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Browsing Science Research at the Federal Level in Canada

Browsing Science Research at the Federal Level in Canada: History, Research Activities, and Publications

Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 720
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    Browsing Science Research at the Federal Level in Canada
    Book Description:

    Science Research at the Federal Level in Canadais designed to provide much-needed information about the intertwined relationship between science research and politics at the federal level in Canada. Social, economic, and political imperatives drive the direction and scope of the scientific and technical research conducted by federal agencies, but little is known about the knowledge base of government publications and the literature of Canadian science and technology.

    Covering the federal departments of Agriculture, Environment (including the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Meteorological Service of Canada), Fisheries and Oceans, and Natural Resources (including the Canadian Forest Service, the Earth Sciences Section, and the Geological Survey of Canada) as well as the National Research Council and Industry Canada, Brian Wilks provides a historical background, list of publications, and description of activities for most of the major science initiatives undertaken at the federal level. He surveys a wide range of government documents and monographic and serial science collections used by both faculty and students. Written primarily for science librarians and students, this comprehensive monograph will prove an invaluable addition to any science library.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7160-7
    Subjects: General Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-6)

    This book is designed to fill a gap, a large gap, in the information needed for any serious exploration of science research and politics at the federal level in Canada. And the two, science research and politics, are irretrievably intertwined because it is social, economic, and political imperatives that drive the direction and scope of the unique scientific and technical research conducted by federal agencies.

    It is already impressive in total as well as range of activities. 'The federal government is a principal player in science and technology,' Statistics Canada points out, 'in which it invests almost $7 billion each...

  5. Chapter 1.1 The Ministry of State for Science and Technology and Beyond: The Search for Science Policy
    (pp. 7-26)

    The search for a federal science policy can be formally traced to the creation of a Ministry of State for Science and Technology (MOSST) in the early 1970s, and to the initiatives of the federal Conservative government in the mid-1980s and its creation of a National Advisory Board on Science and Technology, in 1991, and the abandonment of the Science Council of Canada in 1992. Then, to the decline of MOSST to its eventual name of Industry Canada, and the further reviews and strategies for science and technology by the new Liberal government in the middle to late 1990s.


  6. Chapter 1.2 The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
    (pp. 27-41)

    The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) was created after the federal government's decision in 1976 to reorganize its scholarship and research grant activities. Besides NSERC, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) were formed at that time. NSERC was incorporated on 1 May 1978, and took over the management of the Program of Scholarships and Grants in Aid of Research that had been the responsibility of the National Research Council (NRC). Its goal was 'to promote and support the development and maintenance of research and the provision of highly qualified manpower...

  7. Chapter 1.3 The Science Council of Canada
    (pp. 42-71)

    The Science Council of Canada was created in 1966 with the passing of Science Council of Canada Act by the federal government. Writing in 1975, the chair of the Science Council, R. Gaudry, said that '1966 was a year of considerable expansion in science in Canada ..." and that, Viewed in retrospect, the mid-sixties were a golden era for science and technology, an era of enthusiasm, of rising budgets and of rising hopes.' In general, the duties of the council, as set out in the Act, were 'to assess in a comprehensive manner Canada's scientific and technological resources, requirements and...

  8. Chapter 2 The National Research Council of Canada
    (pp. 72-136)

    The National Research Council of Canada had its origin in a federal Order-in- Council in 1916 which established the Honorary Advisory Council on Scientific and Industrial Research. The impetus for its creation during wartime came from Canadian industrialists who wanted a collaboration between the federal government and Canadian universities to foster industrial research. Even back in 1916, there was a modest consensus that Canada was falling behind its industrial competitors in the fields of pure science and industrial research.

    Early on, the Advisory Council recognized that the federal government must formulate some form of long-term science policy in order to...

