Prime minister Justin Trudeau on September 26 named Dr Mona Nemer as Canada’s new Chief Science Advisor (CSA) for a three-year term. Nemer is a medical researcher, professor and VP research at Univ of Ottawa. She held the latter role for 11 years before stepping down last summer. In her new position, Nemer will advise both the prime minister and Science minister Kirsty Duncan on key federal science policies and produce an annual public report on the state of federal government science — a function performed by the sunsetting Science, technology and Innovation Council (STIC). The CSA announcement has long been awaited by the science, technology and innovation community since the search was launched in December 2016. The Liberal Party pledged to create the position of chief science officer during the 2015 election campaign as part of its suite of policies stressing innovation, research and evidence-based decision making. The Liberal government of Paul Martin introduced the position of National Science Advisor in 2004 and appointed Dr Arthur Carty, former president of the National Research Council. But Carty and the office were eliminated in 2008 by the government of Stephen Harper. Nemer, who holds a PhD in chemistry from McGill University, will occupy an office in the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development where she will be supported by a secretariat with a modest annual budget of $2 million.
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