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Welcome from the Chair, September 2022

Welcome back!

As we plan our strategic goals and activities for the next five years and return to the classroom in a new world, we strive to come together to help and support one another.

As part of Science Atlantic’s 60th anniversary, we are revisiting our mission, vision, and values. What do we do well, what can we do better, and what are we not doing that we should in support of post-secondary science educators, students, and researchers? Discussions are ongoing to answer these questions. If you have comments or ideas, please do pass them on to me.

Now that we are learning to live with COVID-19, we have an opportunity to reflect on the events of the past couple of years. One item that comes to my mind is the importance of fundamental science research, and maybe more importantly, the critical need to improve science literacy in society. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard individuals make statements that were not based on solid scientific evidence. The role of post-secondary research and education is to improve society, and therefore we have a responsibility to better the situation before this sort of thing happens again.

Over the last two years, Science Atlantic’s newly established Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Committee has held workshops and developed policies to support our science community. This is part of Science Atlantic’s core values, and we need to do more. If you are keen to help with this initiative, do not hesitate to reach out. Volunteers are all welcome.

For those of us entering a first-year classroom, we will find ourselves face to face with a group of students whose high-school experience is completely different from any other cohort of students we have taught. How will you as a science educator adapt? How can you support these students for academic success? And how can Science Atlantic assist you and your institution in supporting student success?

Headshot of Robert van den Hoogen

Robert van den Hoogen

Chair, Science Atlantic
Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics,
St. Francis Xavier University

Finally, Science Atlantic operates on a bare-bones financial model. Almost all income to support our activities comes from membership fees paid by Atlantic Canadian post-secondary institutions. However, Science Atlantic is also a registered charity, and any donation you give will be used to further the important work of the organization. Please consider donating to help meet important needs of the science community.

We are looking forward to another 60 years of working together to strengthen the post-secondary science community in Atlantic Canada, and I invite you to take part in the journey.