Dr. Ian Stewart of the History of Science and Technology programme will lecture at the University of Ottawa on February 23. His lecture, entitled “Navigating through oil spills in marine environments: scientific uncertainty, public perception and sustainable practice,” is part of the University of Ottawa institue of the Enviroment’s ‘Talk Tuesday’ series.
Abstract: Oil spilled in marine environments is much in the news of late, cited as one of the hurdles facing both Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain pipeline projects in BC, and potentially being a major issue facing the Energy East project. The environmental science relevant to the use of chemical dispersants for marine oil spills is evolving and marked by uncertainty and even controversy, which has been heightened in the years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster (2010, Gulf of Mexico).
This talk will draw on insights from the fields of history, philosophy and the sociology of science to characterize this issue and explore the challenges facing the science/policy interface. Especially as it pertains to the relationship between environmental assessment and industry response to oil spills in the new ‘environment’ of Bill C-22 (the Energy, Safety and Security Act), which comes into force on the 26th of this month.
Dr. Stewart recently spoke on the subject of sustainability and public policy in a February 4th lecture at Dalhousie University, entitled “The ‘Environment’ of environmental sciences in Canada: Reflections on recent socio-political developments, and why scientists should care”.