Dr. Mona Nemer
Chief Science Advisor of Canada
Science Meets Parliament - Reception 2023
May 2, 2023
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Good evening - Bonsoir. Thank you to all of the parliamentarians, scientists, members of the Canadian science policy community and program sponsors for being here this evening and for your support of this important program. I am especially grateful to members of the parliamentary committee on science and research for their ambitious vision for our country, their hard work and their unwavering support.
Here at home, science and technology are helping us devise new agricultural methods for crops to grow in a changing climate, extract natural resources in a sustainable manner and develop new materials for our urban roads and bridges to withstand extreme weather events, among other.
All of these things require good science advice. And I can tell you, Canada’s science community has vast expertise and the willingness to participate.
In my capacity as Chief Science Advisor, I have witnessed time and again the commitment of Canadian researchers to step up and provide science advice to our government. During the pandemic, dozens of researchers committed their time to the many task forces and expert panels I established to inform our government management of the health crisis.
This was in addition to their “day job” of caring for patients, training students and researchers and uncovering the intricacies of the new virus and the disease it was causing. We all owe them a depth of gratitude and many of them are among us tonight.
These panels are just one of the many invaluable networks that have helped in providing good advice to government.
Incidentally, established networks of scientists and public policy makers – ensure better emergency preparedness and response, including to natural disasters and better communication of timely science advice in the future. That’s why programs like Science Meets Parliament are making a difference not just here in Canada, but among similar organizations in our peer countries like Australia and the UK.
Building relationships is important for understanding each others’ perspectives. It helps policymakers access the best available evidence but also the limits of existing scientific evidence.
Incidentally, my office has prepared resources for anyone interested in learning more about effective science-policy conversations and assessing the strength of scientific evidence. These tools are freely available on our website.
In the coming years, science and research will be needed more than ever to help us build a healthy, safe and sustainable society while providing exceptional training for tomorrow’s talented workers, innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers and engaged citizens. Together we can build a society that promotes science and its use to the benefit of a more equitable and prosperous Canada.