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Session Paper No. 4. A Northern Science Policy for Canada. David Hik Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta & Canadian International Polar Year Secretariat. Key issues: The need to sustain and enhance our collective capacity to acquire, retain and use knowledge.

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A northern science policy for canada

Session Paper No. 4

A Northern Science Policy for Canada

David Hik

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta

& Canadian International Polar Year Secretariat


A northern science policy for canada

Key issues:

The need to sustain and enhance our collective capacity to acquire, retain and use knowledge.

The need to more effectively bridge the “science-policy gap”.

The need to build capacity in the north to both inform and lead northern science and policy development.

The need for a Canadian northern science policy to ensure that investments in northern science, capacity building, and the associated societal benefits remain a priority.


A northern science policy for canada

Science: includes all disciplines (natural, social, health)

Policy: system of laws, regulatory measures, courses of action, and funding priorities concerning a given topic.


A northern science policy for canada

Decision-

Making

Policy-

Making

ISSUE #1: The need to sustain and enhance our collective capacity to acquire, retain and use knowledge.

Arctic

Observing

Operational

Observing (international and national)

Community-based

Observing;

Local & Traditional Knowledge

Research

Observing

Arctic

Global Observing

Pool of Collective Knowledge

Scientific

Research& Education

Data

Products

Forecasting

& Prediction

Arctic and Global Value-added Services & Societal Benefits

Adapted from SAON report


A northern science policy for canada

ISSUE #2: The need to more effectively bridge the “science-policy gap”.

Need to bring researchers and policy-makers together from the early and often.




A northern science policy for canada

ISSUE #3: The need to build capacity in the north to both inform and lead northern science and policy development.

agenda-setting, option-formulation, and implementation

Recommendations to governments and funders about what is needed to support and promote community-based research that responds to the needs and priorities of communities, northern governments, and to implement LCA’s, and other needs as necessary.

Greater support for education and training programs in the North.


A northern science policy for canada

ISSUE #4: The need for a Canadian northern science policy to ensure that investments in northern science, capacity building, and the associated societal benefits remain a priority.

Establish a focal point for northern science in Canada, perhaps along the lines of the proposed Canadian Arctic Research Institute - but must include participation from all partners, especially from the north.

Provide political identity and accountability for northern science and the implementation of a northern science policy.


A northern science policy for canada

  • KEY MESSAGES

  • Recognize Canada’s international

    obligation to arctic science.

  • Seek synergy between partners

    and among disciplines.

  • Expand the definition of cutting-

    edge science to include

    observation and long-term

    monitoring.

  • Assure sufficient long-term funding

    to support ongoing operations.

  • Start now by identifying and

    supporting key programs that

    respond to fast-changing

    environmental and economic

    circumstances and that can serve

    as a legacy of International Polar

    Year.

Council of Canadian Academies Report

5 November 2008


A northern science policy for canada

1958 - “…it is impossible to lay down definite limitations to future development because present-day scientific knowledge of the possible resources of the area is so limited.”


A northern science policy for canada

1976 - “…it should not be surprising that there is no comprehensive analysis bringing together all major social, political, environmental, technological, and economic issues. No one has assumed the responsibility for developing such an overview.” p 22


A northern science policy for canada

1977 - “The settlement of native claims offers a uniquely Canadian challenge, certainly the greatest challenge we face in the North. It by this means alone that we can fairly pursue frontier goals in the northern homeland.” p 219


A northern science policy for canada

1978 - “The absence of such aims [planning] has not prevented the federal government from doing a great deal [in the North]; but nevertheless, it seems to have hindered the identification of the best things to do.” p 109


A northern science policy for canada

1997 - “A number of witnesses perceived the whole of Canadian Arctic policy research capability as being less than the sum of its individual parts.” p 31


A northern science policy for canada

Key issues: Canadian Arctic policy research capability as being less than the sum of its individual parts.” p 31

The need to sustain and enhance our collective capacity to acquire, retain and use knowledge.

The need to more effectively bridge the “science-policy gap”.

The need to build capacity in the north to both inform and lead northern science and policy development.

The need for a Canadian northern science policy to ensure that investments in northern science, capacity building, and the associated societal benefits remain a priority.