The Florence Bucke Science Prize lecture is an opportunity for a leading young scientist to paint a picture of their life as a researcher at Western.
Dr. Pauline Barmby did just that in her 2014 lecture, titled "The Beautiful Science of Nearby Galaxies".
Dean of Science Charmaine Dean gave a brief history of the Florence Bucke Science Prize. Following this, Physics and Astronomy Chair Shantanu Basu introduced the speaker.
Pauline Barmby gave the audience wonderful insights into her world as an astronomer and why she loves to study galaxies.
First as a graduate student she had to convince her supervisor that a large classification list of 'small blobs' (which were globular clusters) in the Andromeda Galaxy was worth gathering. While working primarily in infrared light to begin with, Dr. Barmby described how an astronomer can now readily work in many colours of light. She utilizes data from a variety of instruments in order obtain views of her galactic subjects in diverse regions of the radiation spectrum, spanning X-rays to the infrared.
Pauline described how nearby galaxies, though not as numerous as distant ones, give the best compromise of observable detail versus number of observable targets.
Pauline also presented a publication citation network graph which showed an elaborate network of publication citations, spanning many scientists, including connections to her PhD supervisor and his citation network.
Dr. Barmby gave a thoroughly delightful talk that entertained and enlightened the entire audience.
After the talk, Janice Deakin, Western Provost and Vice-President Academic, thanked Dr. Barmby, and presented her with a commemorative plaque.
The audience then retired to the atrium for snacks, refreshments, and conversation.
[youtube video (59 minutes including introductions and questions)]