In January 2017, IC-IMPACTS Student Engagement Committee (SEC) organized its first series of regional activities across Canada and India under the concept of Café Scientifiques. The concept suited the SEC’s objective of providing Highly Qualified Professionals (HQPs) from different fields of expertise with the opportunity to gather and exchange ideas. Thus, all HPQs from Eastern Canada were invited to participate in Montreal’s Café Scientifique held on January 25th 2017.
Café Scientifiques have emerged in Europe during the 90’s and represent a place where Science and Popular discourse can interact freely in an informal setting. Traditionally, the purpose of Café Scientifiques is to allow citizens to get familiar with a topical scientific issue by exchanging with experts.
10 of IC-IMPACTS HQPs met in Café Imagination on Sherbrooke St. in Montreal. They were welcomed by the SEC’s regional coordinator of Quebec, Ms. Claudia Bojanowski. The Café Scientifique began with an explanation of the concept and a round table introduction of all participants. Before getting into the main discussion, participants lent themselves to a warming ice-breaker activity.
Shortly after, participants were invited to give a brief explanation of their research study and to share a particular issue with the group for discussion. However, the topic of conversation naturally turned to the links to be made between the research area of HQPs. The interactions between the HQPs depicted accurately the IC-IMPACTS is achieving, that is, strengthening the bridges between the areas of sustainable infrastructure, water management and public health.
The Café Scientifique ended after two hours of discussion, and participants expressed their desire to have more activities of that kind. The satisfaction survey that was sent afterward concluded the same. Getting to know better our colleagues, and realizing that other other HQPs were meeting in Café Scientifiques across India and Canada sparked our enthusiasm for being part of a scientific community.
This event was summarized by Ms. Claudia Bojanowski, University of Montreal Alumni
and SEC’s Regional Coordinator of Quebec