Jeffrey A. Hutchings

Evolutionary Ecology & Life History Evolution of Fishes

 Communication of Science to Society: Synopsis

The communication of science to decision-makers and to society is a fundamentally important, yet oft-overlooked, element of scientific research.  In this regard, areas of considerable interest to me include the communication fisheries science and the communication of advice pertaining to status assessments of species at risk.  Regarding the former, I have contributed refereed publications, parliamentary committee briefs, invited lectures, and media interviews on the communication of science to decision-makers and society.  This work as been reflected, in part, by a report in Nature (388:106), an international forum (Role of Science in Fisheries Resource Management; St. John's, 1997), and two House of Commons Standing Committee reports (1998, 2005).  One manifestation of this work was an appointment to a Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel (2000-01) and an assessment of the risks associated interactions between wild and farmed/transgenic fishes (www.rsc.ca).  In addition to delivering a plenary talk at the 2003 Canada-UK Colloquium on Science and Public Policy (South Gloucester, UK), I delivered a talk (2003) on Parliament Hill to Members of Parliaments, Senators, and government scientists/managers on the integration of science and public policy.  At present, I am Chair of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC; www.cosewic.gc.ca), the national arms-length science body responsible for advising the federal government on the status of species at risk of extinction in Canada.  I have been a member of COSEWIC since 2001 and was a member of the Marine Fishes Subcommittee of COSEWIC from its inception in 1999 through 2007.