The Council is an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports science-based, expert assessments (studies) to inform public policy development in Canada. The Council began operation in 2005 and consists of a Board of Governors, a Scientific Advisory Committee and Secretariat. The Council draws upon the intellectual capital that lies within its three Member Academies – the Royal Society of Canada (RSC); the Canadian Academy of Engineering; and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
Our mission is to contribute to the shaping of evidence-based public policy that is in the public interest. This is achieved by appointing independent, multidisciplinary panels of expert volunteers. The Council’s work encompasses a broad definition of science, incorporating the natural, social and health sciences as well as engineering and the humanities.
Expert Panels directly address the question and sub-questions referred to them. Panel assessments may also identify: emerging issues, gaps in knowledge, Canadian strengths, and international trends and practices. Upon completion, assessments provide government decision-makers, academia and stakeholders with high-quality information required to develop informed and innovative public policy.
The Council is registered under the Canada Corporations Act and its operations are supported by a $30 million endowment received from the Government of Canada. This endowment entitles the federal government to refer up to five questions per year to the Council for assessment. The Council may also conduct assessments outside of its agreement with the government. Potential assessment questions can be referred to the Council by foundations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, or any level of government. All assessment questions and the resulting reports, regardless of source, must be approved by the Council’s Board of Governors.
The History of the Council of Canadian Academies
The History of the Creation of the Council of Canadian Academies is a detailed account which explains how the Council came into being. The document includes a chronology of events, series of interviews, and details on how the Council got its name.