Special Events

Special gatherings, science pub nights and Science at Lunch

Tuesday, June 24, 7 pm

The Science of Science Communication:
Why do people appear to ignore evidence & what can we do about it?

With Pr. Dan Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School

Thanks to all who attended. Pr Kahan’s slides may be downloaded here:

and he invites you to read the paper (in progress) here:


Promoting the public understanding of science is one aim of the “science of science communication” but it may not be the most important one for the well-being of a democratic society. After all, people form correct beliefs all the time about matters involving complex science they cannot even identify, much less understand. When people form incorrect beliefs, it is not because they cannot understand the science. The conflict comes instead when taking a certain position on an issue becomes a symbol of loyalty to a particular social group. Even the most science literate citizens unconsciously fit their assessments of evidence to positions that predominate in their group.

These “antagonistic cultural meanings” can disable the ability to absorb knowledge from the science communication environment. Studying this problem scientifically allows us to identify how to protect the science communication environment and to detoxify it when the protection strategies fail. This is essential to enlightened self-government.

Register at Eventbrite or call the RCI at 416-977-2983 x2


Thanks to all who came out to hear a fantastic talk with Sir David King on Friday, June 13.

Skyline_as_viewed_from_Sam_Smith_smA Science at Lunch talk with Sir David King,

UK Special Representative for Climate Change &
Former UK Government Chief Scientific Advisor

Friday, June 13, 12:30 pm
First Canadian Place Gallery, 100 King St. W


FREE, light lunch provided. Register online at:, or by calling Kirsten Vanstone at 416-977-2983 x2.

Some of the major challenges of the 21st century – energy, food, health, water – are inextricably linked to climate change. How do we know this, and what innovations do cities need to adopt to ensure a prosperous future?



The UK Foreign Office permanent Special Representative for Climate Change, Sir David was previously the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor from 2000 – 2007. He raised awareness of the need for governments to act on climate change and was instrumental in creating the Energy Technologies Institute.




May 21, 2014 — Thanks to all who attended! Watch this space for more events with LSO. 

RCI in partnership with Life Sciences Ontario and BioTech Annecto present:

LSOBiotech Annecto


Cancer Drug Dialogue: Balancing and Valuing Evidence and Benefits

Many cases of unfulfilled cancer drug requests come to our attention through the media. What is the real story behind the news? How are decisions made to fund or not fund cancer drugs? We will explore the Pan Canadian Oncology Drug Review (PCODR), case studies and attempt to look at this emotionally-charged issue through an evidence-based lens.

This is discussion-based format led by researchers with expertise in these areas.
The discussion is followed by a networking and social hour.

Location:         Brookfield Place Marché Restaurant – Courtyard. 181 Bay St., Toronto.
(At Street Level, but accessible from GO/TTC Union Station through PATH system)

Cost:                  Free. Beverages and food available for purchase (some hors d’oeuvres provided).

Date/Time:     Wednesday, May 21st, 2014. Doors open at 5:30 pm, formal program begins at
6 pm.

Schedule:        Eat, drink, chat from 5:30 – 6:00 pm
Presentation of background for the conversation topic: 6:00 pm
Facilitated breakout discussion groups dive into the topic: 6:10 – 6:45 pm
Networking & social hour begins: 6:45 pm

Please RSVP for this event so we have proper space saved at Marche.

Please click here to register. 

Sponsored by Eli Lilly