Empowering Citizens with Evidence Panel
We hear about evidence in many different parts of our lives. From the words of politicians to product advertisements, “evidence” is commonly cited as a way to justify actions and to persuade. Similarly, we often rely on the evidence available to us to make decisions in our daily lives. But how do we know what evidence is reliable when there is so much misleading information, or where to look when no evidence is provided? Join E4D and Globe and Mail reporter, Carly Weeks, for a conversation with representatives from the Global Commission on Evidence, Science Up First, and The Samara Centre for Democracy, as we discuss how citizens can develop skills to better understand and engage with evidence, and how these skills can be used to contribute to a healthier society and democracy.
Carly Weeks has been an award-winning national health reporter with the Globe and Mail for 15 years. Carly has been at the forefront of the Globe and Mail’s coverage of COVID-19 since January 2020 and continues to write about the impacts of the pandemic on our health system and patient outcomes. Carly has brought national attention to important issues such as lack of access to the abortion pill in Canada and the rise of misinformation leading to attacks on health workers.
Maureen Smith is a citizen leader committed to evidence-based medicine and patient/citizen engagement in research. Her commitment stems from her lived experience with the health system subsequent to a rare disease diagnosis in childhood. Maureen was a Commissioner on the Global Commission on Evidence to Address Societal Challenges, is co-chair of its Citizen Leadership Group and a member of the Evidence Commission's Implementation Council. She is the chair of Cochrane’s Consumer Network Executive and is involved in several global Cochrane projects and advisory committees. In Canada, she is a Board member of the Ontario’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit and chairs its Patient Partner Working Group. Most recently, Maureen was the citizen-partnership lead for the COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-making (COVID-END), a global evidence network to support decision making.
Beatrice is the Research Manager at the Samara Centre for Democracy. She is an experienced mixed methods researcher in the democratic engagement space, having spent the past ten years researching and teaching about youth democratic engagement in Canada, the United States, Ethiopia and Australia. She has worked with organizations such as the National Coalition on Citizenship, Students Learn Students Vote and the Scholars Strategy Network, and served as faculty at Harvard University. Beatrice earned a PhD in History from New York University, holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from McGill College.
Dr. Krishana Sankar is an award winning researcher, trained scientist and a sought after speaker. Since March 2020, she has been sharing accurate scientific information about COVID-19 and the vaccines with different communities in Canada, The United States, Australia and Guyana. She has also spoken about her journey and strategies used to dispel misinformation online during COVID-19 pandemic with organizations including the CDC, NIH, United Nations and the Government of Guyana.
She currently works as the Science Advisor and Community Partnerships Lead for ScienceUpFirst, an initiative of the Canadian Association of Science Centers, collaborating with community partners that serve those in equity-deserving and marginalized populations. A major aim of her work is to remove barriers to access of accurate and relevant information and to tackle misinformation in these groups. Dr. Sankar obtained her PhD at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Medicine.