Nouvelles de la Fédération

How we're spending our weekend - Fedcan takes on some big questions

Ryan Saxby Hill
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

This is a big week for the Federation. It all started with the Federation's executive committee last night, continues with a meeting of the board of directors today and culminates in our first annual conference over the weekend. The Federation's board will be dealing with all of the administrative issues needed to keep a national, relevant non-profit organzation running, and then will join our General Assembly and members of the public in a discussion on the health and vitality of the humanities on Saturday.

There are a few ways that you can get involved with us this weekend. Firstly, if you...

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Fedcan responds to Federal Budget 2011

The announcements in yesterday’s federal budget laid out clear support for the critical role the social sciences and humanities in research and innovation. Among the announcements were $47 million in increased funding for the granting councils, including $7 million of untargeted funds for SSHRC.

In responding to the budget, CFHSS President Noreen Golfman said, “This investment, including an increase for the social sciences and humanities, recognizes that all researchers and graduates make a critical contribution to Canada’s economy and prosperity. Canada is sending a clear message to the world that it intends to stay on the leading edge, that innovation and critical thinking are essential and non-negotiable-in good times and tough times.”

Read our full summary, which goes...

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Fedcan testifies at the House of Commons Copyright committee today

The Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences was invited to testify copyright committe today on Parliament Hill. Jay Rahn, the Chair of the Federation's Taskforce on Copyright provided insight into how the bill could effect Canadian researchers and scholars. In summary, the Federation is suggesting two main shifts in the bill:

  • The phrase "such as" or "including, but not limited to" should be added in the list of fair dealing excpetions to make it suggestive rather ahn exhaustive
  • The language concerning technological protection measures (TPMs) should be amended so it is not an offence to circumvent a TPM for actions that are otherwise non-infringing

The Federation is supportive of copyright reform and is working hard to ensure that the final form of bill C-32 reflects the reality of research, teaching and learning in the digital age. You can find a copy of Jay's testimony to the committee...

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Budget 2011 - Coming soon to Parliament Hill

Karen Diepeveen
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Federal budget day 2011 is just around the corner – on March 22 at 4pm, we’ll know the proposed fiscal plan for Canada this coming year.

In our pre-budget submission, the Federation highlighted the importance of investing in Canada’s next generation of researchers, and promoted creating new interdisciplinary, knowledge mobilization and research mobility funding initiatives.

Here at the Federation, we’re anticipating how the budget will affect Canada’s social...

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People-centred innovation: An expanded vision of research and development

What is the role of social scientists and humanists within the broader context of research, development and innovation? The Federation outlined the centrality of these disciplines in the recent submission to the Expert Panel for the Review of Federal Support to Research and Development. The panel, tasked with examining federal support to business R&D, put out a call for submissions in early January. Shortly thereafter, the Federation created a Blue Ribbon Panel of distinguished scholars from across Canada. The Federation's panel answered the questions posed by the federal expert panel, setting out the importance of research that explores the ways we learn about innovation, change and the application of new knowledge. Going beyond the latest technological advances and scientific discoveries, R&D must include forays into human systems and the impact of new technologies on citizens,...

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ASPP-funded author wins the 2010 Governor General’s Award for French-language non-fiction

By: Kel Morin-Parsons, Manager of ASPP

Michel Lavoie’s C’est ma seigneurie que je réclame : la lutte des Hurons de Lorette pour la seigneurie de Sillery,1650-1900, is the winner of the 2010 Governor General’s Award for French-language non-fiction.  The jury had this to say about this work, published by Les Éditions du Boréal:  “Supported by an enormous amount of archival research, this historical work by Michel...

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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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"Our Greatest Possible Resource"

“A degree will help you get ahead” – so many young Canadians have been told. But with crippling debt and high tuition costs, the cost of getting post-secondary education can become higher than the benefits.

And, as Roseann O’Reilly Runte points out in a recent Globe and Mail piece, these disincentives for attending post-secondary education actually end up hurting society as a whole. President of Carleton University, Dr. Runte argues that without access to education, our world would be “a hotbed of strife.” Education, on the other hand, promotes civic engagement and connections to the community, leading to richer experiences and better wellbeing for students and community members alike.

While Canada has excellent education available, Dr. Runte calls for continued support in providing access to education. In turn, she argues...

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Social Sciences and Humanities Key to Digital Economy

Daniel Paul O’Donnell, Federation member and Co-President of the Society for the Digital Humanities wrote an op ed piece in the Edmonton Journal this week discussing the role that the humanities and social sciences have in the development of Canada’s digital economy. According to O’Donnell, “What makes the new digital economy so exciting and so different from what came before is the emphasis it places on problems humanists and social scientists have always studied: organization and communication; finding the balance between the group and the individual; and producing, disseminating and sharing cultural work.”

O’Donnell’s comments are timely given that the government’s digital economy consultation has just closed. As a country we need to ensure that perspectives from across the full spectrum of disciplines are able to contribute to innovation...

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