Canadian Science News

Canada in search for the national science advisor
According to Science Magazine, there will be an opening for nominations by the Canadian federal government for the national science advisor, which was announced at an annual science policy conference by Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan.

The nominations will be open to the average “Canadians, researchers, as well as institutions such as universities.” This is based on a promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He vowed “to usher in an era of evidence-based policy.”

“We want to make sure we get a wealth of expertise in science. They have to be respected by the scientific community,” Duncan said, “They have to understand the research community, as well as how government works. And they have to be a very good communicator.”

Canadian scientists hint at alien life
The Globe and Mail reports that a Canadian research team is on the look out for alien life. Universite Laval, in Quebec City, researchers analyzed some signals with unusual traits. They made identifications of “234 potential systems that might be playing host to extra-terrestrial intelligence (ETI).”

Emanno Borra published an article in 2012, which speculated on Milky Way galaxy extraterrestrials trying to make their existence known to others. Borra described the possibility of aliens using lasers to make their “home planet” emit unusual signals.

Borra said, “The kind of signal we found is in agreement with the ETI hypothesis, but right now It’s still a hypothesis that must be confirmed with further work.”

Oil spill research and Environment Canada
“A team of Environment Canada scientists is trying to fill key research gaps among oil spill response officials as a looming increase in oil tanker traffic raises worries for coastal communities,” iPolitics says, “Environment Canada and Climate Change has been producing field guides.”

The guides are on the behavior of oil in water after long periods. The Director of Science and Technology Policy at Environment Canada, Jen Collette, described the non-digitization of the guides and technical language as barriers to wider availability of the guides.

Collette stated that since the guides are physical, not digital, “You’ve either got one or you haven’t got one.” Even with acquisition, they might be difficult to access conceptually because of the “fairly technical language.”

A native British Columbian, Scott Douglas Jacobsen is an AU undergrad and AUSU Councillor. He researches and runs In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, and In-Sight Publishing.