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Thursday, November 2 • 15:30 - 17:00
404 – The Canadian Science Policy Fellowship: Lessons from the Inaugural Year/ La bourse pour l’élaboration de politiques scientifiques canadiennes : leçons tirées de l’année d’inauguration
Panel Organizer: Stephen Higham, Mitacs Inc.

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Panel Organizer: Stephen Higham, Mitacs Inc.

Last year, in partnership with the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy and participating federal departments and agencies, Mitacs launched the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship. Modeled after the success of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Science and Technology Policy Fellowship and the first of its kind in Canada, the program seeks to build linkages between government decision makers and academic researchers. Researchers take on year-long fellowships with a government host to receive a first-hand introduction to government policymaking processes, while contributing to the scientific priorities of their host office.
This new collaboration reflects a growing emphasis on fostering policy competency amongst Canada’s researchers to help strengthen the role of science in decision making, and to train the next generation of leaders in science policy. While the inaugural cohort of fellows has since completed their fellowships, two new cohorts are beginning another year of placements, with one in Ottawa with the Government of Canada, and the other in Victoria with the Government of British Columbia.
Moderated by a member of the program’s advisory council, which is composed of leading experts in science policy who provide guidance to the program, this panel will be composed of both outgoing and incoming Science Policy Fellows, as well as a representative from a host department from the pilot year. In bringing together these informed perspectives, the panel will foster an exchange of ideas on the role of researchers in policymaking. Outgoing fellows will describe their experiences and observations on the policymaking process, while incoming fellows will outline their initial impressions and expectations for the program. In addition, the host-participant will contribute a broader perspective on the budding value that the program brings to their office and to policymaking, and why they choose to participate.
Questions to be discussed will include:
  • What did you learn about policymaking that you would you like academic researchers to know?
  • Did your experience with government change your view on policymaking?
  • Beyond evidence, what are some key factors that influence policy?
  • How can researchers and policymakers strengthen their ties?

avatar for Bonnie Schmidt

Bonnie Schmidt

SPFAC member, Founder and President, Let’s Talk Science
Dr. Bonnie Schmidt is the founder and president of Let’s Talk Science, an award-winning, national charitable organization that helps children and youth fulfill their potential and prepare for their future careers and citizenship role by supporting their learning through science... Read More →

avatar for Pierre-Olivier Bédard

Pierre-Olivier Bédard

Canadian Science Policy Fellow, Global Affairs Canada
Pierre-Olivier holds a PhD in political science from Université Laval and completed a two-year SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at Durham University (UK). During his fellowship, Pierre-Olivier was a member of the Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society and the Centre for... Read More →
avatar for Kimberly Girling

Kimberly Girling

Canadian Science Policy Fellow, Defence Research and Development Canada
Dr. Kimberly Girling holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia, where she studied new therapeutics for Huntington's Disease, a neurodegenerative illness.  Kimberly was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship. Through... Read More →
avatar for Loren Matheson

Loren Matheson

Canadian Science Policy Fellowship host, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Dr. Loren Matheson is a science advisor within the Office of the Chief Science Operating Officer at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Loren holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa and spent her post-doctoral time at the University of Saskatchewan. After 10 years... Read More →
avatar for Mahlet N. Mesfin

Mahlet N. Mesfin

Deputy Director, Center for Science Diplomacy, Office of International Security and International Affairs American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Dr. Mahlet Mesfin, Ph.D, is the Deputy Director of the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy and former Assistant Director for International Science and Technology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She is an alumna of the AAAS Science & Technology Fellowship... Read More →

Thursday November 2, 2017 15:30 - 17:00 EDT
ROOM 212 Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 9J2