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Hi! I’m E4D’s new research assistant

Hello everyone! My name is Charlee Heath and I am really excited to be joining the Evidence for Democracy team as a Research Assistant. Despite the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, I am fortunate to be joining the team (virtually) through funding from Canada Summer Jobs.

I want to acknowledge how fortunate I am to be celebrating a new job amidst the current global health crisis. As we all grapple with the challenges posed by COVID-19, the importance of using evidence and science in decision-making, especially in health policy, becomes evident and I am excited to be working with an organization that pushes for science- and evidence-based decision-making. In this new role, I plan to listen and learn as much as possible from my peers and from the science community in order to make a positive impact.

Charlee Heath speaking at a podium.

I will be working with Tej on a new research project on the current state of misinformation and disinformation research in Canada. This research will help identify potential policy solutions aimed at reducing the impact of online misinformation and ensuring the science community in Canada is best equipped to combat misinformation. Misinformation is a growing threat to the integrity of our democratic process and to the science community. Our current efforts to mitigate the danger of COVID-19 have exposed how misinformation can pose a direct threat to people’s health and safety and how difficult it can sometimes be to decipher what is true and what isn’t, especially online. I hope to build from this research with some useful resources on combating misinformation as the project evolves- stay tuned!

A little bit about me: I recently graduated from a Joint Honours in Communications and Political Science at the University of Ottawa. During my undergrad, I worked as a research assistant for the Digital Ecosystem Research Challenge under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Dubois. This project convened 18 research teams from across the country to study the media landscape leading up to Canada’s 2019 federal election and underscored the importance of bringing researchers together to collaborate and form a community.

Previous work with Polar Knowledge Canada and with the Canadian International Arctic Centre in Norway has sparked my interest in science policy. In these roles, I learned the importance of bridging the gap between scientists, policy-makers, and the general public. With Polar Knowledge Canada I organized the Women in Northern Science panel discussion at the 2018 ArcticNet Annual Scientific meeting convening over 200 participants to improve diversity and accessibility in Northern science. I hope to continue to champion and amplify the voices of diverse scientists in this new role and am continually learning how to do this best.

I am looking forward to learning, growing, and working with a great group of people and to be part of the effort to push for increased government transparency and evidence-based decision-making.

I will be with E4D all summer! Feel free to reach out:

Charlee Heath smiles as she sits in an audience.

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