Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Photo Submitted

GATHERING WITH THE MINISTER – Dr. Bronwyn Hancock (fourth from the right) is seen at Yukon University last week during the visit from federal Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu (fourth from left). From left to right are Chùsi Robin Bradasch, asssociate vice-president Indigenous Engagement and Partnerships; Dionne Savill, Yukon regional director for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada; Dr. Shelagh Rowles, interim vice-president, Finance and Administration; Hajdu; Hancock; Ewan McDonald, Circuit Rider Training Program co-ordinator; Dr. Michelle Leach, scientific director, Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials Support Unit (SPOR); and Dr. Liris Smith, research chair, health research, SPOR Support Unit. Photo courtesy YUKON UNIVERSITY

Panel includes Yukon University educator

The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) has formed an expert panel to identify the key foundational elements required to create “an inclusive, collaborative, effective, and world-class Arctic and Northern science system.”

By Whitehorse Star on August 1, 2022

The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) has formed an expert panel to identify the key foundational elements required to create “an inclusive, collaborative, effective, and world-class Arctic and Northern science system.”

One of the panel members is Dr. Bronwyn Hancock, associate vice-president, research, Yukon University, the institution said 
last Thursday.

“Canadian researchers continue to advance knowledge on a range of issues affecting the Arctic and the North, but the research landscape remains both complex and fragmented,” the university said in a statement.

“A clear vision is required to ensure that Canada supports research that aids the self-determination and well-being of Arctic and northern communities and responds to the needs and priorities of the people who live there.”

The panel was created at the request of a consortium of Arctic and northern research organizations from across Canada, led by ArcticNet.

The panel will be co-chaired by Karla Jessen Williamson, PhD, assistant professor, Educational Foundations, University of Saskatchewan, and Ashlee Cunsolo, PhD, founding dean, School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies, Labrador Campus of Memorial University.

“The transformative environmental, social, and economic changes taking place in the Arctic have important implications for research,” said Jessen Williamson.

“I look forward to exploring with Dr. Cunsolo and my colleagues how research efforts could be strengthened and enhanced to better meet the needs of Arctic Indigenous Peoples, Northerners, Canadians, and the international community.”

“The Arctic and the North are facing specific challenges that demand an equally distinctive approach to how research is carried out there — one that prioritizes and celebrates Indigenous and Northern sciences, priorities, and self-determination,” added Cunsolo.

“I’m eager to work with the expert panel and Dr. Jessen Williamson to determine how Canada can strengthen its current foundation in Arctic and Northern research.”

Jessen Williamson and Cunsolo will lead a multidisciplinary group with expertise in Indigenous and local sciences and knowledges, natural and environmental sciences, health sciences, and social sciences.

The panel includes experts from communities across northern Canada and institutions which focus on the North.

The panel will answer the following question: Based on an assessment of current knowledge and evidence, what are the key foundational elements to create an inclusive, collaborative, effective, and world-class Arctic and northern science system in Canada?

“We’re delighted that Karla Jessen Williamson and Ashlee Cunsolo have agreed to co-chair this panel,” said Eric M. Meslin, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS, president and CEO of the CCA.

“I’m especially proud of the panel’s diverse expertise and am confident it will provide the ArcticNet consortium with knowledge it can use to inform decisions affecting Arctic and northern communities and the development of a strong Arctic and Northern science system.”

The panel’s other members are:

  • Richard Boudreault, FRSC, FCAE, adjunct professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, École Polytechnique Montréal; adjunct professor, Faculty of Earth Science, University of Waterloo in Ontario;

  • Chris Derksen, research scientist, Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada;

  • Kimberly Fairman, executive director, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research;

  • Susan Kutz, FCAHS, professor, Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary;

  • Gita Ljubicic, associate professor, Faculty of Science, and Canada Research Chair in Community-Engaged Research for Northern Sustainability, McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.;

  • Rachel Olson, director, The Firelight Group;

  • Nicole Redvers, associate professor, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University in London, Ont.; and

  • Dalee Sambo Dorough, senior scholar, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Comments (11)

Up 3 Down 0

Groucho d'North on Aug 5, 2022 at 10:12 am

Thanks for catching the url misfire. The correct one is here: https://nrc.canada.ca/en/ But it is not working right now so we cannot review their mandate to see what is and is not included.
My point is there should be some institution in the scientific community to review the product this august group of individuals creates to ensure the appropriate scientific standards are met and utilized for their intended purposes. There is already plenty of alleged science being cited for a variety of issues designed to sway opinions without tangible facts, and science is all about facts.

