Science Literacy Week is a coast to coast celebration of science. In Canada, we are lucky to have access anytime we like to an enormous variety of remarkable institutions that highlight the importance of science every day. Libraries, schools, science centres and museums, zoos and aquariums and more – if we want to learn anything through reading, hands on experience, lectures or any other way we have that opportunity here. The week was designed to celebrate that fact, and to give these institutions nationwide the chance to collaborate and find new and exciting ways to communicate science to you, the public.
Why science? Well, science is everywhere. Every time you make a call with a cell phone, every time you are sick and take medicine, every time you use the internet you are, knowingly or not, reaping the benefits of scientific inquiry. Aside from creating tools to improve our lives, scientific insights I think provide a tremendously exciting way of viewing the world. Think about the immensity of time and space and our place on the pale blue dot of the earth. This cosmic perspective is both humbling and awe inspiring. Think about the tens of millions of animals and plants we share a planet with. The diversity of life and its shared genetic code is a reminder to me of both the magic of natural selection and the need to preserve wild places around the world. Think about the fact that we can send probes past Pluto, can descend to the deepest part of the oceans, talk to one another across continents instantaneously and eradicate diseases that have plagued us for thousands of years! Science is the way we come to know ourselves and our universe, and it has made us the most impactful species the world has ever known.
To me this is nothing short of magic. I hope through the truly outstanding efforts of all the participating partners that you learn a lot of have a great deal of fun doing so. Most of all, I hope you want to continue learning long after the week is done. Science Literacy Week is simply a primer, a push to encourage lifelong learning and a push to see just how wonderful science can be.
- Jesse Hildebrand