Science Year in Review with Science Minister Kirsty Duncan
Kate Young: Hi. I'm Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science, and I'm here with Kirsty Duncan, the Minister of Science. How are you, Kirsty?
Hon. Kirsty Duncan: Hi, Kate. Good to be with you.
Kate Young: We've got a lot to talk about because this has been a very important year and a busy year for science. When you think about the country's scientists and researchers and their incredible breakthroughs and innovations—and it's just the start—can you talk about some of the top accomplishments, as you see it, for science in Canada?
Hon. Kirsty Duncan: It's been a good year for science, Kate. We've begun the process to ban asbestos. It's really good news. We've launched the search for Canada's Chief Science Advisor. This will be a key position, an important position. We've put in place new equity and diversity requirements for our Canada Excellence Research Chairs and our Canada Research Chairs. We want the best minds in the field, in the lab and at the table. And we want young men and women, Indigenous peoples to see themselves in science.
We've launched the Canada 150 Research Chairs to attract the best and brightest from around the world, and of course we've put in place a new Artificial Intelligence Strategy around research that's really exciting. And of course we've received the results of the Fundamental Science Review, the first of its kind in 40 years.
Kate Young: So how do these accomplishments strengthen science?
Hon. Kirsty Duncan: We are a government that is committed to research, science, scientists, the important work they do and evidence-based decision making. We've invested in the spaces where research and innovation occurs: in labs in our universities, polytechnics and colleges across the country. But buildings don't do research, people do. We have to invest in our researchers, and I'm proud we've made the largest investment in the granting councils in a decade.
We also—and I know this is an issue really dear to you—we want to get young people excited about science, and we of course have our #ChooseScience campaign.
Kate Young: And why should this matter to Canadians?
Hon. Kirsty Duncan: Well, as we go across the country, what we both hear is that science matters to Canadians. Canadians know that if we want new cures and treatments for diseases, they will come from science. They want new technologies. They want a cleaner environment, better air, better water, better communities. It all starts with science.
Kate Young: It certainly does. Thank you so much, Kirsty.
Hon. Kirsty Duncan: Thanks, Kate.
Kate Young: Kirsty Duncan, the Minister of Science, and I'm Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science.