Capital Ideas, an invaluable currency
The most pressing societal issues facing Canada and the world today are complex and multi-dimensional. Whether we are dealing with climate change, religious and ethnic intolerance, or peace and security, one thing is clear: the unrivalled breadth and intensity of our shared problems cannot be effectively addressed by any one player alone.
The local, national and international crises of our time require the collaboration of everyone, including governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses, academia and individuals, to generate rich and diverse ideas — ideas that bring people together, captivate our curiosity, flame the creative fire of debate and spark discoveries that can move us forward with new-found knowledge and innovative solutions.
I am therefore both honoured and thrilled that the University of Ottawa is hosting the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Under the theme “Capital Ideas,” the Congress promises to ignite stimulating and insightful exchanges on the links between research, society and public policy right here in the heart of Canada’s capital.
With ready access to the great institutions of our country, the University of Ottawa is part of an exciting intellectual hub where Canada’s largest gathering of academics across disciplines will be able to harness the tremendous power of ideas to enhance our lives and the world in which we live.
The ties that bind research and policy
The most open-minded thinkers are keen to continually broaden their scope. As a research-intensive university, recognized nationally and internationally for our expertise in numerous disciplines, we are likewise committed to extending the wide-ranging benefits of our research to Canadians and global citizens alike.
Much attention is deservedly given to the vital role that research plays in contributing to the socio-economic health of our country. It is important to recognize how our research in the humanities and social sciences significantly shapes public policies and contributes directly and indirectly to strengthening our society, its institutions, its cultural wealth and the overall well-being of our citizens.
The University of Ottawa’s research excellence in these disciplines naturally benefits from being located in the seat of Canada’s government. Whether advising parliamentary committees on Internet privacy laws, exploring the contested ground between religious beliefs and society, or endeavouring to understand how today’s children are taught about democracy, our professors are engaged in research that will help us better navigate an ever-changing world.
In this issue of Research Perspectives, we share with you these and other thriving humanities and social science projects at the University of Ottawa. They showcase our strengths in many areas, from the arts to public policy, and illustrate our resourcefulness in responding to the new realities of the day, while training and inspiring the next generation of researchers to take on the challenges of tomorrow.