EIUI Team Members Speak about their Research

EIUI team members, Suzuette Soomai, Lee Wilson, and Ian Stewart, recently spoke about their research in several academic and professional settings.


Suzuette Soomai, Post-Doctoral Fellow, spoke about “Elucidating the Role of Scientific Information in Decision-making for Fisheries Management” in the Ocean and Ecosystem Science Seminar Series at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia on 5 February 2016. In this lecture, Suzuette talked about her recent case studies of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. She spoke about the leading drivers, enablers, and barriers in information pathways related to production, communication, and use. Suzuette described important aspects of organizational structure and culture, the different roles of science and decision-making groups, and how scientific uncertainty is addressed in the organizations. The results of this research highlight characteristics of the science-policy interface in fisheries management, which can be used by the three organizations to evaluate and/or modify their practices to strengthen the uptake of information in decision-making.


Lee Wilson, who recently completed his MLIS thesis, spoke about “Bridging the Gap: The Communication of Information in Complex, Multi-Sectoral Networks,” in the Dalhousie Information Management Public Lecture series on 25 January 2016. In this lecture, Lee noted that research has shown that the development of strong communication and information-sharing networks is essential to the success of natural resource developments, particularly those occurring in highly active, and often hotly contested, coastal areas. Lee outlined some of the results of his study that used Social Network Analysis and semi-structured interviews to examine tidal power stakeholder communication networks operating in the Bay of Fundy region of Nova Scotia. He focused on the importance of “bridger” organizations, particularly from the NGO sector, in facilitating the flow and use of information among diverse organizations. A video recording of this lecture is available at this link. On 17 February 2016, Lee also presented the results of his research at a meeting of the Socio-Economic Committee of the Fundy Energy Research Network at Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia.


On 4 February 2016, Dr. Ian Stewart, Department of History of Science and Technology, University of King’s College, spoke about “The ‘Environment’ of Environmental Sciences in Canada: Reflections on Recent Socio-Political Developments, and Why Scientists Should Care” in the Faculty of Science lecture series at Dalhousie University. He focused on the environmental sciences (particularly regarding marine contexts). He reviewed legislation passed during the last decade that many regard as having weakened the role science plays in public life. Ian highlighted some key challenges that the environmental sciences currently face in contributing to goals of “sustainable” development,  notably, the role of science in policy formation, and the way uncertainty within scientific practice is managed in that context. He also set out his own reflections on why these issues matter in a university community of natural scientists, social scientists, engineers, and humanists alike. Ian will also speak about this subject in the seminar series offered by the Institute of the Environment, University of Ottawa, on 23 February 2016.

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