The Canadian Science Policy Centre (CSPC), with the honourary patronage of the Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Janet Austin, and made possible with the support of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, the Honourable Raj Chouhan, are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the first edition of Science Meets Parliament – British Columbia!

This program is scheduled to take place in Victoria in April 22-23, 2024.

The application deadline has passed

cspc tree

The objective of the Science Meets Parliament (SMP) – British Columbia program is that scientists in BC learn about the process of policy making at the provincial legislature and become familiar with the provincial parliamentary process. In addition, it serves as an opportunity for BC MLAs to explore the application of scientific evidence in policy making.

The program helps to strengthen the connections between Canada’s scientific and political communities, enable a two-way dialogue, and promote mutual understanding. Delegates will gain practical knowledge of the inner workings of political policy making, broaden their professional networks to include influential members of the science and policy communities, enhance their communication skills for new contexts and audiences, and carry their experiences back to share with their home institutions. The program is NOT an advocacy exercise for science or for the scientific community.

The program has been a great success, receiving positive feedback from both Science Meets Parliament delegates and participating Parliamentarians. We are delighted to expand our program to the provincial level with Science Meets Parliament – British Columbia.

This program is funded only through registration fees and sponsorship. We invite interested organizations to consider sponsorship opportunities – please contact sciencemeetsparliament@sciencepolicy.ca for more information.

Hon. Janet Austin

Lieutenant Governor

British Columbia

Hon. Raj Chouhan

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

British Columbia

ABOUT SCIENCE MEETS PARLIAMENT

The Science Meets Parliament model is adapted from the successful Australian program held annually since 1999. Similar initiatives exist in the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Canada was the second country to adopt this model at the Federal Level Science Meets Parliament program, organized jointly by the Canadian Science Policy Centre (CSPC) and the Office of the Chief Science Advisor (OCSA) thrice since 2018.

During the Canadian federal events, over 130 emerging leaders of the scientific community from across Canada were brought to the Canadian Parliament for extensive meetings with Parliamentarians and attendance at the House and Senate standing committees. More than 150 parliamentarians (MPs and Senators) participated in this program. Scientists were able to learn first-hand about Parliamentary work and policy making, and discuss their research with MLAs.

Science Meets Parliament 2023
Orientation video

Benefits to British Columbians

  • Bring together and encourage mutually beneficial engagements between researchers and MLAs
  • Foster a conversation about relevant issues using scientific evidence
  • Empower researchers with tools and strategies to better engage with parliamentarians, strengthening the role of science for the public good

Benefits to MLAs

  • Engage with emerging leaders in the BC science community that drive science and innovation
  • Learn from BC researchers about resources in Canadian research institutions available to parliamentarians
  • Receive direct answers to questions they may have on scientific matters or background issues
  • Discuss how training highly qualified personnel (HQP) in their research laboratories contributes to local and provincial innovation and economies
  • Build lasting connections with BC researchers from diverse regions and specialties

Benefits to Researchers

  • Build lasting connections with parliamentarians and their staff
  • Learn about the legislative and political processes and the reality of being a parliamentarian
  • Understand how their research can be useful to parliamentarians to maximize its impact
  • Gain insights about how to effectively communicate research to parliamentarians
  • Share insights and experiences from ‘Science Meets Parliament – British Columbia’ with peers and students at respective research institutions.

The program will be open to three groups of researchers:

  • Researchers who are faculty members holding an independent investigator position (full-time) at a university or affiliated university research centre in the province of British Columbia for up to 10 years (excluding eligible leave) from their initial appointment
  • Indigenous researchers (priority will be given to researchers who are independent investigators affiliated with academic research institutions) in the province of British Columbia
  • Researchers who are postdoctoral fellows and have been directly awarded either a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship or a CIHR / NSERC / SSHRC Tri-agency Postdoctoral Fellowship and are affiliated with a post-secondary institution in British Columbia (Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship status must be announced by January 19, 2024).

Former Science Meets Parliament delegates are excluded from the application.

About 40 researchers from a diverse range of disciplines are expected to participate in Science Meets Parliament – British Columbia in 2024. In future iterations of this program, we hope to expand the application process further to include researchers from more career stages.

A multi-disciplinary committee will oversee the application and selection process, during which the diversity of disciplines, geography, and identities will be considered.

The application deadline was January 19, 2024.

The program consists of about 6-8 virtual sessions as well as a two-day in-person program in Victoria scheduled for April 22-23, 2024. To participate in the program, you must attend all scheduled events, including all virtual workshops and the in-person meetings at the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.

The Science Meets Parliament – British Columbia 2024 program will include:

  • An orientation session
  • Virtual workshops on evidence-based decision making, science communication and media, equity and diversity, policy making in the Legislature, and policy making in bureaucracy
  • Meetings with MLAs and staff members
  • Observation of House committee meetings
  • Attending Question Period
  • Networking reception with MLAs and staff
  • Meetings with bureaucrats and public servants, to better understand policy making at the non-political level of government
  1. Registration fee: Accepted delegates will be required to pay a registration fee of $800 (faculty members) or $500 (Banting Postdoctoral Fellows), which includes admission to the program, breakfast, lunch, one dinner and an evening networking reception. All delegates will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.
  2. Researchers who attend this session are required to share their experience and insights from the SMP-BC program through a lecture at their host institution and/or an editorial in a CSPC featured editorial series or the OCSA website.

Delegates are highly encouraged to publish about their experience in academic or news publications. Participants are also encouraged to publish pieces in other media on their research to engage the general public.

For more information, please contact sciencemeetsparliament@sciencepolicy.ca

To apply for this program please in English click here, for French click here.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact us at sciencemeetsparliament@sciencepolicy.ca

Here is what delegates had to say

“This is a valuable eye-opening experience for researchers to learn about current issues, the legislative process, and most importantly, to get to know the MPs.”
– delegate

“My ability to connect with parliamentarians and policy-makers and move my research into policy channels has never before felt so possible.”
– delegate