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It is an honour to serve as your President for 2014. I have enjoyed and learned from CCUBC meetings for my entire term as Chair, and I hope that we can make the challenges of the Chair easier for all our attendees. I have big shoes to fill with Judy Anderson moving to Past President (and thankfully still contributing enthusiastically), and Mark Brigham completing his cycle and stepping away from the executive (for now). Thanks to both Judy and Mark for their leadership. I am pleased that Jack Gray has assumed the role of Vice-President and Chris Moyes of Treasurer. Our long-time keeper of the purse, Ed Byard has completed his term and we will miss his contributions, wisdom and humour.
I have been tasked with re-energizing our advocacy activities, a very timely role in the changing landscape of support for academic research. Those of you fortunate enough to hear Diane Orihel’s presentation at our Saskatoon meeting heard of some of the challenges we face. Since then, I have visited two groups in Ottawa, the Canadian Council on Research, and Katie Gibbs of Evidence for Democracy. Both groups, as well as further conversation with Diane, have given valuable insights as to how we might position CCUBC as an advocate. Judy and I will continue the conversation with CCR at their January meeting, to discuss our role in that lobbying organization.
We are intending to hold our 2014 meeting in Ottawa with this in mind. Part of that meeting will be hearing from groups such as these on various aspects of advocacy and public communication. As usual, we will be looking to hold this in mid-November; dates to be confirmed shortly. We plan for our executive group, at least, to meet with parliamentarians involved in science policy before the CCUBC meeting.
In the meantime, we are hoping to arrange policy meetings with all the major parties, preferably before the various party conferences in the Spring. Our goal will be a non-partisan approach stressing 2-3 talking points. These will emphasize the importance of academic science in forming the foundation of future economic welfare and in training future leaders of science, technology and society, as well as the roles of the granting councils in supporting academic science. I hope that CCUBC will be positioned to be a voice for our faculty and trainees into the future.
Best wishes from CCUBC for a restful holiday season and a healthy and successful 2014!
David Rose, President, CCUBC,
Department of Biology
University of Waterloo
Mrs. Wafaa H. Antonious
C/O Rofail Conference and Management Services
17 Dossetter Way
Ottawa, ON K1G 4S3
Tel.: 613 421 7229
Fax.: 613 421 9811
Updated: January 13, 2014