Computers that think for themselves. Robots that take jobs from humans. Advances in genomics that allow us to extend life indefinitely. Artificial legs that empower an amputee to run faster than his able-bodied competitors. Synthetic biology that enables us to design biological functions not found in nature.
Everywhere we turn these days, we’re faced with a new scientific or technological development. Developments that are profoundly changing our lives - and our society.
With the pace of change lightening fast - and getting faster - how can we adapt to these new technologies or even understand them? Should we adapt to them? What do they mean for our society? For what it means to be human? What are the ethical consequences? The legal implications for areas such as privacy? The safety implications? Which technology should we foster?
These are the kinds of questions the Institute of Science, Society and Policy (ISSP) addresses. To answer them, we engage expertise from across a variety of disciplines – from the humanities and law to management and business, science and engineering. We cover the full spectrum of issues associated with innovation, including science policy, technology diffusion, regulation and societal adaptation.
Located in the University of Ottawa, we are ideally placed to influence decision-makers and shape public policy. Our planned interdisciplinary graduate and professional development programs will prepare our students to understand the connections among these various issues. And our public outreach activities will make this the premier venue for information and public discussion about the social implications of science and technology.
At the ISSP, we think science and technology shouldn’t just be about discovery. They should also be about understanding.Interested? Click on the links and find out more.