"Social sciences research generates insights about people, ideas and behavior that help address pressing social and economic issues, ensuring a better future for Canada and the world," said U of S Vice-President Research Karen Chad. "With our collaborative, multidisciplinary teams and this unique-in-Canada suite of laboratories that has been dubbed our social synchrotron, the U of S is undertaking cutting-edge research with far-reaching benefits, while training students at the leading-edge of discovery."
The two day event features five keynote presentations led by acclaimed international researchers, panel discussions, and informal networking events where researchers can share ideas and best practices.
"The Social Sciences Research Laboratories is pleased to have so many distinguished international researchers join us for our inaugural rethink research event," said SSRL Director Jason Disano. "As a unit that fosters and facilitates innovative, mixed-methods research, the SSRL plays an important role at the University of Saskatchewan by providing access to specialized research infrastructure and research supports. Rethink research is just one of the means through which the SSRL builds and enhances research capacity at the U of S."
The keynote presentations will feature:
Stephan Lewandowsky, cognitive psychologist from the University of Bristol (UK) will explore the theme of uncertainty, an integral part of science and many global issues which is used to argue for or against action on everything from "peak oil" to genetically modified foods to climate change. Using climate change as a model, Lewandowsky will present three mathematical tools to effectively cut through people's subjective perceptions of risk to reveal a clearer path to action on contentious issues.
Alex Clark, public health researcher from the University of Alberta, will discuss the world's biggest single cause of premature death and disability: heart disease. While knowledge of what it takes to have a healthy heart has never been greater, public-health scientists are developing new ways to prevent often deadly crises such as heart attacks, as well as public-health strategies that individuals can use on a personal level to preserve their health.