Council of Canadian Academies

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Council of Canadian Academies
Abbreviation CCA
Formation 2002
Type Science, Technology and Innovation Council
Legal status active
Purpose advocate and public voice, educator and network
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario
Region served
Official language

The Council of Canadian Academies (French: Conseil des académies canadiennes) was created to perform independent, expert assessments of the science that is relevant to important public issues. The Council’s assessment scope includes the natural, social and health sciences, engineering and the humanities.[1]

The Council is a private, non-profit corporation that has received a $30 million founding grant in 2005 from the Government of Canada. The grant is intended to support core operations for 10 years.[2] Although the Council is at arm’s length from government, it has agreed to conduct up to five assessments per year of subjects proposed by the Canadian federal government. Though it has not done so to date, the Council can also perform assessments for non-governmental and private sector organizations, but the cost of these cannot be covered by the federal government’s founding grant.


The Council was initially, in April 2002, incorporated as the Canadian Academies of Science, but in June 2006 renamed to Council of Canadian Academies.[3]


The Council is governed by a 12-member Board of Governors, a majority of whom are appointed by the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the RSC: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada. The Chair of the Board is Elizabeth Parr-Johnston.

The Council also has a 16-member Scientific Advisory Committee, whose role is to advise the Council’s Board with respect to assessment topic selection, terms of reference, and peer review. The Committee is also among several sources of advice on the selection of expert panelists.


  • The first President of the Council of Canadian Academies was Dr. Peter Nicholson. His appointment was announced February 8, 2006. He retired at the end of 2009.
  • Elizabeth Dowdeswell was President until September 2014
  • Janet Bax was interim President from October 2014[4] to November 2015
  • Eric Meslin is President as of November 2015[5]


The Council’s assessments are performed by independent panels of qualified experts from Canada and abroad who serve pro bono. This model has been employed in other countries, most notably in the United States by the National Research Council of the US National Academies. All Council assessments are published and made available to the public free of charge in English and French.


The first report of the Council, "Survey on Canada’s S&T Strengths and Capacity",[6] was released September 12, 2006.

Since then, the Council has published 17 more assessments.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Buzan, Mark (February 8, 2006). "CNW Group - Peter Nicholson Appointed as 1st President of the Canadian Academies of Science". CNW Group on behalf of Thornley Fallis Communications. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  2. ^ "University Affairs - Prime Minister creates Academies of Science". University Affairs Magazine. December 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  3. ^ Stavroula Papadopoulos (2009). "History of the creation of the Council of Canadian Academies" (PDF). Council of Canadian Academies. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Board of Governors for the Council of Canadian Academies appoints Janet Bax as Interim President and CEO". 2 October 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Council announces Dr. Eric M. Meslin, FCAHS, as new President and CEO". 26 November 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Survey on Canada's S&T Strengths and Capacity" (PDF). Council of Canadian Academies. Retrieved 2010-07-15. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Assessment Publications". Council of Canadian Academies. Retrieved March 12, 2011. 

External links[edit]