Canada’s top scientist faces tough challenge

Researchers have big hopes for Kirsty Duncan, the country’s newly appointed scientist-turned-science minister.
Nicola Jones

22 December 2015

Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press/PA. Kirsty Duncan was first elected to Canada’s Parliament in 2008.

Kirsty Duncan, the medical geographer who last month became Canada’s first Minister of Science, has a big mandate: to ensure that scientific considerations again figure into public-policy decisions.

Duncan, appointed by newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, inherits a research community bruised by years of cuts to science programmes and research jobs under former prime minister Stephen Harper. Harper’s government also famously muzzled government researchers. But change is in the air…

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