Past Event! Note: this event has already taken place.

When: Wednesday, April 27th, 2022 — Friday, April 29th, 2022
Time: 8:30 am — 1:00 pm



When profitability depends on risk assessment of products or projects, industrial sectors such as pharmaceuticals and agro-chemicals are plagued with corporate scandals about falsifying science and influencing professionals and policymakers. These corporate scandals are often treated as exceptions but they are in fact symptoms of systematic efforts and strategies routinely deployed to shape social and informational structures in ways that benefit commercial interests. We call “ghost-management” the systematic behind-the-scenes efforts and strategies deployed by corporations to shape knowledge, ideas and narratives about specific products. Ghost-Management is corporate power in action. It entails not only the production of knowledge, but also the production of ignorance or uncertainty through the dissemination of false, misleading, or contradictory information. It also entails influencing policymaking and socio-economic structures through lobbying and conflicts-of-interests.


This conference will explore ways of investigating ghost-management (Day 1) and ways of conceptualizing ghost-management for analytical purposes (Day 2).

Day 1 – Investigating Ghost Management (Apr 27)

Time Event
8:30-8:35 Brenda O’Neill – Welcome from Dean of the Faculty of Public Affairs
8:35-9:00 Marc-André Gagnon – Symposium Opening Remarks
9:00-9:40 Catherine Riva and Serena Tinari – Mapping ghost-management at work in the biopharmaceutical sector, public health, and the Surveillance-Industrial Complex
9:40-10:20 Cecilia Rikap – The expansionary strategies of data-driven intellectual monopolies to conquer healthcare
10:20-10:35 BREAK
10:35-11:15 Paul Thacker – Monsanto’s ghostwriting to influence both science and media
11:15-11:55 Dwayne Winseck and Blue Miaoran Dong – Facebook’s “Regulate Us” Public Relations and Advertising Campaign: Toward a New Model of Internet Regulation or Corporate Snowjob?
11:55-12:35 Marie-Hélène Bacon and Louise Vandelac – The Monsanto Papers: a window into the capture’s strategies of an agrochemical firm to poison research and regulation


Day 2 – Theorizing Ghost Management (Apr 29)

Time Event
8:30-9:10 Mark Lee Hunter – Ghost-management at Danone: Short-term benefits and long-term risks.
9:10-9:50 Kean Birch – Pharmaceuticals as assets: The place of ghost management in the assetization of biomedicine
9:50-10:30 Marc-André Gagnon and Blue Miaoran Dong – Categories of ghost-management in the pharmaceutical sector: How corporate internal documents informed the academic literature
10:30-10:45 BREAK
10:45-11:25 Katherine Fierlbeck – Discourse and Power:  absorbing and neutralizing dangerous ideas
11:25-12:05 Sergio Sismondo – The invisible hands of the corporation
12:05-12:30 Symposium Closing Remarks + Roundtable Discussion on Further Research


Read More About The Speakers Here


This event is part of FPA Research Series.FPA Research Series