A Royal Society of Canada Position Paper
Executive Summary: We live in an epoch of human history when social, technological and environmental changes are accelerating in ways that increase exponentially the complexity of policy-making and regulation. It is therefore more urgent than ever for governments to obtain sound expert advice before acting, especially in formulating public policies. Yet, paradoxically, falsehoods can now propagate globally in seconds, encouraged by a growing number of leaders around the world who actively disparage the sciences, their proponents and practitioners, and their conclusions. In this context, governments must depend on a robust science capacity that can be brought to bear on the key questions of today, and to prepare for those of tomorrow. Fortunately for Canada, transformative federal leadership has underpinned the emergence and development since the 1970s of a world-class science capacity. This federal leadership has been significantly renewed since 2015, and Canada is internationally praised for the quality and breadth in fields across the natural and health sciences, humanities, engineering, arts, and social sciences. Moreover, this quality and breadth characterizes campuses and insitutions across provinces and territories.