The Galt Museum & Archives brings a special traveling exhibit to southern Alberta: the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame — developed and circulated by the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa — featuring 54 of Canada’s brightest male and female scientists, of whom eight are Nobel Prize winners, including Lethbridge-born physicist Bertram Brockhouse, and Willard S. Boyle whose work is integral to virtually every camcorder, digital camera and telescope in use today, even the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame, which has already been shown in St. Catherines, ON, Victoria and Prince George, BC and in Moose Jaw and Saskatoon, SK, honours groundbreaking individuals whose outstanding scientific or technological achievements have had long-term implications around the world. These remarkable people include well-known scientists like Alexander Graham Bell and Sandford Fleming, as well as lesser-known but equally accomplished Canadians, like Charles Saunders and Maude Abbott.
Their stories are compelling and noteworthy elements of Canadian contributions to science and technology, and the inductees’ personal and professional lives are told through audio and video presentations and in written word. Childhood and educational influences, mentors who provided guidance and support, specific incidents in their lives which stimulated their curiosity and challenged them to find solutions or answers, provide inspiration and insight for youth and adults alike.
“This exhibit is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn more about Canadian scientists and engineers who have contributed in significant ways to our lives,” says Curator Wendy Aitkens, “Scientists’ work is often the basis for the development and production of items we have in our homes and neighbourhoods. Many objects and photographs will be on exhibit and visitors will be challenged to figure out whose science led to their development.”
Physicist Bertram Brockhouse, who was born in Lethbridge July 15, 1918, shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Clifford Shull in 1994 “for pioneering contributions to the development of neutron scattering techniques for studies of condensed matter”. Brockhouse was noted “for the development of neutron spectroscopy [for condensed matter]”, in short, helping to answer “the question of what atoms do”. His research made infra-red detectors and exhaust-cleaning systems for automobiles possible.
The exhibit is supplemented with artifacts from the Galt’s own collections, giving visitors the opportunity to make connections between the scientists’ work and items of everyday life. Additional interactive challenges will engage problem solving skills, investigative thinking and creativity – all abilities required by scientists and engineers to make a difference.
“When young people learn the stories of these prominent scientists and engineers it may inspire them to follow in their footprints,” says Aitkens. “Perhaps knowing that Lethbridge produced a Nobel Prize winner in Bertram Brockhouse will make the youngster’s own potential seem more real.”
Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame runs February 2 through May 19, 2013, and officially opens Sunday, February 10 at 2:00 pm with a The Curator Presents… presentation “Celebrating Canadian Genius” with Dr. Roy Golsteyn, followed by a ribbon cutting.
Programs reflecting the science and technology theme will be offered throughout the run of the exhibit, including family activities during Saturdays at 1:00; presentations as part of Wednesdays at the Galt for ages 55+; special topics during Thursday programs for adults; Nerd Fest aimed at post-secondary students March 21-23, and a special Earth Day program on Sunday, April 21.