Up 4 Down 0

The Unconscious Civilization on Aug 5, 2022 at 12:09 am

In response to - Groucho d'North on Aug 3, 2022 at 1:06 pm & @groucho on Aug 4, 2022 at 2:25 pm:

Science is not the product of a person, council, or organization. It is applied methodology in measured pursuit of testable hypotheses. It is not enough to find support for hypotheses. Solid research requires confirmation or did confirmation of the null hypothesis. Councils can set standards of research and/or conduct or fund further research to replicate the findings of previous research results.

Part of the scientific process is the submission of one’s work for peer review. This is usually done through publication in a journal. The process is strengthened when this is done openly. Research that is replicable under similar conditions and procedures has greater validity.

Nowhere is science a product of opinion or consensus. However, the results of the scientific process are interpreted by various actors for a present purpose. This is where science becomes political as the meaning of the results are given shape through the artifices of extrapolation.

Up 6 Down 1

Mitch on Aug 4, 2022 at 2:27 pm

So many victims Max, it just about eats the whole numerical system and alphabet without any room for everyone else.

Up 4 Down 2

@groucho on Aug 4, 2022 at 2:25 pm

I hope someone vets your work. You reference the National Research Council, a Canadian federal, regulated, research and development org, but your citation is for the National Academy of Sciences, an American private scientific advisory panel. Regardless, neither would be appropriate because that role isn't within the NRC's mandate, and obviously the NAS isn't going to be evaluating scientific research in the Yukon (which is in Canada, last time I checked).

Up 5 Down 12

YukonMax on Aug 4, 2022 at 9:14 am

Oh! Sylvie, Sylvie...You should have known you'd get the thumbs down. This comment section doesn't do well with any positive comment on the gays, francophones, climate change, first nation, Yukon energy, Northwestel, Wilf Carter, the list goes on and on

Up 6 Down 2

Groucho d'North on Aug 3, 2022 at 1:06 pm

Inclusivity and all the soft gooey issues don't mean a thing unless this team of individuals can produce “an inclusive, collaborative, effective, and world-class Arctic and Northern science system.”
Who gets to vet their work to ensure it meets the demands of the pursuit of science without any bias and strict adherence to the scientific method? The National Research Council might be a good evaluator of the product this group produces as they appear to share the same mission. http://www.nasonline.org/about-nas/mission/

Up 11 Down 8

MITCH on Aug 3, 2022 at 10:06 am

One man and 6 women isn't inclusive. It is a lawsuit waiting to happen though in this climate of limitless outrage. I hope this eats itself alive and I suspect it will. Our rights are becoming untenable, while actual rights are being done away with. When the power goes out, that goes back to normal so fast, you perish trying to keep up.

Up 4 Down 39

Sylvie on Aug 1, 2022 at 7:42 pm

Considering 40 years of Yukon francophonie and northern one as well, with various institutions, and presence in the Yukon territory since mid-1800s, I can only hope that this panel and Yukon University will include the northern francophonie when they consider elements for inclusive, collaborative, effective, and world-class Arctic and northern science system in Canada. Merci

Up 33 Down 8

Great Misrepresentations on Aug 1, 2022 at 5:00 pm

One token male, how is this diversity? This is optically challenging to the narrative.

Up 5 Down 14

Wilf Carter on Aug 1, 2022 at 4:31 pm

Wow a group of educated people. So how does a Yukoner who has done a lot of work in the field of social, domestic and economic development get involved with this group on northern issues?

Up 23 Down 26

Mr Facts on Aug 1, 2022 at 3:48 pm

No masks? No 6 feet? We are in a PANDEMIC people. This is very disturbing. I certainly hope YU will mandate 3 boosters like the Toronto University just did for the fall.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.