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Our societies today are increasingly understood by their scientific and technological achievements. 50 years ago, however, scientist John Black (1970) warned “one of the most worrying features of the present attempts to change the environment is the way in which new processes are all too often introduced without adequate knowledge of their possible long-term effects”.

While science and technology may allow some of us to live comfortably (and abundantly), the “progress” they represent is not only unequally accessible, but also provokes new uncertainties that impact our planet. In this context, education plays an important role in developing capacity to assess risk and make informed decisions about individual lifestyles and socio-ecological activism, especially in a reality pervaded with the intentional dissemination of misinformation. During this symposium, speakers will address an important challenge for education in/ for a Risk Society; that is, how can education help people to develop the ability to perceive, evaluate, and make decisions in the face of (often uncertain) risks, especially during the current climate crisis? 


2pm – 2:05pm: Opening remarks 

2:05pm – 2:35pm: Presentation 1 (Brazil) – Professor Ivã Gurgel (University of Sao Paulo) 

2:35pm – 3:05pm: Presentation 2 (Canada) – Professor Larry Bencze (University of Toronto)

3:05pm – 3:15pm: Break 

3:15pm – 4pm: Round table Guest moderator Professor Adam Brown

4pm – 4:05pm: Closing remarks. 

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Ivã Gurgel

Professor at the Physics Institute of the University of São Paulo (USP)

Ivã Gurgel is a professor at the Physics Institute of the University of São Paulo (USP). He holds a bachelor's degree in Physics (2004), a Master's degree in Sciences (Physics Teaching Modality, 2006) and a Ph.D. in Education (Teaching Science and Mathematics, 2010) from the University of São Paulo. 

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John Lawrence Bencze

Associate Professor Emeritus

Larry Bencze is an associate professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. Professor Bencze started the ‘STEPWISE’ project, for graduate students, post-docs, colleagues, science teachers and he uses action research to learn more about science/STEM educators’ efforts to promote educated ‘RiNA’ projects to overcome harms in STSE relationships.

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Adam Brown

Assistant Professor - Faculty of Science and Faculty of Education University of Ottawa

Adam Brown is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Education University of Ottawa. His research revolves around two aspects of the scholarship of teaching and learning, those of Science Education and Science Communication. In the former, he developed novel teaching methods and technologies that have been shown to improve the learning environment, knowledge transfer and application for undergraduate students of Biology. His current projects involve analyses of linguistic challenges to learning of science terminology and learning science in non-English languages, as well as a study of the role of exemplification and monologue vs. dialogue discourses in the delivery of science content during classroom lectures.

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Date and time
Mar 28, 2023
All day
Format and location
Undergraduate students
Organized by
Faculty of Education