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Society, Technology and Ethics in a Pandemic

COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for Canada and the world. Major scientific efforts are focused on understanding the virus, developing vaccines, and finding treatment options. At the same time, many in the scientific community have turned their energies toward developing novel digital and biological technologies in response to the pandemic.

At the request of Canada’s Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer, CIFAR established an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Society, Technology and Ethics in a Pandemic (STEP), including Marc-Antoine Dilhac and Bartha Knoppers, to advise on the technical, social, legal, and ethical considerations for deploying novel technologies in response to COVID-19.

This independent group includes leading Canadian experts in law, regulatory innovation, artificial intelligence, epidemiology, clinical care, philosophy, ethics, and public policy. Their advice has informed this report. It is intended to be a clear reference document to inform government actions and decision making.