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Young Trailblazing Scientists at Salt Spring Forum

    News & Events    March 5, 2018

Few events are equally fascinating for adults and students, but the Salt Spring Forum is presenting one of those few next Tuesday. The forum has partnered with the GISS student council to bring Dr. Jennifer Gardy to Salt Spring. Dr. Gardy is a scientist at the BC Centre for Disease Control whose job is to predict when the next big outbreak of disease will happen and to help prevent pandemics.

But Dr. Gardy is much more than a scientist in a white lab coat. As far as scientists go, she is a multi-talented trailblazer. She’s known for her ability to communicate science in a way that is creative and compelling; she has even been a guest host of The Nature of Things, and The Globe and Mail has dubbed her as “the new Suzuki.” You can get a sense of how she presents ideas by exploring her ingenious website.

What’s going to make March 13 even more interesting, though, is that it’s going to be moderated by a GISS alumni, Madlen Nash. After graduating from GISS, Madlen earned an Honours BSc in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University. She didn’t stop there. She’s currently a graduate student in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, part of a tuberculosis research team, and a published researcher.

Both the guest speaker and the moderator are passionate about disease and epidemics. Madlen is also a fervent advocate for health and social justice. Coincidentally, she used to be a Forum volunteer as well, and she’s coming from Montreal for the event.

Another intriguing aspect of this event is the partnership between the Forum and GISS. According to Julian Paquette, manager of the Salt Spring Forum, “The Forum works directly with the GISS students. They do the organizing on their end—promoting the event to teachers and students—and they help the day of the event as well. We take care of publicizing it to the larger community and organizing the speaker to come over. This is our second event working directly with the student council.”

Find all of the event details on the Salt Spring Forum’s website.

This season is the first time that the Forum put a larger focus on youth, although it already had a big youth component. All of the volunteers are youth, and since beginning in February 2011, the Forum has had roughly 50 volunteers—not including its board. Students can get free tickets to all Forum events on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Country Grocer has been sponsoring the Salt Spring Forum since last fall through to this spring, as they do with many local organizations and events. And Country Grocer will have a pair of tickets to give away! Watch the Country Grocer SSI Facebook page for contest details.

The Forum is a nonprofit that brings Salt Spring Islanders together for democratic discussion and debate about issues of our times, to connect to the broader world and to gather in community. Every event is interactive. Since its inception, the Forum has had over 100 guest speakers, ranging from David Suzuki to Noam Chomsky, from Margaret MacMillan to Adrienne Clarkson.

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