Experts from more than 60 countries brought together in Montreal for the World Social Science Forum

Montréal, October 7, 2013 – Montréal will host the 2nd World Social Science Forum that will bring together more than 750 experts from all spheres of social sciences and other disciplines.

This year, delegates will address how digital technologies influence different aspects of social life, as well as how they transform social sciences. The interdisciplinary forum organized by the International Social Science Council, as well as a consortium led by the International Political Science Association, will be held at the Palais des Congrès (159, St-Antoine Street West) from October 13 to 15.

The work of researchers attending the Forum will focus on:

  • Role of social media before, during and after the Arab Spring;
  • E-health and the digitization of medical files;
  • Re-defining journalism and activism (Wikileaks, Anonymous, IdleNoMore, Occupy movement);
  • Transformation of war (drones, robots) and diplomacy;
  • Use of digital games to enhance seniors' quality of life
  • Risks of the digital world to young people Digital game discourses (session featuring Mia Consalvo, Canada Research Chair in Game Studies and Design at Concordia University)

Three plenaries are also scheduled, featuring Robert Darnton, Director of the University Library at Harvard; Hervé Fischer, co-founder of the Hexagram project that brings together Université du Québec à Montréal and Concordia University; and Sally Wyatt, Program Leader of the E-Humanities Group of the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences and chair of the Scientific Program Committee of the World Social Science Forum. Paul Kennedy (host of Ideas on CBC), as well as Yanick Villedieu (host of Radio-Canada's Les Années lumières) will moderate the first and second plenary, respectively.

Special Events

Several special events will also take place during the Forum. The World Social Science Awards ceremony (2012 and 2013 Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research and 2013 Mattei Dogan Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Research), as well as the prestigious Impacts Awards granted by the Human Social Science Council of Canada will all be held during the forum. In addition, the National Film Board of Canada will hold workshops and presentations on "film as a tool of social transformation" and will also host a screening of Alanis Obomsawin's The People of the Kattawapiskak River on Monday October 14. The documentary, recounting the housing crisis of the Cree community of Attawapiskat and the emergency state declared by its chief Theresa Spence, will be followed by a discussion with the director and Ravida Din, Director of English programs at the NFB, as well as other guests. Admission is free but registration is mandatory.

The international research program Digging Into Data Challenge, a joint initiative by ten countries, will hold a parallel special meeting on October 12. Registration is mandatory.

Two special sessions organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will take place on Sunday, October 13 and Monday, October 14, respectively:

  • UNESCO - Civil society, sciences and policymakers: digital technologies and platforms for sustainable development
    Sunday October 13, 2013
  • Launching of the new GLOBAL SCP Clearinghouse platform - Transforming consumption and production patterns towards sustainability: the role of social sciences
    Monday October 14 2013

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