Québec's Science & Policy Issues

Speakers 2011

Opening keynote

Pierre Noreau is a professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Montreal and a researcher at the Center for Research in Public Law where he served as director between 2003 and 2006. Mr. Noreau is a political scientist and a lawyer in training and in practice whose focus is in the area of the sociology of law. His research includes the operation and evolution of the judiciary system, non-litigation settlement of conflicts, access to the law, ethnocultural diversity and Aboriginal governance. His recent publications explore the questions surrounding judicial deontology, community justice and the evolution of the field of criminal procedure and conditions for interdisciplinary research in law. Pierre Noreau holds a doctorate from l’Institut d’Études politiques de Paris. He is also the President of l’Association francophone pour le savoir (l’ACFAS) and the Director of the Office des Amériques de l’Agence universitaire de la Francophonie.

Funding panel

Paul Dufour  has been senior adviser in science policy with several Canadian agencies  and organizations over the course of the past 30 years. Among these:  senior program specialist with the International Development Research Centre, and  interim Executive Director at the former Office of the National Science Advisor to the Canadian Government  advising on international science and technology (S&T) matters and broad questions of research and development (R&D) policy directions for the country.

Born in Montreal, Mr. Dufour was educated at McGill, the Université de Montreal and Concordia University in the history of science and science policy, and has had practical S&T policy experience for over three decades having been with such bodies as the Science Council of Canada, Ministry of State for Science an Technology, Foreign Affairs, and special adviser to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on S&T. Currently he is a Fellow at the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa.

He lectures regularly on science policy, has authored numerous articles on international S&T relations and Canadian innovation policy. He is series co-editor of the Cartermill Guides to World Science and is the author of the Canada chapter for the UNESCO 2010 Science Report released in November 2010.

Yves Gingras has been a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) since 1986. In 1997, Gingras co-founded the Observatoire des sciences et des technologies, where he currently holds the position of scientific director. He is currently the Canada Research Chair in the History and Sociology of Science.

After having obtained a Masters degree in Physics from the Université Laval, Gingras completed a doctorate at the University of Montreal in 1984. From 1984 to 1986, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and a Dibner fellow at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has held visiting professorships in France, at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and the Université Louis-Pasteur, as well as at the University of Toronto.

He has written, co-written or edited close to a dozen books, one hundred articles and he has given near two thousand conferences. He has supervised forty graduate students, and received numerous major grants. He is on the editorial board of several scholarly journals, and regularly serves as a referee for publications. He has also sat on many evaluation committees and boards of directors. In addition to being a prolific researcher, Yves Gingras is well-known for his popularization work. He can be heard regularly on the Années lumière radio show (Société Radio-Canada). He has also appeared as a commentator on various television shows, and has served as scientific advisor to publishers, production studios, etc.

Finally, several prizes have highlighted the high quality of Yves Gingras’ work. In 1988, the Institut d’histoire d’Amérique française awarded him the prix Michel-Brunet. The British Society for the History of Science selected him as the 2001 recipient of the Ivan Slade Prize. In 2005, he was awarded the prix Gérard-Parizeau and in 2007, the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) awarded him the prix Jacques-Rousseau for his many contributions to the field of science, technology and society, both in Quebec and internationally.

Jacques Hendlisz is Executive Director of the Douglas Hospital, university institute in mental health, and the Douglas Hospital Research Centre since 1994. He holds a degree in anthropology and a graduate degree in management from McGill University. He is a McGill lecturer on the organization of the health care systems and the role of Government in the health care system in the Department of Epidemiology at McGill University.  He has occupied several management positions within the health network and has worked in acute care, rehabilitation, long term care and community services.

The focus of his work in the last ten years has been in the reorganization of services, the development of quality indicators in mental health and the development of public education programs to address stigmas in mental health.  Working with the Research Centre he has worked at integrating research into clinical care in order to develop best practices for mental health.

Jacques Hendlisz, is a member of the boards of directors of the FRSQ (Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec), AQESSS (Quebec Association of Health and Social Services Establishments), McGill University RUIS (Integrated Health Network) and Chairman of Research Canada.

Victoria Kaspi is a Professor of Physics at McGill University, where she holds the Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology, and a Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics.

She received a B.Sc. (Honours) in Physics from McGill University in 1989, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University in 1991 and 1993 respectively.  From 1994-96, she was both a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a Visiting Associate at the California Institute of Technology.  Prior to joining the McGill faculty in 1999, Prof. Kaspi was an Assistant Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she also held a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Space Research.

Prof. Kaspi’s research centres on neutron stars: ultradense, rapidly rotating stars that are close cousins of black holes. Prof. Kaspi observes neutron stars using the largest and most powerful radio and X-ray telescopes in the world. The research questions she pursues are fundamental and search to elucidate the source of the matter out of which we are made.

Prof. Kaspi has been the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the John C. Polanyi Award in 2011, a Killam Research Fellowship in 2010, the Prix du Quebec in 2009, the Harvard University Sackler Lectureship in 2009, election as Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2008, and the Royal Society of Canada Rutherford Medal for Physics in 2007. This past year she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Kam Ng is the Deputy Director of Research at ONR.  As the Deputy, he assists the Director of Research in overseeing the basic and applied research portfolio, fostering outreach and education programs to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers, and ensure coordination of laboratory sponsored basic and early applied research.  The annual budget of the basic and applied research portfolio is $900M.  One of his responsibilities is to coordinate and develop strategy for the Navy Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative.

Previously, Dr. Ng served as the Deputy Division Director for Sea Platforms and Weapons.  In this position, he provided technical and management oversight of the Undersea Weapons, Large Vessel Stopping, Unmanned Sea Surface Vehicle, and Corrosion Control programs.  In addition, he managed a wide spectrum of basic and applied research programs, including active noise control, torpedo silencing, high-speed undersea weapons, simulation based design, propulsion, and control of nonlinear dynamical systems.

Dr. Ng received his Bachelor of Engineering from the Cooper Union in 1973, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1975, and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from the University of Rhode Island in 1988.  He also received an MBA from the Marymount University in 2005, and a Master of Arts in International Commerce and Policy from the George Mason University in 2008.  He completed the Senior Executive Fellow Program from the Kennedy School of Government at the Harvard University in 2002, and the Senior Executive Program at the Federal Executive Institute in 2004.

Before joining ONR in 1991, he worked at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, ITT Grinnell Corporation, and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center for 18 years as research engineer in acoustics and noise control engineering.  He holds six patents and has authored more than seventy technical articles on jet engine exhaust noise, valve noise, submarine launcher noise, underwater acoustics, active noise control, and undersea weapons.  He served on the editorial board for the Journal of Vibration and Control.  He chaired the Scientific Planning Group in Basic Research in Mechanics for the Navy, Air Force and Army.  He was a Board Certified Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, and is currently a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia.

Partnership panel

Anton Allahar was born in Trinidad, West Indies, and completed his PhD in Political & Economic Sociology at the University of Toronto.  He is currently a Full Professor of Sociology at The University of Western Ontario (Canada).  Professor Allahar’s principal areas of interest are economic development, the politics of globalization & democracy, and ethnic and racial relations, as these apply to the Caribbean and Latin America.

He has written of edited 14 books and written over 70 refereed articles and book chapters.  He  has delivered over 80 papers at international conferences and has been invited to lecture at some 20 different universities internationally. In addition Professor Allahar, has won 6 major awards for excellence in teaching, including the USC/Bank of Nova Scotia award in 1996 and again in 2002.  He is the only person ever to have won this award twice.  He has received several prices: Gold Medal, Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching, the province-wide OCUFA, and the national 3M award, and the Leadership in Faculty Teaching award (LIFT).

In addition in 1997 Professor Allahar was appointed as external adviser to the University of the South Pacific (Fiji), and teaches at St. Petersburg State University (formerly University of Leningrad) in Russia.  In 2004 Dr. Allahar was made a “Special Honorary Research Professor” at La Universidad de Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, and in 2007 “Special Invited Professor” at La Universidad de la Habana and received an “Outstanding Researcher Recognition”, Centro de Estudios Cuba-Caribe, La Universidad de Oriente.  Anton is also a “Fellow” of the Centre for Caribbean Thought at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica).  Based on his combined scholarly publications and awards of excellence in teaching Dr. Allahar was named Faculty Scholar at The University of Western Ontario.  In 2007-08 Dr. Allahar also served as President of the prestigious Caribbean Studies Association, whose membership is drawn from over 200 universities and 60 countries internationally.  In this capacity he was invited to accompany Prime Minister Stephen Harper on a trip to the Caribbean (July 2007) where the PM met with a group of Caribbean prime ministers.

André Bazergui was the President and CEO of CRIAQ (Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec) from January 2004 to August 2010; he is presently special advisor to the CEO .  He has been an active member of Innovitech inc. from 1998 to 2010 and was involved in a number of strategic projects including the creation of CRIAQ in 2002.

He obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield as an Athlone Fellow.  He then joined École Polytechnique de Montréal and held Faculty positions for over 30 years during which he completed two terms as Director General and CEO (1990-1998). Actively involved in teaching and research, he has published extensively and is the principal author of a textbook on Strength of Materials and two solutions manuals (Résistance des matériaux,

A well known public figure, he regularly chairs or is a member of strategic Boards and Committees in Quebec and Canada.  He co-chaired, with the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation, and Export/Trade of Québec, the Consulting Group on the Quebec Strategy of Research and Innovation 2010-2013. He also co-chaired the Working committee on the management of Intellectual Property of the Quebec Council for Science and Technology. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

He received a Honorary Doctorate from Concordia University in 1998, the Award of Excellence from the Alumni  Association of  Polytechnique in 2000, the 2006 ADRIQ Institutional Career Prize, and the 2009 Grand Prize of Excellence of the Order of Engineers of Quebec.  The Board of CRIAQ has awarded André a certificate of recognition for his outstanding performance as CEO.

David Burns  is a professor in the Deparment of Chemistry, McGill University. He is also an associate member at the Deparment of Experimental Medicine, McGill University.

The focus of his research is to develop quantitative non-invasive or minimally invasive measurements of composition and bioenergetic status in biological systems. This effort involves the science of optical spectroscopy, chemometrics, biophysics, image processing, and light propagation physics. There are three distinct facets to the research: (1) development of methodologies to quantify bioenergetic markers of metabolism, (2) development of strategies for quantitative three-dimensional measurements in scattering media, and (3) development of techniques for measurement of low concentration species in biological fluids and food stuffs. The knowledge gained from this approach will provide a powerful new tool to study respiration and metabolism from a systems viewpoint.

Rose Goldstein joined McGill University as Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) as of December 1, 2010.

Prior to returning to McGill, Dr. Goldstein held the position of Vice-President (Research) at the University of Calgary.  She received her Bachelor of Science from McGill in 1975 as well as her medical degree in 1979.  She trained in Internal Medicine at the Universities of Toronto and Ottawa and completed her training in Rheumatology at the University of Ottawa and the University of Texas at Houston.

Dr. Goldstein’s clinical activities include general rheumatology with an interest in osteoporosis and women’s health. She has been a Career Scientist of the Ontario Ministry of Health and an Arthritis Society Research Scholar in the area of immunogenetics. From 2003 to 2007, Dr. Goldstein served as Vice-Dean, Academic Affairs, in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. In 2001, Dr. Goldstein became the founding director of the Ottawa Academic Health Sciences Leadership Program.

As a clinician scientist, Dr. Goldstein has held a series of research grants in the area of immunogenetics of rheumatic disease and cellular basis of rheumatoid arthritis.  She has served on editorial boards and scientific review panels in her area of research.  She has also received grants to support her work in medical education, including exploration of gender and health topics in the training of medical students, and the study of conflict resolution in health care and medical education.

Laurent Viau is a master student in political science at UQAM. Laurent has been engaged at various levels in student associations for close to ten years. Last year, he served as the president of the national council of graduate students of Quebec (Conseil national des cycles supérieurs de la Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec – CNCS-FEUQ) and has been actively engaged in debates related to the governance and funding of research, intellectual property, copyright and so forth. He currently continues his social implication while pursuing his studies, being the student representative on the board of governors for the Canadian association of graduate studies (CAGS).


Energy panel

Rita Dionne-Marsolais is an economist, specifically econometrician by training (BA, BSc, MA), she is also an experienced practitioner in economic and social strategies. She has more than 25 years of experience in the business world and was the first woman to be Déléguée générale du Québec à New York as well as the first woman to be a member of the Senior Management at  Hydro-Québec.

She has a vast experience in management in the field of politics. MP for Rosemont from 1994 to 2008, Rita Dionne-Marsolais had responsibilities in several ministries notably under Parti Québécois governments. She was again a pioneer as she was the first woman to be Ministre de l’Industrie, du Commerce et du Tourisme. She also led the presidency of the Commission de  l’Administration publique.

During her professional life she has sat at the board of directors of numerous corporations as well as at the board of directors of non-profit organisation such as the ones of the Montreal Symphonic Orchestra, the Ordre des architectes du Québec, the Québec Bar, the Fondation de l’Hôpital Saint Luc de Montréal and Héritage Montréal.

Nominated by the Prime Minister of Canada board member of the Canadian Science Council and by the Prime Minister of Quebec board member of the Conseil de la science et de la technologie du Québec, she has also accepted to join the Economic Club of New York, the Financial Women’s Association of New York and the advisory committee for the Canadian affairs program of the America’s Society of New York.

Yves Lavoie has served as President of the Réseau des ingénieurs du Québec since 2010. In this capacity and having served as administrator in 2006 and 2009, Mr. Lavoie has spent much time reflecting on the socio-economic conditions of engineers. He is also a member of the Ad Hoc Integration Committee, the Governance Committee and the Committee to Support the Socio-Economic Interests of Engineers, and has actively contributed to the development of the organization’s public affairs mission as well as its stand on issues of concern to the profession.

Mr. Lavoie has served as administrator for various organizations, such as the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec from 2006 to 2009, the Sorel-Tracy Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce from 2005 to 2008, and the Technocentre in Industrial Ecology since 2006. He also presided over the OIQ Richelieu region for six years.

With more than 30 years experience in management and development of technological projects, Mr. Lavoie is an active contributor to regional growth in the Montérégie, where he currently heads two companies specialized in business management and development and in financial, commercial and HR management.

Normand Mousseau is professor of physics and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Computational Physics of Complex Materials. Since September 2010 he also serves as director of Calcul Québec, Québec’s group of high performance calculation. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and completed post-doctoral work at Oxford University, in England, as well as the École Polytechnique of Delt, in the Netherlands. He was adjunct professor in the physics department of Ohio University before joining University of Montreal in 2001. He is a world calibre scientist in the field of complex materials and bio-physics with more than 120 scientific articles. In addition, he has a deep passion for the vulgarization and the communication of science notably by publishing from 2005 to 2008, the physics blog of the website “Science! On blogue” of the Agence Science-Presse. Since 2005, he has a keen interest in the energy field. In addition to his numerous media interventions on the topic, he published in 2008 at Éditions Multimondes, “Au bout du pétrole tout ce que vous devez savoir sur la question énergétique” and in 2009 “L’avenir du Québec passe par l’indépendance énergétique” with the same editor. His third book “La révolution des gaz de schiste “ came out at the end of 2010. Since September 2011 he leads the radio show of scientific vulgarization “La Grande Équation” on Ville Marie Radio.

Dominique Sorel is a member of the Board of Directors of the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre where, in 2008, she contributed to the creation of the project “Green, Active, and Healthy Neighborhoods “. This project aims at rethinking the urban built environment to favor safe walking, cycling or other modes of active transportation and includes four pilot projects in various Montreal neighborhoods. Dominique participated in several public consultation commissions at the municipal and provincial levels, and also was a spokesperson for a national safety awareness campaign.  She was invited to give several talks to inspire citizens, professionals and elected representatives to share her views about mobility in an urban environment. Since 2004, she has been contributing to the implementation of pedestrian safety infrastructure in her neighborhood and participates to several citizens committees that promote urban design favoring quality of life, public health and the environment.

Dominique is a Civil Engineer with a M.Sc. in Earth Sciences from the University of Waterloo.  She cumulates more than fifteen years of experience as a consultant in groundwater remediation working with government and private industry both in Canada and the United States where she lived and worked for five years.

Michael Uhlarik is a native of northern Ontario, Canada. He has pursued a passion for motorcycles his whole life. Trained as an industrial designer in Toronto and London, he has created award winning, commercially successful designs for Yamaha Motor, Aprilia, Derbi, Piaggio and brands in China and India.

In 2004 he founded Type U, a motorcycle design consultancy, in Barcelona, Spain. In four years that business grew into a two-studio, 6 person company winning contracts from prestigious European and Asian original equipment manufacturers. In 2007, he was president of the Motorcycle Design Association, an industry governing body.

Selling out to his partners, he returned home to Canada in 2008 as Project Leader for Advanced Concepts at Bombardier Recreational Products. Since late 2009, he has focused on the under represented motorcycle product planning and outsource business, founding Amarok Consultants. This year, he launched Motorcycle Market, an online industry trade publication, and launched Amarok Racing, a team devoted to the pursuit of electric motorcycle design and manufacture.

Biodiversity panel

Elena Bennett received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin (1999-2001 in Limnology and Marine Sciences

How do ecosystem services interact and how can we manage landscapes to provide multiple services? This is the question that drives the majority of research in the Bennett lab. We’re interested in agricultural landscapes from which we demand not only food and fiber, but also high quality water, biodiversity, recreation, and other ecosystem services.

In many situations, a trade-off exists between agricultural production and other ecosystem services. For example, in the case of agriculture and water quality, production of food might require fertilizers which can degrade water quality. Growing human population and wealth are driving increased demand for agricultural production as well as other ecosystem services, such as clean water, flood regulation, erosion control, and carbon sequestration. What can we learn about these trade-offs and the other interactions among ecosystem services that may help improve management of ecosystems to provide multiple services? What if focusing on maximizing the production of one ecosystem service (i.e., agricultural production) can make ecosystems vulnerable to ‘regime shifts’, rapid ecological reorganizations that causes unexpectedly large losses of ecosystem services and are often difficult to reverse?

It is really important to me to do research that is, in some way, provides a useful product (information, understanding, or some other tool) to the public. Thus, I find myself also working on other issues in ecosystem management, urban ecology communication of science to the public and other policy-makers, and building understanding of theories behind ecosystem management (including the resilience of ecosystems and human institutions, and the use of science in management decisions).

Andrew Gonzalez  is Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at McGill University, the holder a Canada Research Chair in Biodiversity Science, and the founding director of the Québec Centre for Biodiversity Science.

Trained as an ecologist he works on three major themes: 1) the evolutionary ecology of extinction and persistence in changing environments, 2) the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in fragmented landscapes, 3) the socioeconomic drivers of biodiversity loss, in particular the impacts of economic inequality. He has also combined experimental and theoretical methods to address the problem of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic microbes.

Prior to arriving at McGill University he spent 4 years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Paris VI, France. He obtained his PhD from Imperial College, London.

Sylvain Labbé was trained as a forest engineer, and worked for seven years in the secondary wood manufacturing sector. In 1996, he founded the Quebec Wood Export Bureau (Q-WEB), an organization that develops export markets and whose members do business in various wood manufacturing sectors, from sawmilling to housing kit manufacturers: In 2000, he created the Canada Wood Group, which represents all major wood associations throughout Canada. He was the Group’s president until 2004, and today he acts as its vice-president: In 2007, he founded the Centre d’expertise en construction commerciale en bois (CECOBOIS): A non-profit technical organization with the mission of supporting, builders, developers, engineers and architects for non-residential construction using wood: And, in 2008, he founded la Coalition BOIS Québec: A non-profit, independent organization promoting the use of wood products for climate change mitigation Since 2001, he has been one of Canada’s representatives at the annual UNECE Timber Committee. He is a member of the UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Products Markets and Marketing Committee. Since 2009 he has been a member of the UNEP-SBCI Steering Committee.

Benoît Limoges obtained his masters in biology at the Université de Montréal in 1987. He worked for various NGOs in Quebec as well as in Africa and Latin America. Ha has been working for the past eight years to the ministry of Développement durable de l’Environnement et des Parcs du Québec. After contributing to the creation of protected areas, he coordinates different actions to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity by the Quebec government. Over the last three years, he has contributed to the recognition of the concept of ecological service at the ministry as well as in the government.

Christian Messier is Professor of Forest Ecology in the Department of Biology, University of Quebec in Montréal (UQAM). He obtained his bachelor in forestry (1984) and M.Sc. (1986) in forest ecology from Laval University, Quebec City, Canada and his Ph.D. (1991) from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. After one year at the University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland as a post-doc, he started his professorship at UQAM in 1992. His research interests are wide, ranging from the basic understanding of tree growth and death to decision-making tools to better manage large forest holdings. His research has led him to study various biomes across the world. He has published more than 140 refereed journal papers and recently co-edited a book on the sustainable forest management for the boreal forest and another for the general public on “Ecology in the city”. He is also co-author of a recent book titled “A critique of silviculture : managing for complexity”. He holds a new NSERC/Hydro-Quebec research Chair on the control of tree growth.

Assisted reproduction panel

Angela Campbell is an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the McGill Institute of Comparative Law. She is also a member of McGill’s Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and an associate member of the McGill Centre for Research on Children and Families.

She earned her B.A. (Hons), B.C.L. and LL.B. degrees from McGill University, pursuant to which she completed her LL.M. at Harvard Law School as a Frank Knox fellow and a Langdon H. Gammon fellow. Her LL.M. research examined legal strategies for improving access to health care and health outcomes for children in marginalized communities in Canada, the U.S. and South Africa.

Professor Campbell researches in the area of family law, with a specific focus on how formal laws envisage family relationships (e.g., between spouses, parents and children, and grandparents and grandchildren), and how well these laws capture different social perceptions of what “family” means. She has pursued this inquiry through work that studies relationships between parents and children conceived through assisted procreation, and in a current project funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council focusing on the experiences of women in polygamous marriages and communities.

In addition to family law, her work centres on health law and policy issues. In conjunction with Professor Lara Khoury, she serves as Co-Convener of the Faculty of Law’s newly developed Health Law Working Group. She is also a member of the Research Ethics Board of the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Professor Campbell has studied and published on diverse topics within the realm of health law and policy, such as: the development of legal strategies for securing health entitlements for children; the regulation of reproductive science and stem cell research, particularly through the use of criminal law; and the challenges faced by litigants to health law cases in navigating their way through formal judicial proceedings.

Michael Dahan is currently an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at McGill University. He is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, Obstetrics and Gynecology Division.

He graduated from medical school at the State University of New York at Stonybrook in 1996, followed by a residency in obstetrics and Gynecology from 1996 to 2000 at Long Island College Hospital. He completed a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of California at San Diego in 2003. After completing his fellowship Dr Dahan was on faculty at Washington University in St. Louis Missouri and Stanford University in California.

Dr Dahan has authored over 80 peer reviewed publications and abstracts. He has been awarded over 1 million 300 thousand dollars in research grants. He was the Chair of the Associate committee of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility from 2003 to 2005.

His areas of expertise include in-vitro fertilization, in-vitro maturation of eggs, egg freezing, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, male infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, fertility preservation for cancer patients, tubal factor infertility, ovulation induction and sperm insemination, egg donors, and factors affecting menstrual periods.

Raywat Deonandan is a novelist, scientist and journalist, whose works have been published in seven languages in many countries. He is the former Chief Science Advisor to the Canadian federal government on the topic of assisted human reproduction, and is presently on the faculty of the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa.  A global health specialist, his major research focus is the ethics and outcomes of the global reproductive tourism industry.



Carolyn Ells, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Member of the Biomedical Ethics Unit, and Associate Member of the Division of Experimental Medicine at McGill University. She is an Associate Researcher at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, and Chair and Ethics Consultant of the Research Ethics Committee at the Jewish General Hospital. Her prior work as a respiratory therapist, followed by doctoral studies in philosophy with a concentration in medical ethics, stimulated her interests in shaping and supporting ethical processes and policies in hospitals and other healthcare delivery organizations. Dr. Ells’ research addresses topics in organizational ethics, clinical ethics, autonomy and chronic impairment, culture and therapeutic relationships, research ethics review processes, and feminist bioethics. Dr. Ells presents her work regularly at national and international meetings, including the Canadian Bioethics Society, International Network on Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, and World Bioethics Congress.

Abby Lippman is  Professor Emerita in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health at McGill University and a Research Associate at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute of Concordia University.   She has had cross appointments in the Departments of Social Studies of Medicine and Family Medicine and was chair of the McGill Senate Subcommittee on Women.

Combining activism with research, AL  has been chair of the Canadian Women’s Health Network and is currently on the Board of the Federation du Quebec pour le planning des naissances.  Her research has been centred mainly on feminist studies of applied genetic technologies as well as on general issues in, and the politics of, women’s health, with specific attention to the relation of gender to health in the areas of biotechnology and pharmaceutical and health (care) reform policies.

Rob Whitley is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Douglas Hospital Research Center, McGill University. He has considerable experience in the fields of social and cultural psychiatry, with a particular interest in issues surrounding fertility, childbearing and mental health. He is currently principal investigator on numerous projects examining mental health issues among diverse ethno-racial groups, and was recently awarded a Canadian Institute of Health Research New Investigator award. Whitley has published over 80 papers in the field of social and cultural psychiatry and has successfully executed mental health research projects in Canada, the U.S., the U.K, Jamaica and Ethiopia. Whitley conducts regular public outreach health advocacy activities, including creating and maintaining the popular you tube channel ‘recoverymentalhealth’. Whitley is also a lay theologian, regularly writing and speaking on the relationship between God, religion and health. When not conducting scholarly activities, he enjoys reading, swimming, chess and drinking tea. Whitley was educated at King’s College London and holds adjunct faculty positions at Dartmouth Medical School, the University of the West Indies and Howard University.

Closing keynote

Thomas Mulcair, B.C.L., LL.B., is the Member of Parliament for Outremont, Quebec, the House Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons and the Deputy-Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada.  Between 1994 to 2007, he was the Quebec Liberal Party M.N.A. for Chomedey.  During this time, he served as Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks (2003-2006) and authored Quebec’s Sustainable Development Law, which affirms the right of all Quebecers to live in a healthy environment in which biodiversity is preserved.  Mr. Mulcair also has an established record of effective administration and management.  He has worked as a lawyer for the Ministère de la Justice du Québec, Director of Legal Affairs for Alliance Québec, reviser for the translation of Manitoba Statutes, Professor at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, and President of the Office des professions du Québec (1987-1993).  He is a lawyer with degrees in Civil Law (B.C.L.) and Common Law (LL.B.) from McGill University and has been a member of the Barreau du Quebec since 1979.

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