Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

September 06, 2007 06:00 ET

PIPSC's Symposium Seeks Answers on the Role of Public Science

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 6, 2007) - The "Public Science in Canada: Strengthening Science to Protect Canadians Symposium" which begins today at the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau will seek answers on the role of public science in the lives of Canadians.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is sponsoring the two-day symposium to foster dialogue on the state of the delivery of science for sound policy advice. The Professional Institute is the union representing federal scientists whose work touch the day-to-day lives of Canadians as they develop an infant meningitis vaccine, approve safe food and drugs, issue timely weather forecasts that avert disasters, and feed the world by developing better grains.

Said Michele Demers, President of the Professional Institute, in her opening remarks: "The Symposium comes at a time when the federal government is transferring its research laboratories to universities and to the private sector and when Canada faces major challenges on environmental protection, energy, pandemic response, food and drug safety and national security, for example. There is no better time to have the discussion with scientists, policy-makers, decision-makers and public opinion leaders on how to best deliver science for the benefit of Canadians."

With the imminent transfer of research facilities to universities and the private sector, one would think that there are no issues left to discuss. Nothing can be further from the truth. How science is delivered is as important as what science is delivered, especially since the delivery mechanisms have changed since the 1990s.

"We are very proud at the Professional Institute to host the first-ever Science Policy Symposium", added Gary Corbett, PIPSC Vice-President and Symposium Chair. "We are sure that the discussion will be interesting and engaging. It should help us all, from scientists to decision makers, establish a roadmap that we can build on to help identify the appropriate balance between university, private and public science."

The Symposium will begin at 9:00 a.m., September 6, 2007 with Michele Demers' opening remarks and followed by a keynote address by Dr. Pierre Coulombe, President of the National Research Council on Putting Science to Work for Canada.

Panellists include scientists, policy makers, decision makers and public opinion leaders from government, universities, media and international organizations. Discussion themes will address the following :

- enhancing the relevance of public science

- improving the profile of public science

- building support for public science in Canada (Deputy Ministers' panel)

- dwindling influence of federal departments in environmental science (keynote address by David Schindler, University of Alberta, 8:30, September 7)

- international perspective on science and policy

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, founded in 1920, is a national union. Among its 52,000 federal and provincial members are 12,000 professionals who deliver, among other knowledge products, scientific research, testing and advice for sound policy making.

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