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 send your submission to communications@ideas-idees.ca.

Discover East Coast Charm at Congress 2011

Ryan Saxby Hill Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

A team from the Federation made the short trek from Ottawa to Fredericton last week for the annual Congress planning meeting. This trip gave us a chance not only to get information out to our over 150 Program Chairs and Local Arrangements Coordinators for 2011, but we also got a taste for the maritime hospitality that Fredericton is famous for. Being an east-coaster myself, I'm a bit biased, but I can say with certainty that the team at UNB and STU and the Fredericton community are ready to put on quite a show next May. This will be the biggest event...

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How do we talk about the Liberal Arts?

Ryan Saxby Hill
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Several hundred researchers, educators and students gathered at St. Thomas University from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1-2 to discuss the future of the liberal arts. For St. Thomas, celebrating its centennial year, this conversation on the future of the liberal arts is literally a conversation about the future of St. Thomas University itself. St. Thomas carries a strong reputation in liberal arts education - especially at the undergraduate level.

According to the University's Vice President Academic, St. Thomas carries this commitment to the liberal arts throughout their programming. In designing even applied programming in both journalism and criminology, the school ensured that the programs were rooted in Bachelor of Arts programs. Students get BA degrees in journalism or criminology, rather than Bachelors of Journalism and Bachelors of Criminology.

The...

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Don't be fooled by "innovation nostrums"

Yesterday's Globe and Mail contained an op-ed by David Naylor (President, University of Toronto) and Stephen Toope (President, University of British Columbia). Outlining seven "innovation nostrums," they argue that Canada's productivity gap can't be fixed by quick solutions. Rather, creating a national culture of innovation requires sustained investments and thorough planning. They highlight the role the social sciences and humanities can play, articulating how graduates from all disciplines can foster creativity and innovation.

In a letter sent to the editor, CFHSS President Noreen Golfman concurs with their conclusions:

It is refreshing to see our senior academic leaders challenging tired mantras. University of Toronto President David Naylor and University of British Columbia President Stephen Toope (Don’t swallow...

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Federal Budget 2011: Strengthening Canada’s research capacity

Summertime usually conjures up images of lakes, sunshine and gardens. Here at the Federation,  summer is also the time to think about priorities – specifically, to develop our submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, with our recommendations on the priorities for the 2011 federal budget.

This year, our recommendations centre on mentoring the next generation, supporting the highest levels of research excellence and building strong connections with the user community.  The Federation also identifies key features for new investments in SSH research, including:

•    Well-defined ambitious and large themes linked to pressing socio-economic issues, with direct relevance in Canada and within the international community;
•    Cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary, cross-jurisdictional work as required  by the issues;
•    Promoting knowledge...

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