Since the emergence of COVID-19, we have seen some clear and encouraging examples of how science and evidence-informed policy have shaped Canada's response to the pandemic. Public health officials have been given a platform, ensuring that scientists are actually delivering messages to the public and providing them with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. New tools are emerging to help governments find and use evidence more effectively.
When thinking about which trends will stick in an age of COVID-19, I see bad news and good news. Whether we should be more pessimistic or more optimistic remains deeply uncertain. But even if the pandemic can be brought under control (a mighty assumption), the knock-on effects are grim.
When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, everyone was saying that we are all in it together. Six months in, it is clear that we are not. We have seen huge disparities in terms of the impacts of this virus on the elderly, the unemployed and underemployed, women, Indigenous peoples and racialized minorities. In other words, the majority of our population.
Over the past six months, the ISSP has published multiple member blogs providing concrete advice to decision-makers about the myriad impacts and dimensions of COVID-19 – everything from science advice and government responses, to data collection and modelling to the cultural dimensions of superspreader events, the future of air travel, and the impacts on human rights. This volume compiles the contributions to date. We will be continuing the series in the months ahead.
As we look forward to the speech from the throne, there is no shortage of ideas to help with the rebuild. Research from Positive Energy on the Just Transition Task Force for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities can offer lessons for leaders as they shift their focus to longer-term supports for workers and industries reshaped by COVID-19. The research examined aspects of the task force’s activities that could help depolarize Canada’s climate and energy dialogue.
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.
On Monday, December 2 2019, Positive Energy hosted a debate at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, to examine and address polarization in Canadian politics, in particular its effects on energy decision-making.
The ISSP was delighted to host Professor Kin Chan, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Basis of Cancer Mutagenesis.
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.