The fifth Canadian Science Policy Conference starts tomorrow in Toronto. I attended the first conference, also in Toronto, and a quick review of the website demonstrates that the event has grown quite a bit since 2009. I’ll leave it to those more intimately involved in the event (and the Canadian science policy community) to speak about how well that growth has been managed.
But observing U.S. events like this (which are too few for my liking), it is reasonable to ask if an event can grow so big that broader science policy issues get subsumed to more field-specific interests, or to interests more connected to the organizations sponsoring such activities. As Canada is still growing its national science policy capacity, to diversify too quickly could affect capacity building efforts.
But that’s just one interested Yank’s opinion.