Person: Paul Dufour

CSA appointment lauded but debate swirls over scope and breadth of advisory role

Dr Mona Nemer’s appointment as federal chief science advisor (CSA) is receiving rave reviews in science and policy circles. But it has also reignited the debate over whether the new position will represent a significant improvement over past efforts to advise government on important scientific issues, and how this advice will feed into decision making.

Big gains possible with explicit provincial science policies: CCA report

Provinces that develop and deploy explicit science policies benefit from greater coordination, alignment and clarity of their science-based activities, which in turn help leverage federal support. Other than Quebec and the territories which have developed explicit science policies, those of Canada’s other subnational governments are implicit in nature and often conflate science and innovation resulting in less than optimum outcomes, according to a new report from the Council of Canadian Academies.

Basic science needs better oversight and coordination, and more money: Expert panel

R$ talks to David Naylor

A federally commissioned blue-chip panel calling for greater coherence and financial support for fundamental research has made a series of 35 recommendations, including a $1.3-billion increase in the budgets of the three granting councils, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and related entities over the next four years.

Former adviser to White House Office of S&T Policy to speak at Univ Ottawa

April 5 in Ottawa: Bromley Memorial Lecture featuring Kei Koizumi, former Assistant Director for Federal R&D and senior advisor to the director of the National Science and Technology Council, US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Koizumi is currently a visiting scholar in science policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The…

Paul Dufour, fellow and adjunct professor, University of Ottawa

What’s fundamental about a fundamental science review?
By Paul Dufour

“We suggest that government funding of basic research should emphasize quality rather than quantity, that the social sciences, multidisciplinary efforts, and projects relevant to Canadian needs should get higher priority, and that the peer system should be improved.