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Acfas, centenary and nonetheless trendy

This textual content is a part of the particular part 100 years of Acfas

When he considers the origins of Acfas, within the Quebec of the Roaring Twenties, its president Jean-Pierre Perreault is struck by one factor: the group’s modernity. From day one, in the course of the founding assembly of June 15, 1923, which introduced collectively scientific associations working in all kinds of disciplines starting from biology to philosophy, together with astronomy, economics and chemistry, the Canadian Affiliation affiliation for the development of science — therefore the acronym Acfas — has given itself a fourfold mission: to advertise interdisciplinarity, the French language, communication and encourage the subsequent technology.

“A whole lot of organizations have hassle ageing, however look: 100 years later, Acfas remains to be based mostly on the identical 4 pillars. If we needed to recreate Acfas in 2023, we’d do precisely the identical factor,” stated the president, additionally vice-rector for analysis and graduate research on the Université de Sherbrooke.


Whereas Acfas nonetheless maintains secrecy about the way it will formally rejoice its one hundredth anniversary on June 15, 2023, it has however introduced two dozen commemorative occasions all through this anniversary 12 months. One of many excessive factors will definitely have been the disclosing of The fabulous historical past of science in Quebec this week.

This collection in ten episodes of about fifteen minutes, directed by Michel Barbeau and co-produced with Savoir Média, recounts the ten a long time of this group. This documentary will comply with the evolution of larger-than-life founding personalities corresponding to Brother Marie-Victorin, Pierre Demers and Pierre Dansereau, and all of the evolutions of a company that has impressed initiatives as various because the creation of the journal Quebec Science and Quebec science coverage. “I had a couple of surprises with the collection, says Jean-Pierre Perreault, particularly to study that the College of Montreal was the seat of a big secret laboratory concerned within the growth of the atomic bomb. »

The entire 12 months 2022-2023 will probably be dotted with occasions, together with the publication of an illustrated guide on the 50 French-speaking analysis personalities in Canada and the twoe version of researcher Yves Gingras’ traditional on the historical past of Acfas, For the development of science. Along with a number of exhibitions, the six regional chapters within the Canadian Francophonie will every maintain their week of exercise in the course of the winter.

“With Acfas’ inclusion within the Reminiscence of the World Register of Canada at UNESCO, but additionally with the books and the documentary collection, we wish to guarantee a everlasting legacy for the analysis neighborhood. »

Guarantee its relevance

In accordance with Jean-Pierre Perreault, with the collection, the books and all of the commemorative actions, we will see that Acfas has been capable of stay related all through its very lengthy historical past.

“It requires some modifications in path,” he says. For instance, in 1933, after a decade of conferences in faculties to encourage scientific vocations, Acfas organized its first scientific congress — the start of a protracted custom. Within the Sixties, within the midst of the Quiet Revolution, Acfas developed popularization by creating the journal The younger scientistwho will change into Quebec Science. And he or she is beginning to press for the Quebec authorities to develop a science coverage. “It’s the signifies that change, fairly than the aims. »

Over time, Acfas underwent two main transformations. On the time of its formation, the organism is solely male. In 1933, solely two girls, Marcelle Gauvreau and Sister Marie-Jean-Eudes, offered papers amongst greater than 100 audio system. However in 1974, Acfas gave itself a primary president, the economist Livia Thür. “They now account for 63% of our members,” says Jean-Pierre Perreault.

In 1978, the group briefly thought of renaming itself the Quebec Affiliation for the Development of Science. However it was in 2001 that Acfas modified its title so as to modernize it and achieve worldwide openness. That is the way it grew to become the Francophone Affiliation for the Development of Data. “The change went nearly unnoticed as a result of most individuals knew it by its acronym, Acfas, which we stored. »

Nationwide Emergencies

Jean-Pierre Perreault grew to become president of Acfas on March 11, 2021, throughout a world pandemic. “We are able to by no means know what the subsequent disaster will probably be and that’s the reason our interdisciplinary mission is so necessary: we should help all sciences, even when we don’t see their software. »

The chemist provides for example his subject of analysis, RNA, thought of an nearly occult topic 30 years in the past. “And it was messenger RNA that produced our greatest vaccines. An opportunity that we had studied it! »

He additionally stated he was critically involved concerning the lack of consideration from governments for the subsequent technology of scientists. “Scholar grants haven’t been listed since 2003. It is a nationwide emergency. In occasions of full employment, what choice do we provide college students? »

It is a trigger that has been near the center of Acfas for a very long time, as a result of it devotes many actions to younger researchers, particularly with competitions My thesis in 180 seconds and The proof by the picture, and Rising Analysis Days. One other novelty on the subsequent congress: undergraduate college students will probably be allowed to provide free papers. “Universities have been asking for it for a very long time. My want is to encourage extra college students to contemplate a profession in analysis. »

Francophone analysis

For Francophones, the hegemony of English continues to stay an issue, which is getting worse. In accordance with the journal College Affairs, 90% of recent scientific journals created since 2005 in Canada are in English, and 7-8% are bilingual, which leaves barely 2 or 3% solely in French. “The reform of the Official Languages ​​Act will probably be one other alternative to bend the principles. »

The President believes that the chance will quickly come up to barter sure modifications with the most important scientific publication platforms (to introduce the interpretation of articles) or to create new methods of speaking science by means of new platforms impressed by Érudit and ArXiv.

“The main English-speaking platforms are within the strategy of trapping themselves. They make us pay 5000 {dollars} to publish a textual content that now we have to format ourselves, and we nonetheless should pay to learn it. Different organizations are starting to place the kibosh on it, and Acfas intends to weigh in on this debate. »

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