News Release

CCA Appoints Expert Panel on the Socio-Economic Impacts of Science and Health Misinformation

Misinformation can affect public trust in science, putting the well-being of people, communities, and the environment at risk. The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) has formed an Expert Panel to examine the impacts of misinformation and disinformation. Alex Himelfarb, Chair of the Steering Committee of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (National), will serve as Chair of the Expert Panel.

“In the past year and a half, we’ve witnessed just how quickly false and misleading information can spread and how dangerous that can be,” said Mr. Himelfarb. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on this project to delve into the conditions under which misinformation and disinformation spread and their impact on trust and well-being.”

As Chair, Mr. Himelfarb will lead a multidisciplinary group with extensive expertise in policy, public understanding of science, human behaviour and cognition, and science communication, as well as practitioners working to confront misinformation in a range of contexts. The Panel will answer the following question:

What are the socio-economic impacts of science and health misinformation and disinformation on the public and public policy in Canada?

“We’re grateful to Mr. Himelfarb and this distinguished group of experts for taking on this critically important topic for Canada and the world,” said Eric M. Meslin, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS, President and CEO of the CCA.  

The CCA was asked by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to address the question. More information can be found here.

The Expert Panel on the Socio-Economic Impacts of Science and Health Misinformation:

Alex Himelfarb (Chair), Chair of the Steering Committee, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (National)

Andreas Boecker, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Guelph

Marie-Ève Carignan, Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Université de Sherbrooke; Head, Media Division, UNESCO Chair in Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism

Timothy Caulfield, FRSC, FCAHS, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, University of Alberta

Jean-François Cliche, Science Reporter, Le Soleil

Jaigris Hodson, Associate Professor, and Canada Research Chair in Digital Communication for the Public Interest, College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Royal Roads University (Victoria, BC)

Ojistoh Horn, Family physician, Akwesasne Medical Clinic

Akwatu Khenti, Assistant Professor and Senior Advisor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Stephan Lewandowsky, Professor and Chair of Cognitive Psychology, School of Psychological Science, University of Bristol

Noni MacDonald, O.C., FCAHS, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University

Philip Mai, Co-Director, Social Media Lab, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

Sachiko Ozawa, Associate Professor, Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Adjunct Associate Professor, Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Joanna Sterling, Research Manager, Central Integrity Team, Facebook