As an independent, volunteer group, the Science Advisory Table aims to do two things: First, we aim to convene a wide range of those scientists in Ontario best able to help the government understand the changing dynamics of COVID-19 as we learn about the disease. Just as importantly, we are committed to doing all of our work in the most transparent way possible. Open communications and a keenness to answer every question we can, as promptly as we can, is a foundation of effective public health. Our job is not to make policy recommendations, but to summarize scientific evidence so that Ontarians can make decisions based in science.
To that end, we have always asked members of this group to declare any relevant interests they might have, in a way that is consistent with the standard practices in science. We ask every new member to fill out a Declaration of Interest form, which we then post on our website. As a new organization made up of health care workers who spend every day researching COVID-19 while also, in many cases, caring for patients on the front line, we aim to update the Declaration of Interest every three months. We are now in the process of asking our members to update their Declarations.
Because Science Table members serve as a volunteers, and because they are independent, we understand that they will also continue to engage in the range of work their employers allow them to undertake under terms that their employers set. Community work is a critical part of public health practice and enriches academic knowledge.
Transparency will continue to be the foundation of our work for Ontarians.