It begins to become cliché to say that “2020 is an unprecedented year” but nothing better describes the rippling effects of COVID-19 seen across all areas of the science policy community. As health researchers and biomanufacturers work hand-in-hand with politicians to keep our communities safe, natural scientists and engineers direct their efforts to scalability and production, and social scientists consider the lasting implications on our global society in a time of great challenge, this year has affected us all.

If there’s a positive side to this year, the prevalence of scientists, doctors, and researchers as trusted experts in the media has become the norm. The pandemic also directed a spotlight on inequalities, and we saw communities and institutions renew commitments to reducing barriers and disparities. It has become a task to us all to build the safety of our communities, to stay informed, to dispel misinformation, and to uplift those who have faced systemic restrictions. This year we learned to be more comfortable with uncertainty, but it has also sharpened our drive to be better, as people and as a society.

This year has been a series of Grand Challenges – for the World, for Canada, and for the CSPC, which is why we’ve adopted that as the theme of our 2020 Magazine and Conference. Our volunteers from around Canada and the world have been working tirelessly to provide the highly renowned CSPC experience available to your home offices wherever that may be. This year’s Canadian Science Policy Magazine comes to you now in an entirely digital format and continues to feature some of Canada’s greatest minds in the science policy landscape. Their unique perspectives on these Grand Challenges look to address immediate challenges with optimistic forward-thinking approaches. We’re delighted to present the Second Edition of The Canadian Science Policy Magazine and we look forward to seeing how Canada will continue to lead the world in these “unprecedented times”.