Message from the Chief Science Advisor of Canada

Dear delegates,

I would like to extend warm greetings to all of you attending the 10th edition of the Women in Physics Canada Conference. As you gather to celebrate your passion for physics, share your ideas and create collaborative opportunities, I want to express my heartfelt support and encouragement.

Throughout history, women have overcome challenges and shattered barriers to make remarkable contributions to science — and physics is no exception. As a woman in science myself, I am all too aware of these barriers but also of the progress achieved over the past decades. Nonetheless, we still have a long way to go, and we need to accelerate the pace of change. In getting there, we can take inspiration from the enlightened and courageous leaders before us and among us who trailblazed a way forward.

From Caroline Herschel to Marie Curie, to Chien-Shiung Wu, to Vera Rubin, to Donna Strickland and so many more — women in physics and astronomy have changed the world. And of course, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, whose ground-breaking work, vision, and resilience have shattered glass ceilings, revolutionized astrophysics, and inspired the next generation.

You are part of this legacy. Your ideas, insights and unique perspectives have the power to shape the future in profound ways. Physics holds the key to understanding the complex challenges we face, including climate change, renewable energy, quantum technologies and unlocking the secrets of the universe. In a world that continues to evolve, your contributions are more important than ever.

As you push the frontiers of knowledge in your labs, I encourage you to consider how we can make physics, and all fields of science, more inclusive, equitable and welcoming to all. Diversity is the key to a more creative and innovative future. I also encourage you to share your passion and the fruit of your research with your community. Whether encouraging young people to pursue science, enhancing science literacy among the public or explaining the societal impact of research to policy makers, engaging in public dialogue is rewarding and beneficial to all. Above all, take pride in being part of a community of brilliant women physicists who are changing the face of science.

I wish you an unforgettable conference filled with inspiration, collaboration, and opportunities. The world awaits your remarkable contributions, and I am excited to see the impact you will make.

Dr. Mona Nemer
Chief Science Advisor of Canada