Monday, November 14, 2011

Open Season on Canadian Science Policy?

After the Jenkins panel Review of Federal Support to Research and Development (as described in my October 17th, 2001 post "Federal R&D Recommendations Submitted" and the follow-up October 24th, 2011 post "Responding to the Jenkins Panel on R&D"), the initial response from the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) as outlined in the October 17th, 2011 press release "AIAC acknowledges work of the Jenkins Panel on R&D" and the just concluded AIAC organized Canadian Aerospace Summit (as described in my November 7th, 2011 blog post "Aerospace Industries Association of Canada at the Podium"), is there anything about Canadian science policy still to be said?

Marc Garneau.
Of course there is.

According to the November 10th, 2011 Marketwire press release "Politicians, Leaders of Industry, Government and Science Enterprise Will Meet in Ottawa Next Week at CSPC 2011" the next group up to bat is the 2011 Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC 2011), which will be holding an event in Ottawa from November 16th - 18th.

Of particular interest to the space systems industry will be a "non-partisan and cross party discussion" among former scientists and current members of parliament on the interface between science and government. The discussion will include Dr. Marc Garneau, the current MP for Westmount-Ville-Marie and the former head of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

Others on the panel include Helene LeBlanc, the MP for LaSalle-Emard and the NDP Science and Technology critic, Dr. Kellie Leitch, the MP for Simcoe-Grey, Dr Reza Moridi, the provincial MPP for Richmond Hill, Ontario and perhaps even Dr. Moira Stilwell, the MLA for Vancouver-Langara, BC who has been invited (but hasn't yet accepted). The panel will be introduced and concluded by Pierre Meulien, the President of Genome Canada.

Other highlights are expected to include:
  • A discussion on the "Jenkins R&D Review Panel Recommendations - Implications for Canadian Business".
  • Two plenary sessions focused on "Drivers of Innovation in the Chemical-Related Industry Sector", organized by Chemical Institute of Canada, and "Building Stronger Communities Through Innovation", organized by Canada Foundation for Innovation.
  • Two receptions including on the "Mingle of Science and Politics" and "Genome Canada."
  • The Hall of Fame Science and Engineering awards ceremony, which CSPC 2011 will co- host with the Science & Technology Museum and Engineers Canada
Science policy in Canada is currently governed by the Industry Canada science & technology strategy as outlined in documents like the Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage (May 2007) and the Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage Progress Report (June 2009) which focus primarily on supporting business innovation.

It will be interesting to see if any of these events and reports has an influence upon this longstanding conservative party policy..

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