News from the social sciences and humanities

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Milena Stanoeva
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Last Thursday, we took our Big Thinking lecture series “on the road” to Kitchener. Barbara Crow of York University, Darin Barney of McGill University, and Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network, presented “Canadians at the Crossroads: How technology challenges us to change.” We also took the opportunity to announce seven of our Congress 2012 Big Thinkers–Margaret Atwood, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Janine Brodie, Chris Hedges, Mary Eberts, Sidonie Smith and Jane Urquhart. Our press release is available here. Statements from Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo are also available.

We had a record attendance at today’s Big Thinking lecture by Jack Mintz of the University of Calgary. Mintz presented “The World Economic Outlook: Implications for Canadian fiscal policy.” iPolitics published a quick summary of the lecture.

Le Devoir published its second annual issue of Le Devoir des écrivains Wednesday, on the occasion of Montreal’s Salon du livre. All of Wednesday’s articles were written by Quebecois writers, with the help of Le Devoir’s journalists. The articles can be found here.

The New York Review of Books examines current trends in academic teaching that may be undermining the quality of undergraduate education. The article does note that students in the liberal arts–social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and mathematics–perform better at critical thinking tests than those studying in disciplines more focused on career-training.

SSHRC-funded research is developing performance diagnostic tools for small and medium sized businesses. The tools are already being used by more than 600 Canadian and 200 French companies.


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