Engineering and Public Policy Roundtables
The Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) and the CAE will be holding a series of round table discussions on science, technology and public policy. The events will bring together academic scientists and engineers, business leaders, senior public servants and other stakeholders for a vigorous discussion and debate on how scientific knowledge and technological expertise should be used by governments to inform the development of legislation, policy and regulation. Participants will consider issues such as:
Following the events, we expect the discussions to lead to a series of articles written by participants in Policy Options magazine, the IRPP’s flagship publication. The first events are scheduled for March 18 in Edmonton, March 19 in Vancouver and March 24 in Halifax.
- How can governments ensure they continue to have the internal capacity to conduct necessary scientific and technological research on matters relevant to public policy?
- How can governments better "keep up" with scientific and technological advancements in academic and business environments, thereby assuring that public policy initiatives reflect the latest scientific knowledge?
- In an era of 24/7 news and social media, to what extent should government scientists be free to engage the public on their work? How does one reconcile that with the parliamentary principle of ministerial accountability? And how should governments be judged on the science and technology they use/not use?
- If the primary function of parliaments and legislatures is to "hold governments to account," how can sitting members get access to the scientific and technological knowledge necessary for an independent assessment of a proposal put to them for a vote by government?
- Reflecting recent debates on the concepts of "evidence-based" public policy versus "evidence-informed" public policy, how do we reconcile political conflicts with the findings of science and technology in making public policy?