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Institute for Science, Society and Policy

Institute for Science, Society and Policy

55 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa (ON), K1N 6N5, Canada

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Work hours
MO 08:30 – 16:30 SA closed
TU 08:30 – 16:30 SU closed
WE 08:30 – 16:30
TH 08:30 – 16:30
FR 08:30 – 16:30
About Based at U of Ottawa, the ISSP carries out research, teaching and outreach on the relationship between society and science, innovation and technology.
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Mission Who We Are

Centered at the University of Ottawa, the Institute for Science, Society and Policy carries out research, teaching and public outreach on the relationship between society and science, innovation and technology.

What Makes Us Different

The ISSP offers a unique, holistic and non-partisan approach to understanding the social implications of science and technology. We’re interested in how to use these different perspectives to inform science and technology policy.

Our Objective is to improve the governance of science, technology and innovation. We’ll do this by integrating research, education and public engagement at every stage of innovation - from developing science policy to improving how it is regulated to understanding its social implications.

Our Long Term Goal is to develop highly-skilled people and top quality research that will inform and improve decision-making about science and technology, both at home and internationally.

What We Do

Conduct research and disseminate its results to relevant decision-makers.
Develop a graduate program as well as executive courses.
Engage the public through outreach activities that help to foster genuine dialogue.
Act as a hub to an extensive network of University of Ottawa faculty and other scholars as well as numerous organizations dedicated to science policy.

How We Work

Holistically. Bringing together disparate disciplines to create a synthesized understanding of complex issues.
Impartially. Our position is non-partisan and neither for nor against new technologies. We aim to ensure that the ethical, regulatory, business and social implications are well understood.

Practically. Helping to shape public policy by proposing concrete options.

On the cutting edge. Investigating emerging technologies that matter today - or will matter tomorrow
Description The Institute for Science, Society and Policy is a cross-faculty Institute at the University of Ottawa exploring the links between science, society and policy.

Our network includes professors, researchers, practitioners and students from multiple faculties and disciplines both inside and outside uOttawa. ISSP conducts research, teaching and outreach.

Our collective expertise spans three areas: science for policy (also known as evidence-based decision making); policy for science; and, governance of emerging technologies.

We currently have two lines of research: Positive Energy and @ Risk.

Positive Energy (2015-2018) uses the convening power of the ISSP and the University of Ottawa to bring together university experts and key decision-makers from industry, government, Indigenous communities, local communities and environmental organizations to determine how energy resources can be developed in a way that garners acceptance and benefits society at large.

The three year project involves a team of researchers delving deeply into the critical success factors underpinning social acceptance and support. These include identifying the root causes underpinning social acceptance (or lack thereof) of energy development, understanding the drivers of local communities' satisfaction with energy project decision-making processes, and how to strengthen confidence in public authorities' roles and relationships in energy.

@ Risk: Strengthening Canada’s Ability to Manage Risk” is a SSHRC / Genome Canada funded two-year research project (2017-2019) that focuses on how to reconcile the tensions inherent in public decision-making in situations where experts and public stakeholders differ in their perceptions of risk, and their preferences on how to mitigate risks. These differences can lead to serious consequences, including putting current societal approaches to risk management themselves at risk. The project features several activities and milestones.

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