For immediate release

December 20, 2012

Top Ten Science and Technology stories of 2012

OTTAWA, December 20, 2012 – With 2012 soon coming to an end, the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation (CSTMC) has compiled for a second year its own list of this year’s ten most significant Science and Technology news stories.

In order to compile this final selection, the CSTMC’s team of curators first individually suggested what they believed were the most significant science and technology news stories relating to their various fields of expertise involving Canadians in 2012. Once all the suggestions were compiled, the merits of each of the suggestions were debated and put to a vote among curators to determine the final rankings.

The list

  1. Scientists at CERN (the European Centre for Nuclear Research)’s Large Hadron Collider discover the Higgs boson. Many Canadian teams were involved in this discovery, which is one of the most significant physics experiments in 50 years. 
  2. NASA rover Curiosity carries a Canadian science instrument on Mars. The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer, provided by the Canadian Space Agency, will probe the chemistry of rocks and soils to help determine if the planet was, or is, able to support microbial life.
  3. Parks Canada searches for the two ships lost during the 1845 Franklin expedition using a robotic “shark”. The robot is an autonomous underwater vehicle and uses sonar to map objects on the ocean floor, even during rough surface conditions.
  4. Dumas Contracting Ltd. wins a Safety Innovation Award for its new way of re-railing locomotives in underground mines. Dumas’ re-railer bar improves what is often a dangerous and difficult process.
  5. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield reached the International Space Station (ISS) in December 2012. While in space, Hadfield will take part in experiments proposed by Canadian students. He assumes control of the ISS in 2013.
  6. The National Research Council of Canada conducts the world’s first flight of a civil jet powered by 100% unblended biofuel. The NCR’s Falcon 20 flew over Ottawa using fuel made from oilseed crops.
  7. The Canadian Space Agency delivers crucial components for the James Webb Space Telescope to NASA. The Webb telescope will succeed the Hubble telescope that was launched in 1990. By contributing to the project now, Canadian scientists are guaranteed time to use the telescope after it is launched in 2018.
  8. Winnipeg’s New Flyer Industries demonstrates an electric-powered transit bus prototype it built in partnership with the provincial government, Manitoba Hydro and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The emissions-free buses may be ready for marketing next year.
  9. Canada submits a claim to expand its undersea coastal territory as part of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea mapping project. Federal scientists spent years conducting geological studies proving that Canada’s continental bedrock extends far under the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.
  10. Canada celebrates the 50th anniversary of the launch of Alouette-1, which made Canada the 3rd country in space when it was launched in 1962. The satellite’s success was the catalyst for other successes that eventually lead to the creation of the Canadian Space Agency.

“The Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation staff is constantly monitoring new advances in science with a view of collecting stories and objects that represent Canada’s contribution to the advancement of science and to engage visitors with the past, present and future of our innovation heritage,” said CSTMC CEO Denise Amyot.

The CSTMC is responsible for preserving and protecting Canada’s scientific and technological heritage and promoting and sharing knowledge about that heritage, by telling the stories of Canadian ingenuity and achievement in science and technology, and by demonstrating how these accomplishments have contributed to the building of our country.



Olivier Bouffard
Media relations

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