Annual Members Meeting: History of Science Atlantic

Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, 6:00 pm AST

Science Atlantic has a treasure trove of paper documents dating to its founding in 1962, as well as the memories and experiences of faculty and current and former students. Our dinner presenters will provide two views of Science Atlantic’s history and future, one from the point of view of a newly retired faculty member who has been involved in APICS/Science Atlantic since 1990, and the other from two students who first learned about Science Atlantic in June 2023 when they were hired to digitize our documents.

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Alyre Chiasson

Headshot of Alyre Chiasson

Professor Emeritus of Biology
Université de Moncton

Opening the front door of Science Atlantic

Apart from my first year as a biology professor at the Université de Moncton, Science Atlantic has been part of my career for thirty-three years. I will share with you my perspective of the organization over those years, and what I see as its strengths that I believe will be fundamental in meeting the rapidly advancing pace of science and societal demands. Finally, as part of the Science Atlantic History Project, I will show you the results of my analysis of the conference abstracts of biology students from 1981 to 2022. The objective is to explore how research topics in this field have changed over the years.

About Alyre

In 2021, Dr. Alyre Chiasson retired from the Biology Department of the Université de Moncton. Within Science Atlantic (originally APICS), he has served as chair of the Biology Committee as well as a member of numerous special committees appointed by Council over a 33-year period. He has also authored, revised, and edited many of the guides, policies, and reports of the organization, some of which are still in use. In 2012, he was recognized by Science Atlantic for his outstanding contributions to the organization.
Alyre’s area of research is freshwater ecology, in particular human impacts on aquatic ecosystems. He has also served two terms as president of the government of New Brunswick’s Scientific Committee for the protection of natural areas in the province. In the summer you can still find him in chest waders assisting summer students with water quality monitoring conducted by the Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance, a group he and three others established in 1997.

Amelia St. John and Megan Krempa

Headshots of Amelia St.John and Megan Krempa

Communication and Member Engagement Assistants
Science Atlantic History Project

Connecting the pieces: The Science Atlantic History Project

Beginning summer of 2023, students Amelia St. John and Megan Krempa have been working on digitizing the documents, books, and records of Science Atlantic (then APICS) from 1962 to 2000. This project aims to bring the history of Science Atlantic to life through making accessible the archival documents, connecting current members to their respective histories, and engaging the public in (re)discovering the importance of the organization. In this presentation, they will discuss the progress of the project so far and share some insights on their findings. Through a multimedia presentation, they will guide attendees through a brief history of Science Atlantic, focusing on stories that connect the past and present, and feature histories that have fallen through the cracks. At the end of this presentation, attendees will come away with an understanding of the importance that Science Atlantic has had in the post-secondary science community.

About Amelia

As a fourth year marine biology and journalism student at Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College, Amelia believes effective science communication plays a key role in addressing climate impacts by connecting research with policy. She considers storytelling as a creative form to be a foundation of knowledge translation. After she graduates, she is interested in working as a technical writer.

About Megan

Megan is a first-year Master of Information student at Dalhousie University. She completed her undergraduate degree in 2022 with first class honours in the History of Science & Technology and Philosophy at the University of King’s College/Dalhousie University. She is passionate about making history accessible to everyone, and is interested in digital archives and their application in helping to democratize science and its history. Megan enjoys teaching and enjoys creating digital systems that allow others to have access to underrepresented histories. Her research interests are in the history of women in science and digital archival technologies.