Last year, as Canada commemorated its sesquicentennial, many STEM groups, communities, and companies launched their own celebrations in participation of the national festivities. New partnerships were forged and networks evolved. There is a legacy of collaboration that has come from the culmination of national events.
There’s no denying that 2017 built up a momentum for STEM in Canada and STAN is eager to keep this moving forward. With our Conference coming up in April, we are focusing on collaboration, not only in theme but in practice; we have teamed up with the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada to bring you combined experiences and new networking opportunities. Register as a member of STAN to connect with your peers across the country, and get a discount on the Conference.
The Signature initiative, Innovation150 saw five different STEM organizations (Actua, the Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC), Ingenium, the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), and the Perimeter Institute come together to plan nationwide festivals, exhibitions and virtual communities in celebration of Canada’s rich history and culture of innovation. Many smaller, community and education organizations participated in the events organized by this STEM super-group, effectively creating a web that connected us from coast to coast to coast.
We also saw some changes in how the Canadian government is incorporating science into their decision making; the year being marked by the appointment of Dr. Mona Nemer to the position of Canada’s Chief Science Advisor, a position that had not existed since 2008. For the next three years, Dr. Nemer will ensure that government science is publicly available and that scientists are able to speak freely about their work. Her office will also make sure that scientific data are incorporated into government decisions when relevant. The reestablishment of this position is helpful in bringing science to front of mind for Canadians and will surely have a positive impact on science literacy.
Two books were published in 2017 with the aim of highlighting Canadian innovation: Ingenious: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer,Healthier, Wealthier, and Happier and Innovation Nation: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer,Healthier, Wealthier, Happier both by David Johnston and Tom Jenkins. These have been used as the basis for new education resource guides, developed by the Rideau Hall Foundation. These guides aim to inspire youth to be innovators, either by adopting an innovator’s mindset, or by actually creating innovations of their own. They can be downloaded for free on the Innovation Culture website.
Overall, 2017 was a great year and has set up 2018 to grow the STEM Community in Canada even more. Join STAN and we carry this momentum forward!