Writer in Residence, ISSP, uOttawa
Author and Performer
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic is the world’s most widespread and longest running case of shared public science and health communication. One lasting impact is that it will change science popularizing.
Viruses fly all the time, but rarely have they been as deadly as COVID-19, which will change aviation security as much as 9/11. The novel Coronavirus is changing our appreciation of risk; it has flipped the question of the global aviation sector from surge capacity to viability; and it demonstrates the levels of cultural shift and honest public discussion needed in Canada.
Disabled people know a lot about social isolation. Many – including those with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities – are relying on the success of COVID-19 containment strategies, and lives are indeed at risk if they are not taken seriously. However, public health measures that restrict visiting rights to those in institutional settings are putting many at risk in other ways.
Many governments, including Canada’s, have taken too long to recognize the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic when even days of delay can have large effects on the ultimate death toll. Our governments are only now recognizing that successfully flattening the epidemic curve means that we could be self-isolating for more than just a month or two.
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.
The ISSP was pleased to partner with the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada to organize a panel on science communication, regulation and trust at the SWCC’s annual conference in Ottawa. The panel explored the challenges science communicators face in overcoming low levels of public trust in government, expertise and industry by drawing on panellists’ experiences in diverse sectors and communications methods. Moderated by ISSP Director Monica Gattinger, the event featured panellists Jacob Berkowitz, Science Writer and ISSP Writer-in-Residence; Jason Cameron, Vice-President and Chief Communications Officer, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and Vanessa Nelson, Vice-President, External Relations, Let’s Talk Science.
The @Risk Research Team met in Ottawa to launch the Partnership Development Grant. A public lecture kicked off the session, entitled “Managing risk in a post-trust era”. Speakers included team members Rukhsana Ahmed, Erick Lachapelle, Kieran O’Doherty, and Gregor Wolbring. The Team then discussed case study dimensions, a draft analytical framework, the preliminary workplan and early design considerations for the survey component planned for Year 2.
The Institute for Science, Society and Policy hosted a special presentation by ISSP Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Science and Society 2016-2017, Dr. Dee Williams, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska, where he currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Alaska Regional Office of the US Geological Survey-the science agency of the US Department of the Interior.
The Institute for Science, Society and Policy hosted a special presentation by Allan Fogwill, President and CEO of the Canadian Energy Research Institute, on "Electrification: From the What to the How." Mr. Fogwill discussed a newly released report called "Greenhouse Gas Emissions reductions in Canada through Electrification of Energy Services."
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.