Promoting Healthy Social Policy

Engaging across disciplines and sectors to bring values and evidence together for health, well-being and equity

Moving evidence to policy for health, well-being and equity

The McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy is as a multidisciplinary centre for research, training and dialogue on issues of health and social policy. The IHSP conducts world-class research on how social conditions impact the health, well-being and resilience of people and communities locally, provincially, nationally and globally. The Institute collaborates across sectors and disciplines, bringing values and evidence together in support of healthy social policy.



January 23rd, 2020

Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing – A talk by Dr. Françoise Baylis

5:30-7:30 pm with reception to follow
Elizabeth Wirth Music Building Room A-823
527 Sherbrooke St. West

Designer babies, once found only in science fiction, have become a reality. We are entering a new era of human evolution with the advent of a technology called CRISPR, which allows scientists to modify our genes. Although CRISPR shows great promise for therapeutic use, it raises thorny ethical, legal, political, and societal concerns because it can be used to make permanent changes to future generations. What if changes intended for the good turn out to have unforeseen negative effects? What if the divide between the haves and have-nots widens as a result? Who decides whether we genetically modify human beings and if so, how?

Françoise Baylis insists that we must all have a role in determining our future as a species. The scientists who develop and use genome-editing tools should not be the only ones making decisions about future uses of the technology. Such decisions must be the fruit of a broad societal consensus.

Françoise Baylis is a philosopher whose innovative work in bioethics, at the intersection of policy and practice, has stretched the very boundaries of the field. Her work challenges readers to think broadly and deeply about the direction of health, science and biotechnology. It aims to move the limits of mainstream bioethics and develop more effective ways to understand and tackle public policy challenges in Canada and abroad. Françoise Baylis is University Research Professor, NTE Impact Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University. She is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2017 she was awarded the Canadian Bioethics Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

Co-hosted by the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy and the Centre de recherche en éthique de l'Université de Montréal (CRÉUM).

Register HERE!

Copies of the book will be available for sale on site and 30 free copies will be distributed to students (with valid student ID) at the event.

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January 29th, 2020

MOHSSR Let's Talk Mental Health Policy Panel
Diverse perspectives on mental health reform

16:30 to 19:00 at Thomson House - Ballroom

The McGill Observatory on Health and Social Services Reform will be hosting a panel featuring diverse perspectives on mental health policy reform. Confirmed panelists include Dr. Mary Bartram, Director of Mental Health and Substance Use with the Mental Health Commission of Canada and MOHSSR postdoctoral researcher, and Anna Mehler Paperny, journalist and author the acclaimed Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me: Depression in the First Person

MOHSSR will also announce the recipients of the 2019 Maurice McGregor Awards and feature short presentations from the MOHSSR Seed Grant recipients.

MOHSSR is a joint initiative of the Institute for Health and Social Policy and Family Medicine.

Register HERE!

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February 6, 2020

Globalizing Vision Zero: How can developing countries improve traffic safety?

12:00-13:00 Thomson House - Ballroom

The McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy and our event co-hosts: McGill Global health Programs, the McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative (MSSI), and transportation Research at McGill (TRAM), invite you to a Pizza Policy Talk on February 6th from 12:00-13:00 at Thomson House. Prof Kavi Bhalla from University of Chicago will share with us the current status of road traffic injuries globally and what is needed to meet the Sustainable Development Goals addressing road safety. We hope you can join us. Pizza will be served!

Register HERE!

Co-hosted by McGill Global Health Programs, the McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative & Transportation Research at McGill

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IHSP Pizza Policy Talk Series 2019-2020

Thomson House Ballroom

February 18th, 2020
Human Rights of Canadian Children with Disabilities
Co-hosted by the McGill School of Physical and Occupational Therapy
Register HERE!

March 10th, 2020
Cities as Drivers of Global Health
Jo Ivey Boufford, NYU and President - International Society for Urban Health
Co-hosted by the McGill School of Urban Planning
Register HERE!

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The 2019 Dr. Patricia Canning Memorial Lecture will be delivered on October 24th by Dr. Frank Elgar, Institute for Health and Social Policy and Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Canada Research Chair in Social Inequality in Child Health. He will be speaking on Health Inequality in Children and Youth and the Wealth of Nations. More details:

September 24th, Mylene Riva, Institute for Health and Social Policy, Department of Geography, and Canada Research Chair in Housing, Community and Health at McGill University presented a project on “Improving community well-being through housing” to the Band Council of the Cree Nation of Eastmain. Dr. Riva is the academic lead on this initiative that is led by the Cree Nation of Eastmain and funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

SEPTEMBER 19th: IHSP Faculty member Alissa Koski presents new research on child marriage in Canada to the federal Interdepartmental Working Group on Harmful Practices. For more information on Alissa’s work please visit her research page at

Anthony Bossis, PhD, NYU School of Medicine
Psychedelic Research: Implications for Palliative Care and End-of-Life Existential Distress
September 12, 2019 from 18:00-19:00
McIntyre Medical Building
Palmer Auditorium, 6th floor
3655 Promedade Sir William Osler

Hosted by the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy. Co-hosted by Palliative Care McGill, the Divison of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, and the Culture, Mind and Brain program.

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