As Canada strives to build an economy defined by innovation, our greatest resource to meet this challenge is walking through the classroom doors of our nation every morning wearing oversized Pokémon and Hello Kitty backpacks. It's never been more critical that we give our children the tools they need to become Canada's innovators of tomorrow.
There's a disconnect between Canada's capacity to innovate and our capacity to commercialize those innovations -- or so the story goes. It's been repeated so often it's become a mantra in certain circlles. The solution is always the same: reject investments in purely academic research in favour of market-driven research. The thing is, that mantra is built on a myth.
Our basic knowledge of diseases and cancer will continue to grow through research advances with CRISPR-Cas9, paving the way for the discovery of more effective treatments. And CRISPR will enable developments in industrial, agricultural and ecological engineering that may parallel advances in human health and medicine.
Most entrepreneurs I meet present themselves as confident, resilient and savvy people who are quick on their feet and always ready to pitch their company to potential clients or investors. Science students could truly benefit from this kind of training to communicate the value and excitement of their science. Storytelling is especially important in science because, as someone once said to me, science is not complete until it is communicated.
Although many conversations have begun about women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in Canada, development and implementation to work towards evening out gender imbalances in these fields is still a work in progress. There has been a lot of data gathered to support this issue and many factors that prevent women from STEM opportunities.
Under privacy by design, technology companies must account for human values when creating their systems and ensure they have engineered for maximum individual privacy in every step of their process. It's a costly and time-consuming measure, but it's one of the only measures standing in the way of a digital Wild West.
What the conservative government fails to realize is that scientists are public servants. Which means they work for the people of Canada, not the elected party. They are paid via tax dollars, just as politicians are, to perform a service that betters our country. Canada needs science to exist. It's importance cannot be measured by profit margins or popularity. I get it; that makes it difficult to justify spending. Especially since science is not a cheap pursuit, but I guarantee you, it is the most worthwhile pursuit of our time.
Last weekend, The Martian opened in theatres to rave reviews, a 94 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an industry-leading $55 million box office. It's THE fall blockbuster of 2015 so far. At first glance it seems like just another Ridley Scott action movie, but might it also be the future of Innovation?
I am a reluctant activist. I don't like rocking the boat. But when our federal election was called in August, it occurred to me that the entries in my blog might be worth sharing. So I'm posting 78 of them to a Facebook page, 78 Days, 78 Reasons. It's my hope they'll help reasonable Canadians, particularly young people and small c-conservatives, see that we deserve better.
A strong bio-economy is essential for Canada to compete on the global stage. Each year, the bio-sector welcomes hundreds of new college and university graduates in all areas of the industry who are eager to enter the workforce and help fuel this exciting sector. That said, finding a match between the skill and the opportunity can be a challenge to both the graduate and the employer.
On the whole, my many years of research on substance use has taught me a major overarching lesson: we are much more likely to demonize drugs for their negative effects than consider their neutral or potentially positive impacts. Or -- in scientific terms -- there is a built-in bias in the scientific literature, textbooks, and popular press towards highlighting the negative aspects of drug use.
Everyone has a budding inner scientist with natural curiosity about the world. Science offers a way to find answers to the questions we had as kids and may still have as adults. Helping kids nurture their inner scientist and encouraging them to develop the skills needed to investigate and understand the world around them will help them become scientifically literate adults.