Evidence for Democracy has had a busy spring!

Spring was a blur for us at E4D!  In addition to planning campus movie screenings, we organized a series of science pub nights and have recently launched our first volunteer newsletter!

This past March and April our volunteers at University of Northern British Columbia, University of Guelph, and University of Ottawa hosted campus screenings of the documentary Merchants of Doubt.  If you haven’t had a chance yet to watch this documentary examining “the history of corporate-financed public relations efforts to sow confusion and skepticism about scientific research,” we highly recommend you do so. It’s now available on Netflix in Canada.

In May, scientists and researchers across Canada came together to celebrate Science Rendezvous — an annual festival celebrating the amazing feats of science and engineering happening right here in our country! Evidence for Democracy joined in the festivities this year, by launching a series of Science Pub Nights from coast to coast.

Turnout was amazing! Canadians in Vancouver, Kingston, Guelph, Ottawa, and Halifax packed rooms on a Saturday night to talk about the importance of science, facts, and evidence to our democracy. Discussion included, but wasn’t limited to: research funding, muzzling of scientists, innovation, and transparent government. It is clear that these issues are still of importance to Canadians months after the federal election.

The University of Ottawa and Carleton University chapters of E4D organized an engaging panel discussion featuring Dr. Scott Findlay and Dr. Kristin Baetz, and drew a large crowd of almost 40 people!

Organized by our volunteers at Queen’s University, the folks at the Kingston pub event brainstormed how early-career researchers can better navigate the intersection between policy and research to ensure their research is impactful. Meanwhile, attendees of the Guelph Science Pub Night (organized by the University of Guelph chapter of E4D) went over the federal budget and dissected its funding for science.

Out west, our Vancouver pub night attracted humanists in addition to practicing scientists, while on our east-coast, Halifax participants enthusiastically voiced the idea of having a Science Pub Night meet-up every month. We think that’s a great idea!

In June, to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our local volunteers, we hosted an “almost-summer get-together” at E4D’s headquarters in Ottawa! We ate, drank, laughed, and hatched many a plan — including a plan to create trivia for a Canadian Science Trivia night!

And just this week, we launched our very first volunteer newsletter! A lot of hard work went into producing it, but we also recognize that as the first of what will a series of quarterly publications, it is a work in progress, and we are looking forward to seeing how the newsletter evolves over time. We’d love to get your feedback on what you think of the newsletter - what works, what doesn’t, and what information do you think we should include?

Looking forward, our volunteers are gearing up for Science Literacy Week! We are working on planning several events across Canada from September 19th - 25th, including another series of Science Pub Night events, Science Cafes, and Science Trivia Nights. Stay tuned to learn more — or get in touch if you’d like to help us plan an event!

Suman Gupta

Engagement Organizer

Suman Gupta joined Evidence for Democracy to help advance E4D's election plans. She holds an M.Sc. in biology from Acadia University and has contributed to research in the fields of plant physiology, entomology, value-added product development, and bird conservation.