Abstracts and Moderators

Moderators  |  Abstract Categories  |  Theme  |  Students  |  Guidelines

Call for Moderators

The Call for Moderators is now CLOSED! - We will notify successful applicants as soon as the Conference Co-chairs have completed their evaluations.

Abstract Categories

Concurrent Sessions (May 26 to May 28)

30 minutes: (20 minutes + 10 minutes moderated discussion)

45 minutes: (30 minutes + 15 minutes moderated discussion)

60 minutes: (40 minutes + 20 minutes moderated discussion)

  • Based on the complexity of your subject matter, select the time frame that is most appropriate.
  • If you are using a PowerPoint or other type of presentation, you will be expected to provide a copy to the conference planners two weeks in advance.

Workshops (May 25)

Half Day Pre-Conference Workshop: 8:30 am to 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Full Day Pre-Conference Workshop: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (lunch 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm)

  • Presenters will facilitate a workshop involving discussion, audience engagement and/or group activities.
  • A workshop differs from an oral presentation in that the primary goal is to facilitate learning through participation and hands-on learning.
  • This format is well-suited for sessions designed to teach or introduce a particular skill.
  • If you are using a PowerPoint or other type of presentation, you will be expected to provide a copy to the conference planners two weeks in advance.
  • The abstract should include:
  1. the names and institutional affiliations of the workshop presenter and co-presenter(s);
  2. a brief description of the workshop’s general theme and purpose;
  3. a draft agenda; and
  4. the learning objectives for participants.

Poster Presentations (May 26 & May 27)

  • A poster presentation is a printed poster that provides a description of a project or program, its goals, methods and results.

  • Posters will be available for viewing during breakfast and also at morning and afternoon breaks on Thursday and Friday. There will be a different set of posters each day. Presenters must make themselves available at their posters during their assigned day and time in order to respond to participants’ questions.


The theme of the 2016 Canadian Bioethics Conference is Achieving Better Health: The Role of Bioethics Education, Engagement and Exploration. Presenters and participants are invited to contemplate a broad canvas of ethical concerns associated with the achievement of better health. Issues may range from the local to the global, from individual patients to populations, from practice to policy and from single organizations to complex systems. In particular, we will be taking a closer look at this conference at bioethics education, public engagement in bioethics, and bioethics exploration (inclusive of research ethics and research in bioethics).

Education: This conference marks the first time in the Canadian Bioethics Society’s history that there has been an explicit focus on bioethics education as a conference theme. Given the challenges of the 21st century, we need to ask what should bioethics education look like? What are the core ethics competencies for health professionals, for policy makers, for bioethicists and other stakeholders? How does bioethics education achieve better health for all? We invite participants to reflect on topics such as the development of bioethics curriculums for health professionals, methodologies for teaching bioethics (e.g., web-based, case-based, skills-based), bioethics education for a range of learners, evaluation of bioethics education programs, and the impact of bioethics education on health.

Engagement: In our current health environment, there is an emphasis on ensuring that the public/patient voice is represented in all aspects of public life – developing public policy, setting research agendas, and so forth.  With new technologies, our ways of communicating and quickly reaching large number of individuals locally, and across the world, have expanded exponentially. What bioethics questions does this raise? What implications does this have for the practice of bioethics? How can we best use these communication tools? Participants may wish to explore, for example, ethical concerns related to the use of social media to study people’s behavior and views, strategies for ensuring public engagement is meaningful and representative of diversity, and methods for stimulating public engagement in bioethics-related issues.

Exploration (Research): CBS is excited to be partnering for the first time with the Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards (CAREB) to present a number of pre-conference workshops and an opening evening keynote presentation and reception on May 25 to which members from both groups are welcome to attend. In addition to this collaboration in research ethics, the CBS conference will explore key bioethics research questions: How does bioethics address the ethical challenges of doing research in today’s context – “big” data, genetics, vaccine development in the context of epidemics? How do we conduct research on bioethics issues that is relevant and meaningful and makes a difference in achieving better health? Participants may wish to present their empirical research on bioethics-related topics, as well as discuss new and perennial research ethics issues.

In addition to abstracts related to the conference theme, abstracts related to any bioethics-related topics will be considered.

Student Submissions


  • The abstract submission process for students is the same as for others. Please refer to the guidelines below.


  • Each year, the CBS holds an abstract competition for full-time students.
  • Only abstracts submitted in the concurrent session format will be considered for a student abstract award; the primary author must be a student to be eligible. A valid piece of identification will be required at conference registration.
  • In order to be considered for a student abstract award, please check yes to the corresponding question on the Abstract Submission Form. Your completed Abstract Submission Form will be forwarded to the Student Awards Committee of the Canadian Bioethics Society Executive.

Guidelines for Submission of Abstracts

General Instructions

  • Abstract submission lengths are as follows:
    • Pre-Conference Workshop Session: maximum 1,000 words
    • Poster Presentation: maximum 500 words
    • Concurrent Session: maximum 500 words
  • Abstracts may be submitted in French or English. Unless otherwise indicated, the language of submission will be assumed to be the language of presentation. However, in order to promote the bilingual character of the CBS, authors who are able to present in both languages are strongly encouraged to do so, either by adapting their Power Point presentation for both languages or by responding to questions in both official languages.
  • Note that simultaneous interpretation (SI) will be offered in the plenary session room only (not all concurrent sessions will have access to SI).
  • Unless otherwise noted, the applicant will be the main contact person. Additional authors and/or presenter(s) should be listed in the appropriate fields on the Abstract Submission Form.
  • Although there is no limit to the number of abstracts that an applicant may submit, to ensure broader participation, a maximum of two concurrent sessions for a single applicant will be selected.
  • It is advisable to draft and save your abstract in a word processing software program and then copy and paste the information into the online submission form.
  • Please review your abstract to ensure it is completely accurate. If it is chosen, it will be published as it was submitted.
  • Conflicts of interests (for example: grants, consultation, memberships in advisory boards, etc.) and financing sources must be disclosed for all presenters and/or authors at the time of submission and during the workshop, concurrent, or poster presentation.
  • Concurrent session and poster presenters must register for the conference and pay the associated fees.
  • On the abstract submission form, applicants will be asked to identify three relevant questions that a participant could pose after attending your workshop, poster presentation, or concurrent session. This information will be provided to the moderators of the sessions to guide discussion as needed and will also be included with the abstract in the on-line program booklet to enable participants to quickly understand the main issues of the presentation.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Abstracts will be reviewed by a national abstract committee established by the CBS Board.
  • The evaluation criteria are as follows:
    • For All Submissions:
      • Originality and creativity (Is a novel issue being addressed? Is a new perspective offered?)
      • Clarity (Is the abstract well-written, easy to understand?)
      • Relevance to the theme (Is the subject matter related to the theme?)
      • Rigor (Is there evidence to support conclusions, coherence in argument? Are the methods suitable to the questions?)
      • Contribution to the field of Bioethics (Does the content advance scholarship?)
    • For Workshops Only:
      • In addition to the above, Interactive (Will the workshop use strategies to engage participants?)
      • Appropriate objectives (Are the objectives achievable in the time allotted? Meaningful?)


  • All abstract applicants must identify one to two categories that best describes the general subject area of bioethics being addressed. This information will be used by the program committee to group presentations, where applicable.