Integrating Science and Politics for Public Health

Despite the inherently political nature of public health, political science tools and insights are often overlooked in public health research. Bringing together scholars and researchers who work at the intersection of these fields can lead to harmony between politics and scientific evidence in policymaking. 

The University of Alberta School of Public Health and Department of Political Science are pleased to present a conversation featuring Dr. Patrick Fafard, visiting scholar and co-editor of the recently published book, Integrating Science and Politics for Public Health.

This hybrid talk aims to connect the worlds of political science and public health, recognizing and respecting the unique complexities and differences of both fields. 

Lecture Recording


Dr. Patrick Fafard

Dr. Patrick Fafard

Patrick Fafard has enjoyed a lengthy career that spans both government and academia. While with the Government of Canada, he served as a Director-General in the Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat of the Privy Council Office. At the provincial level, he served in multiple capacities with three provincial governments, including the Deputy Minister’s Office in the Alberta Department of Advanced Education and Manpower and Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Commission on Medicare.

Fafard’s academic interests are wide-ranging, and he is the author, co-author or editor of numerous publications on public health, trade, environmental policies, and intergovernmental relations. He serves as co-editor of the monograph series Palgrave Studies in Public Health Policy Research.

Dr. Elaine Hyshka

Dr. Elaine Hyshka

Elaine Hyshka is currently appointed as an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Health Systems Innovation at the University of Alberta's School of Public Health. Her research spans both health services and systems and population health pillars, and focuses on advancing a public health approach to substance use. Her program leverages her interdisciplinary background and diverse methodological experience to generate new knowledge that advances health systems innovation and improves health outcomes.

Dr. Hyshka's research team has a core engaged scholarship orientation and their work is conducted from start to finish in partnership with people with lived experience of substance use, poverty, and homelessness; healthcare providers; health authorities; civil society organizations; and governments at all levels.

Dr. Wesley Jared

Dr. Jared Wesley

Jared Wesley is Associate Dean (Graduate Studies), a professor of political science, and member of the Black Faculty Collective at the University of Alberta.  He specializes in the comparative analysis of provincial politics, with a particular focus on political culture and public opinion.   

Wesley leads the Common Ground research team, which is examining the intersection of public opinion, political culture, and public policy in Western Canada. He has co-authored two leading textbooks in Canadian politics and public administration.