Dear Ms. Mason,
I thank you for your email and for your interest in the University of Ottawa. Let me assure that the University of Ottawa
has a keen interest in the field of Science and Society. In fact, we are very fortunate to have several internationally recognized
faculty members who specialize in science, technology and society. Professor David Castle in our Department of Philosophy
holds a Canada Research Chair in Science and Society. Professor Castle’s research interests include: philosophy of
the life sciences, applied ethics, science and technology innovation. Similarly, last week the University hosted the first
Telus Dialogue on Technology, Society and the Future, featuring Professor Ian Kerr, Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and
Technology in our Common Law Section, Craig Kielburger, and Jennifer Corriero. The dialogue was moderated by Evan Solomon.
These are two examples of our commitment.
As you know, universities have a long tradition of working in a collegial and democratic environment. It would be inappropriate
for the President of a University to decide unilaterally on the content of a program or on what course should or should not
be offered in any given year or semester. It would also be inappropriate for the President to decide who should or should
not be teaching a given course.
The University of Ottawa is proud to offer variety of courses and seminars that challenge and stimulate the social conscience
of our students. In June of this year, Professor Pierre Anctil, Director of the Institute of Canadian Studies, is organizing
a conference entitled ‘Taking a Stand: A Conference on Activism in Canadian Cultural Archives’. For its part,
the Faculty of Social Sciences is developing a new course entitled “Le militantisme et son rôle social”.
Once again, I thank you for your interest in this matter.
Gilles G. Patry, P.Eng., PhD, FCAE
President and Vice-Chancellor