Federation News

AAAS, Chicago and the humanities

Jean-Marc Mangin, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) traditionally offers little space for the humanities. There were however several panels which included  social scientists, especially in reframing the discussions on innovation away from a simplistic discovery to commercialization linear model to one embracing a complex eco-system supporting creativity . Nonetheless, the need for the humanities was a recurrent motto by several speakers — in his welcoming address, the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel,  called for a more inclusive approach to learning and solving our global challenges: transforming Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics —the STEM subjects—  into STEAM (STEM + Art = STEAM).

Nobel Prize winner and former Energy Secretary for President Obama, Dr. Steven Chu, delivered a very powerful, often funny and quietly moving keynote on energy and climate change...

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AAAS 2014: Where was Canada?

Jean-Marc Mangin, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

This last weekend, Chicago hosted this premier inter-disciplinary academic conference by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) which focussed a great deal on innovation and climate change.

However,  our Government  was missing. No booth; no reception; no breakfast; no sponsored programming.  I understand that dollars are scarce and choices have to be made. However Ottawa is less than a two hour flight from Chicago where Canada has a large consulate. Yet we could not muster any official Canadian presence.  In comparison, Japanese, Korean and European agencies were highly visible and there was some even science Ministers from developing countries. 

The lack of a Canadian presence at AAAS was puzzling. Science diplomacy is a theme that our Governor General has stressed during his mandate. The...

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Highlights from the federal budget

The federal budget was announced earlier today. 

“The investments announced today —and taken together, they are significant and represent the largest increase in funding through the granting councils in a decade— will lead to crucial research advances to address challenges to Canadian society, as well as equip graduates with the critical thinking and creative skills needed to contribute to the knowledge society," stated Antonia Maioni, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Read the Federation's media release here.

Briefly,...

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Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy

Eleanor Fast, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The world of ideas moves quickly so the Federation was eager to respond when the government asked for input to inform a refresh the 2007 S&T Strategy.  Our submission responded to the three areas highlighted in the government’s consultation document: business innovation, developing innovative and entrepreneurial people, and research excellence. 

We hope you will read our full submission, available ...

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Join us at the Federation's Annual Conference

Mark your calendars! Registration for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences 2014 Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) is now open!

The Federation’s Annual Conference is open to all. It allows you to interact with the Federation’s members and engage in discussions on a range of issues in the humanities and social sciences. This year, the conference will take place in Montreal at the McGill Faculty Club on Friday, March 28, 2014. The full day event will feature panel discussions on the theme of transformations in undergraduate teaching and the future of the PhD, workshops on the future of Congress and Big Data, a Big Thinking lecture on “Borders without Boundaries”, an address from Chad Gaffield, President of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and...

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Incubating innovation and ingenuity at CSPC

 

Eleanor Fast, Director of Policy and Programming
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation took part in the Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) held in Toronto last week. Founded in 2008 by a group of professionals from across industry, academia and government, the CSPC is an annual gathering of minds that aims to address current and emerging issues in Canadian science policy. The forum brings together scholars and stakeholders from across the country to engage in dialogue and encourage action around science, technology and innovation policy issues.

The theme of the event was “Incubating Innovation and Ingenuity,” and sessions were held on a range of topics such as understanding innovation, changes in graduate studies and research training, science communication and the science-policy interface...

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Preparing students for the challenges and wonders of the 21st century

 

Federation President Antonia Maioni was invited to speak at the University of Winnipeg recently as part of the school’s 100th convocation celebrations. Her address touched on the vital role universities play in our communities, and the overall value of studying the arts, humanities, and social sciences. She congratulated the University on all its accomplishments, many of which demonstrate the idea behind her speech: that a university education in the liberal arts is “A Pathway to Progress in the 21st Century”.

The University of Winnipeg’s commitment to relevant and innovative learning, Maioni said, is evident in the school’s identity as a place for students to “Discover. Achieve. Belong.” She suggested universities must continue to foster more interdisciplinary perspectives and recognize the “interdependence of various fields of academic pursuit” to realize their full...

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