Is Canada done with the Fundamental Science Review?

Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 15:39

 Ahead of the (likely) federal election, we’re revisiting the recommendations from the Fundamental Science Review and we want to hear from you too

In 2017, the Honourable Member of Parliament Kirsty Duncan (LPC) commissioned a review of Canada’s fundamental science and research ecosystem. The former Minister of Science hoped to “ensure that federal support for research is strategic and effective, and that it delivers maximum benefits to the research community and the Canadians whose lives are enriched by its discoveries.”

The resulting report, the Fundamental Science Review (FSR), called upon the federal government to take action to improve fundamental research in Canada, and was met with great support from scientists across the country.

Previously, in 2019, Evidence for Democracy took a deep dive into each of the original FSR recommendations to see what actions have been taken. Now, ahead of the rumoured federal election, we’re conducting a second update. We’ll be looking to see if any progress has been made on implementing the recommendations of the FSR in the last two years and identify what is still outstanding.

We’re pleased to introduce you to the team of E4D volunteers leading our second update:

 

Eashan Halbe

Eashan Halbe:
I'm an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia. I’m carrying out research into understanding how our body regulates glucocorticoids (i.e. steroid hormones which reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system), particularly in immune cells and different tissues. Having a distinct interest in how scientific research informs and shapes public policy, I'm looking forward to the work and outcomes of this project.

 

 

Kim Pho

Kim Pho:  
@kimmmmp
I'm a PhD student at McMaster University. I research the impact of the human microbiota — so the different bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in the body — on Alzheimer's disease, using C. elegans (transparent worms) as a model organism. I'm taking part in this project because I wanted to get involved in and learn more about science policy work. I'm hoping that I can make a small contribution to advocating for evidence-based decision-making in the Canadian government.

Mairin Deith

 

Mairin Deith:
@sapiensimulator
I'm a doctoral candidate in the Zoology Department of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. My research focuses on mapping and managing bushmeat hunting in the tropics and fisheries here in North America, both areas where transparency of evidence in decision-making is vital. My interest in Evidence for Democracy, and the Fundamental Science Review in particular, comes from my curiosity around how policy is shaped by research and what role scientists should play in spreading policy-relevant information.

 

Umais A Baqi

Umais A Baqi:
I am a graduate student at McMaster University in the Engineering and Public Policy program. I am currently involved with a local municipality in southern Ontario to help develop their Climate Action Plan. My engineering background and current studies in Public Policy have equipped me with a unique skill set for informed decision making. E4D's strong focus on evidence-based decision-making got me interested.

 

Our research project will review all 35 FSR recommendations, and identify which ones are still outstanding. We’ll share findings in a short report in early September. Stay tuned!

Do you have thoughts about the outstanding FSR recommendations? Feel free to tweet us at @E4Dca, or to share your thoughts at farah@evidencefordemocracy.ca.

 

 

Farah Qaiser

Researcher

Farah Qaiser is a researcher and science communicator. In 2020, Farah completed a Master of Science degree at the University of Toronto, where she carried out DNA sequencing to better understand neurological disorders.