COVID-19 has highlighted the extent to which researchers who publicly share their expertise and the results of research face harassment and personal threats. The intimidation of experts has recently garnered significant media attention, but it is a problem that has affected the safety, well-being, and work of those who produce knowledge for some time. There is significant risk not only to researchers, but also to the public if the threat of intimidation prevents researchers from sharing knowledge and expertise.
These risks, and some steps to mitigate them, are articulated in the Royal Society of Canada Policy Briefing on Protecting Expert Advice for the Public.
On February 11, at 2:00 pm EST, the RSC is hosting an hour-long free virtual Town Hall convening the authors of this report to discuss key challenges in ongoing efforts to draw on expert advice to support effective public debate and decision-making to help Canada through, and beyond, the pandemic.
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Professor, Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University
Amanda Clarke, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy & Administration, Carleton University
Howard Ramos, Professor, Department of Sociology, Western University
Julia M. Wright, FRSC, George Munro Chair in Literature and Rhetoric, Department of English, Dalhousie University