A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
The movement to bring together Canadian biophysicists within an association was first led in the early 1970s by Dr. Abe Petkau at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. Around the same time, the International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB) was created, with representation to the IUPAB taken up by the National Research Council of Canada. Initially, Canadian Biophysicists decided to meet within the framework of the Annual Meeting of the US Biophysical Society.
In 1985, a group of Canadian scientists led by Don Chapman (Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton), Alan Groom (University of Western Ontario, London), and Ian Smith (then at the NRC Institute for Biological Sciences, Ottawa) officially formed the Biophysical Society of Canada (BSC), which was incorporated later that year. The BSC associated with the Canadian Federation of Biological Societies (CFBS). The BSC sponsored symposia at the annual meeting of the CFBS, an arrangement that lasted for over 15 years. The links between the BSC and CFBS ended in 2009.
The BSC has maintained close ties to the IUPAB throughout its existence, with a representative of the BSC sitting on the IUPAB council since the early 1970s. BSC founder, Ian Smith, served for many years as a member of council, and then as Vice-President and President of the IUPAB. The BSC hosted the highly successful 10th IUPAB congress in1990 in Vancouver. The Chair of the organizing committee was Cyril Challice. Ian Smith was Chair of the program committee.
The BSC has evolved into an independent, dynamic and diverse society with membership from across Canada. Professional activities of the BSC include an annual meeting, sponsorship of symposia and trainee travel awards to both our annual meeting and the annual meeting of the US Biophysical Society, and the administration of society awards. The BSC sponsors prizes for the best student posters at the annual meeting of the BSC. Researchers who have made exceptional contributions to Biophysicists are recognized as Fellows of the Biophysical Society of Canada. Outstanding researchers are also recognized annually as the National Lecturer at the BSC meeting. Finally, outstanding contributions to the BSC are recognized by the Michele Auger award for exceptional service.
Date Updated: Dec. 7, 2016