Social science and humanities critical to informing Canada’s policy decisions

Toronto, ON – This week, leading Canadian academics convened at Congress 2017 to discuss why social sciences and humanities (SSH) perspectives are essential to Canadian policy-making.

Federal Budget 2017: Targeted investment in work-integrated learning

Ottawa, ON — March 22, 2017 — The Government of Canada announced $221 million in funding over five years to renew and expand Mitacs programs. This investment in Mitacs’ work-integrated learning programs will help deliver 10,000 internships per year to post-secondary students.

The funding will deploy top talent from Canadian post-secondary institutions to businesses and not-for-profit organizations — helping students develop skills to launch their careers, while also helping companies innovate and compete globally.

Canadian Science Policy Fellows’ Corner: Overcoming our scientific hubris

In Sir Peter Gluckman’s recent address to the Canadian Science Policy Centre, he noted that that “scientific hubris can get in the way of an effective interaction.” To someone trained as a physical scientist, who made the existential leap to social science, this feels like a wild understatement.

Metro Winnipeg: Using technology to fight technology

Two researchers from the University of Manitoba are developing technology aimed at blocking images of child sexual abuse before they have a chance to infiltrate the Internet.

Computer engineering students Mehrdad Hosseinzadeh and Binglin Li are working with Two Hat Security Ltd. out of Kelowna, BC to create cutting-edge artificial intelligence software to accurately identify and intercept pictures and prevent distribution.

“It’s using technology to fight technology,” said Brad Leitch, Two Hat Security’s lead on what has been dubbed “Project Cease.”

CTV News Winnipeg: U of M students working to prevent child sex abuse images from hitting the internet

Two student researchers at the University of Manitoba have teamed up with a Kelowna company called Two Hat Security to develop new software aimed at keeping child sexual abuse images off the internet.

It’s a growing problem, but with billions of images online, sorting through what’s appropriate and what’s illegal is a huge challenge for law enforcement agencies and social media companies.

The Globe and Mail: New program allows scientists to get involved in federal policy-making

When more than 1,300 new scientists signed an open letter to the Trudeau government last month, asking it to keep its promise to make policy based on evidence, it was the latest example of a growing movement to respect science in a world that is increasingly skeptical of experts.

While the signatories of the letter were reacting to the federal government’s review of the environmental-assessment process, a new program is allowing young scientists to get directly involved in making policy.

Canadian Science Policy Fellows’ Corner: Considering values in science policy

At the Canadian Science Policy Conference, I found a number of the sessions to be narrower in scope than I would have liked. For example, the session on systems analysis for evidence-based decision making focused on using the technique to inform energy policy. One speaker focused on the impressive amount of effort expended on analysis and how they did not submit recommendations, but wanted to let the results speak for themselves.

Canadian Science Policy Fellows' Corner: Avoid the Terminator! Consider the ethical implications of disruptive technologies before it’s too late

New technologies have the potential to vastly influence everyday life. Sometimes, technological innovations are so powerful that they shake up the status quo. These are called disruptive technologies because they replace established products and practices, sometimes even leading to the creation of whole new industries.

Canadian Science Policy Fellows' Corner: Redefining research, a new approach to knowledge generation in Canada

“…That word...I do not think it means what you think it means”
Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

Canadian Science Policy Fellows' Corner: Where is the evidence on achieving diversity in STEM education?

This year’s Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) had the first symposium on “Achieving Diversity in STEM, Advancing Innovation,” with other sessions having a similar underlying theme. Moderated by Dorothy Byers and Imogen Coe, the panelists of the symposium primarily discussed the need for achieving diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.