Help Ontario hire its first Chief Science Officer

Government seeking public feedback on advisory position on science and research

The world's best-known fictional Chief Science Officer. The Government of Ontario is hiring its first Chief Science Officer and is seeking public feedback by March 27. (Photo: Paramount Pictures Corporation, CBS Studios Inc.)
The world's best-known fictional Chief Science Officer. The Government of Ontario is hiring its first Chief Science Officer and is seeking public feedback by March 27. (Photo: Paramount Pictures Corporation, CBS Studios Inc.)

The Government of Ontario plans to hire its first Chief Science Officer and is seeking public feedback.

“Everyone in Ontario can help decide the mandate of our province’s first Chief Science Officer,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “Not only is it important the search be open and transparent, but everyone should have a voice on how a Chief Science Officer would best serve the science community and Ontario.”

Last June, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that Ontario would establish an Office of the Chief Science Officer, a senior executive who would advise the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, as well as other areas of government, on research and science matters.

The Chief Science Officer would work with research communities — including in hospitals, universities, and research institutes — to champion high-quality science in government and education and to help the government make decisions on science-based policy issues.

The Chief Science Officer would also advise the government on how to support future research and innovation projects and would publicly promote Ontario as a hub for research across Canada and the world by attracting global research talent.

Before recruiting a person for the position, the government is consulting with the public and research partners to help determine the skills needed for the job.

The government is also looking for feedback on what the priorities for the Chief Science Officer should be, such as climate change, food safety, and disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, autonomous (self-driving) cars, and the use of blockchain technologies (such as Bitcoin).

You can provide your feedback by visiting ontario.ca/chiefscienceofficer and completing a feedback form or sending an email. The consultation deadline is Monday, March 27th.

The Ontario government will use the results from the public consultation to help during the candidate search and selection process, and expects to announce the Chief Science Officer in the spring of 2017.

The federal government is in the process of also hiring its own Chief Science Officer who will report to both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Science. That competition closed in February 2017.

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