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CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 2007

Conference to Address Academic Integrity

Foundation president Howard Pawley [File Photo]
Foundation president Howard Pawley [File Photo]
Protecting the integrity of academic work is the theme for the second Harry Crowe Foundation conference being held later this year in Ottawa.

In designing the event, the foundation’s directors identified four critical themes: academia’s production-driven research culture, the pressures exerted by external research sponsors, outside pressures on academic discourse and the unbundling of faculty work.

Each theme will be the focus of sustained attention during a series of plenary sessions, with presenters coming from a range of institutions in Canada, the United States, England and Wales.

“The positive response to our invitations has been enormously gratifying,” foundation president Howard Pawley said. “We have an impressive collection of speakers, including the vice-president of Britain’s Royal Society, the chair of the Union of Concerned Scientists and one of Canada’s leading medical scientists. There’s going to be a lot of intellectual horsepower in the room.”

The keynote address will be given by Sheldon Krimsky, a professor of urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts University and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Krimsky’s address on “Academic Integrity in the Public Interest” will open the conference.

“Krimsky’s critique of conflict of interest in sponsored research provides a logical starting point for a conference on academic integrity,” commented CAUT executive director James Turk, who also serves as secretary to the foundation.

Turk said conference organizers were especially concerned by the mounting evidence of industry groups and governments on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border influencing the discourse on science and event plans include a plenary session on the manipulation of science by specific industries (Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and Big Oil) and another dealing with inappropriate pressures emanating from governmental bodies and agencies.

The conference will take place from 2 to 4 Nov. 2007 at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa. For further information on the conference program, contact Marcus Harvey.

Free Speech in Fearful Times, a collection of essays based on the foundation’s October 2005 conference, is now available.