History of Science Journalism

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1945-1970

Science during This Era

Advanced and costly research

After the Second World War, two factors led to a marked increase university enrolment: the return of solders, many of whom were of university age, and the need for qualified workers.

Universities received few grants from the state, but in the early 1950s, public financing increased. Consequently, domains of research multiplied and specialized. For example, medical research split into several branches: cardiology, microbiology, respiratory illnesses, etc. In the field of hard science, specialties appeared: solid state physics, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry, nuclear physics, astrophysics, etc. Laboratories, especially biomedical sciences and physics laboratories, required increasingly sophisticated equipment.

Gradually, advanced research was carried out in specialized institutes, making it easier to combine human and financial resources. No longer could researchers isolate themselves; they had to work in large multidisciplinary teams.

To obtain public financing, researchers required recognition, both nationally and internationally. To achieve this, the quality of their work had to be acknowledged by peers in the same field. This recognition was achieved through the publication of their research results in scientific journals and, ideally, prestigious magazines such as Science and Nature.

From 1945 to 1968, scientists in Quebec continued to adhere to the Association canadienne-française pour l'avancement des sciences (ACFAS). They unveiled their research during their annual convention, highlighting the mission of this association: the popularization of science and the promotion of scientific research in French. There was no equivalent organization anywhere else in Canada. In the 1960s, a bid to create the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Science (CAAS) failed.