Restructuring of OST gives research unit new lease on life

Guest Contributor
January 20, 2003

The Observatoire des science et des technologies (OST) has emerged from a turbulent period of internal dissent with a new structure, a new director and a scientific committee designed to provide long-term guidance and strategic oversight. The restructuring reinforces the OST as Canada’s premier source of bibliometric and scientometric data, and accommodates the research agendas of its two former directors as well as a new group of researchers from across the country.

Under the direction of Jean Lebel, former director of graduate studies at the Univ of Quebec, OST will continue to fulfill contracts and provide services to its consortium members. Lebel will also oversee updating and upgrading the all-important OST database, and recruit new organizations to the consortium which supports the organization with annual fees.


OST will also make its database available to outside researchers and research groups, such as the recently formed Canadian Science and Innovation Indicators Consortium (CSIIC). The CSIIC was formed earlier this month by Dr Benoit Godin, former OST director and a professor at the Institute national de la recherche scientifique (INRS).

The interaction between OST and CSIIC signals the end of the dispute between Godin and Yves Gingras, the other former OST director, a professor at the Univ of Quebec at Montreal and the engineer behind the OST restructuring.

“I am very happy with the new structure and the new director,” says Gingras. “The OST will now have a stronger national focus and is open to any Canadian that wants to work with the organization.”

An initial indication of the OST’s larger focus is the inclusion of Dr Sylvan Katz. The highly regarded scientist is a senior fellow of science, technology and innovation policy at the Univ of Sussex and heads a Saskatoon-based consulting firm, Katz Competitive Intelligence Ltd. Katz is joining OST’s powerful new scientific committee and is also a member of CSIIC.

Godin says he is relieved that the OST dispute has been settled amicably, and that the research pool devoted to this type of research is expanding.

“It’s settled now and should work with Camille Limoges on side,” he says. “There are two groups at work and everyone now realizes this. It’s good for everyone who wants to work with the data and we can count on the OST infrastructure and database.”

Limoges, who recently retired after a long career in government and academia, says he’s pleased to be associated with the new OST.

“I’m absolutely certain that the OST will go forward and at as quick a pace as before,” he says. “Lebel is doing a great job so far and the scientific committee will be advising on scientific matters and strategic planning.”

Under Limoges, the scientific committee will meet three times annually, with the inaugural meeting slated for early March.

Gingras says OST will also benefit from a more direct association with the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie, of which he is director.



Dr Eric Archambault

President, Science-Metrix Inc

Dr Robert Dalpé

Univ of Montreal

Dr Fred Gault

Statistics Canada

Dr John de la Mothe

Univ of Ottawa

Dr Yves Gingras

Univ of Quebec at Montreal

Dr Benoit Godin

Institut national de la recherche scientifique

Dr Sylvan Katz

Saskatoon-based consultant

Dr Camille Limoges (president)

Montreal-based consultant

Dr Jorge Niosi

Univ of Quebec at Montreal

Réal Pelland

Government of Quebec

Dr Michel Trepanier

Institut national de la recherche scientifique


Dr Charles Davis

Univ of New Brunswick

Ron Freedman

Impact Group

Dr Benoit Godin

Institut national de la recherche scientifique

Adam Holbrook

Simon Fraser Univ

Dr Sylvan Katz

Saskatoon-based consultant

Dr Cooper Langford

Univ of Calgary

Dr Réjean Landry

Univ of Laval

Dr Wade Locke

Memorial Univ

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