This Week in Canadian Science 2018-06-03

 

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

“A lack of funding has forced the Canadian Space Agency to abandon plans to participate in a NASA-led space telescope project that Canadian astronomers say is a top priority for the coming decade.

The decision delivers a galaxy-sized blow to a sector already reeling from a federal budget that was notably silent on space. Scientists and industry partners are now left wondering what has happened to a long-awaited strategy from the Trudeau government for pursuing Canada’s research-and-development goals in orbit.

“It’s a gutting feeling,” said Michael Hudson, a professor of astronomy at the University of Waterloo and Canada’s representative on the keystone mission, known as the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, or WFIRST. Dr. Hudson, who has been working on the project since 2013, learned of the cancellation earlier this month during a 4 a.m. phone call in Sydney, where he is on sabbatical.”

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-lack-of-funding-forces-canada-to-abort-mission-on-nasa-telescope/.

The Government of Canada announces the appointment of Christina Tessier as Director of the National Museum of Science and Technology

GATINEAU, QC, May 29, 2018 /CNW/ – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced the appointment of Christina Tessier to the position of Director of the National Museum of Science and Technology for a term of five years, effective June 11, 2018. The appointment is the result of the Government of Canada’s open, transparent and merit-based selection process.

Ms. Tessier has been serving as Director General of the National Museum of Science and Technology since 2014, delivering a fast-tracked rebuild of the Museum on time and on budget. She joined the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation in 2013 as Director of Operations of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Ms. Tessier has also held numerous senior leadership positions, notably at Parks Canada. She possesses multi-faceted professional experience acquired in an array of different fields, including culture, high technology and public governance. She is a highly-respected senior executive working with a unique perspective and skill set, together with a corporate focus and a results-driven attitude.”

Source: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/minister-joly-announces-an-appointment-to-the-national-museum-of-science-and-technology-683955821.html.

GATINEAU, QC, May 31, 2018 /CNW/ – Every day, scientists and technologists are hard at work at Environment and Climate Change Canada labs across the country, to ensure Canadians enjoy a safe, clean, and sustainable environment.

On June 13 and 14, 2018—during National Public Service Week—we are opening select research facilities across the country to offer Canadians a first-hand look at our work and an opportunity to meet our outstanding scientists and experts.

Visitors will have the chance to tour facilities housing some of the world’s leading research laboratories where our scientists are monitoring air and water quality, studying ecosystem health and the impacts of climate change, and improving our ability to predict extreme weather events.

Participating Environment and Climate Change Canada laboratories are located in Montréal, BurlingtonOttawaToronto, and North Vancouver. For more information on these open house events, please visit our website.”

Source: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/open-house-meet-environment-and-climate-change-canadas-scientists-and-get-a-unique-behind-the-scenes-glimpse-into-our-science-labs-684175811.html.

“Imagine: A Canadian athlete trains and works for 15 years, preparing to make history — then just before he goes for his second gold medal at his second Olympics, the government cuts all Olympic funding for his sport.

That’s what funding is like for some of our scientists, who face the nearly impossible task of making life-saving discoveries or scientific history without good financial support.

Research Manitoba recently released its new funding guidelines. Money goes, in very small grant amounts, to new investigators in a much wider area of fields than previously (not just health sciences but natural sciences and humanities, too). At the same time, it cut its program for health research mid-career investigator operating grants.

On the federal level, the government puts a lot of money into new five year term Canada Research chairs. This pays for new positions, equipment and lab startup funds, but provides little for ongoing lab support, research technicians or grad student research and education.”

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/opinion-joanne-seiff-research-funding-canada-1.4687400.

OTTAWAMay 31, 2018 /CNW/ – The federal government is using its purchasing power to ensure Canada’s men and women in uniform have the equipment and services they need, while promoting diversity and gender balance and creating skills training opportunities for all Canadians.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, today released the new Value Proposition Guide, which updates the government’s approach to assessing economic benefits to Canada under the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy.

Under the new guide, the Government of Canada will leverage its contracts in the defence sector to promote skills development and diversity.

The ITB Policy requires that for every dollar the government spends on equipment for our Armed Forces and Coast Guard, the supplying company reinvests a dollar back into the Canadian economy. That translates into a robust research and development environment and hundreds of well-paying middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

Source: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/federal-government-supporting-diversity-and-skills-development-through-defence-spending-684173591.html.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

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