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Friday, November 27 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Who Should be the Voice for Science Within Government? / Qui devrait être la voix de la science au sein du gouvernement?

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Organized by Evidence for Democracy

There has been increased discussion of what institution or structure(s) should exist to act as a voice for science within parliament as well as provide science advice to parliamentarians and the public. One proposed solution is to create a Parliamentary Science Officer (PSO) that would provide lawmakers with background and analysis on science-related issues, serve as a watchdog over the government’s use of scientific evidence and encourage evaluation and coordination of research expertise across federal agencies.

Does Canada need a Parliamentary Science Officer? Is this the best way to ensure a voice for science is represented in government? What are the alternatives?


This outcome-oriented panel will examine different models for institutionalizing a voice for science within government in light of historical attempts to provide science capacity and science advice to Canada’s federal government, experiences with a similar institution in other jurisdictions, and the Canadian experience with the Parliamentary Budget Office.

avatar for Katie Gibbs

Katie Gibbs

Executive Director, Evidence for Democracy
Dr. Katie Gibbs is a scientist, organizer and advocate for science and evidence-based policies. While completing her PhD at the University of Ottawa, she was one of the lead organizers of the ‘Death of Evidence’ rally which was one of the largest science rallies in Canadian history. Dr. Gibbs is a co-founder and Executive Director of Evidence for Democracy, a national, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that promotes science... Read More →

avatar for Nicole Arbour

Nicole Arbour

Senior International Advisor Government and International Relations, National Research Council of Canada
Nicole Arbour holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa. She is currently a Senior International Advisor with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), where she acts as the liaison point between Canada and the International Council for Science (ICSU) through the NRC Grants to International Affiliations Program (IA). Dr. Arbour previously held the role of Team Lead for the UK’s Science and Innovation Network in... Read More →
avatar for Patrick Fafard

Patrick Fafard

Professor, University of Ottawa
Patrick Fafard holds a Ph.D. in Political Studies from Queen's University, where he also taught at the School of Policy Studies from 1995 to 1998. Before joining the University of Ottawa, he served in senior executive positions with the Government of Canada and Saskatchewan. He has published extensively on various aspects of Canadian federalism and intergovernmental relations. His current research interest is the all aspects of public health... Read More →
avatar for Ted Hsu

Ted Hsu

former MP Kingston & the Islands, Liberal Party of Canada Science critic
Dr. Ted Hsu is a former Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, Ontario. He was the Liberal critic for Science and Technology and Post-Secondary Education and one of only two MPs in the 41st Parliament to hold a PhD in a STEM field. Dr. Hsu graduated from Queen’s University in 1984 with a B.Sc. Hons. Physics. He obtained his Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University in 1989. He worked as a researcher with 25 published papers in... Read More →
avatar for Kevin Page

Kevin Page

Jean-Luc Pepin Research Chair in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
Mr. Kevin Page holds the Jean-Luc Pepin Research Chair in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Mr. Page was Canada's first Parliamentary Budget Officer from 2008 to 2013. He has 27 years of federal public service with much of his career working in central agencies responsible for budgeting including the Department of Finance, Treasury Board Secretariat and the Privy Council Office. Prior to taking the position as... Read More →

Friday November 27, 2015 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Ballroom A/B (ground floor)

Attendees (35)

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