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. 

Exposure risks and mounting anxieties: researchers examine Covid-19’s impacts on workers

A certain level of risk is inherent to all work environments, but COVID-19 has created an entirely new kind of threat. How are these risks distributed across the workforce? Are certain groups unfairly burdened by their risk of infection or the negative impacts of containment measures? Canadian researchers are carefully examining the pandemic's implications for today's workforce.  

At the Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Professor Xavier St-Denis is examining the sociodemographic determinants of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.  Driven by significant gaps in national-level COVID-19 data, particularly population level data that would allow for comparison of...

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Forging community connections to improve food systems

 

During COVID-19, researchers across Canada have been developing projects at an unprecedented pace in order to support policy makers, public health officials, and the public at large, while health risks remain and the economic and social recovery looms ahead. Many innovative projects are relying on deep community connections and networks to learn from challenges and responses at the grassroots level.   

Highlighting grassroots food initiatives 

Within the Culinaria Research Centre, a hub for food studies at the University of Toronto, Professor Jayeeta Sharma and her research team have built a wide and ever-growing network of community partners to understand...

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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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Rethinking capacity: on preserving the dignity of risk

Guest post by Elizabeth C. Mohler, Ph.D Student in Occupational Science at Western University.

I recently came across an article in the Walrus titled: "When Is a Senior No Longer Capable of Making Their Own Decisions?" The article outlined what is involved in a capacity assessment, who is authorized to provide said assessments, illustrated narratives of individuals who were assessed, and the consequences associated with the assessment’s results. Capacity Assessment is the formal assessment of a person's mental capacity to make decisions about property and personal care. Under the Substitute Decisions Act, many situations require capacity assessments to be conducted by specially qualified assessors who must follow specific guidelines. 

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Saying "yes" to women experts: Informed Opinions advances women's expertise during a time of increased inequality

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

You may have read the headlines: women with children have been getting pushed out of the workforce due to childcare demands during the pandemic; women have been submitting fewer articles for publication in academic journals since the start of the pandemic; and even when promoted to the second highest position in government, women’s qualifications still come under suspicion. It’s a well-established fact that global crises don’t affect everyone...

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