Publications & Resources

The Royal Society of Canada publishes an extensive range of special bulletins, electronic and print publications with the latest news from the Secretariat, RSC Fellows and Institutional Members. The RSC also produces various guides to serve as reference materials for Fellows, IMs and the general public alike.

In November 2011, the Royal Society of Canada published a comprehensive Strategic Plan entitled Strategy for Renewal and Growth 2012 - 2017. This plan was adopted by Council following a broad consultation among the fellowship and Institutional Members, and years of reflection about the vision, mission and mandate of the Society.

RSC Expert Panel Reports

The Behaviour and Environmental Impacts of Crude Oil Released into Aqueous Environments


A solid scientific understanding of the behaviour and environmental impacts of crude oil if accidentally released into aqueous environments can make an important contribution to the identification of optimal strategies for spill preparedness, spill response, and environmental remediation. A panel of experts is asked to review the state of the science on how various kinds of conventional and unconventional crude oils transported in North America interact with the surface waters and associated sediments (suspended, shoreline, ocean/lake/river floor) in marine, estuarine and freshwater settings under a wide range of environmental conditions.


The Expert Panel was set-up in response to a request from the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). The panel is asked to address the following questions:

  1. How do the various types of crude oils compare in the way they behave when mixed with surface fresh, brackish or sea waters under a range of environmental conditions?
  2. How do the various crude oils compare in their chemical composition and toxicity to organisms in aquatic ecosystems?
  3. How do microbial processes affect crude oils in aquatic ecosystems, thereby modifying their physical and chemical properties and toxicity?
  4. Is the research community able to relate, with reliable predictions, the chemical, physical and biological properties of crudes to their behaviour, toxicity and ability to be remediated in water and sediments?
  5. Given the current state of the science, what are the priorities for research investments?
  6. How should these scientific insights be used to inform optimal strategies for spill preparedness, spill response and environmental remediation?

The panel will be holding a series of scientific stakeholder consultations between February and June 2015 which will be open and available to the public on the internet in real time as well as being made available later on the Society’s website. Formal oral presentations to the panel will be by invitation only, but the panel will accept all written contributions of scientific evidence and its interpretation. Research experts wishing to make an oral presentation to the Panel should contact Russel MacDonald, Officer of Expert Panels.

Stakeholder Consultations:

February 4-5, 2015
April 8-10, 2015
Public Presentation


Dr. Kenneth Lee, Chair - Commonwealth Science Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
Dr. Michel Boufadel - New Jersey Institute of Technology
Dr. Bing Chen - Memorial University of Newfoundland
Dr. Julia Foght - University of Alberta
Dr. Peter Hodson - Queen's University
Dr. Stella Swanson - Swanson Environmental Strategies
Dr. Albert Venosa - United States Environmental Protenction Agency