Meaningful Science Series

Science attracts many great minds who want to bring about positive, relevant change while also achieving a successful career. For scientists, finding meaning in their work can improve their overall wellness, enhance leadership, strengthen connections to society, and promote the value of science in modern times.

Meaningful Science is a 10-week series in a guided conversation format led by graduate students for graduate students in STEM-fields. Our aim is to initiate personal reflections on meaningful work, responsible group leadership, and societal impact within scientific research. 

As a group of graduate students, we will help each other develop our identities as scientists, challenge and articulate our worldviews, and engage in discussions to become responsible and impactful scientists.

Winter 2018 semester 

  • When: Meaningful Science is held on Thursday evenings
  • Time: 4:30 to 6:00 PM 
  • Location: Centennial Centre, Room CC1-150

Students can register for up to three themes - Society & Community, Social Impact, and Values & World Views- and the final reflection. 


 Upcoming Events



Society and Community

1: Societal Challenges

Participants reflect on community and the concept of responsible citizenship. In discussing current societal challenges, participants examine different approaches to problem solving and the integration of humanities within science.


Thu 1st Feb, 4:30-6:00 PM

Room CC1-150,  Centennial Centre, Mac Campus.

 for Society and Community

2: Responsible Research I

Participants discuss the concept of responsible research through real-world examples and are provided with tools to facilitate research responsibility.

Thu 8th Feb, 4:30-6:00 PM

Room CC1-150,  Centennial Centre, Mac Campus.

3: Responsible Research II

Participants examine the difficulties and trade-offs involved in responsible research. They prepare for authentically responsible research by evaluating personal, academic, and societal expectations and paradigms. 

Thu 15th Feb, 4:30-6:00 PM

Room CC1-150,  Centennial Centre, Mac Campus.

Social Impact

4: Science Outreach

Participants confront the limits of science for supporting societal change and learn to embrace the importance of effective communication in the context of diverse perspectives, values, and worldviews.

Thu 22nd Feb, 4:30-6:00 PM

Room CC1-150,  Centennial Centre, Mac Campus.

 for Social Impact

5: Science Advocacy I

Participants explore situations in which scientists must go beyond conventional communication in order to make a positive impact as a science advocate.

Thu 1st Mar, 4:30-6:00 PM

Room CC1-150,  Centennial Centre, Mac Campus.

6: Science Advocacy II

Participants put experiences into action and role-play a scenario where different types of scientists and multiple stakeholders from business, industry, law, and greater the community are tasked to solve an issue.

Thu 8th Mar, 4:30-6:00 PM

Room CC1-150,  Centennial Centre, Mac Campus.

Values and World Views

7: World Perspectives and Narratives

Participants survey the worldviews that encompass concepts of identity, work, human nature, responsibility, and justice. They also examine how these worldviews inform scientific practice.

Thu 15th Mar, 4:30-6:00 PM

Room CC1-150,  Centennial Centre, Mac Campus.

for Values and World Views

8: Personal Beliefs, Values, and Goals

Participants probe universal, societal, and individual values. They learn how to determine self-values and how to recognize the values of others.

Thu 22nd Mar, 4:30-6:00 PM

Room CC1-150,  Centennial Centre, Mac Campus.

9: Meaning 

Participants reflect on the concept of meaning, and examine how they and others continually develop a sense of meaning in life and work. 

Thu 5th April, 4:30-6:00 PM

Room CC1-150,  Centennial Centre, Mac Campus.


Final Reflection 

10: Reflection on Meaningful Science

Participants reflect upon key insights from the previous workshops, share impacts on their current and future research, and develop goals and actions for their science careers.

Thu 12th Apr, 4:30-6:00 PM

Room CC1-150,  Centennial Centre, Mac Campus.

for Final Reflection on Meaningful Science


McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours, recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet today.