Top Ten

January 12, 2023

Scientific publications are becoming less “disruptive”: Editorials

Two recent articles in Nature and the Atlantic respond to a study on the drop in “disruptive” science in scientific publications. Max Kozlov for Nature writes that the US-based study found a drop in the disruptiveness of science and technology research papers; research done in the 2000s, compared with mid-twentieth-century research, was less likely to veer in a new direction. Kozlov discusses some potential reasons behind this shift, including author concerns about citations and the fact that researchers are now in a more competitive environment. In an article in The Atlantic, Derek Thompson questions whether “America is running out of new ideas” and discusses his theories on the reasons behind the change. Thompson notes that many papers are designed to advance careers rather than knowledge, and questions if disruptive science is becoming less productive. Nature | The Atlantic (Editorial)

NS, Mitacs partner to increase internship opportunities

Nova Scotia has partnered with Mitacs to increase the number of internships for students and graduates in the province. The province will be leveraging investments to invest $13M into the creation of up to 3,200 more internship opportunities over the next four years. The internships will provide opportunities for college and university students, post-doctoral researchers, and recent graduates to contribute to local companies; provide participants with work-integrated learning opportunities; and increase retention of postsecondary talent. “This program has increased productivity while creating new jobs and opportunities,” said NS Minister of Advanced Education Brian Wong. “Added research funding strengthens our commitment to invest in post-secondary students to make Nova Scotia an affordable and desirable place to build a life and career.” NS (NS)

MEI proposes adjusting QC tuition fees based on program costs

The Montréal Economic Institute has released a publication proposing that adjusting Québec tuition fees based on program costs would be fairer and less expensive for more than half of undergraduate students. MEI states that, currently, QC students all pay the same tuition fees, but costs vary significantly from one program to another. "The programs with the highest costs, like veterinary medicine or dentistry, are generally those associated with the highest salaries," says MEI Study Author Michel Poitevin. "By adjusting tuition fees in this way, Quebec would be fairer to all students, while reducing financial pressures for many of them." Newswire (QC)

Algonquin launches Computer Programming and Analysis diploma offered through collaboration model

Algonquin College has announced that it is offering a Computer Programming and Analysis advanced diploma program. The program will provide students who have completed the two-year Computer Programming Ontario College Diploma with a third year of study. It is part of a multi-college collaboration model where the program is offered in-person at Algonquin, and students from partner colleges, such as Sault College, can also access the program using remote technologies via multimodal classrooms. Students can choose to complete an optional co-operative education version of the program that includes two paid work terms. Algonquin (ON)

Talk at McGill cancelled due to protest

Over 100 students and supporters reportedly protested at McGill University this week against an event hosted by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. The event, titled “Sex v. Gender (Identity) Debate In the United Kingdom and the Divorce of LGB from T” featuring lawyer Robert Wintemute was scheduled for Tuesday, but was halted partway through by protesters who decried the event as transphobic. The university issued a statement noting that the centre organizes a variety of events on human rights issues to provide a platform for “critical conversations on topics that can productively and robustly be discussed in an academic setting,” and reaffirming that the institution does not endorse any speaker’s views. Protest organizer Celeste Trianon told CTV News that she objects to the university giving the LGB Alliance a platform, even if the university does not endorse it views. CTV News | CBC | MTL Blog (QC)

BCIT launches Digital Health Advanced Certificate program

The British Columbia Institute of Technology has launched a Digital Health Advanced Certificate program that will train healthcare professionals for work in the digital health field. The new program will teach healthcare professionals the knowledge and skills they will need to apply digital health and informatics to their work. Topics include the clinical translation of standards, technology, and information solutions across systems; the use and measurement of clinical data and outcomes; and collaborative change leadership. The program will be offered online and part-time. “Graduates from this flexible and dynamic program will be equipped with the tools and strategies needed to inform and advance digital health practice so as to improve health outcomes for patients, families, and communities,” said BCIT Program Head, Digital Health, School of Health Sciences Glynda Rees. BCIT (BC)

Fail students when necessary to encourage success: Opinion

Instructors should strive to honestly grade their students, and that may mean using a failing grade when necessary to encourage students to complete their assignments, writes Louis Haas for Inside Higher Ed. Haas writes that many faculty members assign students passing grades even when they do not do the work expected of them, which incentivizes students to continue to not complete assignments. The author argues that instructors should boldly use the F as an indicator of students’ lack of success, as it is a useful way of providing feedback to students about their preparedness, and behaviour. Haas writes that providing this kind of feedback encourages student growth and success, since students tend to pay attention to their GPA and will make an effort to achieve better grades. Inside Higher Ed (Acct. Req.) (Editorial)

Nipissing, Bioenterprise Canada partner to provide new opportunities in northern Ontario

Nipissing University has signed a memorandum of understanding with Bioenterprise Canada that will create new opportunities in northern Ontario. The partnership will see Nipissing become a Knowledge & Development Partner, which will provide the university community with access to Bioenterprise Canada mentorship, partnership, and funding support. “Partnering with Bioenterprise Canada helps to create new connections where we can contribute to finding sustainable solutions and help support our community partners as well as innovation in the North,” said Nipissing Dean of Graduate Studies and Research (Interim) Barbi Lawat. “This new partnership will provide access to learning opportunities related to the processes around Intellectual Property, entrepreneurship and commercialization, new collaborative opportunities for our researchers, and experiential learning for our students.” Nation Talk (ON)

Brock unveils Department of Digital Humanities

Brock University has announced that its digital humanities centre has become the Department of Digital Humanities. The new name was chosen in response to the growth of Brock’s digital humanities unit, as well as the increased demand for interactive media education and research. “Games continue to be a global juggernaut culturally, socially, and economically,” said Brock Department Chair and Associate Professor Jason Hawreliak. “Issues like cybersecurity, online misinformation, and artificial intelligence have never been more important.” Brock (Editorial)

Institutions host events to welcome new students to campus

Several institutions recently welcomed new students to campus for the beginning of the winter semester. Southeast College hosted its first group of international students with special activities, tours of the city, and presentations. The five international students were welcomed by Southeast President Dr Vicky Roy, who encouraged them to embrace the culture and climate, and were provided with a tour of Weyburn and its amenities and medical facilities. At Cambrian College, the college and Cambrian Student Council held an official re-opening ceremony for its newly renovated Student Life Centre and Fireside Lounge as part of its Orientation Week. “More and more, students are beginning their journey with us during the winter term, particularly international students, so we want to make sure they have a smooth transition to life on campus,” says Renee Scott, Cambrian’s Director of Student Success and Recruitment. At Brock University, the institution has launched a series of orientation events that cover essential topics as 250 international students arrive on campus to begin their studies. SaskToday (Southeast) | (Cambrian) | Brock (National)