Federation News

Incubating innovation and ingenuity at CSPC


Eleanor Fast, Director of Policy and Programming
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation took part in the Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) held in Toronto last week. Founded in 2008 by a group of professionals from across industry, academia and government, the CSPC is an annual gathering of minds that aims to address current and emerging issues in Canadian science policy. The forum brings together scholars and stakeholders from across the country to engage in dialogue and encourage action around science, technology and innovation policy issues.

The theme of the event was “Incubating Innovation and Ingenuity,” and sessions were held on a range of topics such as understanding innovation, changes in graduate studies and research training, science communication and the science-policy interface...

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Preparing students for the challenges and wonders of the 21st century


Federation President Antonia Maioni was invited to speak at the University of Winnipeg recently as part of the school’s 100th convocation celebrations. Her address touched on the vital role universities play in our communities, and the overall value of studying the arts, humanities, and social sciences. She congratulated the University on all its accomplishments, many of which demonstrate the idea behind her speech: that a university education in the liberal arts is “A Pathway to Progress in the 21st Century”.

The University of Winnipeg’s commitment to relevant and innovative learning, Maioni said, is evident in the school’s identity as a place for students to “Discover. Achieve. Belong.” She suggested universities must continue to foster more interdisciplinary perspectives and recognize the “interdependence of various fields of academic pursuit” to realize their full...

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Minds mingling at the 2013 World Social Science Forum


Eleanor Fast, Director of Policy & Programming, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Over a thousand people gathered in Montreal this past weekend for the World Social Science Forum, which brought together social science researchers from 80 countries to address the theme of “Social Transformations in the Digital Age”. Sessions took place on a diverse range of topics – from cyber politics to the role of digital games in aging well – and there was palpable energy and excitement in the air as scholars from around the world exchanged views and ideas with one another.   

The conference program also included a number of special events, such as...

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L’actualité challenges stereotypes about students in the arts, humanities and social sciences

Milena Stanoeva Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The November issue of L’actualité takes a look at Quebec’s job market, the future of employment in the province, and the benefits of a postsecondary education. Among the series of articles, the issue features a piece by Isabelle Grégoire on the social sciences, arts and humanities, and the employment prospects of graduates in those disciplines. Our president, Graham Carr, is quoted in the article, which seeks to challenge stereotypes that arose during the “printemps québécois” about students in the social sciences and humanities.

The Quebec student movement tended to be made up of, and headed by, social sciences and humanities students. Grégoire notes that commentators seized on this fact to call the students “spoiled...

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Ideas can...transform

Alison Hebbs, Director of Policy and Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

A new idea excites its creator(s), leads to debate, and sparks discovery that drives people forward. Ideas give us hope, earn respect for those who went before us, and help us build a better place for those who will come. People with ideas enhance their communities, share knowledge with others and build connections for the future. Ideas are about being human and caring about the world.

And, ideas have changed us. You may not even know us (the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences), but you know the people we represent: 85,000 students, scholars and researchers in the humanities, arts and social sciences. They study everything from geography to religion to...

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Putting the humanities, arts and social sciences into S&T

Released yesterday, the second iteration of The State of Science and Technology in Canada report is great news for the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) community.

And here’s why: in 2010, the Minister of Industry asked the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to explore how Canada was faring in all fields in which research is conducted in this country. And, as the report revealed, the expert panel concluded that Canada’s S&T community—including the HASS disciplines—is “healthy and growing, in both output and impact,” and is met with high international regard.

That’s not all—the report also found six research fields in which Canada excels. Here’s where the HASS community is clearly highlighted: clinical medicine, historical studies, information and communication technologies (ICT), physics and astronomy, psychology and cognitive...

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CFHSS president Graham Carr appointed to position of VP research and Graduate Studies at Concordia University


It was with great pleasure that we learned yesterday that Graham Carr, president of CFHSS, has been appointed to the position of Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies at Concordia University. Graham has been serving as Interim Vice-President since January 2012. His five-year term begins today.

 “We are fortunate to retain Graham Carr in this key role as he has the vision to move the research and graduate studies portfolio forward at Concordia. He is admired for his exceptional academic and administrative leadership and for bringing people together in a richly stimulating and collaborative environment,” said President and Vice-...

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Congratulations to one of our Executive Committee members!

CFHSS is pleased to congratulate one of its Executive Committee members, Karen Grant, on her new appointment to Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research of Mount Allison University’s. Currently Vice-Provost (Academic Affairs) at the University of Manitoba, Professor Grant has been a board director for the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), where she contributed to prepare a successful application for CFI funding for the Digital Content Infrastructure for the Human and Social Sciences.

We wish her continued success in her new role.

You can read Mount Alison’s release here.    

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National Strategy on Inuit Education announced

On June 16, Canada’s Inuit leaders unveiled a national education strategy aiming to improve the educational experiences of Canadian Inuit youth – 75% of whom do not finish high school. Developed by a committee of Inuit leaders chaired by Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the strategy emerged out of the 2009 Accord on Inuit Education.

The strategy includes ten comprehensive and wide-reaching recommendations, including initiatives around engaging parents, creating bilingual programs, establishing a northern university, standardizing the Inuit language system and addressing teacher education and curriculum. While funding for the strategy has yet to be announced, the Inuit leaders are confident that all levels of government will support the strategy and improve education for Inuit youth.

CFHSS applauds the strategy and the leadership of the National Committee on Inuit Education. Achieving the recommendations outlined in the report will have far-reaching...

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