Over the last few weeks, Beth and I have been trying to identify a good topic for a summer series that our readers might enjoy. Just in time, offering the glue to hold our scattered ideas together, the Science, Technology and Innovation Council released its 2010 State of the Nation report.
The basics of the report have already been well described in the media, in particular by Meagan Fitzpatrick (CBC) and Barrie McKenna (Globe and Mail), and cover a lot of ground using a comprehensive and polished set of statistics primarily taken from the OECD and Statistics Canada. In the second of what appears to be a bi-annual progress report, many indicators show that Canada is underperforming, but has substantial capacity to build upon.
Over the next two months, Beth and I will dissect the report to help place it in context for science trainees in Canada. Make no mistake that the decisions like creating the Vanier, Banting, and CERC programs are intimately linked to what appears in such reports and the attention they get in senior boardrooms.
Some of the various notches in the STIC report that we will begin with are as follows:
- The production of PhDs in Canada (relative and absolute numbers)
- Maximizing the productivity of the PhDs we produce
- Direct vs. indirect funding of research and development
- Industry funding of research and development
- How do we best measure knowledge?
Stay tuned for these topics and how they impact the education and training of scientists of tomorrow…