Over the next few weeks, thousands of scholars and researchers will descend upon Ottawa for not one, but two of the biggest academic events in Canada, prompting the city to declare the national capital as Canada’s knowledge destination during the month of May.

Acting Mayor Michel Bellemare proclaimed the city Canada’s Knowledge Destination, just as the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas) kicked off at the University of Ottawa Monday.

More than 5,000 lecturers from over 30 countries are expected to attend the 77th annual Acfas conference, which is the biggest Francophone and interdisciplinary event in the world, said Acfas president Pierre Noreau.


The event will allow those who choose to work and disseminate in French to share their ideas, he said.

“Having a better understanding of society and the surrounding world is essential to the future of our communities,” he said.

In less than two weeks‚ time, Carleton University will play host to the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

From May 23 to 31, Carleton will host more than 8,000 scholars at the largest multidisciplinary gathering in North America, where some of the world’s most renowned researchers will share their ideas and debate issues including international development, violence, immigration and youth issues.

In addition to benefiting tourism and putting Ottawa on the map, the conferences are “a chance to sustain the dialogue between the university research community and federal decision-makers,” said president of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences Nathalie Des Rosiers.

To Carleton University president Dr. Rosann Runte, this is yet another “great opportunity for Carleton and the University of Ottawa to prove how well they work together.”

While there has always been an emphasis on science and technology, “social sciences and humanities are a key to who we are as people,” as well as allowing us to compete in an era globalization.

“The conferences are an opportunity for Ottawa and Canada to show that we are serious about ideas and the future,” she said.

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