This week, when members of the CIFAR community gather in Banff, Alberta, we will mark two important occasions.
First, our young scientists and scholars, formerly referred to as Junior Fellows, will meet as CIFAR Global Scholars, members of the newly named CIFAR Global Academy. This new name reflects our vision to develop a variety of new programs that support a larger, even more international group of outstanding early-career researchers — Canada’s and the world’s most vital resource.
Fuelled by a global mindset and ease with new technologies and methodologies, this new generation of researchers is leaping beyond traditional approaches to address the complex and serious challenges that the world faces today. Their combination of fresh, new perspectives, idealistic aspirations and global thinking are critical to solving the world’s most pressing issues.
The most recent CIFAR Global Scholars to join the Academy are a testament to the outstanding calibre of this group. I look forward to joining them in person this week in Banff. Through the CIFAR Global Academy, our goal is to connect early-career researchers who participate in CIFAR’s programs and winter and summer schools to the global research leaders in our networks. In so doing, we hope to contribute to the development and nurturing of the next generation of global research leaders.
The second occasion is the launch of a new partnership with The Banff Centre, Canada’s globally respected centre for the arts, leadership development and education. Jeff Melanson, President of the The Banff Centre, and I will be speaking about how our two organizations plan to combine our complementary strengths to develop unique initiatives moving forward.
To mark this announcement, Jeff and I have invited the CIFAR Global Scholars and members of both of our communities to a luncheon and roundtable discussion on Exploring Collaborations in the Arts and Sciences. I’m looking forward to a stimulating conversation – an ideal start to our partnership – focused on bridging the two worlds of research and the arts to inspire new ways of addressing questions of importance to Canada and the world.
CIFAR is moving full speed into 2013 with an energised and renewed sense of our mission and vision. In the next issue, I look forward to providing more information about the key features of our renewed mission and vision which we are calling CIFAR 2.0.
Alan Bernstein, O.C., Ph.D. F.R.S.C