Unless something really exciting happens, this will be my last post about the upcoming 2023 (and 15th annual) Canadian Science Policy Conference. I will be highlighting a few of the sessions but, first, there’s this from an October 26, 2023 Canadian Science Policy Centre announcement (received via email),
Only Two Weeks Left to Register for CSPC [Canadian Science Policy Conference] 2023!
Only two weeks left to register for CSPC 2023! The deadline to register is Friday, November 10th! With the overarching theme of ‘Science and Innovation in a Time of Transformation’ CSPC 2023 expects more than 1000 participants, 300+ speakers in 50+ panel sessions, and will include a spectacular Gala Dinner featuring its award ceremony which has become a signature annual event to celebrate Canadian science and innovation policy achievements.
CSPC 2023 will feature more than 300 amazing speakers. To view the list of speakers, click here, and here are some of the international speakers:
Multiple ticket discounts are also available. CSPC offers a 5% discount on groups of 5-9 registrations and a 10% discount for 10 registrations or more. Please note GROUP REGISTRATION DISCOUNTS are available until Friday, November 10th. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Register now by clicking the button below!
View the CSPC 2023 Program and Speakers List!
The biggest and most comprehensive annual Science and Innovation Policy Conference, CSPC 2023, is fast approaching! Explore more than 60 concurrent and plenary panel sessions. Navigate the CSPC 2023 Program: the Interactive Agenda is available here, and the Agenda at a Glance can be viewed here.
There are four sessions that seem particularly interesting to me. First, from the session webpage,
804 – Discussion between Dr. Mona Nemer and Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, moderated by Dr. Alejandro Adem
Monday, November 13, 20231:00 PM – 2:00 PM
This year’s CSPC opening panel will bring together two of North America’s most recognized science leaders for a discussion about their experience in the Canadian and U.S research landscape. Panelists will discuss the importance of societally-relevant science, broadening participation in science, the increasing need for open science, and science & technology in green economic development, as well as their vision for the role of science in international relations.
Organized by: Canada Research Coordinating Committee
Dr. Alejandro Adem
President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Dr. Mona Nemer
Canada’s Chief Science Advisor, Government of Canada
Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan
Computer Scientist and Engineer
15th Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)
Second, from the session webpage,
901 – The new challenges of information in parliaments
Monday, November 13, 20232:30 PM – 4:00 PM
In a democratic environment, members of parliament work with information gathered from parliamentary staff, media, lobbies and experts. With the aim of maintaining a strong democracy, parliaments around the world have developed mechanisms to facilitate access to high-quality information for elected representatives, with variations according to continent, language and culture. This panel proposes an overview of these mechanisms including a discussion on emerging issues impacting them, such as the integration of artificial intelligence and the risks of digital interference in democratic processes.
Organized by: Fonds de recherche du Quebec
Interestingly, the Canadian Science Policy Centre recently published a research report titled “Survey of Parliamentarians; Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Use of Science in Policy Making,” you can my comments about it in my October 13, 2023 posting.
Third, from the session webpage,
277 – Science for Social Justice: Advancing the agenda set by the 2022 Cape Town World Science Forum
Tuesday, November 14, 202310:30 AM – 12:00 PM
South Africa had hosted the 10th World Science Forum (WSF), a platform for global science policy dialogue, in Cape Town in December 2022. The WSF is co-organised by a partnership involving global science organisations including UNESCO, the AAAS and the International Science Council, and Hungarian Academy of Science. The theme of the 2022 WSF was “Science for Social Justice.” During a week of intense debate more than 3000 participants from across the world debated the role of science in advancing social justice. This session will review the outcomes of the Forum, including the WSF Declaration on Science for Social Justice.
Organized by: South African Department of Science and Innovation
The fourth and final session to be mentioned here, from the session webpage,
910 – Canada’s Quantum potential : critical partnerships and public policy to advance Canada’s leadership in Quantum science and technology.
Tuesday, November 14, 202310:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Canada’s early commitment to invest in Quantum research and technology has made our nation one of the global leaders in that field, and the $360 million earmarked over a seven-year period to foster the National Quantum Strategy (NQS) is a testament to Canada’s leadership ambition in the future. This panel discussion will address the ever-evolving field of quantum science and technology and offer a unique opportunity to explore its policy dimensions including the current state of the field, its advancements and potential applications, and the overall impact of quantum innovations across various sectors. It will explore the transformative impact of quantum science and technologies, and the quantum revolution 2.0 on society, from diverse expert perspectives, using examples such as the impact of quantum computing on drug discovery or financial modelling, as well as discussing the ethical considerations and potential for misuse in surveillance or disinformation campaigns. This panel will examine a variety of policy and social implications of Quantum technologies, including the impact of foundational research and training, approaches to support Quantum industries at their development stages, risks, obstacles to commercialization, and opportunities for better inclusion.
