Canada’s research community needs to be “in permanent campaign mode”

June 5, 2019
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By Tim Lougheed, University Affairs

Two years after the release of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review sounded the alarm about Canada’s flagging investment in research and development, the man whose name became attached to that report is stressing that more needs to be done to ensure that the changes he and his colleagues identified as urgent do occur.

“The [research] community has to be in permanent campaign mode,” said University of Toronto professor of medicine David Naylor, who chaired the nine-member Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science that wrote the 2017 report. “It requires not only something in the DNA of a society and its government, but it requires extraordinary resolve, resilience, and persistence on the part of the research community, inside and outside of government, to make the case.”

Dr. Naylor was addressing a gathering in Ottawa in early May of the Canadian Consortium for Research, a national umbrella group made up of 20 organizations representing 50,000 researchers and 650,000 students. The aim of the two-day summit was to examine new directions for the country’s research community, including measures to revitalize academic ranks, a reconsideration of academic performance assessments, and weighing the prospects for a new generation of graduates whose careers may lie outside of any postsecondary institution

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