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.

Back to school 2017 – what is the media saying?

Kayla MacIntosh, Junior Communications Officer, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Every September, millions of Canadian students return to campus for a new academic year. In this blog you can read about a variety of conversations happening in the post-secondary education sector this fall.

A big back to school announcement from the federal government is the roll-out of $73 million in wage subsidies to employers  over four years in order to create 10,000 student work placements for post-secondary students. The need...

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Canada needs to confront the causes of a post-truth world

This op-ed was originally published by Canadian Science Policy Centre on October 10, 2017.

Gabriel Miller, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

One day, the U.S. president is taunting North Korea, treating nuclear conflict like it’s WrestleMania. The next, he glibly dismisses racial injustice in America by smearing black athletes engaged in peaceful protest. Other days, he brags about locking Muslims out of the country, scuttling global efforts on climate change, and spurning his country’s closest trading partners, including Canada. Watching it all is exhausting. How should we react in the face of this relentless volley of ignorance and wrong-headed decisions?

A first step is to look past the constant distraction and refuse to blindly follow the angry bouncing ball. True, Canada...

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Présences intermittentes des Amériques

Ariane Audet, photographe et écrivaine

Ce livre est inspiré de ma thèse de doctorat et répond à une question bien précise : qu’est-ce que le sujet québécois peut apprendre du contact littéraire avec l’écriture chicana?

J’ai commencé à m’interroger sur ce sujet alors que je voyageais moi-même plusieurs fois par année entre le Canada et les États-Unis. Je venais de découvrir l’existence des Chicanos* chez nos voisins du sud, et c’est plongée dans la lecture leur poésie que la similitude avec la littérature québécoise m’a frappée. Toutes deux questionnaient leur présence dans l’espace nord-américain : le malaise transcendait les nationalités.

J’ai ainsi décidé de circonscrire ma réflexion (qui allait ensuite devenir mon...

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What is science worth for us?

Jack Spaapen, senior policy advisor, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Since the 1990s, policy makers progressively became interested in assessing scientific research not only on its merits for the scientific community, but also for society at large. However, we still do not have a widely accepted, systematic way to assess scientific impact. So why is it so difficult to assess impact of research?

The main reason is that there are so many different kinds of impact, depending on the societal context. Clearly, this goes for researchers working in, say, medical fields compared to those working in agriculture or ICT. But it goes a fortiori for researchers working in the broad array of humanities and social science (HSS) fields. Researchers who work in language departments and want to have an impact on the language curriculum of high schools have to deal with legal and governmental departments, with school boards, with student...

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The CIMVHR Approach to Assessing Impact

By Stéphanie Bélanger, CD, PhD, and Heidi Cramm, PhD, Co-scientific director (interim), Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, with thanks for input from the entire CIMVHR team.

The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Heath Research (CIMVHR) was created in 2010 with a mission to enhance the lives of Canadian military personnel, Veterans and their families by harnessing the national capacity for research. Being the only country that was a part of NATO that didn’t have an organization focused on this unique population drove Queen’s University and the Royal Military Collage of Canada to take the lead in creating such an institute. Now 42 Canadian universities strong, CIMVHR is the hub for researchers working together in addressing the health research requirements for our military personnel, Veterans and their families.

As an institute that grew from two universities to 42 in a span of seven years, our methods for assessing...

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