Lunch and Learn - Taking Science into Policy – Case Studies and Discussion

4 day courseIn Ottawa, ON
This course has no upcoming sessions scheduled.

Government has made a commitment to evidence-based policy. Ministers’ Mandate Letters identify a number of Government priorities which require consideration of science in policy such as climate change, clean energy and the environment, promoting public health, protecting freshwater, legalizing marijuana, and supporting our resource sectors in operating in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Responding to the challenge, the IOG has a number of courses and programs aimed at closing the science-policy gap, and is now offering a unique offering to complement those courses.

The IOG is again hosting four Lunch and Learn sessions where those in both the policy and science spheres can discuss and learn from case studies. Case studies will come from two sources: participants, who will have the opportunity to bring their own challenges for discussion and from the IOG.

Who is hosting the events?

Dr. Karen Dodds is former ADM (2011-2016), Science and Technology, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and former ADM (2008-2011), Strategic Policy Branch, Health Canada. Dr. Dodds has considerable experience and success in the science-policy realm. She led the preparations for the November 2015 briefing to the Prime Minister, First Ministers and Cabinet Ministers on the science of climate change. She was Health Canada’s lead in the response to the May 2003 finding of an Alberta cow with Mad Cow Disease as Director General, Food Directorate at the time. She has played critical, often leading, roles in other science-policy issues including the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, use of genetically-modified organisms, air quality and nutrition labelling.

How will the events work?

Each science-policy lunch will review, discuss and develop one or two case studies. In each session, participants will play a more active role, moving from providing input and comments, to table-top exercises and summaries.

Participants will be able to bring their own issues for a Chatham-house rules conversation. Or, current science issues will be tabled that will provide participants with a thorough knowledge of what kinds of scientific questions need to be considered as scientific findings are brought into policy development and what kind of policy questions need to be addressed.

Topics are:

Session 1. Introduction, BSE (Mad Cow Disease) - October 3, 2018
Session 2. Climate change, H1N1 pandemic of 2009 - October 10, 2018
Session 3. Microplastics, Genetically-modified foods & Nanotechnology - October 17, 2018
Session 4. Clean Energy, Oil Spills, Other, wrap-up - October 24, 2018

Why you should attend

Considering the policy perspectives will help the scientific community share the relevance and importance of their work with their policy colleagues, always critical in budget discussions. Discussing the scientific perspective will help the policy community understand some of the constraints of science and the viewpoints of scientists. Even the Government commitment to broad collaboration and meaningful consultation can challenge scientists who are most comfortable discussing their work with other scientists.

Attention will be given to the language used when discussing science with non-scientists and vice-versa, and to making material appropriate for Ministerial review.

What you will gain

  • The ability to make science relevant to non-scientists.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the breadth of scientific and policy-relevant questions that should be addressed as science issues are brought forward to stakeholders, Deputies and Ministers.
  • The ability to position science issues appropriately for potential discussion with Ministers.

Contact Heather at or at 613 562-0090 x200 for help registering for the series.

Who should attend?

Typical attendee profile(s):

Science Policy Participants, Senior Level Public Servants, Senior Policy Analysts

Participants who have attended Science Policy 101, Science Policy 201 or Science Policy 301 will find these sessions useful for revisiting the lessons learned from the programs through group discussions under the leadership of Dr. Dodds.

Senior level public servants from science sectors (EX 2s, 1s, EX minus 1) and senior policy analysts (EC 8, 7) who are often called upon to brief on science issues, to relate the relevance of science performed to departmental or agency mandates, to discuss science with stakeholders, including parliamentarians will also find the series invaluable.

Communications specialists in SBDAs may also find the sessions helpful.

What's included

Expert facilitation and lunch.

Course fee(s)

$200 per attendee

As a not-for-profit organization, the IOG does not charge HST.

Registration is done through an online registration system where you can select to pay by credit card or request an invoice.

Group discounts

If you have more than one person attending, you may be eligible for a group discount. Contact François Gagnon for details at 613-562-0090 x202 or

Main contact

613-562-0090 x200
4 day courseIn Ottawa, ON
This course has no upcoming sessions scheduled.

The IOG value-added

All IOG courses are prepared and taught by those who have held senior positions in the federal government. They are guided by a Learning Committee of senior federal government public servants.

For those who wish to have an adapted course that is specific to their issues and requirements, customized course offerings can be delivered on request for branches, teams or groups, in English or French in any part of the country.

The IOG also offers the Coaching Circle, to assist executives and officers at all levels of government as well as non-profit and other organizations in the development of their leadership skills.

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