IOG's Policy Crunch : Disruption and Convergence in Public Policy and Governance event series:

Renegotiating the Social Contract Between Science and Society - Policy Crunch

Half day eventIn Ottawa, ON
  • November 12, 20195:30pm - 7:30pm
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The postwar social contract between science and society – i.e., society provides public funding and a high degree of autonomy to the scientific community in exchange for the considerable but unpredictable benefits that science can provide to society -- is under strain. While science is needed more than ever to help address societal challenges and opportunities, our approach to funding, generating, assessing and mobilizing science and science advice must evolve to remain relevant in a ‘post-truth’ context. This new initiative will explore the role science can and should play in a modern economy, and seeks to reaffirm the contributions that science provides – by generating new knowledge, talent, innovation and evidence for decision making -- while exploring a new, strengthened relationship with civil society.


  • Rob Annan, Genome Canada
  • Rees Kassen, University of Ottawa
  • Rhonda Moore, IOG
  • Jeff Kinder, IOG (Moderator)
Social Contract Poster

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Rob Annan

Rob Annan

Vice-President, Public Affairs and Communications, at Genome Canada

Dr. Annan joined Genome Canada in 2017. As a key member of the executive team, Dr. Annan drives an open and collaborative strategy that promotes the value and potential of genomics in Canada to major stakeholders. Prior to joining Genome Canada, Dr. Annan spent seven years at Mitacs as Chief Research Officer, helping build a Canadian success story in the development and delivery of policy-driven innovation programs.

Dr. Annan is a Fellow of the Public Policy Forum, where he focuses on research and innovation policy. Dr. Annan volunteers on the Board of Directors for Let’s Talk Science, a national charity dedicated to increasing STEM literacy among K-12 students. He has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from McGill University and undergraduate degrees in English from Queen’s University and in Biology from the University of Victoria.

Rees Kassen

Rees Kassen

University of Ottawa

Rees Kassen is a leading researcher, educator, and author in evolutionary biology. Rees has also played leading roles at the interface between science, society, and policy as Chair of the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE;, an association of 26 professional and scientific organizations acting on behalf of over 60,000 members from academia, industry and government in Canada, and as a founder and Co-Chair of the Global Young Academy (, an international organization of early-career researchers acting as the voice of young scientists around the world. Rees completed his PhD at McGill University and then went on to an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship and Elizabeth Wordsworth Research Fellowship at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. He is currently Full Professor and Cystic Fibrosis Canada Researcher at the University of Ottawa. He is a member of the Banff Forum (2015) and was a Leopold Leadership Fellow (2013), NSERC Steacie Fellow (2010), and a World Economic Forum Young Scientist (2010- 2012).

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