The SFU Science Undergraduate Blog


Leave a comment

Exit Signs

By Tomas Rapaport

I have two things to do tonight. 1. Write up a Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) Exit Report for incoming executives and 2. Write a blog post which my fellow Executive Editor has been asking for the last few weeks. As I sat down to do task #2, I realized that as a science student I have developed a built-in inability for inefficiency and instead of continuing to research the factors which contribute to young customers’ enjoyment of coffee shops and revisit expectations (you can find research on nearly anything online!), I decided to write up the exit report, and post an excerpt of it on here instead. Some may call me lazy, but in all honesty, as I wrote the report I realized that its contents have just as much to do with being a science student as any analytically designed and cited paper I could ever produce. Thus, here is the introduction to Tomas Rapaport’s SUS exit report: Continue reading

Advertisements


1 Comment

Announcing the SFU SURJ Cover Contest!

10620156_821959497931534_1000390712259822524_o

So here we are, nearing the end of February with March around the corner. We are delighted to report that papers are out to peer review and the first reviews are even starting to trickle back in. With the first edition of the journal getting closer to being a reality, the editors at SURJ have begun thinking about fun things like what we want the journal to look like.

With that in mind, we are reaching out to all the talented design folks at SFU (we know you’re out there!) to send in your submissions for the cover of the 2015-16 SFU Science Undergraduate Research Journal. Submissions can be science-related photography, art, or design. Send your 8.5″ by 11″ design in as a PDF to sfusurj@sfu.ca. We will overlay the text afterwards, so don’t worry about anything other than your wonderful science-inspired art! Check out the Facebook event here.

All submissions will be featured on our blog following selection of the winning design. The winner will be featured in the 2015-2016 online publication and print publication of the SFU Science Undergraduate Research Journal.

Contest Deadline: March 17th, 2016.
Questions? Hit us up at sfusurj@sfu.ca!


Leave a comment

Why Science Can’t Give You All the Answers

By Sean La

When I was in high school, I was a scientismist. Not a scientist (I was quite the mediocre student in Science 10). No, I was a scientismist, I believed in scientism. Scientism is the belief that the only sure way to understand the world is through the scientific method [1].

To me, science was the answer. Every phenomenon could be reduced. Culture is herd behaviour. War is natural selection. Love is chemistry. And religion is adaptation. To me, science was the word and to suggest otherwise was blasphemy.

And physics and math were the most powerful because of the power of their predictions.

But as I grew a little bit older and a little bit wiser, I made two great observations about science: there are things you can’t know, and there are things you can’t know to know.

Things you can’t know. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Road Building on Walbran Karst: A Sinking Idea

By Charly Caproff
Photos courtesy of Busta Pbj

Sir-Karst-A-Lot‘Environmentally responsible’ Teal Jones has proposed to construct logging roads through a landscape characterized by sinkholes, disappearing streams and caves.

Sinkholes are caused by the dissolution of limestone by slightly acidic rainwater. Surface water seeps through the epikarst and opens intricate cave chambers within the subterranean environment. They can also occur due to the lowering of the water table. As the limestone dissolves, the organic material at the surface can no longer be supported, leading to the ground caving in rapidly and with little warning.

Peter Cressey and I ventured into the heart of Cutblock 4403, a magnificent old-growth rainforest, to observe the proposed route. Cressey was actively involved in the Walbran Valley blockades during the 90’s. Approximately 10 meters from the proposed road route we found an exposed sinkhole. It was roughly two feet in diameter, and directly below the proposed route on a steep bank. There had been a heavy rainfall that weekend and crystal clear surface water was rushing into the dark, mysterious depths. To the right of the sinkhole, an immense western red cedar towered overhead. As I continued to explore the rainforest, I moved cautiously as the forest floor was covered with depressions. Continue reading


Leave a comment

The Diversity of Bees

By Ranah Chavoshi

10313770_10154076518135494_1330561127934755842_n

Photo courtesy of Ranah Chavoshi

When we talk about bees we automatically think of Apis mellifera, otherwise known as the Honey Bee. Honey Bees are hard to miss. We often think of them pollinating our flowers and making our honey. Then, when we use bee products such as wax and commercial beauty products from brands such as Burt’s Bees we feel we fully understand our relationship with all bees. However, Honey Bees are far from being the only bees.

Continue reading