Evidence, Ethics and the Epistemology: A Three-Legged Stool of Public Health Policy
Eric M. Meslin, PhD, FCAHS, President and CEO, Council of Canadian Academies
It is now de rigeur for governments to embrace the value of using evidence in policy development, often referring to ‘evidence-based’ or ‘evidence-informed’ policy as a goal. The justification is that data provide an objective foundation on which to develop policy, avoiding perceptions of bias, ideology or subjectivity. This approach is satisfying at many levels, but may unwittingly camouflage two other values of equal import: the value of adopting an explicit epistemic stance about how evidence can/should be used; the value of incorporating ethical considerations into all policy deliberations from problem formulation to implementation.
The lecture is free and open to the public. It will also be webcast.
The Ross Upshur Lecture on Public Health Ethics is a lecture which studies all aspects of public health ethics. This lecture seeks to study the ethical problems which arise in public health and preventive medicine from both theoretical and practical perspectives.