The Atlantic Provinces Council on the Sciences (APICS) was originally established in 1962 as The Atlantic Provinces
Inter-University Committee on the Sciences. Its goal was to strengthen research and technology in the Maritimes by
providing a link between scientists in the universities and the government lab sector, and by fostering communication
and cooperation among science students in the region's universities.
Dr. Walter Trost, then Dean of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie, initiated the move to form this new organization by
convincing his fellow deans at other Maritime universities of the benefits of such a move. Memorial University joined
APICS about ten years later. In 1978, the name was changed to Atlantic Provinces Council on the Sciences to give due
consideration to members outside the university community. The acronym, APICS, was retained.
Funding in the early years came from the National Research Council and the Maritime provincial governments. Since 1978,
however, the organization's main source of revenue has been annual fees from its member institutions. Current members
include most post-secondary institutions in the Atlantic region, several government research laboratories, and the
Atlantic office of the Science Engineering and Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Other sources of revenue include
grants and individual and corporate donations.
From 1962 until 1982, the administrative office of APICS changed locations (and personnel) each time a new
chairperson was installed. That practice ended in 1982 when a permanent office for APICS was established at
Memorial University during the tenure of Dr. Peter Heald, then Dean of Science. The office remained there until
1999, when it was moved to Dalhousie University where the office is currently hosted.
Today, there are 10 standing committees in the following scientific disciplines/fields: Animal Care, Aquaculture,
Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Environmental Studies, Mathematics & Statistics, Physics and
Astronomy, and Psychology. These committees draw their membership from the organization's member institutions, and,
among other activities, host annual student conferences. In addition, there are four functional committees which carry
out business and promotional activities for the charity: the APICS/Canpolar Science Communication Awards Committee,
the Education Committee, the Fund Raising Committee, and the Executive Committee.
The comprehensive book, “History of the Atlantic Provinces Council on the Sciences (APICS): The First Twenty Five Years,
1962-1987”, written by Frederick J. Simpson, is available by contacting the APICS office.