Canada has a new Chief Science Officer and it’s Dr. Mona Nemer who until taking this position was a Professor and Vice-President, Research, at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Molecular Genetics and Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory.
The announcement was made today at press conference in Ottawa by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan.
The Prime Minister said in media release “we know Canadians value science. As the new Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Nemer will help promote science and its real benefits for Canadians—new knowledge, novel technologies, and advanced skills for future jobs. These breakthroughs and new opportunities form an essential part of the Government’s strategy to secure a better future for Canadian families and to grow Canada’s middle class.”
Dr. Mona Nemer said of the appointment, “I am honoured and excited to be Canada’s Chief Science Advisor. I am very pleased to be representing Canadian science and research – work that plays a crucial role in protecting and improving the lives of people everywhere. I look forward to advising the Prime Minister and the Minister of Science and working with the science community, policy makers, and the public to make science part of government policy making.”
— Hon. Kirsty Duncan (@ScienceMin) September 26, 2017
According to the government backgrounder the Chief Science Advisor’s key functions will be as follows:
- provide advice on the development and implementation of guidelines to ensure that government science is fully available to the public and that federal scientists are able to speak freely about their work;
- provide advice on creating and implementing processes to ensure that scientific analyses are considered when the Government makes decisions;
- assess and recommend ways to improve the existing science advisory function within the federal government; and
- assess and recommend ways for the Government to better support quality scientific research within the federal system.
Furthermore, the Advisor will:
- deliver an annual report to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Science on the activities of the Office of the Chief Science Advisor and the state of federal government science, including the federal science workforce and federal scientific infrastructure;
- provide and coordinate expert advice to the Minister of Science and members of Cabinet, as appropriate and requested, on key scientific issues, including the preparation of research and foresight papers for public dissemination; and,
- promote a positive and productive dialogue between federal scientists and academia, both in Canada and abroad, and raise awareness of scientific issues relevant to the Canadian public.
According to the biographical notes provided by the government Dr. Nemer “research focused on the heart, particularly on the mechanisms of heart failure and congenital heart diseases. She is the author of over 200 highly cited publications that have appeared in prestigious scientific journals. Her work has contributed to the development of diagnostic tests for heart failure and the genetics of cardiac birth defects. She has trained over 100 students from various countries.”
Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan said “a respect for science and for Canada’s remarkable scientists is a core value for our government. I look forward to working with Dr. Nemer, Canada’s new Chief Science Advisor, who will provide us with the evidence we need to make decisions about what matters most to Canadians: their health and safety, their families and communities, their jobs, environment and future prosperity.”