Creating the Memories and Celebrating the Legacy of the Bold and the Brave: Building the Archives of Women Scientists and Engineers in Canada

Archives Workshop September 11-12, 2014

The history of women scientists and engineers in Canada is still in its infancy. This can be largely attributed to their invisibility in traditional and established archives, which collected male records and tended to privilege the life and work of men; but another major obstacle has been these professional women’s inclination to underestimate their own accomplishments, with the result that most did not seek to preserve their papers, and neither did their family, friends and colleagues. At a time when the call for more women in science and engineering careers resonates strongly within governmental, economic and academic circles, and when there is a strong consensus regarding the benefits of gender equity and increased diversity in these fields, there is a pressing need to provide current and future Canadian women scientists and engineers with an accurate and inspiring understanding of their past, to learn about the lives and accomplishments of those “who came before them”.

Description of Event

The event took place at the University of Ottawa on September 11 and 12 2014. This knowledge mobilization event, the first to be devoted to this issue in Canada, brought together individuals, groups and organizations from a large array of disciplines and sectors encompassing the humanities, social sciences, science and engineering, who are committed to working towards the preservation, development and sharing of the documentary heritage of women scientists and engineers in Canada.

The organization of this activity has generated great enthusiasm and, as you will see by consulting the enclosed preliminary program, the workshop will bring together an impressive interdisciplinary group of scholars, students, practitioners and stakeholders from across Canada, the US and the UK, who will each contribute to the discussions and development of an action plan.

The Workshop will be held thanks to the generous financial and in-kind contributions provided by our sponsors, which include the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science and Institute for Science, Society and Policy, IBM Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the NSERC Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering and from the British High Commission in Canada.

Your experience and strong engagement in the promotion of women in science and engineering will greatly enrich our discussions and the development of an action plan for the future.