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When we think about science, we might think about the chemistry or biology class we took in high school. Maybe we think about non-profit organizations dedicated to saving endangered animals, the nature documentary we watched last weekend, or the museum we visit with our kids on rainy days. Do we think about the society we live in as one based on science? Do we think about the scientific process and how it contributed to improve our health and well-being? It’s unlikely. Though Canadians live in a science-based society, the manner in which that information is produced and integrated into our systems – of food production, education, government, resource extraction, etc. – are hidden from plain view.
That science has been hidden from plain view for decades has made it something both embedded into our systems and something of which many Canadians are not familiar or even aware. The result of what was initially designed to be a mutually-beneficial relationship has resulted in something for which many Canadians are not aware that they are paying for, nor benefitting from. And as we learn more about science and the world around us, we can also better understand the role, value, benefits, and limitations of the scientific enterprise in order to critically analyze the system we have created and modify it to ensure it is fit for purpose.
It’s time to reflect on the role, value and purpose of science in Canadian society, and to ask ourselves: What is the rightful place of science, in Canada?
This paper is the capstone of that research project, both capping off and knitting together the nine individual papers that round out the results of this project. It outlines a new framework for science in Canada.
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