Mark Dance

Freelance writer on politics, culture, sport, law, cognitive science and technology.

Bylines with Ottawa Citizen, National Post, Globe and Mail, Canadian Geographic, Maclean's, Halifax Chronicle Herald, Toronto Star and elsewhere. Editorial experience with Lapham's Quarterly in New York City. Podcasting, photography and multimedia storytelling. MSc in the cognitive sciences from University of Edinburgh, non-partisan experience working for Members of Parliament on both sides of Canadian House of Commons. Completed innovation fellowship at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, communications and community work at Samara Canada. Studying law at McGill.

Contact: [email protected]

Portfolio

Courts don't have a monopoly on justice - Macleans.ca
Looking down his microphone at a room full of journalists-turned-prosecutors, Patrick Brown's only hope last Wednesday night was a jurisdictional gambit: "I have instructed my...
Why the electoral reform sham will breed cynicism - Macleans.ca
By killing electoral reform, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has damaged more than just Canada's prospects for releasing itself from the clutches of moribund first-past-the-post...
Democracy's crisis of imagination
A day after Donald Trump's election to the world's highest elected office, American far-right polemicist Ann Coulter adjusted her long blond hair, stared into a CBC camera and...

Institutional Transformation Series

Why Canadian federalism is bigger than Ottawa and the provinces - Macleans.ca
Editor's note: This is the first in a three-part series on institutional transformation at Canada's sesquicentennial. This piece is on local and Indigenous governments and the...
Indigenous tenacity and new Charter rights could transform our courts - Macleans.ca
This is part two in a three-part series on institutional transformation at Canada's sesquicentennial. Part one looked at revitalized Canadian federalism, and this instalment...
Three modest reforms can restore Canada's democratic architecture - Macleans.ca
This is the final part in a series on institutional transformation at Canada's sesquicentennial. Parts one and two looked at revitalizing Canadian federalism and legal...

The Headspace podcast

Headspace Radio: Cultural Evolution
This week, we tackle the dynamics of how culture evolves. In the process, Kenny Smith answers the questions you never thought to ask: why do Mormons have a reproductive...
Animal Learning
This week, Rachael Bailes introduces us to the strange but also familiar world of animal learning. With the help of Charles Darwin, Thomas Hardy and The Lion King, we take a...
Mirror Neurons
Can a special kind of brain cell explain why we have empathy for each other and what makes us human? Mirror neurons are changing the way that we think about action and...
Headspace Radio: Free Will and Neuroscience
William Wallace meets Martin Luther in this week's episode about free will and neuroscience. Till Vierkant explains what it might mean to be free and what the science of the...
Headspace Radio: Aristotle On The Soul
We go way back today to try to sort out what Aristotle knew about mind and life that we might have forgotten. In the process we figure out whether robots have souls and what...
Headspace Radio: Kant And Hegel
Looking back at the philosophical landscape of the 18th and 19th centuries, two monolithic figures stand out against the sun. Dr. Dave Ward introduces us to the way that these...

History and culture

Mark Dance: Among the migrant workers in Canada
I was doing my best to cajole my Mexican migrant worker colleagues into joining me at the local Canada Day parade when my friend Guadalupe shot back with a demoralizing...
Run Wild
Running with a pack of dogs in norther Ontario can have unexpected results.
What would Sir John A. say?
It is not easy to find John A. Macdonald's childhood home in Glasgow. No statue stands to celebrate Canada's first prime minister in his native Scottish city, and it was only...

Outdoor Rink Project

Climate change: the puck stops here
Given what my friend Ryan Lum and I had discovered over the first two weeks of our journey, we knew that we had to enjoy the game while it lasted. We had already watched...
Open Ice
Original print versions of eight outdoor hockey project columns; our outdoor hockey trip took us from Sault Ste. Marie to Halifax, visiting more than 20 communities and over 50...
Lucky Torontonians get to skate in the rain
Our outdoor hockey road trip seemed to be taking a turn for the worse as we drove through the pouring rain into Toronto. The temperature was well above freezing and conditions...

More politics and democracy

Matyas and Dance: Hunger strike shows the ugly underbelly of how Canada treats refugees
It was a public relations spectacle for the ages, the photo-op to end all photo-ops. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at Pearson International...
Opinion: Cindy Blackstock's victory shows the value of our institutions
Sometimes in the public life of this country, the hand that inflicts the wound can also be a force for healing. The historic decision by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal...
The post-Brexit order: Will the world need more Canada?
Published Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 It's basic metabolic arithmetic: how much energy one has to expend on outward action is contingent on how tied up one is on maintaining...
Dance & Middleton: Groping in the dark
These past weeks have seen headlines that read like a bitter lament for journalism departed, with tales of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking sternly to Leonardo DiCaprio in...
The last thing progressives should do now is sit on their hands
As Canada's 42nd Parliament is summoned this week and the first non-Conservative speech from the throne in 11 years is delivered, progressives across the country will be...
Opinion: Instead of prattling on about 'the economy,' politicians should focus on what people need
Far and away the worst leaders' debate this federal election was the cringe-worthy affair hosted by the Globe and Mail on the topic of the economy. "The big loser?" asked Sun...
Mark Dance: The state of Canadian oratory is grim
The state of Canadian political speeches is so bland that, when Justin Trudeau found a way to talk about "a uniquely Canadian idea of freedom" in Toronto this past March,...

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