Dr. Soskolne has a long tradition of service roles and for which he received awards in 1998 and 2011. He has served on advisory boards, in advocacy positions (through, among other avenues, expert testimony), and through participating in provincial, national and international workshops/forums whose role it has been to formulate policy responses and inputs on particular issues. Examples of his involvement in policy roles include an MRC-CIHR Workshop in Toronto to formulate a response to Bill C-6 (on privacy) in terms of its impact on research. He participated in two WHO Workshops: one in The Netherlands developing a policy document on "The Right to Quality Indoor Air" (http://www.colinsoskolne.com/documents/E69828.pdf
), and another in Italy on "Climate Change Adaptation in the European Region". In December 1998, he co-organized, while on sabbatical leave with the WHO in Rome, a Workshop resulting in the Discussion Document entitled Global ecological integrity and 'sustainable development': cornerstones of public health
). This document calls on the WHO to include on its agenda concerns about environmental degradation in the interest of sustainable public health. On the WHO EURO Website between 1999 and 2003, it was the most accessed of all documents and thus was deemed to have been very influential.
Dr. Soskolne served as an honorary director on the advocacy group based in Edmonton called: "Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)". In 1992, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) designated "occupational exposure to strong-inorganic acid mists containing sulfuric acid" as a Group I carcinogen, founded on his research, and he participated in their 1991 evaluation workshop in Lyon, France. He was the initial mover and catalyst for (starting in 1983), and remains a major player in the on-going evolution of ethics guidelines for epidemiologists worldwide. He participated in a Workshop organized jointly by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) on the topic of "The Role and Activities of Scientific Societies in Promoting Research Integrity". Other examples include, through the 1980s, being instrumental in the formation of the Canadian National Advisory Committee on AIDS, and of other like bodies in both Ontario and Alberta. Public and professional education on HIV/AIDS included hundreds of media interviews in the period 1983 – 1989. An article of his, entitled "Linkages Between Epidemiology and Health Policy", was published in the proceedings of a European conference (pp. 173 – 184) held in Krakow, Poland July 2 – 3, 1999. This article draws on some of the related experiences noted above as examples.
Linkages Between Epidemiology and Health Policy
With epidemiology being the science that informs health policy, Dr. Soskolne supervised a project in which a Health Policy & Management student, Asma Razzaq, completed a project entitled "Values, Ethics, Attitudes and Perceptions Associated with International Development Assistance". Josh Marko, a Masters student, completed a community-based project examining the impacts of freeway expansion. This work was expected to influence the way in which decisions are made about roadway expansion projects, with consequences for urban sprawl.
More recent projects with Justine Klaver on climate change (http://www.colinsoskolne.com/documents/PARC-RTD-Report.pdf
), and James Andruchow on environmentally-induced cancers in Azerba´jan (http://www.colinsoskolne.com/documents/Thesis-FINAL-UofA-Lodged-Jan6-2003.pdf
), have had influences on policy at the regional, national and international levels.
In 2002, Dr. Soskolne became a member of the Council of Fellows of the Collegium Ramazzini. The Collegium includes a select group of Fellows, not to exceed 180 in total through the several regions of the world, each of clear personal distinction and integrity, distinguished by their contributions to occupational and environmental health science and policy.
In 2008, Dr. Soskolne performed an advocacy role by joining with the Rotterdam Convention Alliance (ROCA) in presenting the position paper of the Collegium Ramazzini in support of the listing of Chrysotile asbestos, Endosulfan and Tributyl Tin under Annex III of the Convention. He has worked closely with Kathleen Ruff in publishing and lecturing on the topic. In 2011 – 2012, he led the initial work under the auspices of the Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (JPC-SE) in its development of a Position Statement
In 2007, Dr. Soskolne was elected President of the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CSEB) for a two-year term. He was re-elected for a further two-year term in 2009. He remained on the CSEB Board for two more years (2011 – 2013) as Immediate Past-President. Prior to his leadership role with the CSEB, he had served on other professional boards including the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), the Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER), and the American College of Epidemiology (ACE).
In 2010, Colin was invited to participate in a symposium under the aegis of the Center for Humans and Nature: North American Global Responsibilities Program "The Biosphere Ethics Initiative: toward a local ethic of the Indiana Dunes region", Roundtable IV, Session Chair: Socio-environmental issues in the Indiana Dunes region; and also: "Canada's Sydney Tar Ponds: A Case of Suppression Bias?". His work at the nexus between science and policy in the public interest continues.
In 2013, Dr. Soskolne was elected to the position of Vice-President (North America) on the interim board of the Society for the Advancement of Science in Africa (SASA).