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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


First monthly seminar of 2011-12 to explore using research to effect social change

12 Sep 2011

The ways in which research may become a vehicle for social change when it is rooted in concern for equity and social justice will be the subject of the first CHEPA monthly seminar for the 2011-12 academic year.

Nancy Doubleday, the HOPE Chair in Peace and Health in the Department of Philosophy at McMaster University, will draw on her work focused on the Arctic region and the people who live there, for her discussion entitled Walking the Talk: Research as Praxis for Advancing Peace and Health. The seminar will take place on Sept. 21, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., in CRL-B119.

Doubleday will share formative examples from this work as a means of illustrating how research can effect social change when it is situated within adaptive frameworks and is part of the co-production of knowledge.

She will lead a discussion to explore strategies for engaged praxis – a synthesis of theory of practice – for advancing peace and health. The need for such a synthesis is motivated by the complexity of relationships and processes (social, cultural, ecological, and economic) conducive to healing and leading to peace and health.

By taking a complex systems approach to peace studies more generally, it is possible to build on the ‘McMaster approach’ to health sciences education, founded on the belief that the study of health encompasses not only the problems of illness, but also the impact of biological processes, environment and lifestyle on the individual, the community, and society. The community-oriented, people-centred, interdisciplinary and problem-based approach familiar to health sciences and related fields at McMaster, resonates strongly with elements of current and previous research using action research and action learning strategies. Arctic examples provide helpful illustrations of ways to view research as pathways for transformation toward peace and health.

Doubleday is an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at McMaster. She obtained her LLB from Osgoode Hall at York University in Toronto, and her PhD in biology from Queen’s University.

Her research interests include peace and health in complex ecological-social-cultural systems, international law and policy, the Arctic region and globalization.

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