How do we handle disinformation agents in public health? Understanding the challenges and tackling mis and disinformation in public health

Thursday, November 23, 2023 16:30to18:30
Thomson House Ballroom, 3650 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 1Y2, CA

This event will focus on the growing misinformation and disinformation within the realm of global public health and what we can do better to address these challenges. The event will include a keynote speech and a panel discussion on understanding the challenges related to communicating scientific research and public health messaging effectively, countering disinformation and misinformation, and what training institutes including universities can do to strengthen efforts to build better communication in public health.

Date: Thursday, November 23, 2023

Time: 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Location: Thomson House Ballroom (3rd Floor), 3650 McTavish St, Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2

Keynote speech

Keynote speaker:

Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. His interdisciplinary research on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, the public representations of science, and public health policy has allowed him to publish over 350 academic articles. He has won numerous academic, science communication, and writing awards, and is a Member of the Order Canada and a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He contributes frequently to the popular press and is the author of two national bestsellers. Follow Tim Caulfield on Twitter.


Timothy Evans is the inaugural Director and Associate Dean of the School of Population and Global Health (SPGH) in the Faculty of Medicine and Associate Vice-Principal (Global Policy and Innovation). Tim has served as the Senior Director of the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice at the World Bank Group, Assistant Director General at the World Health Organization (WHO), the Director of the Health Equity Theme at the Rockefeller Foundation among many other high-level positions. He has been a co-founder of many partnerships including the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) as well as efforts to increase access to HIV treatment for mothers and innovative approaches to training community-based midwives in Bangladesh.


Annick Gauthier has been working to counter disinformation in science and health since her PhD at UBC working on “hamburger disease”. During her research and medical career, Annick has focused on volunteer work with youth for health education through Let’s talk science and Vitamin Sports. Using her background as a virologist and family physician, she has had the opportunity and privilege to work with Kanien'kehá:ka during the COVID-19 pandemic to help bring clear, consistent, correct information to the community via social media, radio and TV. Her role as a medical evaluator for Health Canada for the COVID-19 vaccines, allowed her to communicate on a national level to other health care workers and the population to counter disinformation to increase vaccine uptake.

Roxanne Khamsi is a longtime health and science writer, with years of experience as the former chief news editor of Nature Medicine and as an instructor of journalism and science communication at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the City University of New York. Roxanne has received recognition for her work, including the Walter C. Alvarez Award from the American Medical Writers Association. Roxanne has also been recognized with a Guild of Health Writers Award for best young writer and the Global Health Council’s Excellence in Media Award. Follow Roxanne Khamsi on Twitter.

Madhukar Pai, MD, PhD, FCAHS is a Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology & Global Health at McGill University, Montreal. He is the Associate Director of the McGill International TB Centre and the inaugural Chair of the Department of Global and Public Health. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He serves on the editorial boards of Lancet Infectious Diseases, PLoS Medicine, and BMJ Global Health, among others. He is Editor-In-Chief of PLOS Global Public Health. Professor Pai is a frequent contributor to the media in Canada, India and the US and is a columnist on the Forbes magazine on topics related to global health. Follow Madhu Pai on Twitter.

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