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Announcement re: Annual CBS Conference Plenary Session Presenters

A message from Jeff Kirby:

On behalf of the Conference Program Committee, I am excited to announce the plenary session presenters for the 29th Annual Canadian Bioethics Society Conference - JUST HEALTH: Balancing Interests, Needs and Obligations -  to be held in Halifax from May 23rd to 25th, 2018.

We are also happy to announce an Agenda at a Glance for those of you needing more dates, times and details. Full agenda to come soon....

Kim Pate

Senator Kim Pate, a graduate of Dalhousie Law School who has completed post graduate work in the field of forensic mental health, is a renowned Canadian advocate. She has spent the last 35 years working in, and around, Canada’s legal and penal systems with, and on behalf of, marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized persons, in particular imprisoned youth, men and women. Senator Pate was the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies from 1992 to 2016. She is acknowledged as the driving force behind the Commission of Inquiry into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston. In addition to actively supporting women who shared their experiences, Senator Pate acted as a critical resource to, and witness in, the Inquiry. Over her career, she has been instrumental in building national coalitions with other equality-seeking women’s, anti-racism, anti-poverty and human rights groups and organizations. In this capacity, she has worked with feminist/legal scholars, practicing lawyers, other professionals, front-line advocates and activists.

Senator Pate is a member of the Order of Canada and a recipient of five honorary degrees, the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, and the Canadian Bar Association’s Bertha Wilson Touchstone Award. She continues to make significant contributions to scholarship and public education initiatives concerning issues of inequality and the discriminatory treatment of women and other disadvantaged groups within social, economic and criminal justice spheres.


with Tiffany Gordon

Tiffany Gordon is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy, Dalhousie University. Her areas of scholarship and research include social and political thought, philosophy of race and feminist philosophy. She is particularly interested in the gap between formal and substantive inequality in Canada, and the ways in which knowledge systems work to obscure and delegitimize minority experiences of oppression. She wrote her Masters thesis on racial profiling at McMaster University, and did her undergraduate degree in political science and philosophy at York University. She is a member of Books Beyond Bars (a prison abolition group which provides programming to incarcerated women), which is a component of the East Coast Prison Justice Society, a collective of prison advocates, lawyers and abolitionists.


Joan Tronto

Joan C. Tronto is a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota, and professor emerita from the City University of New York. She received her BA degree from Oberlin College and her PhD from Princeton University.

Dr. Tronto’sresearch is widely known around the world for her political approach to care ethics. Starting in the 1990s, she argued that the activities that constitute “care” are important not only for women but for all humans. Dr. Tronto has published over 40 articles, primarily on this subject. She has also published two books on this topic, Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care (Routledge 1993) and Caring Democracy (NYU Press, 2013). In 2014, Dr. Tronto was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University for Humanistic Studies in the Netherlands and, in 2015, she won the Brown Prize for Democracy, which resulted in the publication of a short book, Who Cares: How to Reshape a Democratic Politics (Cornell 2015). She is currently at work on a book on care, international political economy and global justice. Dr. Tronto’s work is the subject of a book published in 2014, Moral Boundaries Redrawn. 



Eric Racine

Eric Racine is the Director of the Neuroethics Research Unit and a Full Research Professor at the IRCM (Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal). He holds other academic appointments at the University of Montreal (Bioethics and Medicine) and McGill University (Neurology/Neurosurgery and Bioethics). Dr. Racine is a pioneer researcher in neuroethics and a prolific author of over 140 peer reviewed papers (in collaboration with over 230 co-authors), 35 chapters, 4 books and dozens of letters, editorials and columns published in leading bioethics, neuroscience, social science and medical journals. His monograph Pragmatic Neuroethics, was published at MIT Press in 2010. He has delivered, in collaboration with his trainees, over 375 lectures and conference presentations to researchers, policy-makers, the general public and public officials worldwide. Dr. Racine’s research unit is a hub for the training of international visiting fellows and graduate students, public conferences as well as specialized workshops and seminars in the areas of neuroethics and the exploration of pragmatism in healthcare ethics more broadly.

Dr. Racine was a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2009-2016), a member of the DANA Alliance for Brain Initiatives, an associate editor of the journal Neuroethics, a member of the editorial board of AJOB-Neuroscience and a co-editor of the first book series dedicated to neuroethics, Advances in Neuroethics (Springer).


with John Aspler

John Aspler received his BSc from McGill University in Neuroscience with a minor in Music. Although originally interested in music cognition, his exposure to a stream of problematic, neuroscience-related news publications both cultivated and cemented in him an interest in understanding science communication, including how health and science writing might contribute to the stigmatization of marginalized communities. At present, he is pursuing a PhD at McGill University and in the Neuroethics Research Unit where, under the supervision of Dr. Eric Racine, he works on projects concerning: 1) media discourse about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and 2) key stakeholder perspectives about disability and stigma.




Nadine Caron and Amy Bombay

Nadine Caron currently resides in Prince George, BC where, as a practicing surgeon, she provides surgical oncology care for those who call rural and remote Canada their home. She is an Associate Professor in the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Surgery where she teaches in the Northern Medical Program and is Co-Director, Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health. During her surgical residency, Dr. Caron completed a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University and was awarded UBC’s Top Student Award. She is appointed as an Associate Faculty member of Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health (where she teaches for the Center for American Indian Health), and as a Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency’s Michael Smith’s Genome Sciences Centre.


Amy Bombay is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University. She is a member of Rainy River First Nation. Dr. Bombay completed her M.Sc. and PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Mental Health Research. Her research focuses, generally, on issues related to the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples, in which her projects are driven by the needs and priorities of Indigenous communities and organizations. Dr. Bombay’s primary areas of inquiry explore: 1) the links between historical trauma, contemporary stressor exposure and mental health and wellness among Indigenous peoples, and 2) the important role that cultural identity plays in relation to well-being. Her research exploring the different pathways by which Indian Residential School trauma is transmitted across generations has garnered extensive media interest and has been influential in educating the public about the long-term effects of colonization. Her scholarship in this subject-area has informed policy and practice related to Indigenous health.