Canadian Association of University Teachers

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(Ottawa – 22 September, 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has launched a national survey of contract academic staff (CAS) at Canadian universities, colleges and polytechnics.

The study seeks to understand the working experiences of the thousands of academic staff who are hired to teach on a temporary basis every year, in order to help improve their employment conditions and inform public policy.

“Ever-growing numbers of teachers at Canada’s colleges and universities are trapped in precarious contract and part-time work, creating serious implications not just for CAS, but for regular academic staff and students,” says CAUT Director of Research and Political Action, Pam Foster. “CAUT has launched this survey because it’s important we learn more about the impacts of casualization.”

The survey is open until November 1st to people who had a teaching contract at a polytechnic, college or university in Canada in 2016/17.

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Media contact:
Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers
(o) 613-726-5186 (c) 613-222-3530

Author: bourne
Posted: September 22, 2017, 2:22 pm

(OTTAWA– 20 September 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has issued a challenge today to the four NDP Leadership candidates to Get Science Right, pledge to invest in basic research and join the campaign to call on the government to restore science’s important role in creating a prosperous and innovative country.

The government of Canada has failed to keep pace with other countries in supporting the pursuit of knowledge. Scholars, scientists and students wishing to pursue independent research have seen a decline of available resources of about 35 per cent. Canada is no longer in the top 30 nations worldwide when it comes to total research intensity.

Canada must and can do better. With increased federal funding, researchers will be able to ask bold questions and seek the knowledge we need to enhance the quality of life for all Canadians. The federal government must catch up to the rest of the world by boosting its investments to grow our knowledge and talent advantages.

There is a path forward. The Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science has recommended a federal increase in investment in independent research of $1.3 billion for basic research, with better balanced allocation across the three research granting agencies.

CAUT is calling on Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton, Guy Caron and Jagmeet Singh to step up and join the Get Science Right campaign. Canadians know too well what a decade of underfunding and muzzling scientists can do. With a strong federal partner, academic researchers can create the knowledge we need to improve the quality of life for all Canadians and help face local and global challenges. We hope NDP Leadership candidates agree.

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Media contact:
Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers
(o) 613-726-5186 (c) 613-222-3530

Author: bourne
Posted: September 20, 2017, 12:48 pm

(Ottawa - 19 September, 2017) Members of the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) have voted ninety-one percent in favour of job action in the event that a new collective agreement cannot be reached with the University’s Board of Governors.

“We are most grateful for this strong show of support from our members,” says LUFA president Jim Ketchen. “We don’t want to strike, but will if the administration isn’t willing to negotiate a fair collective agreement.”

LUFA is fighting concession demands that would erode core faculty rights, reduce salary scale competitiveness and diminish eligibility for parental/pregnancy leave. The parties are scheduled to meet September 24 in Toronto with a mediator. Negotiations are also set for later in the month and into October.

The union’s previous contract expired on June 30.  LUFA represents 367 full-time faculty and over 200 sessional staff, who will be in a legal strike position on September 28.

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Author: bourne
Posted: September 19, 2017, 7:21 pm

(Ottawa— 13 September, 2017)  The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has filed its argument before the Supreme Court of Canada in two appeals involving Trinity Western University (TWU).

The appeals spring from cases originating in Ontario and British Columbia between the university and those provinces’ law societies, both of which have rejected TWU’s attempts to gain recognition for its Christian law school. The British Columbia Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the Law Society of British Columbia, while the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld denial of accreditation by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

CAUT intervention is based on the violation of academic freedom at the proposed law school.  There are four key aspects to academic freedom: freedom of teaching, freedom of research and publication, freedom to express one’s views in and of the educational institution (“intramural academic freedom”) and freedom to exercise citizenship rights without sanction (“extramural academic freedom”). 

TWU doctrine requires students, staff and faculty to adhere to “historic orthodox Christianity” where Scriptures must be believed and obeyed in their entirety.  CAUT argues that TWU’s faith test that reflects the TWU doctrine which faculty must meet on appointment and renew annually constitutes a violation of academic freedom as faculty are required to recognize and express the doctrine in teaching and scholarship.

“TWU’s Statement of Faith and Community Covenant requires academic staff to commit to a particular ideology or statement of faith as a condition of employment,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson. “Violating that commitment may result in discipline or sanction, and as such is an unwarranted and unacceptable constraint on academic freedom.”

In particular, it is the denial of same sex rights and relationships at TWU that led to the rejection of accreditation by the two law societies.  In the balancing of equality rights and freedom of religion under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms at issue in these cases, CAUT takes the position that the violation of academic freedom at TWU would inhibit the promotion and protection of diversity that must be expected in legal education at a Canadian law school.

