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Committee Membership

Monica HellerUniversity of TorontoChair
Marie D'IorioUniversity of OttawaInternational Secretary
(ex officio)
Pekka SinervoUniversity of TorontoMember
Andrew WoolfordUniversity of ManitobaMember
Stephen WyattUniversité de MonctonMember



Catalyzing New Contribution

To sharpen the international engagement strategy, an enhanced digital communication strategy
And, to focus on these two policy-focused paths

1.“Implementation of a sharpened focus for contributing advice to policy and public discussions as recommended by the Task Force on the Advisory Capacity of the RSC. Such contributions will include supporting the development of the Office of the Chief Science Advisor as well as strengthening collaboration across agencies and institutions both domestically and internationally.” 

2.“Identification of specific themes for catalyzing RSC contributions to larger initiatives that address complex issues in the larger society”.

Since 2011, the Committee on Interventions in the Public Interest has administered suggestions for organizational intervention, usually in the letters or op-ed pieces under the name of the RSC President. A strategic plan focused on mobilization and engagement offers the opportunity to refine and enhance the scope of work of this committee to embrace other forms of intervention that are not strictly “reactive” (i.e. in response to an appeal from the membership), but to also act “proactively” and make annual plans for targeted interventions on specific themes in order to sharpen the advisory capacity of the RSC.

The Committee on Public Engagement (when appropriate working in collaboration with the Committee on International Affairs) has the following mandate:

1. Proactive Goals

a) The CPE advises the President and Council on key themes for RSC knowledge mobilization on an annual basis. These themes may be generated for CPE discussion by CPE members, by Council, by members of the RSC, or by the Chief Science Advisor to the Government of Canada. They will be questions of broad concern to Canadian society, for which the expertise of RSC members can provide useful analysis, and on which the RSC wishes to provide information and possibly express an opinion (e.g. climate change, Truth and Reconciliation, educational priorities for a changing world, the rise of populism and neo-nationalism, increasing wealth disparities, racialized and gendered violence, among others). Themes should be approved in time for announcement at the annual meeting, which will serve as the culmination of the previous year’s theme(s) as well as the launch of the new theme(s).

b) Once priorities are set, the CPE works with staff to develop an operational and communications strategy for composing and disseminating the key messages to be communicated. These may include, but are not limited to: press releases, op-ed pieces, public events, symposia and workshops, website posts, expert panels, podcasts, Facebook-live events, publications. In certain cases, interventions could build on and complement the assessments and assessment topics of the Council of Canadian Academies.

c) The CPE works with Council, Academies, the College and staff to identify members with relevant expertise, and to mobilize their participation.

2. Reactive Goals

a) The CPE advises the President on events or cases which could or do constitute obstacles to academic liberty of expression, or the ability of academic institutions or individual academics to freely produce and transmit knowledge, in Canada or elsewhere.

b) The CPE advises the President on events or cases which could or do constitute obstacles to expression or transmission of knowledge for researchers working in the public sector.