How did a grassroots movement put science in the spotlight in Canada?

Monday, July 18, 2022 - 12:06

In our first case study on evidence-informed decision-making in Canada, we explore how E4D sparked a grassroots movement to restore the role of science in Canada’s political culture.

This month, E4D reached a major milestone: the ten year anniversary of the Death of Evidence — the rally that sparked a movement to stand up for science in public policy and united thousands of people across the country. 

At a time when science was willfully excluded from policy decisions, research sites were shuttered, and government scientists were barred from speaking publicly, the 2012 nation-wide event was a rallying cry for Canadian scientists and their supporters to stand up for what was missing — evidence-informed policy, transparency, and scientific integrity. 

The Death of Evidence was instrumental in bringing the value of evidence-informed decision-making to the forefront of Canada’s democracy. In the decade since, E4D has continued advocating for a culture that values the contributions of scientific evidence to public policy, empowering scientists to move their own research into policy, and investigating the state of science integrity and transparency in Canada.

Heading into our 10th year as an organization, we took this opportunity to look back on the challenges and achievements of the past decade. The result is a case study that walks you through E4D’s history, exploring events from 2006 to present day, to understand what worked and what other jurisdictions can learn and apply to their own grassroots organizing. We built a community of science supporters from the ground up, and together, we’ve become a leading voice for evidence-informed policy in Canada.

This case study was made possible thanks to the generous support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Read the case study here!


Rachael Maxwell

Executive Director (On leave until October 2023)

Rachael Maxwell joins Evidence for Democracy with a deep knowledge of the science landscape in Canada and a strong track record of success working at national not-for-profit research organizations. From 2018-21 she held progressively responsible roles at Genome Canada, working across the organization on key priorities in communications, public affairs and strategic planning.