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, September 30, at 12:00 PM, the Institute for Science, Society and Policy will host a panel to discuss the successes and failures of COVID governance and what they mean for trust in expertise and public sector decision-making over the longer term.
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.
At this event, Professor Monica Gattinger, Director of the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa, launched her new book, 'The Roots of Culture, the Power of Art: The First Sixty Years of the Canada Council for the Arts' (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2017).
The Institute for Science, Society and Policy had the pleasure to host Dr. Pnina Geraldine Abir-Am, Resident Scholar, WSRC, Brandeis University, USA on the University of Ottawa campus, for her presentation on Women Scientists of the 1970s: An Ego-Histoire of a Lost Generation.
The ISSP was honoured to partner with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre to host the Scientists as conveners and ambassadors for facts? Evidence co-creation for a hyper-complex post-fact politics panel at the Canadian Science Policy Conference 2017. The discussion was focused on evidence-informed decision-making in a complex, post-truth world. The panel explored contemporary policy and political decision-making, the role of scientists in evidence-informed decision-making and the challenges and opportunities of measuring the impact of evidence in decisions.
Prof. Monica Gattinger was an invited speaker at the event A Conversation on Climate and Energy, alongside Jason Bordoff, Lourdes Melgar, and Meghan O'Sullivan. The event was organized by the Trilateral Commission.
Congratulations to Professor Catherine Mavriplis, Faculty Affiliate of the ISSP and Full Professor, Faculty of Engineering, uOttawa, for receiving the 2021 Award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession from Engineers Canada.
In a new research study, undertaken in collaboration with CAMPUT (Canada’s Energy and Utility Regulators), Positive Energy Senior Research Associate Dr. Patricia Larkin analyzes the benefits, barriers, trade-offs, and success factors for regulatory innovation in two vital areas: relationships between policymakers and regulators, and regulators’ public engagement processes.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) invited an informal working group of some 40 thought-leaders to identify potential developments over the next 10 to 15 years that would be significant for Canada, including Prof. Monica Gattinger, Director of the ISSP and Positive Energy Chair. The final report, On the horizon: Several perspectives on Canada's technology future - 2030–35, is now out.