Joining the UBC contingent will be thousands of other Canadian and international scientists, educators and their patrons from over fifty countries. These include Mike Lazaridis, the founder and former co-CEO of Research In Motion (RIM), Canadian Space Agency (CSA) President Steve MacLean, Canadian Senator and neuroscience researcher Lillian Dyck, the vice-chancellors from both UBC and Simon Fraser University plus the director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
The theme of the event, according to AAAS President Nina V. Fedoroff in her Presidents Invitation, is "intended to focus the program on the complex, interconnected challenges of the 21st century and on pathways to global solutions through international, multidisciplinary efforts," which sounds less like science and more like activism, but fits in well with an organization dedicated to the advancement (read "advocacy") of the scientific method in general rather than the peer review of specific scientific papers.
As part of that advocacy, the Canadian Science Writers Association (CSWA) is hosting its "Annual Party for Journalists Attending AAAS" on February 18th at the Canvas Lounge in Vancouver's historic Gastown district. The event is sponsored by Commuitech, a Waterloo, Ontario based tech incubator which acts as the implementation arm for various provincial and Federal commercialization and economic development programs.
The event is free to all AAAS participating journalists and communicators, which is something to take note of when reading the news reports likely to come out of the event over the next little while.