Keynote Address: How science can inform policy and decision-making

Dr. Lorne Taylor, Board Chair, AEMERA

 

 

abstract

 

The need for good science to inform environmental policy and decision-making is arguably more urgent today than ever before, as the demands for, and hence the issues related to managing Alberta’s natural resources are more complex than ever before. But in an era where anyone with a computer and Internet connection can claim to be an expert, what qualifies as “good” science? How do you sort through to determine what is true versus what someone wants you to believe is true? Or who or what can you trust?

AEMERA Chair Dr. Lorne Taylor will offer insights on how scientists and decision-makers need to build a mutual understanding on the role of scientific evidence in informing policy, beginning with establishing mutual trust and respect, and simply speaking the same language. Dr. Taylor will also outline the steps AEMERA is taking to establish itself as a source of credible science and relevant information to facilitate that process.

 

biography

 

Board Chair of the Alberta Environmental Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA), Dr. Lorne Taylor is a consultant and businessman based in Medicine Hat in southeastern Alberta, and was the founding Chair of the Alberta Water Research Institute. He is currently the Special Advisor to Alberta WaterSMART. He has held tenured positions at several universities.

 

Dr. Taylor entered politics in 1993 by being elected  to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the riding of Cypress Medicine Hat. From 1993 to 2004, he served as Alberta’s Minister of Science, Research and Information Technology, Minister of Innovation and Science, and Minister of the Environment. While in government, Dr. Taylor was instrumental in the creation of the Alberta Ingenuity Fund, Alberta SuperNet, and the Water for Life Strategy which remains the government’s water strategy to this day.