JPRAC

Journal of Pharmaceutical Research on Advanced Chemistry

(for innovative research)

ISSN: XXXX-1234

The government says it will do more to protect federal scientists from political interference

The Canadian government has introduced a new model scientific integrity policy to protect its public sector scientists from political interference, and the country’s research community, including high-profile chemists, applaud the development.
 
‘The government is committed to science and evidence-based decision-making,’ said Canada’s science minister, Kirsty Duncan.‘We want to return science to its rightful place in government.
 
’Canada’s chief scientific adviser, Mona Nemer, developed the model policy together with the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), a union that represents more than 15,000 federal scientists, engineers and researchers. Issued on 30 July, the document aims to encourage federal scientists to speak freely about their work with the public and media, foster a culture that promotes and supports scientific integrity, and increase public trust in government science and research.
 
With respect to chemistry in particular, it is certainly a good thing,’ says Nemer.She notes that there are hundreds of chemists and biochemists across various Canadian agencies who are involved in regulatory and non-regulatory activities. ‘While many already collaborate with chemists and other scientists outside government labs in and outside Canada, the new science integrity policy will encourage more scientific collaborations as well as participation in public outreach.’

 

The new model policy will be shared with Canada’s governmental departments and agencies employing 10 or more scientists, which are then expected to develop their own integrity policies by the end of December. These departments and agencies must report on their progress each year, and Nemer – a biochemist who most recently served as vice president of research at the University of Ottawa – will meet annually with the president of PIPSC and the secretary of Canada’s Treasury Board to take stock and determine whether any corrective actions are required.