REPORT OF THE SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Presented to the 101st Annual General Meeting
The Science Advisory Committee shall advise and make recommendations to the Board on how to address concerns or issues identified in the Workplace which related to science and public science issues, and the Institute’s efforts to present itself as an advocate for public science in Canada and for restoration of a science based departmental funding (A-base budgets).
To achieve its mandate, it will:
a) monitor issues in the field of science and technology related to the work of members and the Institute in this field, including issues of science workplace ethics;
b) coordinate and distribute information on public science within the Institute and help coordinate the Institute’s outreach through its communications to Canadians on these issues, under the goal of focusing the public discussion of science issues in the language of science, by scientists; and,
c) provide an ongoing forum where Public Science-related issues and the Institute’s interests in this issue can be discussed and studied.
PIPSC’s Science Advisory Committee (SAC) met six times in 2020 via zoom. During this time, the committee has been involved in the following:
The SAC continued to align its contributions, recommendations and discussions in the following areas:
- New 2020–2022 SAC 3-Year Operational & Strategic Plan – The Science Advisory Committee is proud to report the initiation of its next three-year work plan (2020-2022) as approved by the Board earlier this year.
- Planning for the Science Membership Survey – The SAC provided input and advice with respect to the planning of the next science membership survey, likely to be carried out in early 2021.
- Scientific Integrity – SAC members were briefed on and provided advice on scientific integrity issues, specifically on advice to the Office of the President in preparation of the Governance Meeting on Scientific Integrity. Members of SAC also were invited to participate in regular meetings of scientific integrity focal points in federal departments and agencies. SAC is also keeping abreast of the 1st Policy Grievance on scientific integrity at DFO. Next stage will be to see how the DFO Ombudsperson and SI Lead responds. It appears to be a well thought out complaint with lots of details and focused allegations on undermining specific elements of the SI Policy at DFO.
- Women in Science – At the end of 2019 PIPSC’s Women and Science Learning Lab resulted in 5 member led micro projects that have produced member engagement and tools to advance equity in public sector science. A Women and Science Network is now active and continues to grow, a “Toolkit for advancing equity in Public Sector Science” is soon to be launched, a survey on Modernizing Family Related Leave Policies is currently being analysed and an info graphic for members developed. A research project on gender bias in research funding is also underway.
- External Alliances – Several members of the SAC participated in the 2019 and 2020 Canadian Science Policy Conference to build alliances and networks with others across the science ecosystem. In addition PIPSC continued cooperation with organizations like Evidence for Democracy, and other Unions representing scientists such as the PEA.
Major Activities 2020:
- Science Advisory Committee (SAC) Facilitated Discussion Forum - SAC developed an on-going google drive to monitor emerging pandemic research and science along with issues surrounding Mental Health, Return To Work, leave code 699, etc.
- Members of the committee participated along with our science professionals nationwide in the International March/Strike #ShutDownSTEM in support of the BlackLivesMatter Initiative.
- SAC participated at this year’s Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC).
- Many members and friends of the committee participated in 5 member led micro projects that have produced member engagement and tools to advance equity in public sector science.
- Members of SAC also were invited to participate in regular meetings of scientific integrity focal points in federal departments and agencies.
- SAC ensures that appropriate messaging is incorporated and shared within the PIPSC community, such as consultations teams and group executives.
- SAC continues to integrate and coordinate its activities with PIPSC’s science-based groups.
A lot of work still lays ahead for the committee, much of which was outlined in its second 3 year strategic and operational plan.
Further areas of interest and potential activity for the long term at SAC are the following:
- Further embedding and replication of Woman and Science Learning Lab format and approach
- Protecting Science research and regulatory programs should austerity become part of the government agenda
- Advocating and following up on challenges to scientific integrity in departments with grievances and support to consultation teams.
In early 2021, SAC will be supporting the release of the Science Survey and Results as a follow-up to the Big Chill, Vanishing Science, Defrosting Public Science, and Women in Public Sector Science reports.
I would like to sincerely thank our Science Advisory Members, Michael Pauley, Pierre Morin, Katherine Beach, Violina Lozeva-Thomas, Krista Gill, Guillermo A Castilla, and Friends, Sonia Roussel, Kevin Jacobs, Yuri Kim, Deborah Danoff, Paolete Soto, and Ningsun (Simon) Zhou, as well as, our staff resources Michael Urminsky, Marielle Nadon, and Yvonne James for their dedication, participation and hard-work over the past year.
Norma Domey, B.Sc., M.Sc., DTM
Chair, Science Advisory Committee (SAC)
National Vice President, PIPSC
SAC website: http://www.pipsc.ca/portal/page/portal/website/issues/science