The Science Council of Canada was established in 1966 to evaluate and assess the state of science, technology and research in Canada and to provide advice to the federal Cabinet and federal government departments on policies to support the development of scientific activities in Canada.

The Council’s main focus was to conduct surveys of Canadian science and technology and identify opportunities and needs for its development. It published studies and reports providing analysis and advice in order to carry out this role.

The Council operated until 1992, when was abolished in a round of budgetary cutbacks. At that time, it had the status of a federal crown corporation with a permanent secretariat of approximately 60 people. The permanent secretariat supported a board of 30 advisors drawn from academia and private industry, two of which served as chair and vice-chair of the Council.

Although many types of publications were issued by the Council, its major policy statements (“Red Series” reports) and the large number of special studies (“Green Series” reports) remain of interest today. In addition to their historical value, these reports provide insight into science policy issues that remain current to this day.


Suggestions for further reading:

Wilks, Brian B. (2004). Browsing Science Research at the Federal Level in Canada: History, Research Activities and Publications. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.



Science Council publications hosted on this website include:

  • Red Series” reports: these were the major policy statements of the Council. Each report was directed by a Council member (i.e. one of the 30 scientific advisors) and received approval of the Council prior to its publication.
  • Green Series” reports: these were studies conducted by outside experts commissioned by the Council to address scientific issues of special interest. The views presented by the author did not necessarily reflect those of the Council.
  • Other reports: a small number of reports were issued during the late 1980s and early 1990s that did not fit into either of the above series.