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Waterloo, ON-More than 7,400 academics, researchers, students and policy-makers descended upon Waterloo this week for the 2012 Congress of the Sciences and Humanities, bringing $7 million into the local economy. This year’s Congress was heralded as a big success, with hundreds more delegates attending than expected, and standing-room only in many Congress events.

Congress 2012 kicked off with a major funding announcement from the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology: $70 million for projects funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. The first Big Thinking lecture was a moving call for more collaboration between universities and communities from His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

The Congress’ marquee events, the “Big Thinking” lectures, featured such notable speakers as Margaret Atwood, Chris Hedges, Don Tapscott, Jane Urquhart, and Thomas Homer-Dixon, and were also streamed live from Congress to hundreds of online viewers.

More than 80 exhibitors participated in Congress, as well as nearly 70 associations encompassing the social sciences and humanities-disciplines including literature, theatre, sociology, geography, education, population studies, and much more.

“This year’s Congress was a true tour de force,” said Graham Carr, President of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, organizers of Congress. “We couldn’t have done it without the phenomenal hospitality of Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, and the people of the Kitchener-Waterloo area, who welcomed Congress delegates for the week.”

More than 300 researchers were available for interviews on a wide variety of topics (arts, digital, education, environment, health, international affairs and politics). Congress presenters were interviewed by the media on a wide array of topics, including the latest census data from Statistics Canada, federal funding for terrorism research, the development of humour in children, and public contributions to snowfall research through Twitter.

A documentary film crew filmed all aspects of Congress 2012, and interviewed speakers, delegates, organizers and volunteers alike.

Most of the Big Thinking lectures can be viewed on CFHSS’s YouTube channel and the Congress website has countless blog posts and tweets from throughout the 8 days of the conference:

About the Congress:

Organized by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada. Described as a “conference of conferences,” Congress involves nearly 70 academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others.