Following a productive summer, we have continued to focus on executing planned initiatives to work with domestic and international partners to advance our strategic objectives to mobilize the membership and to catalyze new conversations.
Our annual Celebration of Excellence and Engagement continues to evolve into a must-attend activity focused on the exchange of insights and evidence, combining recognition with opportunities to share ideas across disciplines and across generations. With over 550 registered attendees to date, 27 events, 12 café speakers, three Academy plenary speakers, two breakfast lectures, an evening symposium, and a full-day symposium organized by our presenting partners, the “engagement” portion of the COEE truly has something for everyone. We so look forward to welcoming you to Ottawa next month!
We have also continued to focus on enhancing our digital communications strategy on several platforms. You will have noted the increase in frequency of the #RSCBravoSRC feature on Twitter, highlighting the achievements of new Fellows, College Members, and RSC Award Winners (Follow us! @RSCTheAcademies). Our website is continuously updated with news, events and “Voices”. And stay tuned for our COEE app, which will enable attendees to acquire schedules, agendas and information on their phones.
Third, we are advancing our strategic objective to implement a sharpened focus for contributing advice to policy and public discussion by launching RSC Policy Briefings under the leadership of Geoff Flynn, FRSC. In November, an RSC Policy Briefing will be released in the days leading up to the COEE. The Policy Briefing on Sustaining Canada’s Marine Biodiversity will assess the impact of the RSC expert panel by analyzing the extent to which recommendations have been implemented, and will suggest next steps in terms of policy options.
Fourth, the Walter House team has pursued the RSC Council’s strategic goal to continuously improve governance and management to enhance transparency, efficiency and effectiveness. The operations manuals of the Academies as well as the College are now public and online. In the same spirit, Walter House itself is now a bustling hub of activity – hosting a series of events throughout the fall – and we invite you to visit anytime you can. Our outstanding team would love to meet you.
Dear RSC colleagues and friends,
Happily, the summer has featured meaningful progress on our strategic priorities, and we are excited about implementing the next steps in the fulfillment of the RSC strategic plan over the course of the coming academic year.
Our mobilize priority was advanced over the course of the summer at a series of events in Saskatchewan with a view toward increasing our collective contributions in the Prairies and in northern Canada. Led by Joanna Quinn, President of the RSC College, several scholarly presentations and events were held in Saskatoon.
At the same time, the Walter House team has been working with our colleagues at the Embassy of France and with the University of Ottawa to advance our catalyze priority by organizing a symposium on September 19 and 20 that convenes experts on our digital future with a view to furthering the impact the 2019 G7 Science Academies’ declarations.
With a view to sustaining our impact and progress, the Academies and the RSC College have meaningfully updated their standard operating procedures over the course of the spring and summer, and these have been placed online to continue our practice of ensuring that our governance and management practices are clear and transparent.
As we shift our focus toward la rentrée, we note that nearly 200 members have already registered for the COEE in November. It has been many years since the COEE has been held in Ottawa, and – with our partners the University of Ottawa, the National Research Council and Carleton University – we look forward to hosting more members than ever for this year’s celebrations. Whether in Ottawa, or at one of our increasing number of activities in regional hubs throughout Canada, we look forward to seeing you soon. And, as ever, please drop in to Walter House to visit with the team when you are in Ottawa.
Yours in RSC,
Dear RSC colleagues, partners and friends,
The first several months of the calendar year focus the efforts of the Walter House team on our processes of adjudication. Whether for RSC Fellowship, Membership in the RSC College, or one of many distinguished RSC Medals and Awards, the sine qua non of ensuring excellence in our selection processes is a major area of focus throughout the year, and in particular during the months leading to the Council meeting in May.
At the same time, and at the outset of year two of our strategic plan, we have been advancing programmes and activities for the coming year that are focused and far-reaching. As Chad notes in his message, the themes of the G7 and G20 statements cut across boundaries of discipline, geography and generation such that they are ideally placed to serve as thematic platforms to pursue in common purpose with other organizations and Academies.
Here are a few examples of our work in keeping with partnership and the G7 themes. On June 5 at Congress at UBC, the RSC is hosting a session entitled “Science, Scholarship and Democracy” featuring, Bonnie Schmidt, President and CEO of Let’s Talk Science. Second, on September 19 and 20, and in partnership with the University of Ottawa and the Embassy of France in Canada, the RSC is organizing a symposium entitled “Science, Scholarship and Democracy in the Digital Age” that will engage scholars from France (which is this year’s President of the G7), as well as scholars from throughout Canada. Then, on November 21, and in the context of the Celebration of Excellence and Engagement, the University of Ottawa, the National Research Council and Carleton University are organizing “Science, Trust and Society: Inclusive Culture Under Siege”, which will be held at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.
The magic of the RSC is in embracing a multitude of disciplines, generations, and geographies. Much more is underway, and please call or write with opportunities you imagine for enhancing the impact of these urgent topics.
With best wishes for an at-once productive and relaxing summer.
Yours in RSC,
Dear RSC colleagues, partners and friends,
At the outset of year two of our strategic plan, the Walter House team has been focused on ensuring that RSC Academy and College selection committees are once again properly supported as they pursue their adjudicatory work. Beyond our sine qua non, the team is preparing the terrain for several initiatives throughout Canada and internationally in the coming weeks:
- As parts of its winter planning meetings on February 21 and 22, RSC Pacific is holding an event and reception. More information is available here.
- On March 6 in Tokyo, the RSC will contribute to the finalization of the G20 declaration of the Academies, focused on threats to marine ecosystems.
- On March 15, the RSC is hosting a lunchtime event at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa with the objective of presenting possible next steps with respect to the legislation governing medically-assisted dying in Canada. Click here for more information and to register.
- Also, on March 15-16, RSC Atlantic, in partnership with Memorial University and For a New Earth, is convening an evening of music followed by a day-long symposium addressing The Future of Oceans in St. John’s. Click here for more information.
- On March 24-26 in Paris, the RSC will contribute to the finalization of the G7 declarations of the Academies, focused on “Science and Trust,” “Artificial Intelligence” and “Participatory Research”,
- On April 18, RSC Quebec will host an event featuring presentations by new RSC members, as well as a panel discussion on the science society disconnect and ways to build public trust.
As we host the team of Canada’s Chief Science Advisor at Walter House this week, we are mindful of the convening opportunities offered by our beautiful home, and invite you to please drop in for a visit the next time you are in Ottawa.
Yours in RSC,