We are implementing a new webpage where you can tell us your story, and tell us why you Support the report.
Listen to a great talk by Arthur McDonald at the Canadian Club from September 28th about research, but also in a large part about the Fundamental Science Review, which he took part in:
If you do not have a robust fundamental science base, then you are not going to have successful innovation
Listen to Dr. McDonald explain why he supports the report (starting at about 24 min in the conference)
Professor Andrew Craig of Queen’s University published an excellent article in The Conversation Canada explaining why the government needs to #supportthereport now. The Conversation Canada is an independent and non-profit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.
…there has been no evidence that the science minister or the prime minister will provide the budget support needed to enact the report’s recommendations.
Now at the midpoint of its mandate, the Trudeau government is attempting to traverse an ever-widening gap between the government’s messaging on science and its actions. Due to inaction, they have effectively reduced available funding for federal research in open competitions where the research topics are not constrained or dependent on industry partnerships.
Why should the public be concerned? The loss of investigator-initiated grants means that we are currently limiting the support for new fundamental discoveries that cannot be predicted by well-intentioned government or granting council executives.
Further, these discoveries are often not translated into new treatments or devices immediately. The late Tony Pawson, who made seminal discoveries during his biomedical research career in Canada, had an important message for all governments when accepting the prestigious Kyoto Prize in Japan in 2008: “Governments increasingly want to see immediate returns on the research that they support, but it is worth viewing basic science as a long-term investment that will yield completely unexpected dividends for humanity in the future.”
Read the full article in The Conversation here:
Read Research Canada’s latest release:
Ottawa, October 25, 2017— Minister Bill Morneau’s Fall Economic Update presented to Parliament yesterday committed the government to a fiscal agenda in support of a more skilled and innovative nation through investments in the Innovation Superclusters Initiative, the Strategic Innovation Fund and a Pan Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy. Missing, however; was recognition of the vital importance of fundamental science, which underpins innovation, educates innovators and is a path to new technologies, new businesses, new jobs and new value creation for Canada.
“Research Canada applauds the Government of Canada in taking definitive steps in support of innovation and equipping Canadians with the skills they need to succeed in a knowledge-based economy,” says Dr. Robert McMaster, Chair of Research Canada and Vice President of Research at Vancouver Coastal Health. “The government’s efforts will be stifled, however, if investment in publicly-funded research stagnates in the 2018 Budget. Canada’s innovation engine requires enhanced public support of its primary fuel — basic science research — in order to attract and spur further investment and development by the private sector.”
“We call on the federal government to implement the recommendations detailed in Canada’s Fundamental Science Review including multi-year investments for renewal of fundamental science in Canada,” says Ms. Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO of Research Canada. “In particular, Research Canada fully supports the Report’s recommendation of an increased investment of $485 million over four years to fund investigator-led research.”
Read the full release on the Health Research Innovation Portal
View a new poll published by Universities Canada.
Survey findings include:
- 92 per cent of Canadians support increasing university research funding to comparable levels with our global competitors.
- 94 per cent support investing in international university research collaboration to tackle global challenges.
- 94 per cent support attracting the world’s best researchers to Canadian universities to expose our students to world leading research.
- 92 per cent believe Canada must support young, talented and diverse researchers in order to retain top Canadian talent.
View the full report here
16 October: St. John’s, Newfoundland
17 October: Halifax, Nova Scotia
18 October: Montreal, Quebec
19 October: Windsor, Ontario
20 October: Toronto, Ontario.
A consistent message across all sites is important, and should follow from the Naylor report. Three important points to highlight are
- Canada used to be a world-leader in supporting investigator-driven research, expending 2% of GDP in 2003 (90% of OECD average). After over a decade of repeated cuts, we now spend 1.7% (<80% of OECD average). This puts us behind countries like Germany, US, Israel, Switzerland, Korea, but also Slovenia, Taiwan, Iceland). source: https://data.oecd.org/rd/gross-domestic-spending-on-r-d.htm
- This investment will train the next generation in STEM so Canada can lead in the emerging knowledge economy
- Discovery based science is the foundation for new treatments for disease, potential cures and a better life for Canadians
Wondering how researchers should engage politicians? Quebec’s Chief Scientists, Rémi Quirion has some advice:
Research Canada is launching a social media campaign on Twitter the week of October 16-20, 2017 to promote increased investments in Canadian health research. It is called the #Support4Research Campaign.
It is important for us to get this message out as soon as possible (on Twitter the week of October 16-20, 2017) to influence the 2018 budget process.
View these documents from Research Canada
- #Support4Research Campaign Best Practices
- #Support4Research Campaign Targets
- #Support4Research Sample Tweets
Universities Canada has published a nice series of stories highlighting how basic research improves the quality of life of Canadians
Great to see scientists on Parliament Hill promoting the report! Read the article by UBC here:
Read an opinion piece by the Suzanne Fortier, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University, Sophie D’Amours, rector of Université Laval and Guy Breton, rector of Université de Montréal, published recently in The Gazette:
…there’s never been a better time than now for Canada to become a world leader in science. The fact that our country has been relatively spared the political upheavals happening in the United States and Europe puts us in an excellent position to attract and retain the best researchers.
Our government has to act now. By increasing its support for researchers, it can give momentum to the entire country, to the lasting benefit all Canadians. We are convinced that with all the talent in our universities, the government’s efforts will soon bear fruit.
Read the full article here: