Mind on ‘The Martian’ and beyond

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you to the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Physics & Astronomy professor Pauline Barmby is co-chair of the Long Range Plan for Canadian Astronomy.

Today, she takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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I recently read Alex Hutchison’s Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, which covers the quest to understand the ultimate limits to human physical endurance. Are these found in the body or the brain? Like lots of research questions, the answer seems to be ‘both.’ Some of the bodily limits are in places I wouldn’t have expected, like the stomach.


Slowly streaming my way through Season 5 of The Flash. I enjoy both the silliness of the comic-book science and trying to figure out which Vancouver suburb is pretending to be Central City.


Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to hear that I have seen The Martian – quite a few times. Its soundtrack is fantastic for both running and science proposal writing, and the instrumental nature limits my singing along. I suspect that my colleagues appreciate this.

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If you have a suggestion for someone you would like to see in Read. Watch. Listen., or would like to participate yourself, drop a line to inside.western@uwo.ca.