Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat
Policy on Observers

1. Policy Title

Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) policy on observers at science peer-review and advisory processes.

2. Effective Date

This policy is effective November 10, 2011.

3. Policy Objective

The objective of this policy is to provide guidance on the role of participants at CSAS science peer-review and advisory processes.

4. Policy Statement

Observer status will not be granted for CSAS science peer review and advisory processes.

5. Context

The goal of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) science peer review and advisory processes is to provide high quality scientific advice and information through rigorous peer review with the overall objective of providing the best possible science advice to the Minister, managers, stakeholders and the public.

All participants attending a CSAS science peer-review and advisory meeting are encouraged to question, comment and constructively challenge the science presented; as well as seeking consensus on conclusions during the meeting.

Peer review meetings are intended to be a forum for review and challenge of scientific information leading to objective consensus. Science peer review processes are evidence-based, objective, impartial and respectful.

Participants should be chosen for their knowledge of the topic(s) (e.g., species, modeling) under review. Participants must understand the nature of peer review, their role as contributors of knowledge and perspective, and in controlling the quality of information and advice resulting from the meeting through constructive criticism and consensus decision-making.

All participants at science peer review meetings are expected to participate as objective and knowledgeable individuals on the subject matter under review; not advocates or representatives of any interest group.

Attendance at CSAS meetings is not intended to provide participants only with information or “early” advice on an issue prior to the approval and release of the scientific advice.

Participation to DFO science peer-review meetings is by invitation only.

6. Application and authority

Questions on the policy may be addressed by mail or e-mail to:

Director, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat
Oceans and Science Sector
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
200 Kent St.
Ottawa, ON,
Canada K1A 0E6

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