This is an exciting year for Science Atlantic. The organization, born in the spirit of cooperation of several Atlantic Canadian post-secondary institutions, has withstood the test of time and is entering its 60th year of existence. Who would have thought that what might be considered a notion in the early 1960’s would blossom into what we experience as Science Atlantic today.
One of the most successful and meaningful outcomes that came out of this cooperative spirit are the annual student conferences hosted by post-secondary institutions across Atlantic Canada. Without this cooperation, facilitated and supported by Science Atlantic, these conferences might not have come into existence or continue to exist. Many undergraduate students who have moved on to scientific careers had their first true experience presenting their research at conferences such as AUPAC, AUGC, ChemCon or in one of the other five annual conferences.
While the undergraduate conferences are the jewel in the crown of Science Atlantic, there is so much more. Science Atlantic facilitates discussions amongst champions and stakeholders with an aim to moving important initiatives forward. For example, over the past year we have opened a discussion on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. How does Science Atlantic respect and honour a commitment to EDI, and how do we support this at our conferences? These conversations led to a network across Atlantic Canada in which EDI can be discussed in the context of science education and research. If you’d like to take part, email us at email@example.com.
As we enter the post-pandemic era and begin the “new normal”, perhaps we are interested in knowing how science education, research and outreach will change. How can Atlantic Canadian institutions share ideas and work together towards addressing these changes? Science Atlantic is the vehicle to facilitate and organize any cross-institutional discussions that are in alignment with our vision statement:
Our member-inspired organization creates opportunities for students, researchers, and others to build long-lasting collaborations and partnerships that provide the foundations needed to improve science education and scientific research, enabling the scientific community in the Atlantic region to flourish.
All we need is a driver and a few passengers. Please contact us at Science Atlantic if you want to get involved.
As we all return to the “new normal” in our various institutions, I take this opportunity to welcome you back and I hope you have a safe and successful academic year.
Robert van den Hoogen
Chair Science Atlantic