The Lives of Evidence National Lecture Series

Mon., Feb. 3, 2014, 4:00pm - Wed., Apr. 16, 2014, 5:00pm

The Lives of Evidence National Lecture Series
See links to all parts below.

Many questions are raised in light of the recent warnings about the “the death of evidence” and "War on Science". What do we mean by “evidence”? How is evidence interpreted, represented and communicated? How do we create trust in research? What's the relationship between research, funding and policy? Between evidence, explanations and expertise?

These are but some of the questions explored in the Situating Science national lecture series The Lives of Evidence. The national Situating Science project ( and supporters are launching a multi-part national lecture series examining the cultural, ethical, political, and scientific role of evidence in our world, all of which impact citizens.

“Recent concerns about transparency, conflicts between experts, political interference in the scientific process, and dire warnings about the ‘death of evidence’,” says Situating Science Director Gordon McOuat, “have made it all the more crucial that we examine the origins, meaning and trust in our concepts of ‘evidence’. This lecture series will bring multiple perspectives - historical, philosophical, ethical, scientific - to explore our understanding of evidence and why so much is hinged on ‘getting it right’.”

A December symposium, “Hype in Science”, marked the soft launch of The Lives of Evidence national lecture series. In the all-day public event in Halifax, leading scientists, publishers and historians and philosophers of science discussed several case studies of how science is misrepresented and over-hyped in top science journals. They explored issues of trustworthiness in science publications, scientific authority, science communication, and the place of research in the broader public.

Active Canadian research in the humanistic study of science has been particularly interested in the social, cultural, ethical and political aspects of scientific and technological method and exchange, questioning dominant models of thought and underlying assumptions. Traveling across Canada, The Lives of Evidence national lecture series will bring together scientists, science policy analysts, leading philosophers and anthropologists of science to discuss the origins, meaning and future of evidence, its contexts, uses and implications.

Much like the highly successful Trust in New Sciences and Science and its Publics national lecture series before it, we expect The Lives of Evidence series to draw in large and diverse audiences of specialists from various disciplines, students and members of the wider public.

All events will be open to the public, recorded and some will be streamed live online on our website. Stay tuned!

The Press and the Press Release: Inventing the Crystal Meth-HIV Connection
Cindy Patton, Canada Research Chair in Community, Culture, and Health
Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University
Monday, February 3 2014, 4 PM
Buchanan A201, University of British Columbia, 1866 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC

February 5, 2014 4 PM CST
Room 18, Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan, 25 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Watch live here! (5 PM ET)

An Atypical Suicide: Psychiatric Research Abuse at the University of Minnesota

Carl Elliot, Professor of Pediatrics and Philosophy, Centre for Bioethics, University of Minnesota
Friday, Feb. 28 2014, 12 PM
Room 104, Weldon Law Building, Dalhousie University, 6061 University Ave.
Halifax, NS
Watch live online here! (You will be prompted to enter a username)

Governing in the Dark: Evidence, Accountability and the Future of Canadian
Scott Findlay, Co-founder Evidence for Democracy and Associate Professor of Biology, University of Ottawa.
Wednesday, March 5 2014, 7:30 PM
Ondaatje Hall, McCain Building, Dalhousie University, 6135 University Ave.,
Halifax, NS
Watch live online here!

Patents, Progress and Commercialized Medicine
Jim Brown, Professor of Philosophy at University of Toronto
Thursday, March 20 2014, 7:30 PM
Alumni Hall, New Academic Building, University of King’s College, 6350 Coburg Rd., Halifax, NS
Watch live online here!

Those Who Have the Gold Make the Evidence: The Pharmaceutical Industry and Clinical Trials

Joel Lexchin, Professor, School of Health Policy and Management, York University
Thursday, April 10 2014, 7 pm
Room 2130, David Chu Centre, Western Student Services Building, Western university, 1151 Richmond St.,
London, ON
Watch live online here!

From the ‘Bankruptcy of Science’ to the ‘Death of Evidence’: Science and its Value
Stathis Psillos, Rotman Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Science, Department of Philosophy, Western University
Thursday, April 10 2014, 5 PM
Rm 4101, 4th floor, Desmarrais Building, University of Ottawa, 55 Laurier Ave. East
Ottawa, Ont.

Evidence: Wanted Dead or Alive

Wednesday, April 16 2014,  5 PM
Room 001, Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, 75 Queen's Park Crescent,
Toronto, Ont.
Watch live online! 

Stay tuned for more information!