SSH News: Federation updates, Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars report, OECD Adult Competencies survey results, and Canada’s first Leibniz Lecture

Friday, October 11, 2013


Christine McKenna Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

It’s been just over a week since the first Big Thinking lecture of the 2013-2014 season – Dr. Richard Hawkins’ “Whither innovation? Moving beyond the buzzword”. The event, which was presented in partnership with the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science Society and Policy (ISSP) and hosted at HUB Ottawa, drew an enthusiastic crowd and led to some excellent discussion. A video of the lecture will be available on our website in the coming weeks.

In other Federation news:

Next up, the Federation heads to the World Social Science Forum in Montreal, which begins on Sunday – drop by our booth and say hello!

The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) recently released the report from the 2013 Survey of Canadian Postdoctoral Scholars, which was conducted in collaboration with Mitacs between March and April, 2013. The report presents a comprehensive and up-to-date view of Canadian postdocs, capturing the experiences of 1830 individuals working at 130 universities, hospitals, government laboratories, and private companies across Canada and abroad.

The OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey results were released this week, revealing that literacy in Canada is around the average score for the countries surveyed, and that our numeracy scores are below average. A recent article in the Globe and Mail expresses concern for Canada’s scores, especially the findings that “while many Canadians are top performers, we also have a disproportionate number of people who score at the lowest levels of proficiency in all three skills,” (the third being “problem solving in technology-rich environments”). Keep an eye on the blog next week for our thoughts about these stats. 

If you happen to be in Ottawa on October 16, the German Research Foundation (DFG) is presenting the first Leibniz Lecture to take place in Canada, which will see German political philosopher Rainer Forst discuss "Toleration and Democracy”. On October 17th, Forst will head to Toronto to provide a second lecture entitled "Two Pictures of Justice". 


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