BC/Yukon - 75th - Report from the Science Advisory Committee

Pacific Region Representative:  Karen Hall

The Science Advisory Committee has had another exciting and productive year since the Regional Council last met. 

Work continues around the Women in Science file.  PIPSC has hired a researcher that will assist in helping move forward the action plan resulting from the 2017 survey.  It is anticipated that PIPSC will host a Women in Science Learning Lab later in 2019.  The objective of the Lab will be to develop a PIPSC community of practice on women and science linked with those in federal government, member led projects and initiatives on equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and identifying knowledge gaps in the area of women and public sector science.

Despite our gains in our right to speak, our Research Group has been very busy in monitoring an unfortunate decline and/or absence of science capacity for federal public sciences.  We will be continuing to monitor this going forward.

Scientific Integrity Policies have been put in place in the majority of the 23 Departments and Agencies that are required to do so.  Implementation is slower despite timelines.  We are now moving into a phased approach in reaching out and educating all PIPSC stakeholders in ensuring success in this process, i.e. educating EROs on the Policy, educating stewards and continuing to support our National Consultation Teams.

Artificial Intelligence was a new topic over the last year and its implications, both positive and negative from a science perspective.  This portfolio is now under VP Aubrey and SAC will continue to support as required.

Travel Caps and optics seems to still be prevalent in various departments when it comes to conference attendance for our scientists.  Change is slowly being made at the consultation table and we are working with the SP and RE Groups who have provisions in their Collective Agreements around conference denial. 

The next Strategic Plan will be for 2020 – 2023.  Although science held the interest of the current residing government, it is unclear how science friendly the next government to form will be. We expect that the “right to speak” and science as a basis of decision-making will need to continue to be protected and will continue to be a part of SAC’s mandate.

I am pleased to represent our region and our science members on this national committee and play an active role in the Women in Science File, Scientific Integrity Policy Implementation and supporting science in National Consultation.  I am happy to answer any questions.