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Representing Canada's S&T Interests in Washington, D.C.

by Lisette Ramcharan

For over twenty years, a Canadian Science and Technology Counselor has been based at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., working to promote Canadian scientific interests in the United States and to inform Canadian government and research communities of U.S. science policy developments. The person filling this position has most often come from a government science department or agency, like the National Research Council or the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. I represent the latter.
 

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Arthur Carty: Science Advisor to the Canadian Prime Minister

bridges vol. 2, July 2004 / People in the Spotlight
by Philipp Steger

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"The appointment of Arthur Carty, head of the National Research Council, as national science advisor to the Prime Minister is a good step. Dr. Carty could be influential in shaping and advancing a national science agenda," wrote Preston Manning. And that is quite a compliment, coming from one of Canada's most outspoken former opposition critics for Science & Technology. Manning's sentiment is not an exception: Arthur Carty, the former head of the National Research Council, is widely regarded as an excellent choice for the newly created position.

photo credit: National Research Council Canada

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Losing Dominance - Is the U.S. Lagging Behind in S&T?

by Alessandro Damiani

 

A few early signs of possible loss of speed in the U.S. R&D enterprise have drawn a great deal of attention in this country. That attention has quickly overflowed the limited science policy expert circles to reach the mass-circulation press and wider political debate. In the beginning, it was the release in April of the biennial Science and Engineering Indicators report, a reliable, generally undisputed reference for S&T policy analysts and policy makers. Its figures of research investment and S&T output show that "some non-OECD economies, including China, the Russian Federation and Taiwan, are slowly raising their spending relative to that of the OECD members;" that the U.S. share of publications in the world's key journals "continues to decline, indicative of the development of cutting-edge research capabilities elsewhere" [fig. 0-8]; that while the U.S. trade balance in knowledge-intensive products remains largely positive, "it is showing signs of a gradual decline;" and that a stable U.S. market share (and declining export share) of high-tech products is beginning  to be challenged by the rapidly growing market (and export) shares of China, South Korea and other Asian countries.

 

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When Science Meets Diplomacy in a Globalized World - Dr. George Atkinson, Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State

by Jutta Kern

When Dr. Atkinson was appointed as Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State on September 23, 2003, he was only the second person ever to hold this position.  The post of a Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State (STAS) was established in 2000 upon a National Research Council (NRC) report on S&T in foreign policy. Its mission is to serve as the principal liaison of the Department of State with the national and international scientific community. "Science provides opportunities but it still remains for the institutions of government and society in general to figure out how to use them," Dr. Atkinson is quoted in an October 22, 2003 Department of State (DOS) news release.

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Janez Potocnik: EU Commissioner for Science and Research

by Eleonora Windisch

 
Janez Potocnik
EU Commissioner for Science and Research
Brussels, Belgium
 
photo credit: EC
 
 
When the President of the European Commission, former Portuguese Prime Minister José Manuel Barroso, presented the line up of this future commission to the European Parliament (EP) at the end of October 2004 he was not quite prepared for what was to come: A united front of EP delegates opposing key nominees of his commission proposal. When it became clear that Barroso would not be able get a majority voteParliament can only opt to reject the entire team and not individual commissionershe was forced to withdraw his proposal and return to the drawing board. Three weeks later, on November 18 the stand-off with Parliament was resolved, when Barroso presented a slightly modified team. Franco Frattini, the Italian foreign minister, replaced Rocco Buttiglione. Latvia brought in Andris Piebalgs to replace much-criticized Ingrida Udre, and Hungarian nominee Laszlo Kovacs was moved from the energy to the taxation portfolio. On November 22, the 24-member commission finally took office.

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