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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 13 | September 6, 2001


A lesson in humanities needed (editor agrees)


I'm writing about the article "Banner year for campus research" (UBC reports, Aug. 9).

The article mentions that 47 UBC "scientists" received funding from SSHRC in this year's competition. I currently hold a SSHRC grant, and while I'd like to think (because I'm a specialist in medieval Latin, among other things) that you were using "scientist" in terms of its root meaning (scientia is Latin for knowledge, so a scientist is just someone who knows or finds out things), somehow I don't think so.

In other words, the 47 faculty who received funding from SSHRC would doubtless describe themselves either as humanists or as social scientists (SSHRC = Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council).

It's important for our official news bulletin to reflect accurately what the faculty are doing, and it is simply not accurate to lump humanists in with scientists.

UBC has consistently done very well on the Maclean's ranking, for example, in part because its humanists and social scientists have done so well in SSHRC competitions.

UBC has particular and specific expertise in humanities research, and you do us a disservice to disguise that expertise through errors such as this one.

Sian Echard, Associate Professor, English


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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