posted April 4, 2005

Astronomer to Discuss Life in the Universe

Dr. John R. Percy, a professor of astronomy at the Erindale Campus of the University of Toronto, will present the address "Life in the Universe" on Wednesday, April 13, at 7 p.m. at Hope College in room 102 of VanderWerf Hall.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Percy will be appearing at Hope through the 2004-05 Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureships Program of the American Astronomical Society. He will be on campus for two days through the program.

The talk will consider the question of whether or not there might be life elsewhere in the universe, and, if so, what that life might be like.

Percy's research interests include variable stars and stellar evolution. He is also active in science education, especially astronomy, at all levels, throughout the world.

He has served as president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the Royal Canadian Institute, the American Association of Variable Star Observers, the International Astronomical Union Commission on Variable Stars, and of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. He has served as honorary president of the Science Teachers' Association of Ontario, and as vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the Ontario Science Centre.

He has received honors including the 1996 Astronomical League Award; the Royal Canadian Institute's 1997 Sandford Fleming Medal, for contributions to public awareness and appreciation of science and technology; the 1997 School of Continuing Studies Award for Exceptional Commitment and Achievement in Adult Learning; the 1997 Distinguished Educator Award of OISE/UT; the 1999 Jack Bell Award for leadership in science education; and the University of Toronto's 2003 Northrop Frye Award, for exemplary linkage of teaching and research. In 1999, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

VanderWerf Hall is located on 10th Street between Central and College avenues.