Our world is permeated by science and technology, which often contribute to controversy and even fear. We face both real and imaginary hazards, and oftentimes, distinguishing between the two is difficult.
Lori P. Knowles is a bioethics, law and policy consultant and faculty at the University of Alberta School of Public Health. She specializes in international comparative law and ethics, particularly as it relates to emerging biotechnologies and will discuss the “science communication problem” and explore how people decide what to believe - and why they so often don’t accept the scientific consensus.
Knowles has lectured internationally on topics ranging from GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and synthetic biology, to stem cells and reproductive technology. She uses current, evocative and often contentious examples to teach how organizations can anticipate public reactions to innovation. A dynamic and thought-provoking speaker, Knowles illustrates how to communicate information to yield productive conversations in areas of deeply contested values.
Knowles has been a consultant to President Bush’s Council on Bioethics; President Clinton’s National Bioethics Advisory Commission; Genome Canada; the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee; and the National Academy of Sciences, among others. She is the North American member of Unilever’s Central Research Ethics Advisory Group and a special governmental employee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Knowles holds law degrees from Canada, the United Kingdom and the U.S., has practiced law in Toronto, Canada and taught at the University of Wisconsin Law and Medical Schools. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Forest Biosciences and a Fellow of the Health Law Institute of Alberta.
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