Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Evidence for Democracy logo

April 2024: Gideon Mordecai

Gideon has highlighted the critical need to keep up the pressure to ensure that science has a voice at the decision-making table. He has worked closely with communities to amplify their voices in public policy, and actively engaged with policy-makers to advocate for an overhaul of federal fishery science advice processes.

About Gideon:

Dr. Gideon Mordecai is a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. His research considers the ecology of viruses, i.e. their interactions with each other, their hosts, and the environment.

Following his PhD in the UK, Gideon moved to Canada for a post-doctoral position at the University of British Columbia in 2016, where he discovered 15 new viruses in salmon. He went on to receive a Liber Ero Fellowship, which supports emerging conservation leaders in Canada. His most recent research applied viral genome sequencing to assess the transmission risk posed to wild Pacific salmon by Atlantic salmon aquaculture in BC.

Gideon became increasingly involved in advocating for science policy and promoting evidence-informed decision-making upon the realization that official government science advice wasn’t capturing the findings of his research. In a recent publication, Gideon and colleagues examined how non-scientific interests shape the “science advice” that Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) provides to decision-makers. They found that problems with DFO’s science advice are structural, and have been calling for changes to the science-advice processes at DFO to ensure that the fisheries-science advice given to Canadian decision makers is scientifically defensible and independent of political influence and industry interests.

Evidence for Democracy’s Evidence Advocates celebrates individuals who demonstrate dedication to promoting evidence-informed decision-making in their communities and beyond. Whether they’re advocating for science, debunking misinformation, or engaging in meaningful dialogue about pressing issues, we want to shine a spotlight on their outstanding efforts.