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Advising the future of scientific research

Professor Emeritus Arthur McDonald named to Government of Canada science review panel.

Queen’s University Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald has been named to the Government of Canada’s Advisory Panel for the Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Science. The nine-member panel is an independent, non-partisan body, tasked with providing advice and recommendations to Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, on how best to improve federal funding for fundamental science.

Queen’s University Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald has been named to an independent, non-partisan advisory panel, tasked with providing advice and recommendations on how best to improve federal funding for fundamental science research. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

“It is an honour to be selected, alongside my distinguished colleagues, to take part in this important review of the Government of Canada’s support for fundamental scientific research,” says Dr. McDonald.

The panel will spend the next six months seeking input from the research community and Canadians on how to optimize support for fundamental science in Canada. It will also examine international best practices for funding science and examine whether emerging researchers face barriers that prevent them from achieving career goals.  The panel will look at what must be done to address these barriers and what more can be done to encourage Canada’s scientists to take on bold new research challenges.

The scope of the review includes the Tri-Council Agencies – (the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) -- along with select federally funded organizations such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

“The review commissioned by the Government of Canada will ensure that support for research is strategic, effective and delivers maximum benefits to the research community and the Canadians whose lives are enriched by its discoveries,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University. “As one of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities, we welcome this important review and congratulate Dr. McDonald and his distinguished co-panelists on their selection.”

As part of the review, the panel will consult with the public and with members of Canada's post-secondary research ecosystem. Canadians can also share their input with the panel through an online portal. Formal consultations will begin in the coming weeks and are expected to run through the fall.

“Our government must ensure its support for fundamental research is coherent, effective and agile enough to keep pace with the dynamic nature of contemporary science,” Minister Duncan says. “I encourage all Canadians to participate in this review by submitting their thoughts to this esteemed panel. Science, after all, is everybody’s business.”

For more information on the Government of Canada’s science review, or to provide input to the panel, please visit the website.