Gallagher named first CSA Science Advisor

Special to Western News

As Science Advisor to the Canadian Space Agency, Physics and Astronomy professor Sarah Gallagher will help shape Canada’s future direction in space science, champion Canadian space research and support “the integrity, openness and the impact of science in government.”

LONGUEUIL, Quebec – Physics and Astronomy professor Sarah Gallagher has been named the first Science Advisor to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced today.

The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening science in its decision-making, supporting the vital work done by Canadian researchers and ensuring that government science is fully available to the public, Bains explained. “(Dr. Gallagher’s) advice will help us shape the future of space science in Canada and ensure our investments effectively support the Canadian space industry and its workers across the country.”

In the role, Gallagher will report directly to Sylvain Laporte, CSA’s President, to shape Canada’s future direction in space science and champion Canadian space research. During her two-year mandate, she will work closely with Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor, to support “the integrity, openness and the impact of science in government.”

Gallagher will also help promote space science and its relevance to our daily lives by engaging with Canadians and inspiring our next generation of space scientists.

“I am excited by this new opportunity to work with the CSA and the Chief Science Advisor to maintain Canada’s excellence and leadership in space science,” said Gallagher, who holds a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the Pennsylvania State University. “I look forward to connecting with researchers and engineers across Canada who lead Canada’s future space missions and advance understanding of our planet and the universe we inhabit.”

Gallagher’s research focuses on supermassive black holes at the centres of distant galaxies.

In 2017-18, 1,638 research team members (students, professors and technicians) were involved in CSA-funded projects, while the CSA’s investments resulted in 783 scientific publications and 1,307 presentations.

“Our government understands how critical science is to evidence-based decision-making, innovation and a strong economy,” said Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport. “That is why we are committed to strengthening science in Canada and why I am so pleased to see Canada’s Chief Science Advisor delivering on her commitment to establish a network of departmental advisors across government.

“Congratulations to Dr. Gallagher on her new appointment. As Science Advisor to the Canadian Space Agency, she has an important role to play in advancing our knowledge of space and inspiring the next generation.”