Kelly Bronson

Canada Research Chair in Science & Society at the University of Ottawa

I hold a Canada Research Chair in Science and Society in Sociology at University of Ottawa with close affiliation to the Institute for Science, Society and Society ( I study and intervene into science-society tensions that erupt around technologies–GMOs, fracking, big data & AI—and their governance. I aim to bring community values into conversation with technical knowledge in the production of evidence-informed decision-making. My policy experience involves advising government and serving on expert panel committees like the Council of Canadian Academies (link to report). I have been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, as well as a wide variety of private foundations. I have published my work in regional (Journal of New Brunswick Studies), national (Canadian Journal of Communication) and international journals (Science Communication, Journal of Responsible Innovation, Big Data and Society) and frequently get called on to mobilize my findings in public settings from Café Scientifique to mainstream media like TVO’s The Agenda.

Before joining the University of Ottawa, I was the Director of a Science and Technology Studies program at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, Canada. Before that I received a PhD from Communication and Cultural Studies from York University, Toronto, as well as a Master’s degree in Sociology of Technology from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Before my training in the social sciences, I earned degrees in biology and worked as a lab bench scientist practicing genetics/plant biology (Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada).

Select Publications



  • Lajoie O’Malley, Alana, Bronson, Kelly, Laurens Klerkx and Simone van den Berg,. Accepted. “The
    future(s) of digital agriculture and sustainable food systems: analysis of high level policy documents,” Ecosystem Services,
  • Gardezi, Maaz and Kelly Bronson. (2019). “A socio-ecological assessment of farmer engagement with precision agriculture,” Precision Agriculture, (contributed 50% of work)
  • Bronson, Kelly, Dobson, Jennifer and Kieran O’Doherty. (2019). “Fracking in Canadian Print News: A socio-technical debate,” Science Communication, 41(5), (contributed 85% of work)
  • Bronson, Kelly. (2019). “Looking through a responsible innovation lens at  uneven engagements with digital farming,” Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, special issue on smart farming,
  • Bronson, Kelly and Irena Knezevic. (2019) “The digital divide and how it matters for Canadian food system equity,” Canadian Journal of Communication, special issue on the federal data strategy 44(2) (contributed 75% of work)
  • Bronson, Kelly, Knezevic, Irena and Clement, Chantal. (2018). “The Canadian family farm, in literature and in practice,” Journal of Rural Studies 66, pp. 104-111 (contributed 65% of work)
  • Bronson, Kelly. (2018). “Digitization and big data in food security and sustainability,” In Ferranti, P., Berry, E.M., Anderson, J.R. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability, vol 2, pp. 582-587. Elsevier.
  • Bronson, Kelly. (2018). “Smart Farming: Including Rights Holders for Responsible Agricultural Innovation.” Technology Innovation Management Review, 8(2): 7-15
  • Bronson, Kelly. (2016). “(Re)producing Power: A study of the New Brunswick Energy Institute” Journal of New Brunswick Studies 7(2): 71-91.
  • Bronson, Kelly and Irena Knezevic. (2016). “Food Studies Scholars Can No Longer Ignore the Rise of Big Data” Canadian Food Studies Journal 3(1): 9-19 (contributed 65% of work)
  • Bronson, Kelly and Irena Knezevic. (2016). “Big Data in Food and Agriculture” Big Data and Society, special issue on Critical Data Studies: 1-5 (contributed 65% of work)
  • Bronson, Kelly. (2015). “Responsible to Whom? Seed Innovations and the Corporatization of North American Agriculture” Journal of Responsible Innovation 2(1): 62-77.
  • Bronson, Kelly. (2014).“Reflecting on the Science in Science Communication.” Canadian Journal of Communication, special issue on STS 39(4): 523-537.

Book Chapters

  • Bronson, Kelly. ( “A digital ‘revolution’ in agriculture? Critically viewing digital innovations through a regenerative food systems lens,” accepted January 2019. Handbook of Sustainable and Regenerative Food Systems, Routledge)


  • Beckley, Thomas and Kelly Bronson. (2019). “Scientized and Sanitized: Shale gas in the context of New Brunswick’s political history,” In Whitton, John, Cotton, Matthew and Kathy Brasier (Eds). Governing Shale Gas: Development, Citizen Participation and Decision Making in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. London, UK: Routledge. Pp. 272-287 (contributed 65% of work)


  • Bronson, Kelly. (2018). “Excluding ‘anti-biotech’ activists from Canadian agri-food policy-making: ethical implications of the deficit model of science communication” In Priest, Susanna, Goodwin, Jean and Daehlstrom, Michael (Eds). Ethical Issues in Science Communication. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 235-252.

Select Talks and Appearances

  • Invited Speaker, Spotlight Series within Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, “Qualitative Research for Assessing Community Values, Knowledge, and Concern,” Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, 22 May 2020


  • Invited Speaker, “Diversity by design: using responsible research and innovation to drive equitable agricultural innovation,” Wageningen Research University, Netherlands, November 26, 2019


  • Invited Keynote Speaker, “Data-driven: Agribusiness, activists and their shared politics of the future,” Science and Technology Studies Seminar Series, York University, Toronto, November 2019


  • Invited Distinguished Lecturer, “Data-driven: Agribusiness, activists and their shared politics of the future,” University of Kansas Sociology Department Blackmar Distinguished Lecture, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, April 9, 2019


  • Invited panelist, “Inclusive Innovation,” Policy Crunch Series, Institute on Governance, Ottawa, November 6, 2018


  • Invited panelist, “Agrarian Bricolage: Addressing the shortage of appropriate farm technologies through DIY,” Food Secure Canada Assembly, Montreal, November 5-7, 2018


  • Invited keynote/colloquium speaker, “From GMOs to big data: the curious disappearance of food politics,” Centre for Genetic Engineering and Society, North Carolina Sate University, September 25, 2018


  • Invited speaker, “The Promise and Peril of AI” Royal Canadian Institute for Science, May 22, 2018, University of Ottawa, Canada