consciousness. The Universe, through us, has become self aware. What a profound poetic and scientific story!

 

About the lecturer 

Doug Cunningham

Doug Cunningham is a retired science and outdoor education teacher and has been an amateur astronomer for over 46 years. Doug has always enjoyed the adventure of scientific inquiry and his fascination with the Great Ideas of Science permeated his lessons. He loves the scientific narrative and is fond of the idea that the Universe is composed, not only of atoms and energy, but of stories. Doug considers the pursuit of science as a grand, intellectual and poetic adventure.

Over the years Doug has been a featured speaker at many conferences and symposia; but now, in retirement, he greatly enjoys presenting the ideas and themes of science to Associations of Lifelong Learners. This will be the sixth time that Doug has been a featured BALL lecturer.