Doc Talks @ SPPGA

Wednesday April 10, 2019
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Doc Talks @ SPPGA is a new series providing a platform for newly defended UBC PhDs to share why the new knowledge they’ve created is important and what potential impacts and implications it can have, including the industries it can be applied to. Doc Talks @ SPPGA is open to everyone.

Watch a video recording of the event here.


Eric Merkley

Dr. Merkley’s thesis is composed of three papers that illustrate important limitations of expert influence on public opinion. The first paper analyzes news content to show that journalists rarely discuss expert consensus when appropriate, and when they do it is typically in a polarizing political context. The second paper, using an automated content analysis and aggregate public opinion data, finds that Americans may have polarized on climate change because of a proliferation of party elite messages as the issue rose to prominence. The third paper uses an experiment to demonstrate that anti-intellectualism consistently conditions the persuasiveness of scientific consensus cues.

Marcelo Bravo

Knowledge mobilization (KMb) refers to processes and activities that make knowledge generated in universities accessible and relevant to non-academic stakeholders; as well as for universities to be more receptive, recognize and value various forms of non-academic knowledge. UBC has expressed its commitment to become a recognized leader in knowledge mobilization, and the need to design a knowledge mobilization framework to improve UBC’s capacity to share knowledge was identified. Dr. Bravo worked with UBC community members and partners on the following question: How to co-design a broader university framework to support the research and knowledge needs of non-academic groups of stakeholders? Dr. Bravo applied the Strategic Design Method, an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to explore this question. The results of this research will inform the continuous development of knowledge mobilization and knowledge exchange strategies at UBC.

Shenaz Shahban

Dr. Shahban’s dissertation is committed to improving the lives of ordinary Canadians and is grounded in strategic design, well-being, and policy. She researches how Canadian federal policy can improve psychological well-being for citizens. Her findings led to the development of the Federal Settlement Platform™ a national web-based orientation system that connects pre-arrivals with settlement agencies. This matters because it can help restore Canada’s place globally as an innovator in peace and human solutions. Invited by local MPs, she also participates in national level policy steering discussions and teaches classes on Social and Bio-Psychology on campus.

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