Author Archives: Ghoussoub

Reboot NSERC by engaging and empowering the researchers it serves

I described in a previous post some of the impediments to NSERC’s ability to optimize government’s investments in support of scientific research and innovation. Namely, how its rigid and insular operational structure hinders its capabilities to partner internationally; to coordinate … Continue reading

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President Arvind Gupta on the essence of the academic mission…and an endorsement

Originally posted on Commentaria:
By Professor Arvind Gupta Dear colleagues, As many of you are aware, there is a by-election for a faculty representative to the Board of Governors. This is an important election for UBC Vancouver faculty, and I feel…

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Why am I running again to represent the faculty on UBC’s Board of Governors?

A good question indeed. My official statement below (restricted to 250 words) tells a part of the story but not all. I was personally stunned, upon rereading it, by how many times I call for “refocusing, re-establishing, reversing, returning, recovering … Continue reading

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Overhauling NSERC is a long overdue national priority (I)

With an annual budget of $1.1 billion, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is the agency through which the federal government funds advanced post-secondary research in science and engineering. Thousands of Canadian researchers rely on it, … Continue reading

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Fettering unfettered research funding: The NSERC ways

Last week, I resigned from a committee that is supposed to liaise between NSERC and Canada’s Mathematics and Statistics communities. The reason? An unsettling lack of transparency, shoddy consultation, and poor decision-making by NSERC’s management in handling recent government budget … Continue reading

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Statistical science is everywhere

By Professor Nancy Reid, OC, FRSC On Saturday, April 7, The Globe and Mail published a long article on advances in counselling and therapy around mental health—“Rethinking therapy: how 45 questions can revolutionize mental health”. The punch line? A new … Continue reading

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Did you say, Father’s day?

Last Monday, I wasn’t feeling great, so I asked a good friend of mine to come over and give me company, which he promptly did. Yes, this may be uncommon in this part of the world, but both he and … Continue reading

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The Problem with Naylor’s Panel Report

The report of Naylor’s panel reviewing Canadian Science is out. It is an incredibly eloquent “plaidoyer” for basic research both in terms of its role, past and present, in the advancement of society. It is of course music to the ears … Continue reading

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Berdahl vs. Potter: The Tale of Two “Globe and Mail” Editorials

Oct. 22, 2015, Globe and Mail Editorial re: Jennifer Berdahl: “It’s far from clear, though, that her blog post was an exercise in academic freedom. Her post was one remark about one unexplained kerfuffle in a university’s administration, not a piece … Continue reading

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Budget 2017, Naylor’s review, and the Mathematical Sciences in Canada

James Colliander, Director of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS)  Nassif Ghoussoub, Director of the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) Ian Hambleton, Director of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences (Fields) Luc Vinet, Directeur du Centre de Recherches Mathématiques (CRM) The … Continue reading

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Canada has two ministers of Science, yet Budget 2017 barely mentions Science

University researchers across Canada are stunned and puzzled. What happened to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals promises to undo the damage that the Harper years inflicted on the nation’s research capacity? The Liberals campaigned to end the “war on Science,” yet they … Continue reading

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The Latest Attack on Academic Freedom in Canada: McGill Turns Away from Controversy and Provocation

Originally posted on Commentaria:
? “While the Institute itself is non-partisan, MISC is no stranger to debate and controversy.”— “It is not a role to provoke, but to promote good discussion.”—McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier as quoted in The Globe and…

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Salient points of Daniel Heath Justice’s letter of resignation from the UBC Sexual Assault Policy Committee in response to Furlong’s reinstatement

Originally posted on Commentaria:
Dear Professor Ono, I read with dismay the announcement yesterday that John Furlong has been reinstated as a UBC fundraising speaker. … There were many responsible and compassionate ways this matter might have been handled that…

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Shaking up the UBC Board of Governors

Month after month of bad press in local and national media outlets didn’t do it. Petition after petition asking for transparency and accountability from the governors and the managerial class didn’t do it. Eight hundred faculty members voting non-confidence in … Continue reading

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Interview with a mathematician: Nassif Ghoussoub

Originally posted on The Intrepid Mathematician:
Nassif Ghoussoub is the founder and current director of the Banff International Research Station, the founding director of the Pacific Institute of Mathematics, and the co-founder of MITACS NCE. On top of all that,…

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About Naylor’s panel roundtable regarding Big Science in a Canadian Context

For those not paying attention, David Naylor is leading “Canada’s Fundamental Science Review Panel” which is looking at the state of fundamental science in Canada. Last week, I had a chance to participate at a roundtable of experts in Calgary, … Continue reading

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Research funding of Mathematics and Statistics in Canada

A submission from the NSERC Mathematics and Statistics Liaison group, to the Review of Federal Support to Research and Development, on research funding of mathematics and statistics in Canada. 1. Mathematics and Statistics in our research system; revolution, or a … Continue reading

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The Submission of BIRS and Canada’s Mathematical Sciences Institutes to Canada’s Fundamental Science Review

The Mathematical Sciences are the foundation of any advanced research ecosystem, and Canada’s mathematical sciences institutes have been instrumental in supporting this ecosystem. They do so by providing scientific leadership, by developing coherent national strategies for mathematical and statistical discovery … Continue reading

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Saving the UBC Senate from itself

Originally posted on Commentaria:
Much has been made at UBC on the subject of governance, sparked by such diverse issues as the sudden resignation of Arvind Gupta, the violation of academic freedom that occurred in the aftermath of the resignation,…

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Some unedited thoughts for Canada’s fundamental science review panel

The Government bureaucracy seems to be buckling under the sheer number of reviews that the liberal government is currently conducting. One of them is focused on “determining the strengths of our current arrangements and pinpointing gaps and bottlenecks in Canada’s … Continue reading

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