Organized by: University of Ottawa
Dr. Khabat Heshami
Research Officer at the National Research Council Canada [NRC]
Council of Canadian Academies
Professor Ebrahim Karimi
Co-Director the Nexus for Quantum Technologies Research Institute
University of Ottawa
Professor Ghassan Jabbour
Canada Research Chair in Engineered Advanced Materials and Devices
University of Ottawa – Faculty of Engineering
Chief Operating Officer
Research Fellow of the University of Ottawa Research Chair in Technology and Society
A few comments
I have highlighted speakers from two of the sessions as I’m going to make a few comments. Dr. Mona Nemer who’s part of the opening panel discussion and Canada’s Chief Science Advisor and Dr. Mehrdad Hariri, the founder and current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Canadian Science Policy Centre, which organizes the conference, are both from a region that is experiencing war.
I imagine this is a particularly difficult time for many people in Canada whose family and friends are from the various communities in that region. Along with many others, I hope one day there is peace for everyone. For anyone who might want a little insight into the issues, there’s an October 15, 2023 CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio programme segement on ‘The Sunday Magazine with Piya Chattopadhyay’,
How to maintain solidarity in Canadian Jewish and Palestinian communities
The events in Israel and Gaza in the last week have sparked high levels of grief, pain and outrage, deepening long-simmering divides in the region and closer to home. For years, Raja Khouri and Jeffrey Wilkinson have embarked on a joint project to bring North American Palestinian and Jewish communities together. They join Piya Chattopadhyay to discuss how the events of the last week are challenging that ongoing mission in Canada… and how to strive for solidarity in a time of grief and trauma.
You can find the almost 22 mins. programme here. Khouri’s and Wilkinson’s book, “The Wall Between: What Jews and Palestinians Don’t Want to Know about Each Other” was published on October 3, 2023 just days before the initial Hamas attacks,
The Wall Between is a book about the wall that exists between Jewish and Palestinian communities in the Diaspora. Distrust, enmity, and hate are common currencies. They manifest at university campuses, schools and school boards, at political events, on social media, and in academic circles. For Jews, Israel must exist; for Palestinians, the historic injustice being committed since 1948 must be reversed. Neither wants to know why the Other cannot budge on these issues. The wall is up.
These responses emanate, primarily, from the two “metanarratives” of Jews and Palestinians: the Holocaust and the Nakba. Virtually every response to the struggle, from a member of either community, can be traced back to issues of identity, trauma, and victimhood as they relate to their respective metanarrative. This book examines the role that propaganda and disinformation play in cementing trauma-induced fears for the purpose of making the task of humanizing and acknowledging the Other not just difficult, but almost inconceivable. The authors utilize recent cognitive research on the psychological and social barriers that keep Jews and Palestinians in their camps, walled off from each other. They present a clear way through, one that is justice-centered, rather than trauma-and propaganda-driven.
The authors have lived these principles and traveled this journey, away from their tribal traumas, through embracing the principles of justice. They insist that commitment to the Other means grappling with seemingly incompatible narratives until shared values are decided and acted upon. This book is a call to justice that challenges the status quo of Zionism while at the same time dealing directly with the complex histories that have created the situation today. The book is both realistic and hopeful—a guide for anyone who is open to new possibilities within the Israel-Palestine discourse in the West.
Also, thank you to Dr. Nemer and Dr. Hariri for the science policy work they’ve done here in Canada and their efforts to expand our discussions.
On a much lighter note, the ‘quantum session’ panel is dominated by academics from the University of Ottawa, a policy wonk from Ottawa, and a representative from a company based in Toronto (approximately 450 km from Ottawa by road). Couldn’t the panel organizers have made some effort to widen geographical representation? This seems particularly odd since the policy wonk (Jeff Kinder) is currently working with the Canadian Council of Academies’ Expert Panel on the Responsible Adoption of Quantum Technologies, which does have wider geographical representation.
This CSPC 2023 panel also seems to be another example of what appears to be a kind of rivalry between D-Wave Systems (based in the Vancouver area) and Xanadu Quantum Technologies (Toronto-based) or perhaps another east-west Canada rivalry. See my May 4, 2021 posting (scroll down to the ‘National Quantum Strategy’ subhead) for an overview of sorts of the seeming rivalry; there’s my July 26, 2022 posting for speculation about Canada’s quantum scene and what appears to be an east/west divide; and for a very brief comment in my April 17, 2023 posting (scroll down to the ‘The quantum crew’ subhead.)
As for the conference itself, there’s been a significant increase in conference registration fees this year (see my July 28, 203 posting) and, for the insatiable, there’s my March 29, 2023 posting featuring the call for submissions and topic streams.