Monday, June 13, 2016

Government Announces Comprehensive Review of Canadian Science

          By Henry Stewart

Science Minister Duncan. Photo c/o Gizmodo.
The federal government has announced an independent review of billions of dollars of federal funding for science and academics.

An independent panel, expected to report "by the end of this year," will review the activities of the National Research Council (NRC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), as well as programs like the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the various Canada Research Chairs, Genome Canada and others.

As outlined in the June 13th, 2016 Canadian government press release, "Government of Canada Launches Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Science," the review, which will report to Science Minister Kirsty Duncan, will assess the program machinery that is currently in place to support science and scientists in Canada. 

The review will be chaired by David Naylor, the former president of the University of Toronto. Other panelists include:
  • Rémi Quirion, the first, and the current chief scientist of the Quebec provincial government.
As outlined in the June 13th, 2016 Science post, "Canada launches review of its research enterprise," chairman Naylor has been involved with this sort of a report before. As outlined in the article:
Last year, Naylor chaired a task force on health care innovation appointed by (then Prime Minister) Harper whose report, Unleashing Innovation: Excellent Healthcare for Canada, so angered the Conservative government that it refused to allow him to hold a press conference to announce his findings
The current review follows closely on both the 100th anniversary of the NRC, and a series of growing crises within the organization which have recently spilled over into the public consciousness.

Canada's new "innovation agenda" is expected to be largely in place in time for the 2016 Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC), which will be held in Ottawa in November 2016, at least according to the CSPC website. Here's wishing them luck. Screenshot c/o

As outlined in the April 12, 2016 post, "The National Research Council Doesn't Fit Within the Current Innovation Agenda," these crises have included concerns over how Canada was being left behind in the race to turn scientific advances into useful commercial products and how the NRC fits within the current Liberal government's innovation agenda.

Science Minister Duncan, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger are expected to go into a little more detail about the innovation agenda on Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 at the National Press Club in Ottawa, according to the June 13th, 2016 Federal government press advisory on, "Ministers to announce engagement on the Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda."

Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer.

1 comment:

  1. Chuck,

    I trust they will be able to sort out all the junk science from the real deal!



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