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There are astronauts and there are spacewalkers. Astronauts leave the earth’s atmosphere in a spaceship. Spacewalkers don pressure suits and step outside into the universe—a physically demanding, mentally rigorous endeavour. It’s so difficult, in fact, only three Canadians have ever succeeded: Chris Hadfield, Steve MacLean and Dave Williams.
Bob McDonald, award-winning science journalist and host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks, takes us into the world of spacewalking and explores the fascinating and important contributions made by Canadian astronauts during his presentation Canadian Spacewalkers: What’s it Like to Step into the Abyss? at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus lecture theatre on Monday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m.
McDonald interviewed Hadfield, MacLean and Williams, as well as drew on his own experiences with simulators and zero-g aircraft, for his new book Canadian Spacewalkers (Douglas & McIntyre).
In addition to Quirks & Quarks, McDonald is a regular science commentator for the CBC. His book, Measuring the Earth with a Stick: Science As I’ve Seen It, was shortlisted for the Canadian Science Writers Association Book Award. McDonald has received the Triple Crown of Canadian science medals: Michael Smith Medal for Science Communication from the National Research Council, Sir Sanford Fleming Medal for Science Promotion from the Royal Canadian Institute, and McNeil Medal for Public Awareness of Science from the Royal Society of Canada. In November 2011, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
McDonald’s talk is part of the Science in Society Speaker Series (a joint project by Okanagan Science Centre and the Okanagan College), which is sponsored by the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Cooper’s Foods, Starbucks Coffee, and the Vernon Morning Star. Clark Robinson and Hollis Wealth also provided special supporting sponsorship for this event.
Admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For tickets, call the Okanagan Science Centre at 250-545-3644 or visit www.okscience.ca. To subscribe or obtain more information about the Science in Society Speaker Series, visit okanagansisss.wordpress.com.