September 30 2019 - 9:00 a.m.


Members in attendance:

Norma Domey Board Liaison, PIPSC

Patrick Cherneski SAC member, AGCAN

Karen Hall SAC member, Transport

Jean Bérubé SAC Chair, NRCan

Michael Pauley SAC member, NB EN

Cathy Cheung SAC member, NRC

Pierre Morin SAC member, CRA


Staff resource: Michael Urminsky


  1. Call to Order & Introductions – 9:40 am


  1. Approval and Adoption of the Agenda


  • The agenda was approved with these additional items added to item 8
    - Travel policy of the institute in light of climate change
    - Norma raised a few issues sent to Jean - Environmental Activities
    - Declining support for research, funding
    - Technology moving so fast that we have never had a chance to renew knowledge. 


  1. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting


  • The minutes of the meeting were approved with changes suggested by members. 


  1. Follow Up on Previous Action Items

I –  SAC Minutes (Maxime)

Minutes were not posted, Michael will ensure they are posted and correct those that seem to have

gone missing from the website. 


II – Jean will report to SAC on the science metrics as put forward by la Planete s’invite au Parlement.  Their request for support from PIPSC.  Within 3 weeks a response to the PIPSC Board will be formulated by SAC in support or against.  Patrick will help craft the response


  • Jean reported no response was required regarding signing. 


III – John Anderson will circulate his presentation on AI to Max who will then distribute them to the SAC membership;


  • Completed, Michael circulated the presentation to members of the committee. 


IV – Based on feedback from the brainstorm on the New Science Strategic Plan, the Office will draft a skeleton plan dealing with goals, objectives and activities (input, outputs) for the committee to comment on.  This will be done by late July 2019.  


  • Completed - A draft plan was completed and shared with members at the September meeting of the Science Advisory Committee. See minutes of discussion below at #6. 


 V – Karen will draft a letter in regard to SAC’s wishes to extend STEM scholarships to postgraduate degrees and opportunity to get them funded by science groups; 


  • Complete. Letter sent to the Chair of SAC.
  • Karen completed the letter and sent to the Chair, Norma was interested in having this expanded to include criteria for his focused on expansion. There is alot of competition for these as PRQC is making efforts as well. Forward this into new year
    - request data
    - MU to work with Norma
    - Karen to communicate with Groups on whether they would fund scholarships, RE have already
  • This item is on hold and will be carried over to the new year.  


VI - Draft an letter on occupational Groups to the Chief Science Advisor


  • Complete, sent to the Chair. 


  1. Report on 2017-19 Strategic Plan

    - Michael provided an update on activities related to the strategic plan. 
    • A written report  on the women and science learning lab was sent by email. 
    • There was some concern that there was not enough communication to SAC regarding some aspects of the Plan, for example women and science. Specific mention was made of the tool kit. 


  1. Reports on Science Activities from Members


  • Members fo the committee updated each other on different developments with respect to science. 


  1. Presentation of Strategic Plan 2020 - 2022
  • A draft of the strategic and operational plan for 2020 - 22 was presented by Michael.  The plan focused on two main strategic objectives 1) Scientific Integrity and 2) Science Capacity and built upon the success of earlier objectives and Activities. 
  • Comments received included the following. 
    • The Group expressed a concern that women and science as an activity area was left out.  Michael explained that this was by design, but the group preferred to keep momentum built during the last three years and worried that if Equity Diversity and Inclusion was to be advanced through other mechanisms that were unclear, progress on women and science may not proceed.  In addition it was noted that the principle behind much work on Gender and Diversity included calls for mainstreaming these  issues into general work.  
    • Members expressed concern at a lack of focus on climate change in the plan. They felt that as a defining issue for the plan not having any activities related to climate change was concerning.  
    • Michael presented a way forward in order to ensure the plan could be submitted to the Board of Directors.  This involved several conference calls and attempting to get input from groups. 


  1. Other Business


  1. 3 M Survey on Science 
    •  Members drew attention of SAC to the results of this survey on the declining confidence and trust the public has in scientists. 
  2. Travel Policy in Relation to Climate Change
    • The issue of the impacts of PIPSC’s travel policy on climate change was raises.  Patrick offered to prepare a memo for the next SAC raising the issue of updating the travel policy and practices for members and more broadly to influence that of government of Canada to help reduce the impacts of government air travel. 
    • ACTION ITEM: Patrick to prepare Issue note 
  3. Continuous Learning
    • Members raised the importance of continuous learning in relation to technological change.