Government science is currently undergoing a historic transition that will ultimately re-define its internal structure, the direction of its partnerships and networks, and the future of Canada’s science, technology and innovative capacity. Alongside cuts to science-based departments and agencies (SBDAs), government policies and practices are shaping the ways in which government science collaborates with academia, industry, and the international S&T community.
Government of Canada and departmental-specific strategies highlight the essential role of collaboration and transparency to Canada’s innovative capacity, emphasizing the importance of partnering with universities and the private sector. Despite these strong principles, government scientists and science advocacy groups have drawn attention to the ways in which cuts to science funding, restrictive policies on communication, and cumbersome red-tape have limited the ability for scientists to collaborate and, in turn, are stalling Canada’s capacity for research and innovation. In response, Canada has seen an unprecedented mobilization of scientists, academics, and public supporters who are leveraging a diversity of tactics to “stand up for science.”
This panel will bring together stakeholders from across sectors and disciplines to discuss the gaps between policy and practice, addressing the following questions:
Is there still a role for government science in innovation? In the current environment, can federal government scientists still collaborate effectively? If not, what is required to enable them to do so?
What are the guiding principles of government science that support open communication and collaboration? What are key enablers and barriers to implementing these principles?
What are some examples of successful partnerships between government, industry and academia, and what are some of the lessons learned from these experiences? What avenues do scientists and policy makers have to share ideas and collaborate on ideas and policies?
How can we ensure that collaborative networks are inclusive, pan-Canadian, and engage the next generation of young scientists who value creativity, open communication, and autonomy?