Dialogue on Knowledge and Democracy Series

Lay Summary 

There is pervasive and growing unease in many sectors in Canada about our institutional capacity to produce the knowledge required to sustain a healthy democracy and to provide the foundation for sound policies and practices. Such ability is essential if we are to respond to the profound local and global challenges of the 21st century. At the beginning of the 21st century, the legitimacy and complexity of careful and informed knowledge production have come into question. Furthermore, major changes are underway within and between government, universities, media and civil society in the absence of an informed discussion about what kinds of institutions, capabilities and resources will be required in Canada in the future. This gap is a fundamental problem that could jeopardize this country's democratic governance, as well as equity, sustainability and future prosperity. The Atlantic Royal Society, CBC Ideas, Memorial University Dialogue on Knowledge and Democracy series of events held at Memorial from October 6-9th, 2015 was designed to help fill this gap. The series of events included a) an inaugural film competition and screening of the winning films with a documentary and commentary by Memorial Sociologist Mark Stoddart; b) two invited speakers, Professor Harry Collins from Cardiff University and Professor Sheila Jasanoff from Harvard each of whom gave public lectures on science and democracy followed by a reception; c) a lunchtime music showcase and dialogue around the place of music in democracy; d) and a one-day multi-stakeholder workshop where panel members and workshop participants were invited to discuss knowledge and democracy in Canada, past and present; explored the nature of expertise and what is its place in a 21st century democracy; and discussed the knowledge institutions we need for democracy in Canada in the 21st century. The two public lectures were video recorded and copies will be posted to the Royal Society of Canada Youtube Channel when they are ready. The lectures were moderated by Paul Kennedy, host of CBC Ideas, and lectures and related interviews with the speakers and footage from the multi-stakeholder workshop will form the basis for 2 upcoming Ideas episodes that are scheduled to be aired on December 16th and 17th, 2015.

Quick Start Fund For Public Engagement
St. John's
Newfoundland and Labrador
Start date 
6 Oct 2015
End date 
5 Oct 2015