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Regional focus

Science Atlantic celebrates 60th anniversary

Campus and Community

By Kelly Foss

The Faculty of Science recently recognized Science Atlantic’s upcoming 60th anniversary with a plaque unveiling.

The plaque was unveiled by biochemistry student Zoe Rowe and is located in the lobby of the Chemistry-Physics building.

The Science Atlantic 60th anniversary plaque is mounted on the wall of the Chemistry-Physics building.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

In 1962 the Atlantic Provinces Inter-University Committee on the Sciences, or APICS, as it was originally known, was formed to enrich and strengthen research and technology in Atlantic Canada and foster co-operation between the region’s universities and government lab sector.

“Since that time, the mission of this organization has remained consistent,” said Dr. Suzanne Dufour, acting associate dean of Science and Memorial’s Science Atlantic institutional representative.

“It aims to advance post-secondary science education and research in Atlantic Canada by providing opportunities that foster and enrich students; supporting and inspiring researchers, educators and the broader scientific community; and using a collective voice to address important regional science issues.”

Currently, Science Atlantic is made up of 18 post-secondary and research institutes and forms the only regional, cross-disciplinary, post-secondary science network in Canada.

A long history

The organization’s 10 discipline-specific and additional topic-based committees provide opportunities for scientists and educators to connect with their colleagues from across the region, participate in online discussions, learn about local research, connect with potential new research partners and meet students and researchers face-to-face at their academic conferences, lecture tours and workshops.

From left are Dr. Grant Gardner, Zoe Rowe, Dr. Suzanne Dufour and Dr. Travis Fridgen.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

“Memorial University has had a long history with the organization,” said Dr. Dufour. “Over the years, hundreds of our students and faculty have participated in Science Atlantic student conferences, receiving travel assistance and awards recognizing their research and science communication skills.

“In fact, many undergraduate students who have moved on to scientific careers had their first true experience presenting their research at one of the Science Atlantic conferences,” Dr. Dufour continued.

Special guests at the plaque unveiling included acting dean of Science, Dr. Travis Fridgen, and Dr. Grant Gardner, a former associate dean of Science and current acting president of the Memorial University Pensioners Association. He is also a former chair and treasurer for Science Atlantic.

Activities to recognize Science Atlantic’s 60th have been taking place at universities across the Atlantic region throughout the fall, with more to come.


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