L’Association francophone pour le savoir — Acfas is a not-for-profit organization created in 1923 by the federation of 11 learned societies: Biology, Medicine, Physics, Engineering, Chemistry, Natural History, Mathematics, Astronomy, History, Political Science and Philosophy.
Acfas’s mission is to promote research and a science culture by contributing to the understanding and perceived value of knowledge and the scientific method, in order to improve our society’s quality of life. The organization aims to achieve the following specific objectives:
- Promote and support succession and young scientists;
- Defend the relevance of research and scientific initiatives in society;
- Sustain the dialogue between science and society.
Based in Quebec, the association regroups several thousand scientists and others who are passionate about science from all disciplines. Acfas collaborates with dozens of organizations in the university, college, public, para-public, industry and scientific communications sectors and partners with media to increase the perceived value of research in the public at large thus contributing to creating a truly knowledge-based society.
The Acfas Annual Congress
The most important scientific meeting of the Francophonie
The leading venue for disseminating the results of research, debates and dialogue in French, The Acfas Annual Congress was established in 1933 and represents the most important multi-disciplinary, inter-university and inter-sectorial scientific event of the Francophonie.
Every year, Acfas welcomes an average of 5,500 participants, of which nearly 40 % are graduate students. Some 10% of participants are from abroad. In the coming years, Acfas intends to further extend its international reach, with UNESCO’s sponsorship of the 81st Congress in 2013 being a prime example.
The congress’ scientific program includes all research areas: health sciences, natural sciences, mathematics and engineering, literature, arts and social sciences, and education. As well as these broad categories, Acfas also includes two other streams: one related to research challenges and the other focused on inter-sectorial colloquia.
Parallel to the activities delegates pay for, two other sets of activities are open to the public at no charge in order to foster an opportunity for dialogue between science and the general public:
- General session papers, including some thousand individual scientific presentations that complement the scientific program. This component of the program allows hundreds of students to present their research results for the first time.
- Special events specifically designed for the general public, scheduled to run concurrent with the conference. These activities take various forms: round table, conferences, radio programs, etc.
In fact and in keeping with the times, the conference will be making the program available on mobile apps, and a broad-based conversation is enabled on Twitter™ by entering the hash tag #Acfas.