Our first event in the TSPN 101 workshop series was held on Thursday 11th October on the topic of Science Advocacy.
After opening remarks by TSPN executive Molly Sung, Dr. Katie Gibbs from Evidence for Democracy (E4D) introduced the idea of science advocacy — what it is, why it’s important, and how to do it effectively.
Dr. Gibbs outlined her personal journey as a science advocate, with her career beginning as a lead organizer for the Death of Evidence March while she was still a PhD Student at the University of Ottawa. She defined advocacy as “any activity that aims to influence decision-making” and discussed how to identify influential decision-makers, allies, and collaborators for your cause.
She then did a deeper dive into the two categories of strategies for advocacy: internal (i.e. reaching out directly to the decision-makers) and external (going to the media).
Dr. Gibbs’ talk was followed by a short Q&A and breakout session where workshop attendees were encouraged to practice their advocacy by focusing on a topic of their choosing and creating a hypothetical advocacy campaign strategy.
TSPN would like to give a big thank you to Dr. Katie Gibbs, and Evidence for Democracy, for sharing their experiences and knowledge with the University of Toronto community. We would also like to thank our sponsors: the UofT Student Initiative Fund, UofT ChemClub, and the Chemical Institute of Canada — Toronto Section.
Lastly, thank you to everyone who attended and participated in this event. We hope that you learned a lot about Science Advocacy!
— The TSPN Team
The Toronto Science Policy Network (TSPN) aims to provide a platform for students (graduate and undergraduate), as well as post-doctoral researchers, to learn more about and engage in science policy. Sign up for our mailing list to stay in the loop about TSPN’s upcoming events. Read about our previous events on our Medium page here.