A Voice for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Research community speaks out on U.S. travel ban

Gauri Sreenivasan, Director of Policy and Programs, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

As news of U.S. President Donald Trump’s early executive orders spread across news channels at the end of January, many Canadians and citizens around the world were alarmed by the swiftness of the move to close borders and target Muslim majority countries. Civil liberties lawyers and groups analyzed and challenged the text; many worried at home; thousands participated in...

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Sesquicentennial is no longer just about Canada

Paul Davidson, president, Universities Canada and Christine Tausig Ford, interim executive director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Canada’s 150th anniversary offers up a unique moment in time -- a pause, if you will, to reflect on where we’ve been and our country’s potential for the future.

There will be many celebrations over the coming year to mark 150 years since Confederation, but our sesquicentennial is about much more than cake and fireworks. Most importantly, it’s about coming together to chart a path to 2067.

At our 200th anniversary, what kind of Canada do we want to be? What can and should we become as a nation?

That’s the challenge laid before 100 young leaders from universities...

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Time to Take Peer Review of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Seriously at CIHR

Matthew Herder, Associate Professor, Health Law Institute, Faculties of Medicine and Law, Dalhousie University @cmrherder

In September 2016, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) launched an International Peer Review Expert Panel under the Chairmanship of Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, to assess the design and implementation of CIHR’s new grants adjudication processes. Nominated by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Matthew Herder presented his testimony to the International Peer Review Expert Panel on January 17, 2017. You can read Herder’s full testimony here as well as his blog below, originally posted on Impact Ethics blog.  


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Full STEAM ahead!

Christine Tausig Ford, Interim Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences 

It’s been a few weeks since I took on the position of interim executive director of the Federation, and I’m reminded daily of why I believe so passionately in the value of teaching, scholarship and research in the humanities and social sciences.

Recently, thanks to a suggestion by Julia Wright, a member of the Federation’s Board of Directors and a professor of English at Dalhousie University, I spent some time re-reading Percy Bysshe Shelley’s A Defence of Poetry.  The famous essay was far more meaningful to me today than decades ago, when I was an undergraduate studying English literature at the University of Toronto’s Trinity College. Back then, I didn’t really...

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The federal science review is an opportunity to strengthen Canadian research

Peter Severinson, Policy Analyst, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

This summer, the Canadian research community was tasked to address some of the sector’s most pressing challenges through the federal Fundamental Science Review, conducted by an independent panel struck by Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan. The Federation was an active participant in the review process, conducting extensive consultations with its members across the humanities and social sciences (HSS) community and delivering a comprehensive set of recommendations to the review committee in our official submission “Grasping the complexity of...

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2017 pre-budget submission: Research drives innovation and growth

 

As part of the federal government’s pre-budget consultation process, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is recommending significant investments to strengthen research, experiential learning and Indigenous academic inclusion. Read our full submission here.

Canada depends on a strong research ecosystem to prosper in a fast-changing knowledge economy. Budget 2016 made some important contributions to strengthening that system, and this important work must continue. The Federation believes that by strengthening Canada’s education and research systems, we can produce the new knowledge and talented workforce Canada will need to achieve long-term equitable growth. To succeed, we will need to tackle three key challenges:

1: Ensure a high performing and globally connected Canadian research ecosystem

While Canadian researchers continues to rank highly compared to their...

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We can no longer overlook innovation's human dimension

This op-ed was published in The HIll Times on July 4, 2016

Stephen J. Toope, president, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and director, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.

It is reassuring to see the subject of innovation emerge once again in conversations across Canada. As evidenced by the recent announcement by Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, Science Minister Kirsty Duncan and Small Business and Tourism Minister Bardish Chagger, our world is changing—economically, socially, politically—and our ability to adapt will depend on how well we innovate. Among the announced plans was a commitment to consult broadly...

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Reconciliation and the Academy

2015 – Federation announces its commitment to reconciliation

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences announces its commitment to contribute to reconciliation between Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and to model reconciliation within the academic community. This announcement comes following a call for action on reconciliation laid out by the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, during his Big Thinking lecture at the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa. The Federation embeds this commitment as one of the fundamental pillars of its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.

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Canada needs a Chief Research and Knowledge Advisor

 

It has been exciting to see the Canadian government make progress on its knowledge agenda, beginning with the reinstatement of the long-form census. The Federation is thrilled to be participating in another exciting development: the creation of a new senior research advisor in the federal government. The Federation recently submitted its recommendations to Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan for the creation of a Chief Research and Knowledge Advisor.

In their 2015 election campaign, the Liberal party committed to creating a new Chief Science Officer. As a new government, they’ve so far followed through on that promise, with the prime minister mandating Minister Duncan to create the post. The Federation strongly supports this project, and we have submitted a set of recommendations that we feel can help make Canada’s research-advisory system the best in the world.

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Pre-budget 2016 submission: The Federation calls for investments in research, in student mobility, and to support reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples

In this year’s budget season, the Federation is urging the federal government to make significant investments to support scholarly research, student mobility and reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians through the postsecondary system.

Each year, the Federation submits a set of recommendations to the federal government through the annual budget consultation process. Our recommendations are designed to reflect the priorities of Canada’s social scientists and humanities scholars, and also to support public policies that benefit all Canadians.

Our recommendations for 2016 are based on the understanding that Canadians face growing challenges in the 21st century, such as adapting to technological change, creating jobs in an increasingly knowledge-driven economy, reducing carbon emissions and building social inclusion. As a response to these challenges, we are making the following recommendations:

Invest in research:...

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