Lab Canada

Science and technology gets revitalized focus in Ottawa

Ottawa, ON December 15, 2003 The new federal government of Paul Martin has begun acting on its promise to place greater focus on the development of science and technology in the country. The first steps were announced shortly after the prime minister and his cabinet were sworn in office, and include the appointment of a national science advisor to the prime minister to work closely with the National Advisory Council on Science and Technology, and appointment of a parliamentary secretary to support the prime minister on science and small business.

Dr Arthur Carty, currently president of the National Research Council, will become national science advisor to the prime minister, effective April 1, 2004.

Dr Carty has a PhD in chemistry from Nottingham University. Before coming to NRC as president in July 1994, he spent two years at Memorial University and then 27 years at Waterloo University where he was successively, professor of chemistry, chair of the chemistry department and dean of research.

Dr Carty still maintains an active research group and continues to publish in his field of synthetic chemistry and metallic clusters. He has over 270 publications in refereed journals, in addition to book chapters and review articles. He is a former president of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (Canadian Society), honorary fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Among his many awards are the Alcan Award of the Chemical Institute of Canada, the EWR Steacie Award of the Canadian Society, the Montreal Medal of the Chemical Institute of Canada and the Purvis Award of the Society of Chemical Industry. He has received seven honorary degrees from Canadian and foreign universities, is an officer of the Order of Canada and Officier de l’Ordre national du Mrite of France.

He serves on more than a dozen boards, including two of the Networks of Centres of Excellence, Genome Canada and five S&T Advisory Boards for other departments and agencies.

Liberal member of parliament Joe Fontana has been named parliamentary secretary to the prime minister with special emphasis on science and small business. Mr Fontana will play an active role in policy development in this area and will work closely with the prime minister on key policy issues.

To further his goal of promoting science and technology, the prime minister says he plans to foster the creation and growth of innovative Canadian companies by more effective commercialization of university research and giving them better access to early stage financing. In addition, he is planning to initiate a comprehensive assessment of federal support for research and development.