Blog

Welcome to the blog for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Posts on this site are the opinion of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Federation, its staff or its board of directors. Entries are posted in the language of the author.

Members of the university research community are invited to make guest blog submissions on issues relating to the wellbeing of the humanities and social sciences research and learning enterprise in Canada. Click here to read the Federations’ blog policy. Please contact Lily Polowin at lpolowin@ideas-idees.ca if you wish to propose a blog article. 

Canadian researchers examine the effects of COVID-19 within the disability community

Everyone has stories about how their life has been altered due to COVID-19 and related containment measures, but it is also clear that the direst effects of dealing with the pandemic have not been distributed equally. Some argue that the disability community has been largely overlooked in the design of COVID-19 precautions and has been left with few resources to mitigate negative impacts. Researchers across the country are working with community partners to better understand the impacts of the pandemic on people with disabilities.

At the University of Alberta, Professor Michelle Maroto, in collaboration with Professor David Pettinicchio at the University of Toronto, is studying the social and economic effects of COVID-19 among people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and other underlying health conditions.

Preliminary findings from a nationwide survey demonstrate that people with disabilities and chronic health conditions are not only very worried about getting...

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How do people assess the credibility of COVID-19 related information? Personal beliefs a strong influence

Guest post by Jaigris Hodson, Associate Professor, College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Royal Roads University, Christiani Thompson-Wagner, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Linguistics, University of Saskatchewan and Darren Reid, Ph.D. student, Department of History, University College London  

Understanding an Infodemic
Misinformation related to COVID-19 has been declared an infodemic since it has the capacity to cause almost as much damage to people’s health as the disease itself. Since misinformation is often spread on social media platforms, it is important that public health communicators understand how and why people share COVID-19 related information online, and what decisions they make that could inadvertently lead to misinformation spread. In an effort to understand some of the...

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Canadian researchers analyse the spread of Covid-19 misinformation online

As local and global information about COVID-19 continues to shift rapidly, social science and humanities researchers are investigating the nature of misinformation and conspiracy theories, methods of transmission for false information, and the impact of fake news on our behaviours and psychological well-being. 

A multidisciplinary team from the Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS), along with international partners, are compiling a macro-analysis of responses to COVID-19 related information from a broad range of sources and platforms. 

Canadian survey results compiled as part of the project show the pervasiveness of misinformation online.  

  • 38.4% believe that their government is hiding important information about COVID-19 
  • 15.0% believe that the pharmaceutical industry is involved in spreading COVID-19 
  • 52.7% of respondents were aware that they had been exposed to news about COVID-19 that proved to be false 

"From these...

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Trekking Toward Awe: Nonreligion in a Complex Future project examines nonreligion and hiking

Lily Polowin, Digital Communications Officer, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

One of our goals at the Federation is to demonstrate the value and contributions of humanities and social science research. Sometimes, that value can be explained in terms of the skills that graduates gain from their education. At other times, that value is clear in the way in which the insights of our researchers can be applied by policy- and decision-makers to create a more equitable society. And lastly, often that value is shown in the humanities and social sciences’ ability to ask questions that simply can’t be approached by the hard sciences fields: questions about what it means to be human and to live in society.

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Guess who’s coming to dinner? That is, after you hire us.

Guest post by Dr. Annette Henry, Professor and David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia

Consider the following statements from search committee meetings at various universities involving racialized candidates. My purpose in sharing these statements is to raise questions about institutional commitments to hire Black faculty.

Our first candidate understands this theory the way we do, but the second candidate has another interpretation of the theory”

This example illustrates how faculty may unwittingly reproduce their own thinking by hiring people who think like them, and in which faculty members may find flimsy reasons to not hire qualified candidates under...

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