Queen's University

Ann Dowsett Johnston, alumna and advocacy journalist

[Ann Dowsett Johnston]Ann Dowsett Johnston, Artsci'75

Public policy expert Ann Dowsett Johnston, Artsci'75, will meet with students next week and lead a candid and interactive discussion about the values, attitudes, and marketing trends surrounding alcohol in Canada.

“We know a lot about the health risks of trans-fats and tanning beds, but we don’t know the details and the consequences of our most popular drug,” she explains, noting that more than 80 per cent of Canadians drink, a percentage that includes an increasing number of young and professional women. “I want to open the dialogue and bring this issue into the public consciousness.”

Ms Dowsett Johnston was the 2010 recipient of the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, an award that allows a Canadian journalist to spend a year researching a public policy issue. She spent the year travelling around the world learning about the culture and policies surrounding alcohol in other countries. The result of her research was a series of articles published in the Toronto Star that investigate the growing problem of alcohol abuse among women and the harms associated with alcoholism. Based on this series, Harper Collins commissioned her to write a book on women, alcohol, health and policy that is slated for international release next year.

The winner of five National Magazine Awards and numerous other honours, Ms Dowsett Johnston spent most of her 30-year career at Maclean’s, where she held a wide variety of senior leadership positions. She pioneered a system of evaluating higher education in Canada in 1992 as the architect of the Maclean’s university rankings. As a columnist, feature writer and seasoned public speaker, she developed a keen understanding of educational policy in multiple jurisdictions and became a vocal advocate for reinvestment in higher education.

Ms Dowsett Johnston’s visit to campus on November 6 is hosted by Queen's Student Affairs and the Queen's Student Alumni Association. For more information, visit the event registration page.

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Last updated at 3:43 pm EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
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