ENews banner summer
Science of Communication 


Issue 13, August 2013

Welcome to the thirteenth issue of Council E-News, your source for updates on the Council's assessments, corporate activities, its Member Academies, and science in Canada.
Our 2012/2013 Annual Report is now available in English and French, and can be downloaded here.

2012/13 annual report cover
Message from the Editors


Over the past decade there has been a shift in how we communicate, which has implications for both our personal and professional lives. Meetings are often held with the support of video conferencing services and online software in the hope that these will increase collaboration while keeping costs down and improving productivity. We are also more inclined to text or email a colleague rather than speak to them directly or by phone. New communication technology is proving to be a valuable tool, but we suggest there is no better form of communication than face-to-face conversation. This summer, we hope you can find the time to get out for coffee with a colleague, a stakeholder, or a friend and truly connect the old-fashioned way.

Read more.
We want to know!


 Have you used one of our reports recently? Tell us how!
Email us at


Expert Panels at Work

The Minister of Industry, on behalf of Industry Canada, asked the Council of Canadian Academies to assess the state of industrial research and development (R&D) in Canada. This assessment is complementary to the work completed last year by the Expert Panel on the State of Science and Technology in Canada. The State of Industrial R&D in Canada will be released on August 28.   

Read more.

Fellow in Focus

Professor Barry Wellman, FRSC


In this issue of Council e-News, we speak with Barry Wellman, S.D. Clark Professor, Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Prof. Wellman is a member of the Expert Panel on Memory Institutions and the Digital Revolution. For several decades, now, his research in the areas of networks, communities, and social media has helped shape the science of communication. Read about his concept of "networked individualism" in his prize-winning book, Networked: The New Social Operating System, co-authored with Lee Rainie (MIT Press, 2012).


Read more.
Spotlight On...
When Heather Munroe-Blum, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and former member of the Council's Board of Governors, retired from her post as McGill's Principal and Vice-Chancellor in May, she was asked by the McGill Reporter what sort of future she envisions for the university. Her response acknowledges the growing impact of Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, which are reshaping the education landscape by allowing thousands of people around the world to tune into university lectures simultaneously, with no tuition fees attached.

This past March, Facebook recorded a total of 1.1 billion users, a huge accomplishment considering that less than 10 years ago, the site was only available on certain university campuses in the United States and Canada. Other nascent social media networks also number in the hundreds of millions of active users, including Twitter (200 million), LinkedIn (160 million), Instagram (100 million), and Tumblr (100 million). Through sheer size alone, social media networks have the ability to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information in ways unimagined a decade ago.
Read more. 
Around the Council


The Council warmly welcomes incoming Board of Governors Chair, Margaret Bloodworth, C.M. Ms. Bloodworth is a former federal deputy minister and national security advisor, and has been a member of the Council's Board of Governors since September 2012.


Read more.


News From the Academies

This section features news from the Council's Member Academies: the Royal Society of Canada; the Canadian Academy of Engineering; and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.   Read more.


transparent logo  



Message from the Editors
Expert Panels at Work
Fellow in Focus
Spotlight On...
Around the Council
News from the Academies

Did you know?


If you work in the field of science, at some point in your career you will probably be called upon to communicate an aspect of your work, whether it's in the form of a presentation, article, interview or paper. Where to start can be daunting, particularly if you're time-pressed or not entirely comfortable engaging with the public. But communicating science can be done in a compelling way and helps to bring important issues to the forefront of public dialogue.

Read more



Visit our website for more videos, features and articles of interest. Subscribe to our RSS feed for updates as they are published.






Council of Canadian Academies


Conseil des académies canadiennes


180 Elgin St., Suite 1401

Ottawa, ON K2P 2K3
Tel.: 613-567-5000
Fax: 613-567-5060

Council of Canadian Academies | 180 Elgin Street | Suite 1401 | Ottawa | Ontario | K2P 2K3 | Canada