  9. Chapter 3 Agriculture Research
    (pp. 137-198)

    Before Confederation, agricultural activities in what is now Canada could be traced back first to the non-nomadic Indian groups of eastern North America, then to the St Lawrence River settlements of New France in the early 1600s, and finally to the North European settlements and farming areas, later known as Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick on the eastern seaboard. On the west coast, there was agricultural activity, primarily in the lower Fraser Valley and on Vancouver Island. On the prairies, the District of Assiniboia, containing the Red River settlement, was a self-sufficient agricultural unit in a more...

  10. Chapter 4 Wildlife Research
    (pp. 199-257)

    The overwhelming amount of wildlife research at the federal level is carried out by the Canadian Wildlife Service. However, the earliest wildlife research in Canada was done by the National Museum of Canada. The National Museum of Canada was originally the Museum of the Geological Survey of Canada and was housed with the latter, until 1910 when it moved to the new Victoria Memorial Museum. Among its earliest researchers were John Macoun as Botanist and Zoologist, and James Macoun, as Botanist. The museum's name was acquired in 1927 by Orderin- Council, but in the 1970s and later, because of administrative...

  11. Chapter 5 Fisheries Research
    (pp. 258-313)

    In 1893, E.E. Prince, a Scottish zoologist, was appointed as Commissioner and General Inspector of Fisheries for the federal government. He was initially concerned about the lack of knowledge of Canada's aquatic resources, the rumours about the depletion of certain stocks (e.g. the early extinction of the St Lawrence walrus, the decline of the Great Lakes sturgeon, and New England and Ontario salmon), and the lack of opportunity for Canadian scientists who wished to study aquatic resources.

    In 1897, the British Association for the Advancement of Science met in Toronto and sponsored a Canadian Committee to advance the need for...

  12. Chapter 6 Forestry Research
    (pp. 314-370)

    Before the first European settlements, at the beginning of the 17th century, Canada's indigenous peoples made use of the Canadian forests for shelter, transportation, and food. But this pre-European situation, in which the forests provided sustenance, also left the forests undiminished. In 1608, Samuel de Champlain created the first European settlement in Canada with the creation of his One Hundred Associates.

    Although the French reserved oak and white pine for naval use, only a modest trade in ship masts developed. This same modesty applied to the shipbuilding industry, and to sawmills for building materials. After 1763, however, with the advent...

  13. Chapter 7 Earth Sciences Research
    (pp. 371-444)

    The historic studies of earth sciences research in Canada trace back at least to the 19th century. It was in September, 1841, that the Legislature of the Province of Canada (formed in 1840 by the union of Upper and Lower Canada) passed the resolution 'that a sum not exceeding one-thousand five hundred pounds sterling be granted to Her Majesty to defray the probable expense in causing a Geological Survey of the province to be made.' The motivation, beyond the intense Victorian curiosity in the natural sciences, was the fact that if Canada were to expand beyond an agriculture-based colony, an...

  14. Chapter 8 Climate Research and Services
    (pp. 445-508)

    Meteorology studies and climate research in Canada began with the arrival, in 1839, of a detachment of the Royal Artillery, commanded by C.J.B. Riddell, to establish a magnetic and meteorology observatory for the British government. Toronto was chosen rather than Montreal as the site, because of the interference caused to magnetic observations by the underlying geology of the St Lawrence River valley. Accordingly, in 1840, the Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory was erected on property owned by King's College. The stimulus for creating the observatory was provided by the early-19th-century European interest in global magnetism, and the desire to create...

  15. Chapter 9 Water Research and Services
    (pp. 509-590)

    Federal water research and services are not limited to one federal department, or service, because the British North America Act of 1867 did not mention the word water. However, the Act did allocate exclusive legislative jurisdiction over fisheries and navigation to the newly formed federal government, and jurisdiction over agriculture to both the federal and provincial governments. From these beginnings, both levels of government, over time, made arrangements concerning the nation's water resources in order to accommodate this constitutional vagueness, but some jurisdictional disputes did end up with the Privy Council, in London. For example, by 1920, the Privy Council...

  16. Appendix: Current Sources of Federal Government Publications
    (pp. 591-600)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 601-604)
  18. Index
    (pp. 605-638)