|Type||Non-governmental organization (NGO)|
|Purpose||Expert assessments of existing evidence|
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.
The Council is a private, non-profit corporation that received a $30 million founding grant in 2005 from the Government of Canada. The grant supported core operations for 10 years and was renewed in 2015 with an additional $15 million for five years. 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. 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 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 current Chair of the Board is Margaret Bloodworth.
The Council also has a Scientific Advisory Committee, whose role is to advise the Board on assessment topic selection, terms of reference, the selection of expert panelists, and peer review. The current Chair of the Board is Susan McDaniel.
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. Assessments are published as panel consensus reports in conjunction with separate "Report in Focus" summaries. The first Director of Assessments was Marc Saner. The current Director of Assessments is Tijs Creutzberg.
The first report of the Council, "Survey on Canada's S&T Strengths and Capacity", was released September 12, 2006.
Since then, the Council has published over 30 additional assessments.