Canada's new prime minister has created a science minister post, Nature News reports. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who took office yesterday, has appointed Kirsty Duncan to the job.
In addition to being an a member of the House of Commons, Duncan is a medical geographer at the University of Toronto, and she contributed to the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and has written a book about her efforts to uncover the cause of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, Nature News adds.
It further says that many researchers in Canada are cheered by the announcement, though they want to know more about the scope of the position.
"A real minister! And someone with a PhD!" Marc Saner, former director of the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa, tells Nature News. "From the point of view of image, it's great. How this works in practice, I don't know."
The creation of the science minister post is in contrast to the previous administration's move to fold the oversight of science research into the Industry Canada department, Nature News says. Trudeau has also said that he will appoint a chief science advisor, and he has named an environment and climate change minister as well as an industry, science, and economic development minister.