Former Fulbright Visiting Research Chair, ISSP
President and CEO, Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies (C-PET)
It may be inevitable that policy communities tend to be pre-occupied with the past. It is not because they lack intelligence or dedication. One reason certainly lies in their falling victim to the Fallacy of the New Normal. We look back and see dramatic change in just a few years, and we see a curve that keeps getting steeper as it rises toward today. But a survival instinct of the human mind – understandable, but potentially fatal - prevents us from looking ahead and expecting the process to continue. We kink the curve. We flatten it. We work on the assumption that today’s “new normal” is our starting-point, and the working principle that while there is change ahead it will be far less dramatic than that of past years. Of course, in the cases of political leaders and the policy community that sustains them, there is accountability to the people. And, among the people, the same tendency is clear, and may be more pronounced.
Senior Research Associate, Research Director, ISSP
ISSP’s series of panels on the new federal government’s commitment to evidence-based decision-making have stressed that scientific advice is an essential basis for good policy decisions. There is a recognition, of course, that science advice cannot determine policy. There are other factors and tradeoffs that enter into decision making. Public policy undoubtedly requires politics. Yet, I am interested in a different aspect touched on by speakers from the latest panel - what is needed to ensure that scientific evidence remains credible?
Former ISSP Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Science and Society
Scholar of Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
In April, the United Nations will hold meetings in Geneva for the third year in a row on the call to ban lethal autonomous weapons systems (AWS). This meeting and follow-up activities offer a unique opportunity for Canada and its new government to internationally assert moral leadership. While there is an emerging consensus that any short-term benefits of AWS systems will be dwarfed by detrimental longer-term impacts, forging an arms-control agreement to restrict their use will be difficult.
Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor, ISSP Principal, Paulicy works
I think we are all familiar with our Nordic clime and the Canadian habit of building snowmen. What’s nice about them is that you can use your creativity and imagination to build them to any specification under the right conditions. No two are alike—just like snowflakes. But snowmen have a structural –if not temporal, flaw—while some may last through a winter, they will all eventually melt—leaving the water to dissipate---until we build them again in another winter if the conditions are propitious.
On Monday, November 16, 2020, at 8:30 AM, the ISSP and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis will organise the panel Helping Societies Address Cascading Climate Risks from Outside Geopolitical Boundaries: Case Study on the Arctic (Interactive Policy Simulation), as a part of the Canadian Science Policy Conference 2020.
On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, at 10:30 AM, the ISSP and Grands Challenges Canada will organise the panel Polarization: What does it mean for Science Communication and Decision-Making?, as a part of the Canadian Science Policy Conference 2020.
On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, at 4:30 PM, the ISSP will organise the panel Aligning Science, Society and Policy for the Grand Challenges of our Time, as a part of the Canadian Science Policy Conference 2020.
On Thursday, November 26, at 12:00 PM, the ISSP will host Prof. Martine Lagacé, Member of the Advisory Committee, ISSP and Associate Vice-President, Research, Promotion and Development, uOttawa, to discuss the aging of the Canadian workforce and its important implications for humans resources practices, notably as relates to hiring and retaining young and older workers.
On Thursday, October 29, at 12:00 PM, the Institute for Science, Society and Policy hosted Prof. Melike Erol-Kantarci, Faculty Affiliate, ISSP and Associate Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, uOttawa, to discuss novel AI-based tools that will allow a peer-to-peer energy trading platform consisting of microgrids to become a part of the future transactive energy systems.
Congratulations to Prof. Stefanie Haustein, Faculty Affiliate of the ISSP, for being awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant as a Co-Principal Investigator in support for a bilingual, national, open access platform, Coalition Publica, to significantly enhance the international dissemination of, and increase readership for, Canadian social sciences and humanities research outcomes.
Created by a research team led by ISSP Core Members Prof. Kelly Bronson, Canada Research Chair in Science and Society and Prof. Jason Millar, Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in the Ethical Engineering of Robotics and AI and Prof. Teresa Scassa, Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy, uOttawa, the Global Pandemic App Watch (GPAW) will monitor the technical evolution of Exposure Notification and Contact Tracing (ENaCT) worldwide government apps to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.