Dr. Sarah Gallagher. (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Space Agency)

Western University prof named science advisor for Canadian Space Agency

A physics and astronomy professor at London’s Western Universtiy has been tapped to become the first science advisor to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains announced on Wednesday that Dr. Sarah Gallagher had been named to the role, and will report directly to the CSA President Sylvain Laporte “to shape Canada’s future direction in space science and champion Canadian space research.”

“I am excited by this new opportunity to work with the Canadian Space Agency and the chief science advisor to maintain Canada’s excellence and leadership in space science,” said Gallagher in a news release. “I look forward to connecting with researchers and engineers across Canada who lead Canada’s future space missions and advance understanding of our planet and the universe we inhabit.”

Gallagher holds a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from the Pennsylvania State University and is currently an associate professor at Western University. Her research focuses on supermassive black holes at the centres of distant galaxies.

In her new position, Gallagher will work with the government’s chief science advisor to support the integrity, openness and the impact of science in government. She will engage with the public to help promote the relevance of space science in the daily lives of Canadians.

“Our government understands how critical science is to evidence-based decision-making, innovation and a strong economy,” said Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan. “That is why we are committed to strengthening science in Canada and why I am so pleased to see Canada’s chief science advisor delivering on her commitment to establish a network of departmental advisors across government.”