Prof. Sarah Gallagher

Boldly Going Where No Scientist Has Gone Before

Professor Sarah Gallagher is the Canadian Space Agency's first-ever Science Advisor, adding her expertise to national policy decisions.


Further strengthening its commitment to evidence-based policy, the Canadian government has appointed physics and astronomy professor Sarah Gallagher as the Canadian Space Agency’s first Science Advisor.

Gallagher joins what will hopefully grow into a constellation of Canadian researchers in a variety of specializations advocating for science in federal policy decisions.

“Establishing a network of departmental science advisors is an important step in strengthening science advice within government,” says Mona Nemer, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor.

“I have strongly suggested the creation of a network of departmental advisors to share our respective scientific expertise and enhance communication and collaboration across scientific fields and sectors. I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Gallagher, a renowned physicist, as the first member of this growing network, and I very much look forward to working with her and our future advisor colleagues.”

Gallagher leads research on supermassive black holes, one of which is at the centre of every big galaxy. They are incredibly powerful and they inspire people of all ages, and she gives talks regularly to share how space research impacts our everyday lives while personally engaging with the public.

This is just one facet of her career that makes her a clear choice for her new role, established in part to make sure that government-funded research is transparent and accessible to the public and the media.

Having authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers, including data from 10 different space observatories, Gallagher is an expert in her field and has a deep understanding of the broad opportunities ahead in space research. A truly interdisciplinary and cutting-edge field, space research combines elements of astronomy, physics, health, robotics, artificial intelligence, and climate change and environmental science. These remarkable advances also often find applications back on Earth.

“I am delighted that Dr. Sarah Gallagher has accepted to become the Canadian Space Agency’s first Science Advisor. Her advice will help us shape the future of space science in Canada and ensure our investments effectively support the Canadian space industry and its workers across the country,” says Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

“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,” adds Gallagher.

We wish her the best in her new mission.

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Karyn Ho is a science animator and engineer who thrives at the interface between science, engineering, medicine, and art. She earned her MScBMC (biomedical communications) and PhD (chemical engineering and biomedical engineering) at the University of Toronto. Karyn is passionate about using cutting edge discoveries to create dynamic stories as a way of supporting innovation, collaboration, education, and informed decision making. By translating knowledge into narratives, her vision is to captivate people, spark their curiosity, and motivate them to share what they learned.