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Budget 2018: a litmus test for the future of Canadian research

Read an opinion piece by David Naylor, Jeremy Kerr and Julia Baum published in the Hill Times:

Budget 2018: a litmus test for the future of Canadian research

Restoring Canada’s international prominence in research will take several years of steadily increasing investment, ongoing improvements in governance, and steadfast leadership by the Government of Canada. But the rebuilding process must start now with the 2018 budget. The
success of Canada’s young researchers—vital to our country’s future prosperity—depends upon it.

Read the full article here (PDF): https://issp.uottawa.ca/sites/issp.uottawa.ca/files/121117_ht.pdf

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McGill University launches #supportthereport webpage

McGill University has just launched a #SupportTheReport webpage: 

McGill’s Efforts to Support the Naylor Report

http://www.mcgill.ca/research/funding-discovery-research

McGill’s students and researchers are working together to #supportthereport. We hope you will join the McGill community in boldly imagining what Canadian researchers can achieve with the support they need to fuel new discoveries and the innovations of tomorrow.

You can get involved.

 Amongst the resources on this page, view a video by Martha Crago – Explaining what is fundamental research, and why should we care.

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Natalie Zemon Davis on the importance of curiosity in humanities research

The best research starts with curiosity

From University of Toronto News:

https://www.utoronto.ca/news/natalie-zemon-davis-importance-curiosity-humanities-research

Zemon Davis has joined a chorus of experts, including Nobel Prize-winning chemist John Polanyi, urging the Canadian government to move on the recommendations of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review. A panel, chaired by U of T President Emeritus Dr. David Naylor, calls for a $1.3-billion boost in funding for university-based research over four years – an increase they say amounts to only 0.4 per cent of the government’s annual budget.

“The panel recommends the support of work that is not necessarily able to be commercialized right away or right away translated into something practical,” Zemon Davis says. “It recommends the support of the work of young people who might be overlooked in the quest for number of publications. It supports the work of Indigenous people and especially the life and past of Indigenous people in Canada. These are marvelous ideas.”

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Ivan Semeniuk: Sensing a moment, Canadian scientists swing for the fences

Globe and Mail Science Journalist Ivan Semeniuk published : Sensing a moment, Canadian scientists swing for the fences.

“Scientists are making a historic pitch to revitalize basic research in Canada and the federal government is listening.”

….

Researchers say they are encouraged by the dialogue but anxious to see whether it will translate into a flow of dollars to research labs. Currently, the federal government invests about $3.5-billion a year in academic research, primarily through three granting councils for health, social and natural (meaning physical and non-medical biological) sciences and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The Naylor panel would see that base level of funding rise to $4.8-billion, phased in over four years, an increase that the report stresses amounts to only 0.4 per cent of the government’s annual budget.

Dr. Naylor, who met with Mr. Morneau earlier on Friday, said that he and the minister “had a good exchange of views about what might and might not have an optimum impact on Budget 2018.”

But the research community must continue speaking with one voice and maintaining pressure on the government in order to achieve meaningful gains for Canadian science in the new year, he said, adding, “As my Twitter alter-ego, Oscar the border collie, sometimes says, we need to keep barking.”

Read the full article here:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/sensing-a-moment-canadian-scientists-swing-for-the-fences/article37370472/

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Young scientists face too many funding obstacles

Read an Opinion by Mark Lautens in The Globe and Mail: Young scientists face too many funding obstacles. 

Mark Lautens is the J.B. Jones distinguished professor at the University of Toronto.

Excerpts:

The most important outcome of scientific research isn’t patents or products. It’s people who can think and solve our toughest problems. 

Meanwhile, the metrics are clear. Canada is losing ground in science relative to peer nations. If we want to educate brilliant young people who will move this country forward, we need to give them environments where they can learn to solve hard problems – in basic science and, yes, a range of other disciplines. That can only happen if the government of Canada makes a major investment in basic research in general, and supports our most promising younger researchers and our trainees in particular.

We simply cannot succeed as a society if we are constantly paying a premium for knowledge-based products and services created in other countries.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/young-scientists-face-too-many-funding-obstacles/article37372543/

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MacLean’s: To help foundations help Canada, our fundamental research system must improve

Leaders of high-profile family foundations across Canada on the need for world-class research, for their work and for future businesses
In this article, signed by Naomi Azrieli, Sandra Bouchard, Arthur Irving, Rosamond Ivey, Mark Krembil, Jacquie Labatt, Larry Tanenbaum, Lorne Trottier, and Peter Webster, leaders of some of Canada’s most important foundations highlight the importance for all Canadians of support for fundamental research.

…we believe that supporting fundamental research at higher funding levels and in better-coordinated ways is vital for Canadian prosperity. We cannot know what economic sectors and technological specialties will drive the national and global economy in decades ahead. However, we do know that other countries are investing vigorously in their research systems, with emerging economies challenging more established ones for leadership. Only by ensuring a truly world-class cadre of talented researchers and research facilities in Canada can we expect to keep up with the global competition and lead the way to the basic and applied research of the future.

Read the full article in MacLean’s:
http://www.macleans.ca/opinion/to-help-foundations-help-canada-our-fundamental-research-system-must-improve/

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The Conversation: Canada must make science great again

Read an article in The Conversation by Toby Brown, Post Doctorate Fellow in Astrophysics at McMaster University, arguing that Canada must make science great again:

In the absence of American political leadership on science, Canada must take up the mantle.
[…] Good science depends strongly on a continuous flow of people — and importantly, their ideas — across borders. Canada aspires to be at the very forefront of cutting-edge research and is therefore in a highly competitive global market for the very best talent. If it can demonstrate that the liberal and progressive values underpinning its society are fundamentally aligned with high quality science, Canada will prosper.

Read the full article in The Conversation:
https://theconversation.com/canada-must-make-science-great-again-88506

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NDP launches petition: Let’s stand up for Canadian Science

Kennedy Stewart, NDP critic for Science, has launched a petition on his website, stating:

The Government of Canada needs to implement all 35 Naylor Report recommendations including: creating a new National Advisory Council on Research and Innovation and increasing base-level spending for core funding agencies from $3.5-billion to $4.8-billion per year.

Visit his website to view the petition:

https://kennedystewart.ndp.ca/stand_up_for_science