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Canadian Science Policy Centre | Book Session: Peter Phillip & David Castle / Wendell Wallach

Book Session: Peter Phillip & David Castle / Wendell Wallach

Conference Day: 
November 26

Canadian Science, Technology and Innovation Policy: The Innovation Economy and Society Nexus

by G. Bruce Doern, David Castle, Peter W.B. Phillips

The book examines eight STI policy domains in Canada and the nature of STI agenda-setting. It presents new critical analysis about related developments such as significantly changed concepts of peer review, merit review, and the emergence of big data in the digital age and Internet information economy and society. The different ways in which federal versus provincial STI policies have impacted on both levels of government are examined, including STI as it relates to and impacts on Canada's natural resources. Key STI departments and agencies are probed as they function increasingly in networked and partnership clusters and settings as Canada seeks to keep up and lead in a highly competitive global STI system. The book also examines numerous realms of technology across Canada in universities, business and government and various efforts to assess new technologies. These include biotechnology, genomics, and the Internet but also earlier technologies such as nuclear reactors, satellite technology, and evolving computer technologies. The authors assess whether an S&T-centered innovation economy and society nexus has been established in Canada. An innovation economy and society is one that aspires to, and achieves, some kind of moving and interacting balance between STI  directed at commercial, private or market objectives and STI deployed to achieve social objectives, including delivering public goods and supporting values related to redistribution, fairness, and community and citizen empowerment. The nature of science advice across prime ministerial eras is also probed, including recent concerns in the Harper era about the claimed muzzling of government scientists in an age of continuous attack politics.

A Dangerous MasterHow to Keep Technology from Slipping Beyond Our Control

by  Wendell Wallach

A Dangerous Master: How to keep technology from slipping beyond our controlprovides a entertaining primer on the emerging technologies with a little science, history, discussion of benefits, and special attention to the societal impact and risks posed by innovative tools and techniques. We are in the midst of a veritable Techstorm of new possibilities, all of which are being developed simultaneously.  

While other books and news headline focus upon specific discoveries and innovations, A Dangerous Master presents a comprehensive overview of the societal impact of so many different means to alter human live, our society, our economy, and our environment.  Among the challenges are radical life extension, technological unemployment, an arms race to produce autonomous robotic weapons, driverless cars, synthetic organisms, new methods to produce energy, and devices and drugs that enhance human capabilities. We may be on a path towards inventing the human species, as we have known it, out of existence.

 Examining the players, institutions, and values that stand in the way of the regulation of everything from autonomous robots to designer drugs, A Dangerous Master proposes solutions for regaining control of our technological destiny. Wallach’s nuanced study offers both stark warnings and hope, navigating the middle ground between speculative fears about a dystopian future and the hype surrounding technological innovations. An engaging, accessible, and masterful analysis of the forces we must manage in our quest to survive as a species, A Dangerous Master forces us to confront the practical—and moral—purposes of our creations.


Vice-President Research and a Professor
School of Public Administration with an adjunct appointment in the Gustavson School of Business

David Castle is Vice-President Research and a Professor in the School of Public Administration with an adjunct appointment in the Gustavson School of Business. His research focuses on social aspects of life science innovation including democratic... [ READ MORE ]

Distinguished Professor and Graduate Chair, Johnson‐Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Phillips is Distinguished Professor in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. He earned his MScEcon and Ph.D. at the LSE and practiced for 13 years as a professional economist and advisor in... [ READ MORE ]

Visiting Fulbright Research Chair
University of Ottawa

Wendell Wallach is a visiting Fulbright Research Chair at the University of Ottawa during the fall and winter of 2015-2016. He is a scholar and consultant at Yale University's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, a senior advisor to The... [ READ MORE ]