Public health science

How the Public Health Agency of Canada uses science to promote and protect your health.

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The scientific approach

Science is more than just a tool for discovery. Science informs our strategies, decisions and how we safeguard public health. We use scientific methods to:

This lets us identify public health threats and challenges and respond to them effectively.

Using a scientific approach lets us make informed decisions that affect millions. With it we're able to make a difference all across Canada, in areas like:

We apply strict safety rules when working in the area of public health science and with other scientists, especially on projects involving:

These precautions help us to minimize risks to others as much as possible.

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Working with partners

Science is a collaborative endeavour, and we work closely with partners across sectors, such as:

Together we share knowledge and solve public health challenges. Working with international partners also helps to coordinate our scientific activities. For instance, we join forces to quickly decide which research projects to focus on during worldwide health emergencies, like the COVID-19 pandemic.

We seek advice from scientific experts inside and outside the agency to provide the best public health guidance possible. These groups recommend ways to promote your health and protect you from diseases.

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Setting science and research priorities

We use a rigorous process to prioritize research activities. First we identify gaps in public health knowledge or evidence, then we determine which scientific and research efforts will address them. For example, every year we identify research priorities to help advance the Chief Public Health Officer's annual reports. Funders can then use these priorities to support research that carries out the recommendations and public health needs identified in each report.

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Engagement and outreach

We work to share the results of our science with different audiences in meaningful ways. For example, the general public can learn about Public Health Agency of Canada science initiatives through the Science of Health Blog and Healthy Canadians Podcast.

These channels provide deep insights, expert perspectives and practical guidance on key health topics.

We also regularly publish issues of 2 peer-reviewed scientific journals:

These efforts highlight our research and keep our scientists informed, helping to improve health outcomes nationwide.

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