Eleven months in to 2017, I’m confident you’ve heard of Canada 150: a government-led initiative to celebrate and recognize Canada’s “150th” year – that number is widely disputed by the way. If Canada 150 does not sound familiar, you can find information and December activities here.
But have you heard of Canada 2067? Of relevance to the regenerative medicine community, Canada 2067 is a national initiative to shape the future of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning over the next 50 years.
Led by Let’s Talk Science, a group CCRM is familiar with through its annual support of, and participation at, StemCellTalks, Canada 2067 dovetails nicely with Let’s Talk Science’s ongoing efforts to promote science literacy and awareness across the country.
Let’s Talk Science began in 1991, when founder and president Dr. Bonnie Schmidt was a graduate student at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) and, in her words, “people didn’t understand what research was about and didn’t understand the value of science and technology.”
Since then, Let’s Talk Science has done the following: partnered with universities and colleges across Canada, worked with thousands of volunteers, reached millions of young people, trained teachers, launched a program that is used in child care centres, and conducted lots of research to assess the organization’s impact.
Five years ago, Dr. Schmidt was telling the federal government about the importance of STEM to Canada’s global competitiveness through talent development, and making the point that talent development “starts in the sandbox.” Canada 2067 looks at STEM learning from kindergarten to grade 12.
As this year winds down, and the Canada 150 celebrations come to a close, let’s do what we can to support Canada 2067, a worthy initiative that will keep Canada competitive in the knowledge economy. Last year we ranked 15th on the Global Innovation Index, but we used to be in the top 10. According to this Global News article, Canada’s drop is attributed to “comparatively weak performance in education and research and development expenditures, information and communication technology services and energy efficiency [and more].”
Canada can do better. Future generations deserve better. As we move into 2018, let’s remember to keep Canada 2067 in our sights.
Our regular feature, Right Turn, appears every Friday and we invite you to submit your own blog to info(at)ccrm.ca. We encourage you to be creative and use the right (!) side of your brain. We dare you to make us laugh! Right Turn features cartoons, photos, videos and other content to amuse, educate and encourage discussion.
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