2023 Donner Prize Shortlist Announced

April 11, 2024

TORONTO, April 11, 2024 – Gregory Belton, Chair of the Donner Canadian Foundation, today announced the shortlist for the 2023 Donner Prize, the award recognizing the best public policy book by a Canadian.

“The aim of the Donner Prize is to shine a light on books advancing a thoughtful perspective on policy issues facing our society and governments today, and to spur debate on these matters among policymakers and the public.

Belton continued, “The six Donner Prize jurors have reviewed a field of over 80 books submitted by 32 publishers, in English and French, and have brought forward a shortlist of five books – the best of the best. These books all address critical, and rapidly changing, areas of concern for policymakers and those engaged with good governance today. Artificial Intelligence in the courtroom; pandemic responses; quite literally – who owns outer space; who has access to our digital information and how can we control it; and Canada’s shameful record on wrongful conviction. These books all contribute to the national debate of headline issues. We thank the jury for bringing these books to our attention.”

Louise Fréchette, Jury Chair, stated that “the jury debates and balances books that deal with subjects of policy concerns with the books’ ability to outline the challenges and deliver concrete policy recommendations, while being accessible to an interested reader. This year’s shortlisted books should be of interest to policymakers and booklovers alike.”

The prestigious Donner Prize, founded in 1998, annually rewards excellence and innovation in public policy writing by Canadians. In bestowing this award, the Donner Canadian Foundation seeks to broaden policy debates, and to make an original and meaningful contribution to policy discourse, all of which will contribute to an even stronger and more inclusive Canadian democracy. Now in its 26th year, the grand prize was last year increased to $60,000 for the winning book.

This year’s Donner Prize shortlist titles were selected from books published during the calendar year 2023. The winning title will be awarded $60,000, while each of the four other nominated titles will receive $7,500.

The 2023 Donner Prize finalists are:

The Legal Singularity: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Law Radically Better, by Abdi Aidid and Benjamin Alarie (University of Toronto Press)

Pandemic Panic: How Canadian Government Responses to COVID-19 Changed Civil Liberties Forever by Joanna Baron and Christine Van Geyn (Optimum Publishing International)

Who Owns Outer Space? International Law, Astrophysics, and the Sustainable Development of Space by Michael Byers and Aaron Boley (Cambridge University Press)

The Privacy Fallacy: Harm and Power in the Information Economy, by Ignacio Cofone (Cambridge University Press)

Wrongfully Convicted: Guilty Pleas, Imagined Crimes, and What Canada Must Do to Safeguard Justice by Kent Roach (Simon & Schuster Canada)

The 2023 Donner Prize will be presented at a gala dinner in Toronto on May 8, 2024.

The shortlisted authors are available for interviews.

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