We live in a world increasingly defined by disruption and complexity. This is a show about the forces that are reshaping the 21st century—from information warfare to climate change to gene editing—brought to life through accessible discussions with Canadian thought leaders.
The implicit arrangement between science and society—funding and autonomy in exchange for substantial but unpredictable benefits—is under strain. Canadians are increasingly skeptical that scientists conduct themselves ethically, or that the government is capable of regulating disruptive technologies.
Jeff Kinder discusses what a reinvigorated social contract between science and society could look like, and how finding new ways to involve the public scientific priorities could help to restore public confidence.
Contact the Institute on Governance
Keeping global temperatures to safe levels will require unlikely and disruptive discoveries from unexpected places. Medicine is a promising frontier.
Kin Chan discusses his medical research on DNA damage and cancer, and explains how an enzyme that he discovered could eventually help pave the way for a new generation of low-carbon fuels.
Mechanisms of Mutagenesis by Kin Chan
A melting Arctic is opening up Canadian waters and coastlines to the world. Canada needs a vision for how it will handle this new activity and build out the necessary infrastructure in previously inaccessible locations.
Jackie Dawson explains what a Canadian vision for the Arctic might include, and what makes crafting policy for Canada’s North such a unique challenge.
Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate by the IPCC
The Arctic is warming at twice the global average. In the Canadian Arctic, it's three times the global average.
Jackie Dawson explains the scale of this transformation, and what a melting Arctic means for the future of trade, geopolitics, and Northern communities.
Climate change is the ultimate disruptor. On timescales that matter for people alive today, it’s a question of slowing climate change down rather than “solving” or “fixing” it. Geoengineering might be our most drastic option.
Jason Blackstock explains the potential scientific and geopolitical implications of geoengineering, and explores future scenarios that will influence the public perception of the technology.
Geoengineering the Climate: Science, Governance and Uncertainty by the Royal Society
The Planet Remade by Oliver Morton
Publications from the International Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies
Time for a Global Discussion on Climate Geoengineering by Janos Pasztor
Nations constantly make decisions about national security in the face of uncertainty or incomplete information. The outcomes of these decisions are often unpredictable, and success is often invisible.
Mark Salter explains how the national security apparatus is built to withstand disruption and why Canadians’ sense of what constitutes a national security threat is a reflection of our culture and values.
Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor by Rob Nixon
The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
Misinformation is influencing public opinion, decision making, and even geopolitics. And it’s not just coming from Facebook and Twitter—it’s coming from our political leaders. Yet our ability to detect misinformation is diminishing.
Kimberly Girling discusses the disruptive influence of misinformation on societies, and explains what individuals can do to help stem the tide of misinformation.
Why I’m done saying ‘fake news’ by Katie Gibbs
Truth Toolkit: How to Combat Misinformation by Evidence for Democracy
Too Dumb for Democracy? by David Moscrop
Canada-China relations are in uncharted territory. To understand the current tangle of trade disputes and hostage diplomacy, it helps to go back to the beginning.
Margaret McCuaig-Johnston traces Canada's relationship with China back to the establishment of formal diplomatic ties in 1970, discusses China's scientific ambitions, and lays out the stakes of Huawei's 5G bid.
The Third Revolution by Elizabeth Economy
Two Tears on the Window by Julia and Kevin Garratt
Big data can dramatically improve decision-making, but the design and imagining of what we can and should use big data for is happening largely outside of the purview of public debate.
Kelly Bronson explains big data's arrival in the public sphere and—using Canada’s agricultural sector as case study—discusses how the use of big data is pushing us towards specific types of food production, and how more inclusive and effective use of big data can produce better social outcomes.
Custodians of the Internet by Tarleton Gillespie
Surveillance Capitalism By Shoshana Zuboff
Automating Inequality by Virginia Eubanks
The Immaculate Conception of Data by Kelly Bronson (forthcoming)
We live in an era of information abundance. But converting information into knowledge and applying that knowledge to improve society are massive tasks.
Marc Saner explains the challenge of turning increasingly complex scientific knowledge into tangible benefits, what it means to seek knowledge responsibly, and how Canada can better use expertise to make decisions in the public interest.
Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa
Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen