This Week in Canadian Science 2018-10-28

by | October 28, 2018

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

OTTAWAOct. 26, 2018 /CNW/ – The Arctic is the fastest warming place on Earth. Indigenous knowledge combined with Arctic research is essential to helping the government better understand how to protect northern regions against the impacts of climate change.

This was the topic of a speech delivered by the Honourable Stéphane Dion, Ambassador to Germany and Special Envoy to the European Union and Europe, during the second Arctic Science Ministerial meeting, which took place in Berlin, Germany, on October 25 and 26, 2018. Special Envoy Dion attended the conference as the head of the Canadian delegation on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, and signed a joint statement with the other attending nations on Arctic science collaboration. The conference was a gathering of science ministers from Arctic and non-Arctic states as well as representatives of Indigenous and international organizations.

In his address, Special Envoy Dion discussed how science and Indigenous knowledge are key to understanding the threats Arctic communities face, which is necessary for building a path toward thriving, resilient environments and societies in the North. He highlighted how polar regions are subject to some of the most immediate and dramatic effects of global climate change and talked about how Arctic societies, environments and economies are experiencing these challenges first-hand.”


TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QC, Oct. 26, 2018 /CNW/ – Canada is the destination of choice for some of the world’s leading scientists and scholars. If we want to build a country that is bold and innovative, we must rely on the breakthroughs of Canadian scientists and their counterparts around the world.

Today, at an unveiling ceremony at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, celebrated Dr. Shari Louise Forbes, the Canada 150 Research Chair in Forensic Thanatology. Dr. Forbes, who comes from the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research, is investigating post-mortem changes in the body to find out how Canada’s unique environment affects decomposition rates. Her forensic research will enhance the recovery, identification and repatriation of human remains in cases of missing persons, homicide, mass disasters and war crime.

Dr. Forbes is among the 25 newly recruited Canada 150 Research Chairs announced by Minister Duncan earlier this year. Of the 25 chairs, 60% are women and 40% are Canadian researchers choosing to return to Canada to carry out their ambitious research programs. The chairs will have the opportunity to recruit students from Canada and beyond who will help them further their work in disciplines such as chemistry, microbiology, evolutionary genomics and psychology.”


“Offshore Nova Scotia surface ocean temperatures were so warm earlier this month they forced a Canadian research ship that uses seawater to cool its engines to slow down.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Hudson was carrying out its annual fall ocean conditions survey in September and October and sailing through water measuring 20 to 24 C.

That is five or six degrees above normal, said research scientist Dave Hebert, who was on board.”


“For the first time in 48 years, Canadian fisheries scientists failed to complete an annual summer survey off Nova Scotia because of a mechanical breakdown on their coast guard research ship, adding to concerns over the reliability of Canada’s research vessel fleet.

“There have been instances in the past where we have been unable to do sections of a survey, but we’ve been usually able to cover most of the area in question,” said Kent Smedbol, regional manager of population ecology at DFO Science Maritimes.

“This is the first time that a substantial portion of the survey we were not able to complete.””


“Authored by Canada’s Economic Strategy tables, a group of government and industry experts convened to examine a national innovation strategy, the report identified how Canada’s health science industry is lagging behind and needs investment and better nationwide adoption of technologies.

Bains said Canada’s health sciences industry has a lot to offer but needs to be supported.

“When it comes to genomics, or regenerative medicine, or oncology and clinical trials, we’ve got incredible strength here in Canada in the life sciences,” he said. “So how do we build that up?”’


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:

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Photo by Art by Lønfeldt on Unsplash

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