Michael D. Mehta
Dr. Michael D. Mehta (born in 1965 in Halifax, Canada) is an environmental social scientist who specializes in science, technology and society with a focus on environmental and health risk issues. His recent work focuses on community resistance, resiliency and social innovation with a particular emphasis on citizen science. He was co-founder and coordinator of Help the Kelp Project, and was co-founder and a Director of community-based electrical non-profit society GabEnergy on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. In 2015 he formed three new organizations; namely, the Salish Sea Marine Ecosystem Society, Western Canada Renewable Energy Association, and the Gabriola Island Clean Air Society. He is a founding Director of an international organization called Doctors and Scientists Against Woodsmoke Pollution.
He is of Indo-Canadian and Parsi descent, and son of retired Rheumatologist Dinshaw M. Mehta, M.D., F.R.C.P. (born 1932) and Sarah (Sally) E. Mackay (1942-1991). His siblings are Toronto-based artist Lisa Cripps and early childhood education specialist Tammy Vieira of Pickering, Ontario.
He holds a B.A. in Psychology (York University, Canada), a Master of Environmental Studies (York University, Canada), a Ph.D. in Environmental Sociology (York University, Canada) and he did a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Environmental Policy (Queen's University, Canada). Mehta attended De La Salle College (Oaklands) for high school.
Mehta is a Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. He is on the Executive of the Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association (TRUFA).
Mehta was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Thompson Rivers University. As Dean he was the Chief Academic Leader and Executive Officer, and was a member of the Senior Leadership Team of the University. In this capacity Mehta led more than 100 faculty members, was responsible for an annual budget of CAD $10.5 million, and oversaw the following academic units:
- Department of English and Modern Languages
- Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
- Department of Journalism, Communication and New Media
- Department of Philosophy, History and Politics
- Department of Psychology
- Department of Sociology and Anthropology
- Department of Visual and Performing Arts
He also had oversight of the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Program, all Arts-based programs and courses offered through Open Learning, and in regional centers including the Williams Lake Campus.
Previously he was Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Winnipeg, and was the founding Principal of Richardson College for the Environment. While Principal, Mehta worked on developing key academic and community programs in the areas of Forest Ecology, Urban Ecology, The Global North, Water Resources and Environment & Health.
Prior to joining the University of Winnipeg, Mehta was the Executive Director of the Population Research Laboratory at the University of Alberta where he led approximately 30 research projects. With 100+ employees the Population Research Laboratory is the largest social sciences research center in Western Canada. It has extensive experience in conducting research in the areas of health, education, labor markets, environment, science and technology, immigration, social policy and public opinion.
Before that he was at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where he was Chair of the Sociology of Biotechnology Program, Director of the Social Research Unit, and Professor of Sociology. As Chair of the Sociology of Biotechnology Program at the University of Saskatchewan, Mehta was involved heavily in research on a wide array of topics. He helped build a body of literature dealing with the following areas: genetic testing and new technologies, biotechnology and risk, public perceptions of different applications in biotechnology, and biotechnology and social cohesion. In addition to helping flesh out core areas within the Sociology of Biotechnology, he also worked on expanding this field by exploring the emerging connections between biotechnology and nanotechnology (nano biotechnology).
Mehta has authored or edited five books and more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. His books include Biotechnology Unglued – Science, Society and Social Cohesion; Risky Business: Nuclear Power and Public Protest in Canada and Nanotechnology – Risk, Ethics and Law (co-authored with Geoffrey Hunt.)
He has received the award Chief Scientist Distinguished Lecturer for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Science, Technology, Advancement of Science, Health Canada (2007), The Saskatchewan Centennial Medal (2006), and Agriculture Genomics Award, Genome Canada (2003).
Mehta is a former Director of Canadian Blood Services, SaskPower, Sask Power International, and North Point Energy Solutions. He was a member of the Mayor's Environmental Advisory Committee (Winnipeg), and served on the Board of Directors of the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra and the Board of Trustees of Western Canada Theatre.
Lastly, he is a certified Open Water Scuba Diving Instructor and was host and producer of Gabriola Co-Op Radio.
- Nanotechnology: Risk, Ethics and Law
- Biotechnology Unglued: Science, Society and Social Cohesion
- Risky Business: Nuclear Power and Public Protest in Canada
- Regulatory Efficiency and the Role of Risk Assessment
- Environmental Sociology: Theory and Practice