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Feature Guest: John Percy
In today’s episode Professor John Percy, a professional astronomer with a passion for making astronomy and space exploration engaging, joins Justin Trottier at The Star Spot.
Dr. Percy discusses his many educational astronomy activities, from hosting public events, to creating courses and resources for teachers, to finding creative cultural opportunities for outreach such as his work with the Toronto Tafelmusic Baroque Orchestra on their Galileo composition.
Starting their conversation on Dr. Percy’s primary academic interest in variable stars, the two cover the challenges of developing relevant and engaging astronomy curriculum, the role of public science institutions in contributing to the vitality of city life, and how Dr. Percy ended up having an asteroid named after him.
About John Percy
Dr. John Percy is professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of Toronto. He is past president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the Royal Canadian Institute, and as honorary president of the Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario and vice-chair of the board of trustees of the Ontario Science Centre.
Among a variety of awards and distinctions, Dr. Percy won the 1997 Royal Canadian Institute’s Sandford Fleming Medal for contributions to public awareness and appreciation of science and technology and the 1999 Jack Bell Award for leadership in science education. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
But perhaps his most long lasting recognition came with the naming of his own asteroid. He joins us here at the Star Spot to discuss that honour, and his insights bringing the world of astronomy and space exploration alive to students and learners of all ages.
Some of Dr. Percy’s organizations as discussed in the interview
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