Spaces of Engaged Leadership: Human Rights, Engagement and Research

From Research to Impact is composed of two series of virtual events: Emergence & Spaces of Engaged Leadership. On alternating weeks, 2019 Mentors and Fellows will continue our leadership training program through our Spaces of Engaged Leadership, designed for community members only. These Mentor-led or Fellow-led presentations may be in the form of interactive workshops or roundtable discussions.


Human rights and the relationship between engagement and research in university settings


The defence of human rights is possible, whether it be civil freedoms or social, economic, or cultural rights, thanks to the work of numerous organizations and groups and also the engagement of individuals who participate in public debate. This kind of engagement cannot occur without certain responsibilities since all public messages are part of a social dynamic or a collection of perceptions of a social or political reality, or the consideration of facts.


In a university setting, tensions often exist between scientific research and political engagement. Many consider that the work of a university researcher ought to remain completely neutral and not take any side of an issue. For others, such neutrality is either impossible, or worse, conceals an ideology or world view which is not represented as such, instead claiming to be universal when in fact they are merely the expression of a power.


The purpose of this discussion is to think about ways to avoid a false dichotomy between two false principles of neutrality and relativism between points of view. It will also be a discussion about various writing styles which go alongside researching.


Thursday August 6, 2020, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EDT

nadeau nicolas tremblay aug 6

Hosted by 2019 Fellow Christian Nadeau


Christian Nadeau has been teaching the history of political ideas as well as contemporary moral and political philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at l'Université de Montréal since 2002. His research addresses the moral philosophy of responsibility and the political philosophy of theories of democracy. An advocate for social justice and democracy, he has published several essays for a wide audience and he regularly takes part in public debates. He has been president of the Ligue des droits et liberté du Québec since 2015.




Emilie Nicolas is an opinion writer for the newspaper Le Devoir, and is completing her doctoral thesis in Anthropology at the University of Toronto. In 2020, she won an award of excellence from SODEP for her article Maîtres chez l'Autre in the magazine Liberté.


Pierrot Ross-Tremblay is a professor at the Institute of Indigenous Research and Studies at the University of Ottawa. He recently published Shall Forget: Indigenous Sovereignty, Resistance and the Production of Cultural Oblivion in Canada (University of London Press).