World Federation of
Science Journalists

Tours and Visits

Organizers of the World Conference of Science Journalists have planned visits to several research centers. These visits should complete some of sessions given as part of Science in Canada, and should also provide story material.

Please download and complete registration form below in order to confirm your presence at any of the visits described below. Forms must be faxed to 1+ (514) 905-0028. You may also register online by clicking here*. *You must be already registered to the conference or submitting you registration at the same time to qualify for the tours.

Please note that the program could be modified between now and October 8th if there is a lack of interest or if the number of registered participants is too small.


OPTION "A" Montréal Aerospace


A1) Visit the headquarters of the Canadian Space Agency, in Saint-Hubert, on the south shore of the St-Lawrence River. Presentation of the Radarsat remote sensing system and of the space robotics tools built for the International Space Station.


A3) Bombardier, the world's third-largest civil aircraft maker and creator of the Regional Jet. Visit the production plant.

OPTION "B" Montréal health and nanotechnology


B1) Dr Serge Rossignol's laboratory at the Université de Montréal specializes in the mechanisms that could considerably reduce the impact of partial spinal cord lesions.

B2) Visit the laboratories and meet the researchers who work at the J.-Armand-Bombardier Pavilion. This new ultramodern pavilion houses some of Québec's largest laboratories dedicated to research into new materials and nanotechnology.


B3) A tour of McGill University's new Nanotools Complex. Inaugurated less than one year ago, the Complex is equipped with the most advanced tools for the development of atomic- and molecular-scale technologies.

B4) McGill University: The McGill University and Genome Québec Innovation Centre is the head laboratory for the Canadian portion of the HapMap Project, in collaboration with Japanese, British, Canadian, Chinese, Nigerian and American researchers. The objective of this consortium is to discover and to compare the genetic sequences that may be responsible for an individual's susceptibility to certain diseases.

OPTION "C" Montréal Biotech


C1) Concordia University: Fungal Genomics Project; research into fungi genomics with environmental and industrial applications, especially in decreasing the environmental impact of the pulp and paper industry.

C2) Caprion Pharmaceuticals has recently been awarded NIH biodefence research contract to study brucellosis, a potential bioterrorist agent, using large-scale proteomics. The company has multiple target discovery and biomarker profiling partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.


C3) A visit of the Centre for Waste Expertise and the St. Michel Environmental Complex. Both centres are built on a former quarry that became a landfill and will soon be transformed into cultural, recreational and commercial green space. Tour a sorting centre for recyclable waste, a landfill gas power plant (Gazmont) and an ultramodern technology showcase.

C4) In addition, a visit to TOHU, the Cirque du Soleil's international headquarters built on a rehabilitated brownfield.

OPTION "D" Biodiversity

Morning (half-day)

Arising from the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity signals a turning point in international law as it seeks the conservation and respect of biological diversity now and in the years to come. Situated in the heart of Montréal's business district, visit the Convention's nerve center and meet the experts on-hand.

Arising from the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity seeks to conserve biological diversity, ensure the sustainable use of its components, and promote the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. Recently, Parties to the Convention committed to a more effective and coherent implementation of the three objectives of the Convention, and to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biological diversity.

In this guided tour, the Executive Secretary of the CBD and Secretariat staff will brief participants on the science behind the 2010 biodiversity target, explain the significance of the target for the work of the Convention, and show the targets to be achieved. Through small group workshops, participants will have an opportunity to learn the relevance of the 2010 target to specific programmes of work of the Convention including inland water ecosystems, marine and coastal biodiversity, protected areas, and the Convention's joint work programmes with UNFCCC, Ramsar and other international environmental agreements. Information: Information:

OPTION "E" Radio-Canada/CBC Headquarters

Afternoon (half-day)

Canada's national public broadcaster is an important partner of the 4th World Conference of Science Journalists, and is a pillar of science journalism in Québec and in Canada. Visit the studios and meet the artisans and journalists who work there. Information :


OPTION "F" Québec City area

Departure from the Marriott Château at 6:30


Forintek Canada Corporation, Eastern Division
This national R&D institution specializes in wood products in the fields of resource evaluation, sawing, wood drying and protection, composite products, construction systems, value-added products and market analyses. Forintek offers technical services on a contractual basis and is the result of a partnership between the private sector and the federal and provincial governments. More than 180 companies across Canada are members of Forintek.

CO2 Solution inc.
Greenhouse gases, the most important of which is carbon dioxide (CO2), are responsible for climate change. The fight against greenhouse gas emissions highlighted by the Kyoto Protocol has become a major challenge worldwide, economically and environmentally. The technology developed by CO2 SOLUTION will become a prime solution in the battle against the greenhouse effect and climate change. CO2 Solution's unique technology consists of biologically changing carbon dioxide (CO2) into an environmentally innocuous substance. Applications developed by CO2 Solution in cooperation with Université Laval will first target CO2 absorption in sealed buildings, followed by the reduction and recycling of CO2 in industry using fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum.

Lunch at the Éablière le Chemin du Roy


Visit to Université Laval
COPL is a university training and research centre specializing in optics and optoelectronics. Research focuses on five themes: imaging, metrology and optics instrumentation; guided optics and optical fibres; lasers and ultrashort pulses; optic communications; optoelectronics materials.

Guided tour of Vieux-Québec
Capital of Québec, cradle of French civilization in North America, UNESCO world heritage city, port city... the City of Québec is unique! Its architecture and countryside bear witness to the role played by the city under the French, British and Canadian regimes. A strategic stronghold for almost three centuries, Québec has preserved the main components of its former defence system, making it the only city in North America walled in by authentic fortifications.

Cocktail and tour of the icebreaker, Amundsen
This 100-metre-long ship conducts scientific research in the field of oceanography on themes related to the general functioning, integrity and productivity of arctic and boreal marine ecosystems and their future in a context of climate change. NOTE: In the advent that bad weather conditions delay the arrival of the Amundsen, this part of the visit will be modified.

Supper in the Petit Champlain tourist area

Departure from Québec city at 9 p.m. and arrival in Montréal at 11:30 p.m.

OPTION "G", Day trip to James Bay (places are limited)

In James Bay, 1000 kilometres north of Montréal, the Grande Rivière hydroelectric complex is the powerhouse of Québec's energy production system. It is one of the world's largest renewable energy installations, its installed generating capacity totals 16,000 megawatts.

This plane trip includes a fascinating glimpse of the territory situated at the limits of Québec's Taiga forests as well as a tour of the Robert-Bourassa generating station, the complex's most important installation. The Robert-Bourassa generating station produces 5600 megawatts and was inaugurated five years ago. Guaranteed to be a unique experience!

6:30 am departure from the Marriott Château Champlain for Saint-Hubert airport, return to the hotel at approximately 10 pm.

IMPORTANT: If you chose this visit, you will be asked to give a photocopy of a piece of ID at the registration desk, on 4 October 2004. Bring a sweater, a windbreaker and trekking shoes. Lunch (Arctic Char) will be served on an island in the middle of the Grande Rivière.