SSP News  
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Farewell Message From the Director of the ISSP


Marc SanerDear Reader,


It has been my great pleasure to edit SSP News over the last few years.  As indicated in my last blog post my term as the director of the ISSP is coming to an end and I will begin serving as a tenured professor in the Department of Geography starting in July.  My involvement with the institute will continue as a teacher of new courses that will be offered through the ISSP.  Furthermore, I will not only continue my research on science/policy interfaces, I will actually have the privilege to live them with my colleagues at the very diverse Geography Department.  I hope to stay in touch with the entire ISSP community.  Stay tuned for the return of ISSP activities in the fall.


À bientôt,


Marc Saner

Director, ISSP

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Technological Unemployment Symposium held at Congress 2015


We are pleased to announce that the ISSP's interdisciplinary symposium "Technological Unemployment and the Future of Work" held on Wednesday June 3rd was a great success! This event was part of the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences 2015


In all, over one hundred Congress participants and members of the public came to hear our keynote speaker Nick Bostrom discuss the paths towards advanced artificial intelligence. This keynote speech was followed up by Wendell Wallach's commentary about technological factors such as robotization, artificial intelligence and life span extension that are converging to reduce future demand for human labour. The symposium concluded with a panel discussion moderated by ISSP Fellow Peter Calamai featuring Nick Bostrom, Wendell Wallach and Wendy Cukier, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Ryerson University, where each panelist shared views on the multiple and complex challenges relating to jobs and technology in the 21st century. 


Rounding out an already great agenda, the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation provided several artifacts in the form of a mini museum exhibit highlighting the interaction between human labour power and technology in a historical context.


We would like to sincerely thank our sponsors for this event. Their contribution was truly an essential part of making this happen! 


For more information about the interdisciplinary symposia at Congress 2015, check out this article from Tabaret, the University of Ottawa's online magazine. 


Slides for Nick Bostrom and Wendell Wallach are now available on the event page. 

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Bromley Event Celebrates 10th Anniversary
The 10th Annual Bromley Memorial Event took place in Washington, DC from April 29 to May 1, 2015. This milestone anniversary marks another successful year for this important initiative.

A diverse group of graduate students from several countries including a half-dozen from the University of Ottawa took part in this year's event, which was hosted by the Centre For International Science And Technology Policy at George Washington University. This year's keynote speaker was Prof. Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz who delivered a talk entitled "Science and Technology Policy in Brazil. The Role of Sub-National Initiatives".

The annual Bromley event provides graduate students with the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with senior science and technology (S&T) policy advisors from various countries, sectors and levels of government. It is the only opportunity of its kind in Canada and perhaps the world. 

A great thank you to ISSP Core Group member Jonathan Linton for his sustained effort in making this event a success!
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The ISSP Welcomes New Fulbright Canada Scholars in 2015-2016
We are happy to announce that two Fulbright Canada scholars will be joining the ISSP during the 2015-2016 academic year. 

Wendell Wallach, who will be joining us in October 2015, is consultant, ethicist and scholar at Yale University's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. He is also a scholar with the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics (Arizona State University), a Fellow at the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technology, and is a visiting scholar at The Hastings Center. He is also the author of several books and articles relating to technology and applied ethics, including most recently A Dangerous Master: How to Prevent Technology From Slipping Beyond Our Control.

Nigel Cameron, who will be joining us in March 2016 is President and CEO of the Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies 
(C-PET), a non-partisan Washington, DC think tank established in 2007 to encourage long-term thinking on the policy and broader social impacts of emerging technologies. Previously he was a Research Professor and Associate Dean at the lllinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he led projects focused on the social, business and policy impacts of developments in biotechnology and nanotechnology. 

Both Wendell and Nigel will be joining the ISSP for six-month terms and will be housed here on campus at the ISSP. 

About Fulbright Canada: Fulbright Canada is a binational, treaty-based, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization with a mandate to identify the best and brightest minds in both countries and engage them in residential academic exchange. In 2015, Fulbright Canada is celebrating its 25th anniversary!
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University of Ottawa Science Policy Students Society - Meet the New Executive

The ISSP would like to welcome Nir Harrel, Reilly Ische and Curtis Zezella as the new executive of the University of Ottawa Science Policy Students Society (UOSPS) for the 2015-2016 academic year. We wish them success in continuing to establish the presence of the UOSPS on campus. 
The UOSPS is a new student club established in the winter 2015 that is designed to provide young researchers with information about 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 would also like to congratulate the outgoing executive (John Garcia, Alexandre Giroux, and Andrew Wong) for their efforts in making this new club a reality. 

For more information or to become a member of the University of Ottawa Science Policy Association, please send an e-mail to


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ISSP Network Member Activities

ISSP Director Marc Saner will be speaking at the 14th annual meeting of the Science and Democracy Network at Harvard University on June 26th, 2015. The title of his talk will be: "How Transferable is the Science-Policy Interface Design of the US National Research Council and the Council of Canadian Academies?".  The paper associated with his talk is entitled "Punctuated versus Gradual Designs of Science/Policy Interfaces."

Marc Saner also recently co-authored a new paper (with Gary E. Marchant) which was published in the winter 2015 issue of Jurimetrics titled "Proactive International Regulatory Cooperation for Governance of Emerging Technologies". This paper was the outcome of a research contract supported by the Federal Privy Council Office and the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council. 

Marc Saner delivered a lecture titled "The Collingridge Dilemma and the Proactive Governance of Emerging Technologies" at the University of Ottawa on May 7th, 2015. Slides from this lecture are now available.
ISSP Fulbright Canada Scholar Tee Guidotti was chair of the Expert Panel on Wind Turbine Noise and Human Health at the Canadian Council of Academies (CCA). The Assessment Report resulting from this Expert Panel is now available on the CCA's website. 

We want to thank Tee for his contributions to the ISSP as a Fulbright Canada Scholar in the first half of 2015. We wish him luck in his future research and as President-elect of Sigma Xi beginning in July 2015.


ISSP Fellow Gregor Wolbring published a new blog post at Impact Ethics called "Let's Talk About the Ethics Of Germline Modification". This post discusses the need for clarity in the call for public discussion about human germline genetic modification. 

Marc Saner and ISSP Affiliate Rocci Luppicini will be participating in the inaugural meeting of the Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation (VIRI). This meeting will be hosted by the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex in Sussex, England July 14-16, 2015.


ISSP Senior Fellow Margaret McCuaig-Johnston and ISSP research associate Moxi Zhang published a new report entitled "China Embarks on Major Changes in Science and Technology" in June 2015 through the China Institute and University of Alberta.

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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.
SSP News Archive
Editor: Marc Saner
Researcher and Writer: Alin Charrière