Government of Canada further strengthens science and encourages scientists to speak about their work
July 30, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario
Canadians count on federal scientists to produce the evidence needed to keep their air clean, their food safe and their water fresh. The Government of Canada is taking greater steps to ensure that this evidence is gathered without political or commercial interference.
Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, and the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, welcomed the Model Policy on Scientific Integrity. The policy was developed by the Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer, who worked in partnership with the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), officials at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the federal research community.
Goals of the model scientific integrity policy include:
- encouraging federal scientists to speak freely about their work and engage with the public;
- fostering a culture that supports and promotes scientific integrity in all science and research; and
- increasing the reliability of, and public trust in, government science and research.
The new policy will be shared with federal departments and agencies that employ scientists and researchers. These departments and agencies will use the model policy to develop their own scientific integrity policies that meet their departmental and employee needs. These departmental policies must be in place by the end of the year.
“It is critical that our scientists are free to undertake their work, to collaborate with one another, and to speak to the media and the public. This model integrity policy is an important step in strengthening Canadian science and evidence-based decision making. It builds on our commitment to ensuring freedom in science in Canada.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport
“Federal scientists must be free to share their publicly funded expertise and research with an engaged and informed Canadian public. It’s fundamental to promoting a free and open democracy, and this model policy is a major step forward in pursuing this shared goal of the Government of Canada, federal unions and the research community.”
– The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government
“Scientific integrity is important for building public trust in the evidence that informs decision making. That is why I am delighted to provide the government with a model policy that outlines responsibilities for scientists and government alike. It ensures that scientists are free to speak about their work—and free from interference in their research. I look forward to continued collaboration with the union, the research community and the government as we work toward implementing this policy and building a more scientifically informed society.”
– Dr. Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor of Canada
The model policy is based on existing best practices within the federal government and lessons learned from studying other international scientific integrity policies.
All federal departments and agencies with 10 or more employees engaged in science or research-related activities are required to develop scientific integrity policies and procedures.
All federal departments and agencies are expected to have their own scientific integrity policy in place by December 31, 2018. Departments and agencies must report annually on progress toward policy implementation, and the Chief Science Advisor, Secretary of the Treasury Board and President of PIPSC will meet annually to take stock of progress and decide if corrective actions are needed.
Follow the department on Twitter: @ISED_CA
Ann Marie Paquet
Office of the Minister of Science
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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