K12 - Workshop: Science, Evidence and Policy (2)
Date: May 31 | Time: 02:00pm to 03:30pm | Location: Classroom - CL 427 Room ID:15793
Chair/Président/Présidente : Peggy Schmeiser (University of Saskatchewan)
Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Mathieu Ouimet (Université Laval)
Why Evidence?: Public Health Conceptions of Politics: Patrick Fafard (University of Ottawa)
Abstract: Evidence-based (or evidence-informed) policy making is often described as the optimal form of policy making, particularly among those with training in the natural sciences, engineering and medicine. In fact, for such scientists it is difficult to imaging any other form of policy making. A likely reason for this is that scientific evidence is seen as a bulwark against policy based on ‘politics’ or ‘ideology’ where the latter are deemed to be negative influences leading to sub-optimal outcomes. In order to begin to explore this hypothesis, this paper reports on a research project designed to empirically test how public health researchers conceive of ‘politics’ and ‘ideology’. The project involves a survey of the public health research literature and an evaluation of the description and depiction of politics, political parties, and ideology in public health research.
Intersecting Community-based Participatory Research, Citizen Science and System Science: Can This Approach Influence Population Health Policy Changes?: Tarun Katapally (University of Regina)
Abstract: The aim of this perspective paper is to explore potential of the intersection of community-based participatory research (CBPR), citizen science (CS), and system science (SS) in influencing changes in health-promoting population health policies at the city level. CBPR has a strong history of building community capacity via equitable engagement of key stakeholders, and its platform has widened beyond effecting changes in communities to include policy advocacy. Nevertheless, for CBPR to influence policy change, there needs to be a deeper analysis of how and why empirical evidence can speak to political power. CS could offer a valuable approach in how and why empirical evidence could matter in effecting policy change. In CS, participants termed “citizen scientists,” actively engage in the research process to co-create knowledge that can speak to political power because citizen scientists are potential voters. In recent years, the successful spread of “virtual CS” due to the ubiquitous presence of citizen-owned Internet-connected devices, allows researchers to gather large quantities of complex longitudinal data. Both CBRP and CS could benefit from SS, which provides analytic approaches to study dynamic and interrelated forces that drive health inequities, which population health policies aim to minimize. SS methodologies enable investigators to examine the interrelationships of system components, which span multiple levels of analysis (e.g., from cells to society). SS requires the input of large quantities of complex and diverse data, and thus could be complimentary to virtual community-based participatory-CS, which can provide dedicated large-scale longitudinal data required for SS analyses.
The Future of sSem Cell Research and Its Clinical Translation in Canada: Exploring Questions of Governance and Policy Options: Amy Zarzeczny (University of Regina)
Abstract: Stem cell research is a promising area of biomedical research with tremendous potential for increasing our understanding of human development and for improving clinical treatment options across a range of serious conditions. However, it has historically also been a complex field, both scientifically and ethically. It raises numerous policy tensions including those related to the acceptability of different forms of research in the field and, more recently, regarding how to respond to the rapidly growing private market for clinical applications that lack broadly recognized evidence of safety and efficacy. Drawing on the results of a collaborative research project that involved a series of multidisciplinary policy workshops, this paper explores questions of governance and policy options as they relate to the future of stem cell research and its clinical translation in Canada. Key areas of inquiry include the roles (and influence) of evidence, scientific/clinical imperatives and public pressure on policy decisions, as well as the role of regulation in managing risks and scientific/clinical uncertainty in fast moving fields of biomedicine. Examining these questions in a Canadian context is particularly timely at present given the emerging domestic private market for stem cell-based interventions coupled with scientific developments in the field that are highlighting ambiguities and other challenges with our current regulatory framework.