Blog

Right now, the federal government is engaged in the Fundamental Science Review, where they are evaluating the government’s funding and support of fundamental research. You can find out more about the review process, and how to help shape Evidence for Democracy’s input to the Science Review’s advisory panel. 

We were recently asked to prepare responses to the Government of Canada's Draft Plan on Open Government and Revitalizing Access to Information. These commitments to make government information freely available to the public, and enshrining a culture of 'open by default', are laudible. They will help move the country towards a more transparent, accountable democracy. However, when it comes to science and integrity, these proposals fall short: they do not offer open science, as promised, but merely open scientific data.

This guest blog is by Mary-Herbert Copley, who explores the links between evidence and deliberative design when engaging in problem-solving for our institutions. 

The 2016 federal budget announced on March 22nd marks a significant turning point for science in Canada. With increased support for the granting councils (NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC) as well as government research, this budget represents a vast improvement over recent budgets. In addition to increased funding for science and research, there is a renewed commitment to support basic research with funding that is not tied to industry driven projects. Perhaps most promising, there is a commitment to evidence-based decision-making and a general recognition of the importance of science and innovation in Canada’s economy and society.

When it comes to evidence-based decision-making in health, clinical trials are the standard for determining if a drug is safe and effective. However, up to half of the information from these trials is never made available to doctors or patients.