The Chief Scientist
Since taking up my post as Chief Scientist of Québec in 2011, I have had many opportunities to observe the excellence of the research funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ). Québec produces 1 % of all scientific publications worldwide, well above its demographic weight in the world, which is one tenth of 1%. And yet, the expertise of our researchers and the results of their work are largely unknown to our fellow citizens who, as taxpayers, are the greatest supporters of publicly-funded research.
Research helps us to understand the social, economic, medical and environmental phenomena that surround us. It can also guide the decisions of governments, companies, public agencies and citizens. Research leads to incredible medical advances, ever more sophisticated and greener technologies, and the development of public policies and practices adapted to meet our needs.
The missions of the FRQ include providing support for the production and dissemination of knowledge. The three agencies seek to contribute to the promotion of research and to foster its understanding among the general public, as they committed to doing in their 2014-2017 strategic plans.
The website you are browsing illustrates this commitment. Designed for the general public, this dissemination tool will also be of use to our governments and to Québec’s elected officials, who represent the population of every region of the province. Our website provides popularized summaries of research findings and factsheets that demonstrate the wealth of expertise that is to be found in the groups of researchers funded by the Fonds. These references will assist government and political circles to meet challenges and issues at local, regional, national and international levels.
Let me remind you that as Chief Scientist, my mandate is to advise the Minister of Economic, Science and Innovation on matters pertaining to the development of science and research, in order to ensure Québec’s position and influence within Canada and around the world. I direct the three Fonds in collaboration with their scientific directors, and chair their boards of directors. I am also in charge of developing intersectoral research, which has become necessary as a result of the complexity of the challenges facing our society today.
Rémi Quirion, OC, CQ, PhD, FRSC