Science and Society 2013
Emerging Agendas for Citizens and the Sciences
October 21-23, 2013
University of Ottawa Campus
Science and technology shape our world. They present great promise – keys to sustainable economic growth, solutions to energy and food scarcity, improvements to human health. But they are also the source of much controversy and social anxiety. The changes they bring are often met with distrust, may produce unwanted side effects, and are sometimes subject to misuse. Like never before there is a need for broad and informed discussion of science and technology and their place in our society.
Yet the communities that engage in, benefit from, and seek to understand science and technology are often disconnected. Their shared interests are often misunderstood, and their common goals overlooked. This disconnect not only impoverishes our grasp of science and technology and their social implications but also has negative consequences for the public good.
Science and Society 2013 aims to connect these communities and uncover common goals, competing concerns and the possibility of joint strategies. It will involve and reach out to practitioners from various sectors, academics of diverse disciplines and an increasingly interested public. At its broadest level it will explore the relationships between public policy, scientific research and the study of science itself – including how they inform one another and affect, whether positively or negatively, the wellbeing of Canadians.
The symposium will have two complementary components: (1) an academic component; and (2) a public component designed for a truly broad audience and potentially involving additional collaborators.
Fostering dialogue between scholars, students, public servants and the general public will not only shed new light on the common challenges and opportunities facing these groups but also point the way towards novel solutions and courses of action.
The uniqueness of the symposium consists in its aim to provide recommendations on how to envision and improve the science-society interface. As part of their involvement in the event, all speakers and participants will be asked to address the following question:
- How can we understand and improve the interplay between science and society, and improve science policies for the future?
On the basis of the debate and answers, a results document will be created in which the potentially diverging views of different groups will be shown and analyzed. This document will be distributed among media and key decision makers.
The symposium will take place at the University of Ottawa from October 21 to 23, 2013, during National Science and Technology Week. It is a collaboration between the following two organizations:
- The Situating Science Strategic Knowledge Cluster (www.situsci.ca)
- Institute for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP) (www.issp.uottawa.ca)
The following organizations are current sponsors:
- The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (www.pipsc.ca)
- The Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation (www.technomuses.ca)
The symposium will aim to demonstrate that collaboration among academics, students, policy makers, stakeholders and the public at large can lead to new insights, new perspectives, and a deeper understanding of the social implications of science and technology.
The symposium has several target audiences:
- Policymakers and politicians
- Scholars and scientists
- Opinion leaders
- Public at large
The symposium will create a broad forum for the discussion of key current issues, including:
- The social and cultural place of science;
- The importance of government science, and the challenges facing government science in Canada;
- The top challenges and opportunities regarding science and society;
- What science does, what it teaches us and where it can lead us (e.g., not only science as a source of diagnosis and solution, but also sometimes as a source of problems);
- The changing roles of programs carried out by governments, public (Do-It-Yourself), industry and academic sectors;
- The changing roles of society in decision-making and participation in science and technology.
The symposium will produce the following outcomes:
- New media and political interest, in particular with respect to key issues (e.g. evidence-based decision making, the importance of public science);
- A results document, published by the ISSP, summarizing key insights regarding science and society for distribution among media and key decision makers;
- New thinking and debate among scholars, policymakers, scientists, students and the public;
- New networks;
- Dissemination of conference content in print and/or www formats and/or video/podcast/live streaming.
MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON!