How the Culture and Structure of Science Might Change to Address Grand Societal Challenges?

Conference Day: 
Day 2 - November 2nd 2017

Organized by: Tina McDivitt, Spindle

Speakers: Gordon Kurtenbach, Head of Autodesk Research, Autodesk; Amy Lang, Director of Patient, Caregiver and Public Engagement, Health Quality Ontario; Donald Stuss, Founding Director, Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute founding President and Scientific Director, Ontario Brain institute

Moderator: Mark J. Poznansky, President and CEO, Ontario Genomics

Takeaways and recommendations: 

Convergence and trans-disciplinary research

  • Trans-disciplinary research is emerging as a result of people being trained in multiple disciplines, and the convergence of engineering, life sciences and physical sciences.

  • Public, professional and commercial stakeholders are needed to define the scale, scope and foci of research.

  • Support should be provided to areas of research where Canada can have a competitive advantage.


Improving clinical diagnosis

  • Diagnoses need to be made in terms of clinical sub-syndromes: a systems approach, which will ensure the use of correct target candidates in clinical trials and improve their efficacy.

  • Put the patient in the centre: integrate all aspects that are relevant to maximizing patient benefits.

  • Embed research into clinical practice and embed commercialization into research.


Technological platforms

  • Bridging technology platforms allows the application of new scientific knowledge to scientific and industrial processes.

  • It is critical to support interdisciplinary connections and make working with disparate datasets easy.

  • Platforms allow for a systems approach, which is needed to address complex global challenges.


Engaging patients and caregivers in healthcare policy

  • Effectively engaging patients and their caregivers can have a positive impact on many aspects of the patient’s healthcare.

  • Patient and public participation in health policy, service design, and governance can lead to better-informed and more sustainable decisions and programs.

  • Engaging patients can change the way different kinds of evidence are weighted in decision-making for health policy.