SSP News  
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ISSP 2.0 - A Word from the Director


Marc Saner As I am entering the final three months of my five-year term, I want to briefly take stock and describe the transition planning.  I have in front of me our first four annual reports -- I believe their titles describe the development of the ISSP quite well: First StepsCreating a NetworkBuilding on Strong Foundations and Towards a Graduate Program

Within five years, we went from an idea to a thriving network with six faculties that furnish the members of the management team, approximately 30 uOttawa professors affiliated, an additional 25 leading thinkers from across the country in fellowship positions or on our Advisory Committee, and an opt-in bilingual mailing list with approximately 1200 subscribers. 


Our first graduate education program, the Collaborative Masters in Science, Society and Policy will start this fall. Also noteworthy, is our new student club:  The University of Ottawa Science Policy Society (more information later in this newsletter).  There are only two student organizations on this topic in all of Canada (the other is McGill's very impressive Science & Policy Exchange).  Given these developments, our next annual report will be entitled A Focus on Students


My personal vision for the ISSP continues to be student-centered.  A good education on science, society and policy requires breadth and an understanding of the healthy tension between those who look forward to a completely transformed world and those who study past and current processes with a critical eye on the pace and nature of scientific and technological developments.  As a scientist and ethicist, I am very aware of this tension - and I am convinced that it's helpful for students to fully understand how these diverging positions are conceived and argued.  


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Science Policy Student Group

UO SPS team: John, Alex, Andrew We are pleased to announce the official launch of the University of Ottawa Science Policy Society!

This student club is designed to provide young researchers with information and issues affecting the relationship between science, society and policy by fostering discussion among members and by organizing networking events. The goal is to initiate a dialogue between students, policymakers, and scientists in order to forge a strong link between them and promote evidence-based policy-making.

We congratulate John Garcia, Alexandre Giroux, and Andrew Wong (pictured on the right) for this initiative. 

To become a member of the University of Ottawa Science Policy Association, please send an e-mail to


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Collaborative Masters: Ad campaign


 Bridge the Gap postcard


If you find yourself on campus, keep an eye out for our brand new SSP Collaborative Program posters in the coming weeks!  

As a reminder, registration (for students in participating programs at uOttawa) to join the program in September 2015 is now open!


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Ottawa Science Policy Roundtable


Following its 5th successful event, the Ottawa Science Policy Roundtable, led by Eric Gagné, Jeff Kinder, Robert Annan, and Marc Saner, is inviting science policy professionals, interested students and practitioners in the National Capital region to participate in a series of informal discussions to share their perspectives and network with other practitioners.

The Roundtable is an ad hoc gathering that aims to facilitate regular, open discussion of issues of relevance to science policy with an eye to solving problems and strengthening participants in the science policy roles that they play in their own organizations. Discussions focus on science policy issues that cut across jurisdictions and sectors. Roundtable participants are committed to sharing their perspectives and building and maintaining a network of science policy professionals.  We define the scope of "science policy" to include "policy for science", "science for policy" and also technology policy issues. 

The Roundtable grew from a shared interest, among science policy practitioners in government, academia, and the non-profit sector, in creating an information-sharing network to identify and address emerging issues in science policy. 

If you are interested in participating in Ottawa Science Policy Roundtable events, please contact the ISSP at for more information.


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Future of Work Conference Update


We are pleased to announce that the program has been finalized for the ISSP's symposium on Technological Unemployment and the Future of Work, which will be held on June 3, 2015 at the University of Ottawa as part of the 84th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Nick Bostrom of Oxford University and Director, Future of Humanity Institute. Dr. Bostrom is an expert on the ethics and risks of artificial intelligence and is the author of the recent book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.  The symposium will also feature a response to the keynote by Wendell Wallach, consultant, ethicist, and scholar at Yale University's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, followed by a panel discussion moderated by science journalist Peter Calamai, featuring Nick Bostrom, Wendell Wallach and Dr. Wendy Cukier, Vice-President of Research and Innovation, Ryerson University.

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ISSP partnership with the Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation (VIRI)

The ISSP was recently named as a partner of the Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation (VIRI). This organization aims to develop and disseminate a sophisticated conceptual and operational understanding of responsible innovation by facilitating collaborative research, training and outreach activities among a broad partnership of academic and non-academic institutions.

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CSPC 2015 Call For Volunteers and Proposals

CSPC 2015 Banner
The 7th Canadian Science Policy Conference, which will be held November 25-27, 2015 in Ottawa is looking for volunteers for various committees. If you are interested in lending a hand, please consult the list of volunteer opportunities available on the event website, then e-mail a copy of your resumé and the role you are interested in to

The conference is also looking for interactive panel submissions that will engage CSPC participants in outcomes-oriented dialogue. The themes that will be covered at the 2015 conference will be:
  • The Impact of Transformative and Converging Technologies on Private Sector Innovation and Productivity
  • Big Science in Canada: Realizing the Benefits
  • Transformation of Science, Society and Research in the Digital Age; Open Science, Participation, Security and Confidentiality.
  • Science and Innovation for Development
  • Evidence-Based Decision Making; The Challenge of Connecting Science and Policy Making
Visit the CSPC website for more information about formatting and submitting a panel proposal.


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SSP news is brought to you by ISSP and uOttawa, with images of ISSP and uOttawa logos.  
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Text: SSP News is brought to you by the Institute for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP).  The ISSP carries out research, teaching and public engagement on the relationship between society and science, innovation and technology.  The ISSP is centred at the University of Ottawa.
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Editor: Marc Saner
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