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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.

For questions about this series, please contact us at meaningfulscience.mtl [at] or instagram @Msci_MTL

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Workshop Description

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. 

Discussion Topics

Society & Community

  • Societal Changes: 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.
  • Responsible Research: Participants discuss the concept of responsible research through real-world examples and are provided with tools to facilitate research responsibility. Participants also 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. 

Social Impact, and Values

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

World Views

  • World Views: Participants survey the worldviews that encompass concepts of identity, work, human nature, responsibility, and justice. They also examine how these worldviews inform scientific practice.
  • Personal beliefs: Participants probe universal, societal, and individual values. They learn how to determine self-values and how to recognize the values of others.
  • Meaning: Participants reflect on the concept of meaning, and examine how they and others continually develop a sense of meaning in life and work. 

Reflection: 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.

Learning Outcomes

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.

Fall 2018 Workshop Schedule




Reflection of values and world views

1: Meaning

What is meaning, how does it relate to graduate school?

Wed, Sep 26

2: Personal Goals, Beliefs and Values

Self-reflection, values

Wed, Oct 3

3: World perspectives and narratives

Different cultural views and contexts

Wed, Oct 10

Awareness of society and Community

4: Societal Challenges

Understanding the community, the concept of citizenship responsibility, humanities in science

Wed, Oct 17

5: Responsible Research I

Cooperation, innovation tools, research purpose, thought biases


Wed, Oct 24

6: Responsible Research II

Community partnerships, paradigm shifts, mixed-methods

Wed, Oct 31

Science communication

7: Science Outreach

Communication, knowledge mobilization

Wed, Nov 7

8: Science Advocacy I

Policy making, connection with stakeholders

Wed, Nov 14

9: Science Advocacy II

Theories of social change, impact, ideas for change

Wed, Nov 21


10: Conclusion

Personal and group learning

Wed, Nov 28






As a McGill student, your participation in activities such as training workshops and volunteering are tracked on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR)! Having your co-curricular activities listed in one document can help you revise your CV or cover letter, prepare for interviews, and explore career options. Learn how to leverage this important document through myInvolvement, and make your training count!
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