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Friday, November 15 • 10:15am - 11:00am
Scientists in the public space: when discussion turns into a media storm (40 min) / Scientifiques dans l'espace public : lorsque la discussion se transforme en tempête médiatique

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Panel Organized by: Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec 

As keepers of knowledge, scientists have a responsibility to inform the public about major societal issues.
However, the debate sometimes turns into a media storm: the discussion becomes polarized and enters such emotional territory that it becomes difficult to demonstrate the value of facts and evidence. Despite their desire to maintain a neutral position, scientists’ discourse can be interpreted as bowing to political pressure and lobbying. How can scientists intervene while maintaining their scientific integrity, their private lives and… their mental health? How can institutions support these watchdogs who play a key role in our society? The panelists have all been called on to intervene in the public space on controversial topics such as health, nutrition, climate change. Some have been pressured, others have received personal or professional threats, but all wish to continue working with the public. They will present one of the most challenging situations they have faced and discuss the best ways to navigate through media turbulence. The discussion will lead to the joint publication of an editorial on the place of scientists, facts and data in public controversies.

avatar for Rémi Quirion

Rémi Quirion

Chief Scientist of Quebec

avatar for Katie Gibbs

Katie Gibbs

Co-founder and Executive Director, Evidence for Democracy
Katie Gibbs is a scientist, organizer and advocate for science and evidence-based policies. While completing her Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa in Biology, she was one of the lead organizers of the ‘Death of Evidence’—one of the largest science rallies in Canadian history... Read More →
avatar for Olivier Bernard

Olivier Bernard

Health Columnist, The Pharmafist
As a professional pharmacist, Olivier Bernard practises since 2004 in a community setting. He holds a master’s degree in research in the field of pharmacogenetics (2006).Since 2012, he has been devoted to scientific communication activities for the general public and for the health... Read More →
avatar for Mehrdad Hariri

Mehrdad Hariri

President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Science Policy Center
Mehrdad Hariri is the founder and CEO of the Canadian Science Policy Centre, leading not-profit HUB for science, technology and innovation policy in Canada. He is also a member of the Innovation Leadership Council (ILC) of Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), a board member... Read More →

Friday November 15, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
Room 3