• We have the “most social astronaut”: Eight North Americans have commanded the International Space Station over the last four years, but only Canada’s Chris Hadfield became a household name worldwide. His photos, duets from space and that cover of Space Oddityhelped catapult @Cmdr_Hadfieldto one million Twitter followers. @TheRealBuzz (Aldrin) has 806,000.
  • Holy crap, we’re discovering a miracle cure: Canada is a leader in fecal transplant therapy (it’s exactly what it sounds like). By transferring healthy bacteria from a donor’s stool into patients suffering from potentially fatal gut infections like C. difficile, doctors believe it could one day cure all sorts of ailments, maybe even obesity and allergies.
  • We lead in quantum computing: What’s that, you ask? Rather than calculating with ones or zeros as conventional computers do, quantum computers can theoretically harness subatomic particles to process more complex calculations in a fraction of the time. And scratch the word theoretical. In May, Burnaby, B.C.-based D-Wavesaid one of its quantum computers, the only such machines commercially available, will be installed at the new Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, a collaboration between Google, the Universities Space Research Association and NASA.
  • We’re wiring the oceans like no one else: Canada’s NEPTUNEand VENUS projects off the coast of B.C. have installed fibre-optic cables that transmit data from the bottom of the ocean. In 2011, Popular Sciencenamed NEPTUNE one of humankind’s “top 10 most ambitious science projects” alongside the Large Hadron Collider and the International Space Station.
  • Our dinosaur discoveries are cooler: Not only did archaeologists uncover the largest-ever bed of dinosaur bones near Medicine Hat, Alta., in 2010, since then scientists re-examining old fossils identified a new species of spiky-headed dinosaur called Xenoceratops foremostensis—or “alien horned-face from Foremost.” Wired recently listedthe world’s 10 best new dinosaur discoveries. Four came from Canada, while just one was dug up in America.
  • We’re more rational: Most Canadians (61 per cent) accept evolution, compared to just 30 per cent of Americans. Incidentally, the same percentage believe Bigfoot is “definitely” or “probably” real.
  • We’re world leaders in space robotics: There’s the Canadarm, of course, but also Dextre, which lives on the International Space Station and is the most advanced space robot ever built–a “space handyman” that fixes up the station. In January, Dextre performed the first demonstration that a robot could refuel a satellite in orbit, which could give our satellites longer lives in space.