Evidence-Based Science Advice in the Age of Information: A Canadian Perspective

Friday, February 17, 2017: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 313 (Hynes Convention Center)
It is increasingly common for policymakers and politicians to refer to the value of using evidence for decision-making. Apart from the obvious benefit of basing policy on facts, this approach protects against claims of subjectivism and bias. The good news is that more information is available than ever before, and many organizations and experts including chief scientists and advisors, independent expert advisory committees, national science academies, science literacy groups, the science media, and academia are committed to presenting objective, expert-based evidence to decision-makers. The bad news is that we are awash in information, especially online and in other non–peer-reviewed sources, that is broadcast quickly and can generate strong views that may influence policy. In a world where the expectation is that scientific information is available immediately and on-demand, do the standard approaches to providing science advice risk becoming obsolete? This panel will explore opportunities for rethinking the role of evidence in public policy development. Speakers will discuss their unique roles in this ecosystem and share real-world experiences of success and failure.
Samantha Rae Ayoub, The Council of Canadian Academies
Anna Buczek, The Council of Canadian Academies
Eric Meslin, The Council of Canadian Academies
Timothy Caulfield, University of Alberta
How Can the Public Distinguish Between Fact and Fiction?
Maryse Lassonde, President of the Royal Society of Canada
The Evolution of Science Advice in Canada: An Academy Perspective
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