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Panel 103 - Connecting Science with Policy in Canada: How do I do it?

Conference Day: 
Day 2 - November 8th 2018
Takeaways and recommendations: 

Connecting science with policy in Canada: How do I do it?

Organized by: Bird Studies Canada

Speakers: Mark Daley, Associate Vice-President (Research), Western University; Scott Findlay, Professor, Department of Biology at the University of Ottawa; Director of Graduate Studies at the Institute of Environment; Amy Luers, Executive Director, Future Earth; Frederick John Wrona, Chief Scientist, Alberta Environment and Parks; Christopher Ragan, Director of McGill University's Max Bell School of Public Policy; Associate Professor, Department of Economics at McGill University; Chair of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission

Moderator: Silke Nebel, VP Science and Conservation, Bird Studies Canada

Takeaways and recommendations

  • Governments are creating multiple knowledge systems such as ensuring indigenous perspectives are included.

  • It is important to consult broadly and to become a trusted advisor.

  • Create expert panels and reviews of policy debates.

  • Break down barriers and improve transparency in policy work and introduce scientific evidence.

  • Do not underestimate the value of networking and building relationships.

  • Policy groups like Evidence for Democracy are creating great opportunities for building bridges between science and policy development.

  • Offer expertise and tools that can facilitate government policy work.

  • Adjust faculty evaluations to include recognition of policy work and community engagement. However, the challenge is that deans currently oversee faculty evaluations, and many of our universities have organized labour constraints, which means that the roadblock to this being recognized and valued does not lie with administration but rather with the professoriate.

  • Universities are incorporating new criteria for tenure to help to promote other work outside of scientific publication.

  • Grassroots movements are changing how we manage the professoriate. We need to move beyond current criteria like putting too much weight on being a first author in a publication.

Documents: