OSPE Speaks, Governments Listen: Ontario Announces Creation of Chief Science Officer Role

This week, the Government of Ontario announced its plan to establish a Chief Science Officer position to provide input to government on high-level policy direction–the first office of its kind in Ontario’s history.

Following months of sustained advocacy by OSPE’s leadership team, staff, and member volunteers, this announcement marks another major milestone for OSPE’s recognized credibility and growing influence among provincial policy makers.

“When you look at the challenges Ontario is facing right now, whether it’s finding efficiencies to reduce hydro costs, fostering innovation, combating climate change, or countless others—status quo government won’t cut it,” says OSPE’s Chief Executive Officer, Sandro Perruzza.

“Solutions to complex policy problems require the leadership and input of professionals who understand the math, physics, and engineering involved. As the advocacy body for Ontario’s engineers, OSPE is strongly encouraged by Ontario’s recent actions to more closely consult with and involve Professional Engineers at the policymaking table—as leading practitioners of science. We applaud the government for heeding OSPE’s advice.”

The creation of the Chief Science Officer role signals Ontario’s intention to make-good on its commitment to support technically sound and evidence-based decision-making and policies.

The Chief Science Officer will, in part, be responsible for:

  • Helping government make decisions on science-based policy issues;
  • Championing high-quality science in government and the education system;
  • Advising government on how to support future research and innovation projects;
  • Promoting Ontario as a hub for research by attracting global research talent; and
  • Defining the best science strategy for the province.

Ontario is Now Seeking Input on the Skills and Experience the Chief Science Officer Should Possess

“Everyone in Ontario can help decide the mandate of our province’s first Chief Science Officer. 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.”

– The Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research, Innovation and Science

The feedback the province receives from Ontarians and other stakeholders will inform the selection criteria used to recruit this senior government executive, and OSPE’s members have the opportunity to play a central role in shaping the selection criteria.

The successful applicant will be announced in Spring 2017.

YOU have the chance to speak up and be heard!

The province has developed four questions that Ontarians are asked to comment on by March 27. From an engineering perspective, respond to the survey and let us know what you think.

With your input, OSPE will prepare a letter to the Minister of Research, Innovation and Science conveying the recommendations from Ontario’s engineers and the engineering community. Once again, OSPE will be YOUR VOICE!

Provide your input here:

What skills and qualifications should the Chief Science Officer have? 
How should the Chief Science Officer work with the public and science, research and innovation-based organizations? 
What priority areas of research and innovation should the Chief Science Officer focus on first? Select one.

Is there anything else you think the Government of Ontario should consider as it looks for a Chief Science Officer?



  1. March 18, 2017
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  3. March 22, 2017
  4. March 22, 2017

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