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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
28-Aug-2014

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Contact: Cathleen Meechan
cathleen.meechan@scienceadvice.ca
613-567-5000 x228
Council of Canadian Academies
@Scienceadvice

Canadians rank highly when it comes to public science knowledge, attitudes, and engagement

Expert panel report on the state of Canada's science culture

Ottawa (August 28, 2014) A new expert panel report, Science Culture: Where Canada Stands, released today by the Council of Canadian Academies, helps to paint the clearest picture of Canada's science culture and science culture support system in 25 years. The expert panel who conducted the assessment found Canadians excel in public science knowledge, attitudes, and engagement; however they also determined there is room for improvement in some areas, including skills development.

"Overall, our 14-member expert panel found that Canadians perform well across a range of science culture indicators," said Dr. Arthur Carty, Chair of the Expert Panel. "It is important that we continue to strive for a society that looks to science to inform decisions and to broaden our world view."

The Expert Panel based their findings from a review of relevant literature, a new public survey of 2,000 Canadians. The report does not provide policy recommendations but rather provides evidence and insights for policy-makers and others looking to strengthen science culture, and for Canadians to better understand what science culture is, and what it means for our country.

The Panel's key findings are:

Canadians have positive attitudes towards science and technology and low levels of reservations about science compared with citizens of other countries.

Canadians exhibit a high level of engagement with science and technology relative to citizens of other countries.

Canadians' level of science knowledge is on a par with or above citizens of other countries for which data are available.

Canada's performance on indicators of science and technology skills development is variable compared with other OECD countries.

The Panel's report also contains a review of the network of organizations, programs, and initiatives that support the development of science culture in Canada, and highlights promising strategies that can be used to strengthen science culture in the future.

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For more information or to download a copy of the Panel's report, visit the Council of Canadian Academies' website, http://www.scienceadvice.ca.

About the Council of Canadian Academies

The Council of Canadian Academies is an independent, not-for-profit organization that began operation in 2005. The Council supports independent, authoritative, and evidence-based expert assessments that inform public policy development in Canada. Assessments are conducted by multidisciplinary panels of experts from across Canada and abroad. Members of the Council's blue-ribbon panels serve free of charge. The Council's vision is to be a trusted voice for science in the public interest.

For more information please contact:

Cathleen Meechan, Director, Communications
613-567-5000 ext.228
cathleen.meechan@scienceadvice.ca



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