"@Risk: Strengthening Canada’s Ability to Manage Risk” is a SSHRC / Genome Canada funded two-year research project (2017-2019) that focuses on how to reconcile the tensions inherent in public decision-making in situations where experts and public stakeholders differ in their perceptions of risk, and their preferences on how to mitigate risks. These differences can lead to serious consequences, including putting current societal approaches to risk management themselves at risk. The project features several activities and milestones.

  1. The @Risk project was launched on 10 March 2016 with a series of meetings involving faculty and practitioners, culminating in a public lecture entitled “Where did all the baby bottles go? Canada’s regulation of BPA and democratic risk management" by Wilfrid Laurier University Professor Simon Kiss, together with comments from senior level practitioner discussant Dr. Brenda Kenny (Adjunct Professor, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, past CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association). Following the lecture, Dr. Simon Kiss wrote a wrote a blog on his research in this field.
  2. On 2 and 3 May 2016, the ISSP organized a workshop and reception to mobilize existing knowledge, foster relationships and elucidate promising areas of shared interest. Participants included senior practitioners from the energy, genomics and public health sectors and faculty and students from seven universities and multiple disciplines including political science, engineering, communications, psychology, geography, law and philosophy. We are pleased to acknowledge financial support from a SSHRC Connection Grant and financial and partner support from Genome Canada, the Geological Survey of Canada, and the Faculty of Social Science for the workshop. View the agenda, and see presentations and video content of the workshop at our workshop link.
  3. In April 2017, the ISSP was awarded a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant for @Risk. The goal of the two year (2017 - 2019) project research and partnership project is to identify conceptual frameworks and mechanisms to strengthen Canada's risk-management capacity in situations where expert and lay public assessments of risk differ. The project focuses on six case studies in the energy, health and genomics sectors. The multidisciplinary partnership involves researchers from 11 Canadian and U.S. universities and four partner organizations. As a project that considers the societal impacts of genomics, federal funding for @Risk is cost shared by SSHRC and Genome Canada, with additional contributions from uOttawa's Faculty of Social Sciences and project partners: the Canadian Public Health Association, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University.

Please contact Dr. Stewart Fast, Senior Research Associate, ISSP, to learn more about @Risk.

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