(Ottawa – 27 September 2017) The announcement that Dr. Mona Nemer has been appointed by the federal government as Canada’s Chief Science Advisor is welcomed by the Canadian Association of University Teachers.
“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 advocated for the creation of a Parliamentary Science Officer. This recommendation was part of its submission to the Fundamental Science Review launched in June 2016 by the Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan.
“It is noteworthy that the Advisor is also to promote a positive and productive dialogue between federal scientists and academia, both in Canada and abroad, and raise awareness of scientific issues relevant to the Canadian public,” said Robinson. “The free flow of scientific information is more important than ever, and we applaud this stance in the face of attacks on science occurring more-and-more throughout the world.”
CAUT is also pleased that the Advisor’s mandate includes advising on how to implement processes that will ensure that science is considered when the government makes decisions; recommending ways to improve the existing science advisory function within government; and assessing how quality scientific research can be better supported within the federal system.
Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers
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