Series: Information Management Public Lectures

The Information Management Public Lectures give attention to exciting advances in research and professional practice. The topics are diverse reflecting the importance and global extent of Information Management in today’s society. The lectures are free of charge and open to all, unless otherwise stated.

  • Lectures are arranged in reverse chronological order. 
  •  Indicates lecture recordings. Live streaming is not currently available.

2018-2019 Lectures

FALL 2018

Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Techniques to make Better Management Systems (Jamal Shahrabi)

Jamal Shahrabi
Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran

Lecture Details
Thursday, September 13th, 2018
Room 5053, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Ave

Abstract: Big data analytics is the process of examining large and varied data sets to discover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer knowledge and other useful information that can help organizations make more-informed business decisions. All industries now are facing with a large amount of data and complex management issues with a much more competition than before. The most important benefits of big data analytics compare to classical analytical methods are speed and efficiency. Few years ago a business would have gathered data, run traditional analytics and provided information that could be used for future decisions, today that business can identify insights for immediate decisions by smart management systems. Meanwhile all organizations and industries are involving with a broad range of decision making criteria and multiple different internal  goals and targets that make decision taking difficult. In this situation classical analytical methods do not work anymore and Multi Agent Systems (MAS) are needed. Multi Agent Ensemble Learning Systems are used in a variety of domains for making collaborative smart decision support systems by discovering a solution by agents on their own, using learning. The most important part of the problem is how the agents will learn independently and then how they will cooperate to establish the common task.

Biography: Dr. Jamal Shahrabi received his PhD from Dalhousie University. He is a faculty member of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems faculty at Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT). His research interests lie at the intersection of data science (particularly data analysis, artificial intelligence, machine learning & data mining) and Management and Marketing (particularly smart management, operations management, management information systems, business intelligence, customer knowledge discovery, customer relationship management & smart marketing,). His research contributions has been to develop the efficient machine learning and data mining models to solve the real management and marketing problems by designing smart models and systems for smart decision making and smart management. He has been succeed to make a synergy of university and industry to solve the industry management problems and provide the opportunity of involvement of students in real industry issues. He has managed 9 big size industry projects so far. He has published two book chapters, 13 books in Persian, 136 conference papers & 34 outstanding ISI journal papers with 865 Citations So far. Graduating 73 Master and 5 PhD students under his supervision and teaching several different bachelor, master and PhD courses in the field of management and marketing is his honor.

1994 Called – It Wants its FOI Law Back: Things Nova Scotians Should Know About Their Right to Know (Janet Burt-Gerrans)

Janet Burt-Gerrans
Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia

Lecture Details
Tuesday, September 25th, 2018
Weldon Law Building, Room 104
6061 University Ave

Co-sponsored with Dalhousie Libraries

Abstract: Almost 25 years have now passed since Nova Scotia’s access to information law was proclaimed. Our law is badly outdated and no longer up to the task. September 28 is Right to Know Day around the world. What better time to discuss the shortcomings of our law, recommendations for improvement and things citizens need to know to ensure that they continue to have a robust and meaningful right to access government information.  Join the staff of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for a lively discussion of big data, access martyrs, duty to document and other access problems and solutions.

Biography: Janet Burt-Gerrans, BA, JD is a legal professional with multi-sector public administration experience spanning roles in government consulting, labour relations, and public service delivery. She is a Senior Investigator with the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Office responsible for leading investigations and oversight activities.

Science and Policy: Should Scientific Information Have Pre-eminence in Public Decision-Making? (Panel)

Event Details
Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Room 1020, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Ave

Panel members
Daniel Cressey, Deputy Editor, Research Fortnight, London
Megan Leslie, President, WWF Canada, Toronto
Jeffrey Hutchings, Killam Chair in Fish, Fisheries and Oceans, Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax
Richard Isnor, Associate Vice President (Research & Graduate Studies), St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish

Panel Chair
Suzuette S. Soomai, Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Maritime Region, Halifax

Environmental Information: Use and Influence Research Program, Dalhousie University (
MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance (
School of Information Management, Dalhousie University (
Office of the President, Dalhousie University

Description: Evidence-based policy making seems to be a straightforward, readily acceptable model to guide decision making at all levels of government. If evidence supports development of a policy, shouldn't the evidence be given priority in policy decisions? In practice, however, the model faces many challenges. Even though governments broadly state that their decisions will be based on research evidence, researchers frequently wonder why evidence seems to be ignored. The 1979 statement - "in public policy making, many suppliers and users of research are dissatisfied, the former because they are not listened to, the latter because they do not hear much they want to listen to" - remains acutely relevent today. Evidence to resolve serious environmental and societal problems is available, but solutions seem to be elusive. Why? To address these questions, this panel of experts in scientific research, science communication, and science policy will offer their timely insights.

Daniel Cressey
has worked in journalism since the turn of the millenium, reporting on just about every aspect of science at one point or another. But he has always returned to research policy. Now working as deputy editor at Research Professional - publishers of Research Fortnight and Research Europe - he oversees news, features, and comment from a global team. Before joining Research Professional in November 2017, he spent 10 years at the journal Nature in various editorial roles. He holds graduate degrees in journalism and history of science, and may even remember some of the chemistry he was taught as an undergraduate.

