Greenspon’s brain chain

POLICY

In a world where work and research are increasingly unfettered by national borders, Canadian policy needs to shift to accommodate this new reality, says Public Policy Forum president Edward Greenspon. The Public Policy Forum (PPF) was founded three decades ago in Ottawa by federal civil servants to raise the level of policy-making and governance. An...

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Future road map

POLICY PUNDIT

The wild swings that affect research funding in Canada are well known to Gilles Patry. In 1993, when he became the new dean of engineering at the University of Ottawa, his first task was to announce salary cuts of three percent. Then, as uOttawa’s vice-rector (academic) starting in 1997 and its president from 2001 to...

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On a mission

POLICY PUNDIT

World-renowned neuropsychologist Maryse Lassonde­, the Royal Society of Canada’s new president, is determined to promote the culture of science.

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Engineering change

POLICY

University of Calgary president and vice-chancellor Elizabeth Cannon, who also chairs Universities Canada, is helping nurture closer ties between the scientific community and Ottawa’s elected MPs.  When Elizabeth Cannon joined the engineering faculty at the University of Calgary in 1991 she doubled the number of women professors — from one to two. Her gender trail-blazing...

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Numbers guru

POLICY PUNDIT

Ron Freedman contemplates reform of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development program, which hands out $4 billion in tax credits annually to companies undertaking R&D.  In the research and development community of Canada, Ron Freedman is known as the numbers guru. In 1999 Freedman and a partner began tracking research and development in the corporate...

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Bridging the generation gap

POLICY PUNDIT

NSERC president Mario Pinto presents a new vision­ for innovation and R&D in Canada. The president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC), Mario Pinto, notes proudly that he is a “fourth-generation chemist.” In 1896 his great-grandfather emigrated to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from the Portuguese colony of Goa and established the country’s first...

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Get Smart

POLICY PUNDIT

David Strangway has been a prominent and influential voice in science policy Canada for more than four decades. A former president of three universities: Toronto, UBC and Quest in Squamish, BC, 81-year-old Strangway was also founding president of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and played a major role in designing the Canada Research Chairs...

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Canadian universities need re-schooling

POLICY PUNDIT

Wendy Cukier, vice-president research and innovation at Ryerson University, says that universities need to focus on the employability of their graduates. Ryerson University in Toronto is different from many Canadian universities. Founded in 1948 as the Ryerson Institute of Technology, it draws upon a two-century-old history of European polytechnics — schools that emphasized practical studies....

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An economist’s take on Canadian science

POLICY PUNDIT

In Alberta, ATB Financial is a household name and so is Todd Hirsch, its chief economist. What makes ATB Financial well known in the province is the wide range of services provided through almost 200 branches and more than 100 agencies, telephone and Internet banking and automated banking machines. With more than $37 billion in...

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The science network

POLICY PUNDIT

Alan Bernstein, head of the Canadian Institute for Advanced­ Research, calls for greater involvement from the private sector to ensure our nation stays abreast of rapid advances in the technology revolution­ sweeping the globe.  The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) is widely considered the jewel in the crown of Canadian research bodies. Not because...

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A fight for integrity

POLICY PUNDIT

Members of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) are demanding changes to how the government deals with “public science,” including reinstating government scientists’ right to speak freely about their research. Despite a genteel name and image, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) is actually a union representing...

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Shoot for the stars

POLICY PUNDIT

In October 2004 the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics opened its doors in Waterloo, Ont. When Research in Motion (now Blackberry) co-founder Mike Lazaridis announced the creation of the institute four years earlier...

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