Dr. Chad Gaffield, CEO, U15 Canada, CSPC Magazine | Published November 2023
Since the mid-20th century, countries around the world have recognized that robust scientific and research activities underpin the pursuit of prosperous, just and resilient societies.
Today, international observers wonder if Canada is withdrawing from this international consensus. While leading countries are doubling down on investments in research and innovation to confront the turbulent 21st century, Canada is falling behind and doing so without explicit justification. Complacency about Canada’s continued high ranking in international surveys risks overlooking, at our peril, the future consequences of today’s lack of investments.
How did we get here? A glance back provides a valuable perspective on the urgency of action today.
In Canada, the first wave of debate about domestic capacity in research began during the 1950s. At that time, Canada remained an intellectual colony dependent on other countries to educate those in leadership positions across society. While Canada had recently gained increasing political sovereignty, our universities mainly depended on foreign-trained professors who taught imported instructional material….