It’s an eye-catching stat, but understandable when you consider it refers to the rate of caffeine consumption at the 2013 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.   Put 7,100 academics in one place, and you’re bound to run through an impressive amount of coffee.

But the big stats don’t stop there – 1,800 sessions, 500 volunteers, and 70 academic associations are all part of Congress 2013 at the beautiful University of Victoria. Academic Matters is here to experience the discussions, share our new issues, and as always, scout for new writing talent.

Besides the quality of the individual sessions, a big highlight so far has been UVic itself. The university has done a great job as host, with a great campus, friendly volunteers, and an outstanding program of cultural events featuring local First Nations. Kudso also to the “Big Think” lecture series sponsored by UVic, the AUCC, and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. Once I’m done typing out this post, I’ll be off to hear the Globe and Mail’s Doug Saunders speak about his new book, The Myth of the Muslim TideLater in the day, McGill professor – and Academic Matters contributor – Daniel Weinstock will be speaking on philosophy and public policy.

And, of course, there’s the ScholarSIP (see what they did there?) beer tent provided by the Vancouver Island Brewery.

We’ve also learned that the Conference Board of Canada is planning a new research project into the future of higher education in Canada. AM Assoicate Editor Erica Rayment will be writing on this new project, so stay tuned for more information.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for more coffee.