Does bad weather, economic or political news bother you? Are you struggling to imagine a happier tomorrow and cynicism is creeping up on you? You are not alone. This is also why researchers from a wide variety of backgrounds are meeting on Saturday to put forward concrete, practical ideas, to fill up… with hope!
Judiciously called Et l’espoir, dans tout ça?, the round table, presented as part of Science-me week, on the occasion of the 90th Acfas conference at the Montreal Botanical Garden, is intended as a scientific and realistic to the ambient gloom.
On the menu of inspiring ideas: the question of hope among young people, in health, in mental health, in the environment and even in the thorny issue of aging. To do this, will be gathered here: Xavier Watso, content creator and star of TikTok, known for his promotion of indigenous culture; Kathy Malas, head of the innovation platform at CHU Sainte-Justine; Tania Lecomte, researcher at the University Mental Health Research Center of Montreal; Lyne Morissette, Ecosystem Conservation Specialist; and Adina M. Panchea, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sherbrooke.
Hosted by Matthieu Dugal, at the initiative of ICI Explora, this round table promises to be out of place, that’s clear. But there is no question of wearing rose-colored glasses, of course. It is rather a question of taking an enlightened posture, inscribed in the action. “There are challenges that we face that are really big, among the biggest that our species has ever had to face, it’s staggering”, agrees Matthieu Dugal in an interview, citing climate change, first and foremost , but also artificial intelligence.
The host of Search engine (ICI Radio-Canada Première), to whom we owe a docu-reality on the future of artificial intelligence (IA Being or not being, in which he created his own double digital), knows this all too well. “Creativity, empathy, everything that was eminently human, all of a sudden, we’re not the only ones doing this anymore, maybe we haven’t even seen anything yet!” “, he illustrates.
Dizzying, you say? Nevertheless: “As much as technological advances can be extremely dangerous when they are not framed by laws, the human capacity is strong and allows him to keep the position of the driver”, nuances the facilitator.
And it’s very paradoxical, he says, continuing on the theme of technologies. “We have very positive technologies in many ways, but if we think about them badly, we realize that it can blow us in the face. »
The key word here: “think”. “There [Saturday], we will be with influencers or people who, in their scientific practice, see reasons for hope. Because it’s clear:
And the climate crisis – “the greatest challenge the human species has faced since we’ve been here”, he repeats – is the best example. “The answers, we pretty much have them all, we know what to do. But are we ready, as citizens, to change our everyday behaviors? If it is not discussed, the information does not pass from scientific circles to more popular circles. »
Hence the importance of meetings like this, as we will have understood. Besides, what gives him hope? Matthieu Dugal does not hesitate for a second. “In a century, we have changed enormously,” he replies. Our ways of interacting, our consumption, our ways of living. You have to be aware of that. We are an eminently adaptable species. This is what makes our resilience. According to him, today’s challenges are ultimately challenges to our “intelligence”. “All of this confronts us with our abilities, but we are also people who can do things,” he says.
And acting, or seeing beyond your personal needs, coming together with a common goal in solidarity, is also very good for morale, it must be remembered.
“Everything we face, we can have the feeling that it is beyond us, but we can also overcome it,” he says, recalling in passing the regulations surrounding CFCs, which made it possible to close the hole in the ozone layer. And do you know what? “Examples like that, there are many! concludes Matthieu Dugal.