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Unpacking the Evidence: AI, Climate, and Evidence-Informed Decision-Making

Date: Thursday March 28, 2024

Time: 1:00 PM ET

Evidence for Democracy (E4D) is excited to bring together an exciting panel discussion in celebration of our annual Evidence Day! This engaging session will feature two back-to-back 45-min panels on two of the most pressing issues facing Canadians: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Climate Change. Our expert panelists will explore how evidence and data shape the conversations surrounding these critical issues, providing valuable insights into the use of evidence in decision-making.

Session One: AI
AI continues to evolve and embed itself into the everyday lives of Canadians. This brings up a multitude of questions for our democracy… How will AI impact elections and the political processes? How can we educate the public on the impact of AI? And how can we use evidence and data to inform decisions around AI?

Session Two: Climate Change
Wildfires devastated several regions of our country last summer. How can evidence-informed practice and policies share our approach to wildfire management and prevention? Conversations surrounding the fires were littered with misinformation. How can evidence inform these discussions and steer the narrative towards collective action?

Whether you’re a policymaker, researcher, advocate, or concerned citizen, this event offers an excellent opportunity to stay informed and engaged on issues that matter most.

Panelists

Michelle Bartleman (MJ, Carleton University) is a doctoral candidate of media studies in the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa, where her research focuses on artificial intelligence and journalism, in particular the uptake of automated textual content production at mainstream news media outlets in Canada. She holds a Master of Journalism and previously worked as bilingual multimedia reporter at a number of Canadian news outlets. She is a research assistant with the uOttawa’s Pol Comm Tech Lab, where she is contributor to the Global Journalism Innovation Lab (GJIL), and co-author of a new report, The Political Uses of AI in Canada. She also leads research on data literacy in news media at uOttawa’s newly created Data Literacy Research Institute. Currently, she is a visiting research student to the Digital Media Research Centre at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

Scott DeJong is a PhD candidate in Communication studies at Concordia University studying how games function as media literacy tools. Currently, his FRQSC dissertation connects play to disinformation through creative research practice focused on game design. Most recently witnessed in his boardgame Lizards and Lies, Scott’s past work, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, constructed games on issues of digital literacy and older adult mistreatment. In his free time, Scott co-produces a podcast speaking with scholars and practitioners on the role and design of humour in games and is an active member of the the TAG (technoculture, Arts and Games) Lab, the Applied Ai Institute, and the mLab.

Delta Merner is the lead scientist for the Science Hub for Climate Litigation at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, she provides timely, scientific evidence to support legal cases that hold fossil fuel companies accountable for climate-related damages. Dr. Merner reviews legal communications for scientific accuracy, connects legal teams with technical experts, and leads trainings for scientists working at the intersection of climate science and law. Prior to joining UCS, she was a senior scientist at the American Institute of Physics. Dr. Merner earned a PhD in geography and environmental systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She also holds bachelor of science degrees in geography and environmental science and policy from Clark University. Dr. Merner has been quoted in ABC News, The Guardian, E&E, the Financial Times, the Lancet, NPR, and has written for The Hill and Scientific American.

Jonathan Arnold is the Acting Director of Clean Growth at the Canadian Climate Institute. With a Master’s in public policy, Jonathan’s research expertise cuts across a range of environmental and economic policy issues, including the global low-carbon energy transition, sustainable taxonomies, climate risk and finance, air pollution, and municipal water and waste. Jonathan was a lead author on the Institute’s 2021 report, Sink or Swim, which looked at how Canada can secure its long-term prosperity and competitiveness in the global low-carbon transition, and is also a regular blog contributor. His previous roles include Senior Research Associate with Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission and Economist with Environment Canada.

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