Advisory Council Member, ISSP, uOttawa
Guest Scholar, Centre de recherche en droit public, Université de Montréal
Former Deputy Minister of Health for Canada from 1993 to 1998
I would like to offer some reflections agreed upon on my experience as a former Deputy Minister of Health for Canada from 1993 to 1998. During this period, I experienced the Krever survey on contaminated blood, the redesign of the Canadian tobacco law, the aftermath of the Baird report on new reproductive technologies, the impact on Canada of a plague outbreak in India and Ebola in Nigeria.
The world has not known, in living memory, a pandemic on the scale of what we are experiencing with COVID-19. Nor has the world had access to data and analysis, much of it being generated rapidly and disseminated freely, on the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself. Navigating a path out of this crisis will require effective integration of this data into decision making.
We are all participating in an unprecedented global experiment aimed at figuring out what is the best way to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. And according to the latest data, one well-established strategy seems to be working; the messaging around social distancing seems to be motivating most Canadians in just the right way: we’re flattening the curve.
Up to the week prior to its publication, there was increasing public pressure for the federal and provincial governments to be more open about their projections of the COVID-19 epidemic curves, especially the numbers of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations, and how these trends were likely to affect hospital capacity including ICU beds and ventilators.
On Thursday, April 29, at 12:00 PM, the Institute for Science, Society and Policy will host Prof. Mariam Humayun, Faculty Affiliate, ISSP and Assistant Professor, Marketing, Telfer School of Management, uOttawa, to discuss the emergence and resilience of Bitcoin.
On Tuesday, May 11, from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM, the ISSP and the RCIS will host an expert panel discussion on AI and machine learning.
Will AI and machine learning augment or replace human creativity? How do we teach creativity to the next generation in a world of AI and machine learning? And how do we ensure teaching creativity and innovation in this world remains inclusive?
On Thursday, May 27, at 12:00 PM, the Institute for Science, Society and Policy will host Prof. Handan Tezel, Faculty Affiliate, ISSP and Full Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Enginnering, Faculty of Enginnering, uOttawa, to discuss how we can capture carbon dioxide from combustion gases or from air and recycle it back to make fuels and other useful chemicals, instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.
The ISSP was delighted to host the Luncheon talk with Dr. Lundy Lewis, Canada/US Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Science and Society for the fall 2018 term at the institute. Dr. Lewis comes to uOttawa from Southern New Hampshire University, where he was the Christos and Mary Papoutsy Distinguished Chair in Ethics and Social Responsibility.
The ISSP and the Royal Canadian Institute for Science were delighted to host the second public panel of the joint panel series on science, society and policy.This panel explored the impact of emerging science and technology innovations on society.
The panel discussed the challenges and opportunities of the G7 in advancing clean energy in times of political uncertainty, rising economic nationalism and resurgent climate change skepticism. While sharing experiences from Canada and Germany, the conversation focused on the ways that the G7 can share best practices, set the right conditions, avoid roadblocks, and present tangible strategies for a smooth transition toward sustainable energy.
Luncheon talk with William A. Carter, Deputy Director and Fellow, Technology Policy Program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. Mr. Carter discussed elements of his new paper on a National Strategy for Machine Intelligence.
The Institute for Science, Society and Policy hosted for the first time in a public panel the Chief Science Advisor of Canada, Dr. Mona Nemer, the Chief Scientist of Québec, Dr. Rémi Quirion and the Chief Scientist of Ontario, Dr. Molly Shoichet.
Congratulations to Jackie Dawson, Core Member and Canada Research Chair in Environment, Society and Policy at the ISSP uOttawa, recipient of the 2020 SSHRC Impact Connection Award for her climate change research.
How has COVID-19 affected Canadians' attitudes towards climate action? The sense of urgency appears to be trending up. Nik Nanos returns to the podcast to discuss results from the latest Positive Energy/Nanos quarterly tracking survey, including the appetite for climate ambition and levels of public trust in different information sources.