Innovation, Science, Environment: Canadian Policies and Performance, 2006–2007.


246 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 978-0-7735-3062-2
DDC 352.7'45'0971




Edited by G. Bruce Doern
Reviewed by Alex Curran

Alex Curran is a former member of both the National Advisory Board on
Science and Technology and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council. He was chair of the Telecommunications Sectoral Advisory
Committee on Free Trade and the first recipien


The essential premise upon which this book is based is that the world is facing a knowledge frontier. In response, techniques must be developed which, inter alia, recognize the need to take account of the demands to be placed on the environment, acknowledge that the enabling science upon which market fluency rests may well be widely distributed, and acknowledge that those who make use of government support must be held accountable for effective use of that support. Hence the subject of the book is a record of Canadian responses to the challenge of sustainable development over the past few years and the intentions for supporting the initiatives over the next period. Since so much is at stake, the book also contains a comparison of Canadian and United Kingdom strategic intentions.


The task will not be easy. Each step seems to increase the difficulty. As one example, the requirement for consensus must compete with the commercial need for protection of trade secrets. Similarly, it might well prove impossible to reconcile the need for consensus involving commercial competitors within acceptable time delays, and it has already proven difficult to alter the differing visions of university research. As quoted in the book, “Although the ideas that were to become Canada’s innovation strategy were described fairly completely by 1991 it is possible that building consensus and collecting information cannot be done much faster.” Yet the challenges of sustainable development dictate that we must try.


This book is definitely not an easy read. The subject is difficult and involved. It demands concentration and thought. It is directed primarily to researchers in the field of political science. Yet ultimately it will influence the performance of Canadian businesses whose product lines are applications of applied science. For that reason alone, despite the difficulties, CEOs of such companies should read the book as part of their strategic planning process.


“Innovation, Science, Environment: Canadian Policies and Performance, 2006–2007.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,