The Best Evidence Podcast


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Would a basic income reduce pressure on Canadian health care systems? If so, what would it cost? How can policy drive sustainable and affordable housing? Who is already making these changes in practice? How can we push racism out of medical care?

Well, what does the evidence say? At The Best Evidence Podcast, we do the hard work of sifting through academic research to help listeners understand the facts on income, housing, and other hot topics that will lead to a better world. In conversations with experts, thought leaders, and decision-makers, we present content that is practical and entertaining. This show might just change our future.

Hosted by Cynthia Belaskie and Robbie Brydon, The Best Evidence Podcast features some of the leading thinkers in Canada and around the world. They take a deep dive into cutting-edge research to provide fresh, evidence-based insight on issues that impact Canadians today. We delve into the evidence, pull out what is essential, and figure out what to make of it.

We provide policymakers and engaged, inquisitive citizens with the essentials. Critical facts, plain language analysis, and lively debates help them make the right decision when it matters most. We keep a careful eye on the real-world constraints facing policymakers while exploring the possibilities within those constraints.

Robbie Brydon likes numbers. Whether evaluating policy outcomes, optimizing program investments, or attempting to gauge outcomes ahead of the Decision Desk on election night, he is a numbers nerd. Currently leading the Income Security and Health Initiative at the McMaster Institute for Health Equity, Robbie previously coordinated the Ontario Basic Income Pilot evaluation and managed quantitative research for the organization in charge of the plan to end homeless in Edmonton. If one were to judge by his three-year-old’s obsession with counting, the love of numbers may be heritable. But this is not a podcast where we accept conclusions from a study with one participant.

Cynthia Belaskie is Managing Director of the Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative, but she is not an expert in housing. She isn’t even an academic. She almost became a historian once but came to her senses. Cynthia has worked with some of the best Canadian scholars designing truly ground-breaking projects (sometimes literally groundbreaking… hello Archeologists!). She's excited by new ideas and passionate about making sure that society puts academic research to good use. She spends her time building relationships and moving evidence into action.

Evidence-based decision-making started in the practice of medicine in the 1990s. Decisions made in the operating room are life-or-death, but decisions in legislature chambers and civil service meeting rooms can be life-or-death, too…and for many more lives. Policymakers need to be up to date on relevant issues and evidence to do their jobs well. For policy that is current, relevant, efficient and effective, we must look to the best evidence as a guide.

Join Robbie and Cynthia as they bring together brilliant minds dissecting the best evidence for a better world.

9 episode