News from the social sciences and humanities

Friday, November 25, 2011

Milena Stanoeva
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The European Union is committed to supporting research in the social sciences and humanities as part of its Horizon 2020 program. A recent speech by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, addressed the need for social sciences and humanities research in the European Union’s key areas of interest.

The University Commons published an article by Ian D. Clark, professor in the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto, outlining what Canadian universities are doing to improve undergraduate education and where there is room for improvement. While Canadian universities have much to be proud of, Clark’s article shows that university reform is as important as ever.

The Canadian Science Policy Conference was held in Ottawa last week. Léo Charbonneau published his notes from a panel on science and innovation policy. CFHSS also organized a panel entitled “How do we build resilient communities in the face of climate change?” The panel was moderated by James Baxter, the founding editor and publisher of iPolitics, and it featured Frances Abele, Academic Director of the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation, Gordon McBean, Research Chair at the Institute of Catastrophic Loss Reduction, University of Western Ontario, Ian Mauro, Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change at Mount Allison University, and Jamal Shirley, Manager of Research Design and Policy Development at the Iqaluit Research Centre of the Nunavut Research Institute. The panel was very well received by conference attendees, who appreciated the diversity and expertise of the panellists. While in Ottawa, Gordon McBean also released a report he co-authored for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

University Affairs published a column looking at how the humanities are faring in a political and economic climate that prioritizes consumer-driven research. While research in pharmaceuticals or agriculture may bring in more funding money to a university, the humanities, and their graduates, are still thriving.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council awarded its highest honour, the SSHRC Gold Medal for Achievement in Research, to Constance Backhouse of the University of Ottawa. Congratulations to Professor Backhouse!

Journalist’s Resource, a service based in Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, provides summaries of academic papers written by academics in a journalistic style. The service caters to professional journalists looking to accurately report academic studies.  The material is licensed under Creative Commons to improve accessibility.


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