Ashley fellow and Trent alumna, Ms. Lucie Edwards gave her first of two lectures in the Gzowski College lecture hall on Wednesday, October 12, 2011. Her presentation was received by Trent faculty representing the social sciences and sciences, students and members of the Peterborough community.
Ms. Edwards’s talk, “Making a Difference in the World: Science for Policy” offered insight into her research as a Ph.D. candidate in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo. Returning to academia after an impressive career with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Edwards offers a unique and professional perspective on international development and public policy.
“My frustration with the state of the Foreign Service and public policy making has inspired me to return to academia,” she said. “The tool chest we have been using as policy makers is now practically empty. We lack the tools we need to affect real change. And we have failed to develop a realistic strategy to handle climate change and the poverty crisis in Africa.” Science, Ms. Edwards says, offers the missing pieces to the puzzle and must be more actively incorporated into the equation. “Public policy makers need to be experts in science, and scientists need to learn how to communicate with policy makers,” she asserted.
Offering some background and theory on the relationship between science and public policy, Ms. Edwards identified and dissected existing barriers between scientists and public policy makers in order to encourage discussion about the important role science must play in public policy making. Investigating different views from political theorists and scientists, Ms. Edwards explored science’s role in the nation state, maintaining that contemporary scientists must be prepared to solve complex problems embedded in social issues.
Ms. Edwards’s roles with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs included Canadian High Commissioner to India (2003-06), South Africa (1999-2003) and Kenya (1993-95), Director General of the Global Issues Bureau (1995-96), Director of Middle East Relations (1992-93) and Chair of the Southern Africa Task Force (1989-93).
Ms. Edwards was born in Ottawa, Ontario and has a B.A. (Honours) from Trent University and a MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. As the 2011 Ashley Fellow at Trent University, Ms. Edwards and her husband are residing at Champlain College. The Ashley Fellowship is funded by a bequest from the late Professor C.A. Ashley, long-time friend of Trent University and an enthusiastic proponent of the role that informal contacts of college life can play in the academic pursuits of the University.