Thursday April 13, 2017

A new approach to Canadian science funding?

A newly published review of how the Canadian government funds scientific research reveals that it needs an overhaul.

A newly published review of how the Canadian government funds scientific research reveals that it needs an overhaul. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Listen 7:39

Earlier this week, a major report was published on how the Canadian government funds scientific research. It was commissioned by Kirsty Duncan, the federal Minister of Science. The review is the first of its kind in 40 years, and it gives the federal government a roadmap for improving the oversight and organization of what the review panelists refer to as the "research ecosystem."  

It also suggests raising spending for major players from approximately $3.5 billion today to $4.8 billion by 2022. 

It remains to be seen whether Prime Minister Trudeau's government will take up the recommendations. But his government has explicitly aligned itself with science, and touts evidence-based decision making. So there's cautious optimism among the scientific community which contributed to the review process.  

Dr. Sarah Burch was one of the scientists who presented to the review panel. speaks with Bob McDonald about how the findings in the report could change the way research in this country moves forward. Dr. Burch is an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in Sustainability, Governance and Innovation at the University of Waterloo.

REPORT: "Investing in Canada's Future: Strengthening the Foundations of Canadian Research