CAUT is welcoming the news that Dr. Mona Nemer has been appointed by the federal government as Canada’s new chief science advisor.
“It is our hope that Dr. Nemer will provide an unbiased perspective and non-partisan advice, allowing scientific expertise to become part of decision-making at the highest levels of government,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson. “However, we urge that the position be made fully independent and accountable to Parliament and not just the government of the day.”
CAUT has long advocated for the creation of a parliamentary science officer, and recommended this approach in its submission to the expert panel on Canada’s fundamental science review launched in June 2016.
“It is noteworthy that the science advisor is also to promote a positive and productive dialogue between federal scientists and academia, and raise awareness of scientific issues relevant to the Canadian public,” said Robinson.
CAUT is also pleased the science advisor’s mandate includes advising on how to implement processes that will ensure science is considered when the government makes decisions, recommending ways to improve the existing science advisory function within government, and assessing how scientific research can be better supported within the federal system.