Langley hosts two lectures by world-renowned ecotoxicologist

The scientist who sounded the alarm about a toxic chemical used in everything from clothes to furniture is speaking at Langley’s two universities.

As part of the Royal Society of Canada Romanowski Lecture, Dr. John Giesy will speak at Trinity Western University Tuesday, Oct. 21 and at Kwantlen Polytechnic University on Oct. 22. Both are free and open to the public.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the research of world-leading ecotoxicologist Dr. John Giesy, in collaboration with scientists at 3M-company and the US EPA, assessed the risks posed by a class of chemicals widely used in home applications.

Not only did he find that the chemical was everywhere in the environment, Dr. Giesy uncovered that early impressions of the chemical being unavailable and non-toxic were wrong, and that its continued use was a possible threat to the health and wellbeing of wildlife and people. His pioneering work on the distribution and toxicity of the chemical ultimately led to it being listed in the Stockholm Convention – the international treaty that regulates persistent organic pollutants. A total of 87 chemicals in this class have been banned in Canada.

Dr. Giesy’s work has had a significant global impact. His research contributed to a potentially toxic chemical being banned from use.

During his lecture series, he will dissect the anatomy of an environmental issue.

The Royal Society of Canada’s Romanowski Lecture Series aims to inform Canadians of recent advances in research and technology in environmental sciences.

Dr. Giesy is one of Canada’s most distinguished academics, and currently a Canada Research Chair in Environmental Toxicology at the University of Saskatchewan.

He is the most cited author in the combined fields of ecology and environmental sciences in the world, having published 979 peer-reviewed works, and presented over 1,520 lectures around the world.

He is the most recent recipient of the RSC Miroslaw Romanowski Medal, given annually by The Royal Society of Canada to a distinguished researcher who has made significant contributions to the scientific resolution of environmental problems, or improvements to all aspects of an ecosystem via scientific means.

His TWU lecture is at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the Northwest auditorium, 7600 Glover Rd.

The KPU event is at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 in the auditorium on the Langley campus, 20901 Langley Bypass. For this event, organizers recommend registering in advance to ensure a seat. Contact Triona King at 604-599-2048 or triona.king@kpu.ca.

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