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Letter to the editor

'A lesson to be learned' regarding naming the Core Science Facility

Campus and Community

By Dr. Maynard J. Clouter

The official opening of the present St. John’s campus of Memorial University took place in 1961 and I completed the research for my M.Sc. degree in the then new building which housed all of the scientific activity at that time, i.e. the Science building.

During the intervening years there have been independently housed science facilities established in physics, physical oceanography, chemistry, ocean sciences, earth sciences, computer science, and mathematics.

Yet the building in question still bears its original, and now oddly inappropriate, name. There is perhaps a lesson to be learned here.

Inconsistent with core sciences

Now we have a most welcome new building under construction which is being referred to as the “Core Sciences” building, with respect to which the following was included in a Gazette story dated April 26 of this year.

“The (new) teaching and research space will be occupied primarily by the Departments of Biochemistry, Biology and Chemistry in the Faculty of Science, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and labs from the Core Research Equipment and Instrument Training (CREAIT) Network. The building will also contain Technical Services’ Cryogenics Facility, the Faculty of Science’s Central Chemical Stores Facility and an Aquatics Facility that is part of Memorial University’s Animal Care Facilities.”

“The name further implies that all university scientific activity which will continue to be housed elsewhere is to be regarded as peripheral.”

This description is not consistent with the use of the term “core sciences”.

In addition to effectively redefining engineering as a (core) science, the name further implies that all university scientific activity which will continue to be housed elsewhere is to be regarded as peripheral.

Pan-university science activity

With the exception of chemistry, this includes all of the disciplines noted above plus psychology, and probably encompasses most of the science activity across the entire university.

In the interests of not being burdened indefinitely with yet another building name which makes no sense, now is the time to give this some second thought. The name Chemical and Biological Sciences would certainly be more appropriate.


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