Spotlight: Science Advice in Government

By: Sam Garnett

December 29, 2017

2017 was a big year for science in policy-making. Our government reinstated the position of Chief Science Advisor, and advocacy efforts to #SupporttheReport and our #Students4theReport campaign got tons of support. Acknowledgement of these successes has been highlighted in a number of places recently, with Chief Science Advisor Dr. Mona Nemer specifically giving a shout-out to students during an address to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology where she said:

“I have also heard from student groups who want to contribute to science policy-making, and we are looking at ways to integrate them into our processes. I think it's great that our youth are actually re-engaging with the public arena."

We agree with Dr. Nemer and SPE co-presidents Shawn & Vanessa published an article in the Hill Times emphasizing why the inclusion of students in science policy making is important.

A recent publication in Canadian open-access journal Facets also made the case for more science advice in general, proposing a structure of Departmental Science Advisors under the Office of the Chief Science Advisor. Their model is based on a UK program and would allow for each governmental department to receive its own specialized advisor.

Read the full paper here.