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Opinion

The case for taking student advice on science policy

By Shawn McGuirk, Vanessa Sung      

Engaging students in policy-making harnesses the power of creativity and innovation generated through diversity of perspective, expertise, and experience.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau smiles with Mona Nemer on Sept. 26 in House foyer, the day he announced she would be Canada's new chief science adviser. PhD students Shawn McGuirk and Vanessa Sung say her office should establish a student advisory committee similar to those of science advisers in Quebec and New Zealand.
The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

This year’s Canadian Science Policy Conference in Ottawa earlier this month saw the number of students and postdoctoral fellows in attendance triple to 22 per cent of total participants, compared to only seven per cent in 2016. The increase may be due to improved social media presence or the draw of high-profile speakers. But other forces may be at play. At the 2016 conference, we presented a white paper on the student perspective on STEM education in Canada

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