WatsonPeter Watson infuriated his father by reading far too much science fiction as a kid. He learned physics and math at Edinburgh and Durham universities, and joined Carleton University in 1974, becoming chair of the Physics Dept and then Dean of Science. He has worked at CERN in Switzerland, Oxford and Edinburgh Universities and spent two years in Nigeria. In addition to a 40 year research career in theoretical physics, he has taught a wide variety of courses at all levels, many involving innovative teaching methods. Although he retired in June 2008, he has continued to teach, give public lectures and do research.

Gemill Bay, Almonte

Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, southwest of Ottawa, Almonte started out in the early 1800s as a mill town and textile centre. Today it is a thriving town that is as conscious of its heritage as it is in tune with the diversity of modern life. Almonte is home to a growing community of artists and folks from all walks of life who cherish the friendly atmosphere of a small town. Its cultural offerings include art galleries and other exhibits & festivals, an extensive library, live theatre, an independent book store, numerous fine restaurants, a variety of museums, and Almonte in Concert, an annual concert series broadcast nationally on CBC Radio.

Early in 2004 a further star attraction was added to this mix: a lecture series that provides intellectual stimulation to the area’s residents on a wide range of subjects. The choice of lecture topics is somewhat eclectic. The series’ organizers seek out speakers who combine personality and presentational talent with acknowledged expertise in their chosen subject.

The Almonte Lectures series was the brainchild of a retired Chemistry Professor at Carleton University, Donald Wiles, who has been involved with a successful similar initiative at Carleton University. Don Wiles was also the series’ first speaker, in February 2004, presenting his lecture on the Chemistry of Colour.

Lectures are organized and arranged by Warren Thorngate, Glenda Jones and Mel Turner.

The lectures are normally on the last Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m. online on Zoom. Lectures are for about an hour, with extra time for questions and discussion.

The lectures are free, but to help meet expenses voluntary contributions are gratefully accepted.

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