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Concordia’s David Secko to serve on a new panel with the Council of Canadian Academies

The journalism professor will be part of a multidisciplinary group studying gene-edited organisms for pest control
July 8, 2022
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David Secko: “It is an honour to be part of the panel … building off our work to improve science communication on emerging biotechnologies at Concordia.”

How can gene editing technology be applied to the field of pest control?

David Secko, a professor of journalism in the Faculty of Arts and Science, is joining a new expert panel to take a closer look at this topic.

The panel, assembled by the non-profit Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), will take a multidisciplinary approach to the subject, looking at it through a variety of lenses from bioethics to agriculture and risk communication.

A natural fit

“It is an honour to be part of the Gene-edited Organisms for Pest Control panel as a key issue building off our work to improve science communication on emerging biotechnologies at Concordia,” Secko says.

Sponsored by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the panel will examine the scientific, ethical and regulatory challenges that gene-editing can have in pest control applications.

“Understanding the challenges and potential outcomes of these technologies for pest control is critical to informing debate and discussion about their use,” says Eric Meslin, CCA’s president and CEO. “I can’t think of a better group of people to take on this question.”

The future of science journalism

For Secko, his participation on the panel is a natural extension of his work at the Department of Journalism, which he chaired from 2016 to 2022.

A molecular biologist by training, Secko is fascinated by exploring the future of science journalism and fighting fake news in our digital age.

“Our department is a Canadian leader in science journalism studies, recently launching a Science Journalism Hub and a Minor in Science Journalism,” Secko notes.

“Both initiatives are part of a vision to help students, educators and journalism more deeply engage with rapid developments in science and technology, with a focus on how public engagement can be improved.”

Secko also founded the department’s successful summer school, Projected Futures, now in its fifth year, which was designed with the World Federation of Science Journalists and Science Writers and Communicators of Canada.

A Concordian perspective

Secko is looking forward to working with the CCA panel and representing Concordia.

“I am excited to bring this important perspective as the group examines various scientific, bioethical and regulatory challenges in this area.”


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