The U of T administration has released an advocacy toolkit for students, faculty, and staff to persuade the federal government to implement the recommendations from Canada’s Fundamental Science Review Panel, also known as the Naylor Report. The report was commissioned by Science Minister Kirsty Duncan and released in April.
From the findings of an independent panel of experts, the Naylor Report reviews the state of fundamental sciences in Canada. It concludes that federal support in fundamental science has been lacking in recent years, a decline that reduces Canada’s international competitiveness and Canadian innovation.
The report provides recommendations on how the government can improve Canadian research.
“This report sets out a multi-year agenda that, if implemented, could transform Canadian research capacity and have enormous long-term impacts across the nation,” said panel chair and former U of T President David Naylor in the report.
“The Fundamental Science Review presents a thoughtful, coherent plan that addresses all dimensions of Canada’s research system through a set of tightly linked recommendations,” Vivek Goel, U of T Vice-President of Research and Innoation told U of T News. “We will continue to work with our university colleagues across Canada to encourage the government to act on all 35 recommendations made by the panel.”
The Canadian government has not promised to act on all 35 recommendations made in the report, which include a $1.3 billion increase in research funding over four years. In June, nearly 200 researchers gathered in Toronto to discuss making the implementation of the Naylor Report’s provisions a reality. It is unclear if the toolkit is an outcome of this talk.
The advocacy toolkit, announced in a press release by U of T Chief of Government Relations Andrew Thomson, provides “quick facts about the Report, why it matters, and why the University of Toronto strongly endorses its recommendations.” It states that the Naylor Report is “sensible, affordable,” and that the implementation of its recommendations would benefit all Canadians. It further posits that investing in fundamental science is important for innovation, economic growth, and promoting curiosity among young Canadians.
Additionally, the toolkit encourages all members of the U of T community to support the panel through whatever means they have available, including using the hashtag #supportthereport on social media.
“The toolkit asks members of the U of T community to take action and participate in the campaign to convince the federal government of the critical importance of supporting fundamental science,” Thomson wrote.