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Science of Communication 

 

Issue 13, August 2013


Welcome to the thirteenth issue of Council E-News, your source for updates on the Council's assessments, corporate activities, its Member Academies, and science in Canada.
Our 2012/2013 Annual Report is now available in English and French, and can be downloaded here.

2012/13 annual report cover
Message from the Editors

 

Over the past decade there has been a shift in how we communicate, which has implications for both our personal and professional lives. Meetings are often held with the support of video conferencing services and online software in the hope that these will increase collaboration while keeping costs down and improving productivity. We are also more inclined to text or email a colleague rather than speak to them directly or by phone. New communication technology is proving to be a valuable tool, but we suggest there is no better form of communication than face-to-face conversation. This summer, we hope you can find the time to get out for coffee with a colleague, a stakeholder, or a friend and truly connect the old-fashioned way.

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We want to know!

 

 Have you used one of our reports recently? Tell us how!
Email us at
editors@scienceadvice.ca 

 

Expert Panels at Work

The Minister of Industry, on behalf of Industry Canada, asked the Council of Canadian Academies to assess the state of industrial research and development (R&D) in Canada. This assessment is complementary to the work completed last year by the Expert Panel on the State of Science and Technology in Canada. The State of Industrial R&D in Canada will be released on August 28.   


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Fellow in Focus

Professor Barry Wellman, FRSC

 

In this issue of Council e-News, we speak with Barry Wellman, S.D. Clark Professor, Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Prof. Wellman is a member of the Expert Panel on Memory Institutions and the Digital Revolution. For several decades, now, his research in the areas of networks, communities, and social media has helped shape the science of communication. Read about his concept of "networked individualism" in his prize-winning book, Networked: The New Social Operating System, co-authored with Lee Rainie (MIT Press, 2012).

 

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Spotlight On...
  
When Heather Munroe-Blum, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and former member of the Council's Board of Governors, retired from her post as McGill's Principal and Vice-Chancellor in May, she was asked by the McGill Reporter what sort of future she envisions for the university. Her response acknowledges the growing impact of Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, which are reshaping the education landscape by allowing thousands of people around the world to tune into university lectures simultaneously, with no tuition fees attached.

Perspectives
 
This past March, Facebook recorded a total of 1.1 billion users, a huge accomplishment considering that less than 10 years ago, the site was only available on certain university campuses in the United States and Canada. Other nascent social media networks also number in the hundreds of millions of active users, including Twitter (200 million), LinkedIn (160 million), Instagram (100 million), and Tumblr (100 million). Through sheer size alone, social media networks have the ability to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information in ways unimagined a decade ago.
    
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Around the Council

 

The Council warmly welcomes incoming Board of Governors Chair, Margaret Bloodworth, C.M. Ms. Bloodworth is a former federal deputy minister and national security advisor, and has been a member of the Council's Board of Governors since September 2012.

 

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News From the Academies


This section features news from the Council's Member Academies: the Royal Society of Canada; the Canadian Academy of Engineering; and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.   Read more.

 


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Headlines
Message from the Editors
Expert Panels at Work
Fellow in Focus
Spotlight On...
Perspectives
Around the Council
News from the Academies

Did you know?

 

If you work in the field of science, at some point in your career you will probably be called upon to communicate an aspect of your work, whether it's in the form of a presentation, article, interview or paper. Where to start can be daunting, particularly if you're time-pressed or not entirely comfortable engaging with the public. But communicating science can be done in a compelling way and helps to bring important issues to the forefront of public dialogue.

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