ENGENDERING PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
The 1970 report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women provided clear evidence of public engagement–reaching out to women across the country about their experiences, and ensuring that their positions were meaningfully heard in subsequent policy making. This project, led by Barbara Cameron in collaboration with a number of feminist scholars, activists, and organizations, builds on that legacy by asking what the meaningful public engagement can and should look like for women in contemporary Canada.
ALTRUISM AND VACCINE TRIAL MOTIVATION
There is an extensive literature that demonstrates that individuals are motivated to participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons, which include financial compensation, a sense of duty, curiosity, health benefits, boredom, and a concern for public health, amongst others. Little is known, however, about the motivations of participants in clinical trials for vaccines, which typically require healthy volunteers and offer inoculation as the only health benefit to be gained. This research, led by Katharine Browne and conducted in collaboration with NTE Impact Ethics and the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology examines the motivations of healthy participants in two Phase I vaccine clinical trials. Combining empirical (survey) research and philosophical approaches, it identifies what factors motivate participation in vaccine clinical trials, their relative importance for trial participants, and the sociopolitical importance of altruism in vaccine trial participation.
The gendered nature of online scholarly production, and information technology more broadly, is an important site for contemporary feminist interventions. This project examines how feminist epistemologies can contribute to the rethinking of networked technologies in terms of equity and social justice. Inspired by groups like FemTechNet and the Orlando Project, it takes a range of approaches—examining Wikipedia as a site for feminist research and pedagogy, identifying the challenges of engaging young feminists in a model committed to conventional scholarly projects, the (feminist) political economy of open access publishing, and new research on the assumptions about culture and gender built into archetypal explanations of public key cryptography (Alice, Bob, and Eve). (in collaboration with Quinn DuPont and Rise Up! A Digital Archive of Canadian Feminism).
CHEMICAL EXPOSURES AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
As certain classes of household chemicals (namely brominated flame retardants and phthalates) are ubiquitous in our homes and workplaces, the adverse effects of exposure on reproductive health are becoming apparent. Focusing on torts and criminal law, this project emphasizes the shortcomings of Canadian jurisprudence in addressing intergenerational reproductive harms, and works to offer alternative strategies. (in collaboration with Roxanne Mykitiuk, Jennie Haw, Lara Tessaro, and Mark Pioro, as part of two team grants funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research on the reproductive effects of exposures to brominated flame retardants and phthalates).