Megan Leslie was appointed President of World Wildlife Fund Canada in December of 2017 after nearly two years at the organization, first as a consultant on oceans governance, then as head of ocean conservation. Before joining WWF, Megan was a Member of Parliament representing Halifax for two terms during which she was deputy leader of the official Opposition, environment critic and vice-chair of the government committee on environment and sustainable development. In Ottawa, Megan had plastic microbeads added to the list of toxic substances under the Environmental Protection Act. She also expedited the creation of Sable Island National Park Reserve.

Jeffrey Hutchings is Professor of Biology and Killam Memorial Chair in Fish, Fisheries and Oceans at Dalhousie University. His work centres on the life histories and evolutionary ecology of fishes. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2015 and Foreign Fellow to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in 2018. He has chaired four national committees, including Canada's national science advisory body on species at risk (COSEWIC). He has appeared before several parliamentary committees, served as external advisor to the Auditor General of Canada, and advised Loblaw Companies Ltd. on the sourcing of sustainable seafood.

Richard Isnor is Associate Vice President, Research & Graduate Studies, and Interim Director of the Mulroney Institute of Government at St. Francis Xavier University. Prior to joining StFX in 2015, he held a variety of science policy and research administrative positions with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the International Development Research Centre, the National Research Council, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, the Privy Council Office, and the Nunavut Research Institute. He holds a Doctorate in Science and Technology Policy Studies (University of Sussex, UK); Master of Environmental Studies (Dalhousie); and BSc (Mount Allison University).

Science and the Public Sphere: What is Science Literacy and What is Its Public Value? (Panel)

Event Details
Thursday, October 11th, 2018
Alumni Hall (1st floor, New Academic Building), University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road

Panel members
Daniel Cressey, Deputy Editor, Research Fortnight, London
Linda Pannozzo, Author and Journalist, Halifax
Shelley Denny, Director of Aquatic Research and Stewardship, Unanma’ki Institute of Natural Resources, Eskasoni
Karen Traversy, Member of the Public; Clam Bay, Nova Scotia

Panel Chair
Ian Stewart, Science and Technology Program, University of King’s College, Halifax

Environmental Information: Use and Influence Research Program, Dalhousie University (
School of Information Management, Dalhousie University (
School of Journalism, University of King's College (
Office of the President, Dalhousie University

Description: The natural and social sciences are key to dealing with today's many environmental, health, and social issues. However, many claim that the sciences are not being adequately used to address these issues. Why? Is this a problem of scientific literacy? Who should be responsible for generating, assessing, and communicating scientific information? What degree of scientific literacy is necessary for public participation in democratic governance? How can we encourage a broader notion of literacy that includes other forms of knowledge, e.g. local and indigenous knowledge, amongst both scientific experts and the general public? To address these timely questions, members of this panel will offer their insights drawn from their experience in science journalism, authorship, environmental management, and active public engagement.

Daniel Cressey 
has worked in journalism since the turn of the millenium, reporting on just about every aspect of science at one point or another. But he has always returned to research policy. Now working as deputy editor at Research Professional - publishers of Research Fortnight and Research Europe - he oversees news, features, and comment from a global team. Before joining Research Professional in November 2017, he spent 10 years at the journal Nature in various editorial roles. He holds graduate degrees in journalism and history of science, and may even remember some of the chemistry he was taught as an undergraduate.

Linda Pannozzo is an award-winning author and freelance investigative journalist. Her most recent book, About Canada: The Environment, is part of Fernwood Publishing's “About Canada” series. In it she explores the philosophical, economic, and ideological landscape of our current environmental worldview. Linda also penned the award-winning 2013 book The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: An Investigation into the Scapegoating of Canada’s Grey Seal, which looked into the science and politics behind the push for a massive cull of the grey seal population on Canada’s east coast. She is also a frequent contributor to The Halifax Examiner.

Shelley Denny is a Mi’kmaq from Eskasoni First Nation and the Director of Aquatic Research and Stewardship at the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resource (UINR). She attended Acadia University where she obtained her BSc in Biology and later obtained her MSc in Biology in fisheries ecology at St. Francis Xavier University. Currently a candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD Program at Dalhousie University, her research will build on her current interest and experience at UINR in indigenous and western knowledge systems. Her research project is focused on developing an alternative governance model for fisheries by exploring how inherent and treaty fisheries can be implemented in Nova Scotia. Shelley is near completion of her field work and hopes to complete her research next year.

Karen Traversy is a retired federal policy analyst and evaluator who lives on the Eastern Shore, Nova Scotia where she is fascinated by the ocean coastal zone, its tide pools, and salt marshes. She has volunteered on a number of ocean-related initiatives including: Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management Initiative, serving as non-government co-chair; the Coastal Coalition of Nova Scotia (co-chair); and, as a member of the Doelle-Lahey advisory committee on aquaculture regulation. Karen also served on the Board of the Ecology Action Centre as coastal and water issues representative, and has recently been appointed to the advisory committee for the proposed Eastern Shore Islands Marine Protected Area – Area of Interest.

Open Access Week ("Paywall" screening and discussion)

Event details
October 22nd-26th, 2018 (date TBC)

Co-sponsored with Dalhousie Libraries.

Details coming soon.


Symposium: Indigenous Access & Knowledge

Co-sponsored with Library & Archives Canada and Dalhousie Libraries.

Lecture Details
Thursday, November 15th, 2018
All day

Details coming soon.

Public Lecture, Title TBC (Anatoliy Gruzd, Ryerson University)

Anatoliy Gruzd
Ryerson University, Ted Rogers School of Management

Lecture Details
Monday, November 19th, 2018
Room 3089, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Ave

Details coming soon.