SSHRC comes to York

Canada’s governing council of social sciences and humanities research is coming to York’s Keele campus for a two-day meeting that will include a showcase of research and discussions aimed at charting the future of the social sciences and humanities research enterprise in Canada.

Stan ShapsonMembers of the governing council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), including Stan Shapson (left), York vice-president research & innovation, and SSHRC management staff will be at York on June 17 and 18 for a regularly scheduled business meeting. This is only the third time the council has met outside of Ottawa in its 25-year history and the first time in Ontario. SSHRC is an arm’s-length federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the social sciences and humanities.

“This is an important opportunity for York to showcase the impact of our social sciences and humanities research to decision-makers and to take a national leadership role in the future of SSHRC,” said Shapson. “Investments in social science and humanities research by the federal government, through SSHRC, are a key contributor to Canada’s knowledge base, culture and quality of life, and through these investments York researchers contribute significantly to scholarship and graduate learning, public policy, and national and international dialogue across a full range of issues critical to our future.”


Right: Research into citizenship is one of the featured projects at the knowledge expo

The agenda for the morning of June 17 has been set aside for SSHRC Knowledge Panels to showcase SSHRC-funded research projects in the areas of Aboriginal and indigenous research, research/creation in the fine arts, and immigration and settlement research. The morning’s format will consist of three one-hour interactive panel discussions on each research area. Each panel will include a presentation by recently funded researchers and a question & answer session. A SSHRC council member will moderate each panel. Panelists are drawn from researchers engaged in projects within the above areas from universities in the Toronto region and in Southern Ontario.

woman refugeesThe afternoon session will showcase several of York University’s SSHRC-funded research projects in a York University Knowledge Expo. The knowledge expo will provide SSHRC council members and staff with the opportunity to engage with some of York’s leading social sciences and humanities researchers studying key social, economic and cultural issues.

Left: One featured research cluster looks at the plight of refugees

The knowledge expo will include exhibits from the 10 currently funded national and international research projects spearheaded by York researchers and funded by SSHRC through the Strategic Research Clusters Design Grants, the Community-University Research Alliances, The Initiative on the New Economy, and the Major Collaborative Research Initiatives funding programs. Graduate students and community partners will join York researchers at each exhibit. The knowledge expo is one of the first steps in York’s plan to develop effective knowledge translation and exchange practices.

The current SSHRC projects (and their principal investigators) featured at the knowledge expo include:

  • Creating Canadian Business Ethics Research Leadership (Wes Cragg, Schulich School of Business)

  • Recasting the Social in Citizenship (Engin Isin, Canada Research Chair, Faculty of Arts)

  • The Research Refugee Cluster (Susan McGrath, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies and Centre for Refugee Studies)

  • Network in Canadian History & Environment (Colin Coates, co-investigator, Canadian Studies Program, Glendon College)

  • Clustering Science & Technology Studies/History & Philosophy of Science in Canada (Bernard Lightman, Faculty of Arts)

  • Restructuring Work & Labour in the New Economy (Norene Pupo, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Research on Work & Society)

  • Diaspora, Islam & Gender (Haideh Moghissi, Atkinson and School of Women’s Studies; Saeed Rahnema, Atkinson and Faculty of Arts; Mark Goodman, Atkinson)

  • Community-University Research Alliance on Contingent Work (Leah Vosko, Atkinson School of Social Sciences)

  • Simulation and Gaming Environments for Learning: A Strategic Research Cluster for Canada (Ron Owston, Faculty of Education and Institute for Research on Learning Technologies)

  • Language Acquisition in a Multicultural Bilingual Society (Ellen Bialystok, Faculty of Arts)

timeSSHRC is currently undertaking a national dialogue aimed at transforming itself from a granting council into an expanded knowledge council. The research projects highlighted during the expo and panels at York showcase the opportunity that arises from knowledge creation, collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Right: Image from a brochure on a York-led research cluster that looks at science & technology and the history and philosophy of science

“Social sciences and humanities research informs all aspects of life, from understanding the causes of poverty to helping build more competitive industries,” said Shapson. “It provides a foundation for better social polices, an improved quality of life, and for the human understanding on which innovation depends. The future demands more than technological innovation: it requires, at least as urgently, social and cultural insights and innovation of the type being developed by SSHRC-funded researchers.”

The knowledge expo will take place from 2:30 to 5:30pm in Founders Assembly Hall, 152 Founders College.