CAUT is one of 26 intervenors. The appeals will be heard over November 30 – December 1.

To read our factum, click here.

 

Media contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers

(o) 613-726-5186 (c) 613-222-3530

 

Author: bourne
Posted: September 13, 2017, 3:20 pm

 

(Ottawa— 1 September, 2017) Today — 145 years after Canada's first Labour Day events in 1872the Canadian Association of University Teachers celebrates the many achievements of the trade union movement, and commits to continued solidarity to further improve the lives of all working people.

Academic staff unions and associations have spent many years fighting for secure employment and working conditions that promote quality teaching, research, and community service. CAUT is committed to defending these principles in the face of challenges by many administrators, politicians, and business leaders pushing workplace changes that undermine economic security, devalue the profession, and erode the public good.

On this Labour Day, we are therefore reminded of the ever-present need for unity and vigilance. CAUT commits to continued work in solidarity with labour unions everywhere in defending workers’ rights both on campus and throughout the broader work force.

Media contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-222-3530 (c)

 

Author: dufour
Posted: August 31, 2017, 6:07 pm

(Ottawa — 28 August, 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is calling on the federal government to invest in basic research in its next budget as the foundation for a diverse and inclusive society, an improved quality of life, and a strong economy. CAUT is urging the government to act on the recommendations of its Science Review panel and invest $1.3 billion over 4 years.

“Their own review has shown that the government has to become a stronger partner on basic research,” said CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “Canada is losing ground on science compared to other countries.  Investing in research is investing in our future.”

CAUT’s pre-budget submission also makes recommendations to sustain Canada’s climate research networks, invest further in Indigenous education; strengthen employment equity programs, and increase federal transfers for post-secondary education.

“The next federal budget is a great opportunity for the government to show leadership and build a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive Canada,” added Robinson. “To realize this vision it must boost investments in fundamental science and post-secondary education as the foundations for a better future”, added Robinson.

CAUT is the national voice of 70 000 teachers, librarians, researchers, general staff and other academic professionals in 122 post-secondary institutions across the country.

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Author: bourne
Posted: August 28, 2017, 1:58 pm

(Ottawa — 21 August, 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is launching a national campaign to call on the federal government to act on the recommendations of its Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science and invest in basic research.

“Canadians see the benefits of basic research every day. It saves lives, improves our understanding of the world, helps solve problems and strengthens our future, “said CAUT President James Compton. “Investing in scientific research is investing in our future.”

The Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science, chaired by David Naylor, delivered its report in April 2017. Its chief recommendation is to increase funding by 1.3 billion over four years.  The Panel noted that Canada has failed to keep pace with other countries and is losing opportunities to strengthen our knowledge and talent advantages.

 “Over the next months, CAUT will encourage the government to adopt the recommendations of the Naylor Report, including its call to increase support for basic science,” added Compton.

To get involved in the campaign, visit http://science.caut.ca.

 

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Author: bourne
Posted: August 21, 2017, 2:35 pm

(Ottawa – 12 July 2017) In a setback for balanced copyright, the Federal Court has sided with Access Copyright in a case against York University.

The case centred on the question of whether copying practices at York were subject to an Access Copyright tariff, and whether copies made within York’s fair dealing guidelines meet the test of fair dealing under the Copyright Act.

“We are very disappointed with the decision, and believe the court erred on the application of fair dealing and the mandatory nature of the tariff,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson. “We hope the decision will be appealed and that we will have an opportunity to intervene.”

Robinson says fair dealing allows the use of copyright-protected works, without permission from or payment to rights holders, if the material is used for research, education and other specified purposes, and meets certain fairness standards.

“It’s important that the education community work to preserve the principle of fair dealing and the rights of users to use copyrighted material for education and research,” Robinson added.

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Media contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers

(o) 613-726-5186 (c) 613-222-3530

 

Author: bourne
Posted: July 12, 2017, 7:55 pm

(Ottawa— 29 June, 2017)  The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has filed a motion before the Supreme Court of Canada to intervene in two appeals involving Trinity Western University (TWU).

The appeals spring from cases originating in Ontario and British Columbia between the university and those provinces’ law societies, both of which have rejected TWU’s attempts to gain recognition for its Christian law school. The British Columbia Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the Law Society of British Columbia, while the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld denial of accreditation by the Law Society of Upper Canada. The appeals are expected to be heard together at the end of November this year.

An Ad hoc inquiry conducted by CAUT in 2009 concluded that parts of the university’s policy allowed for “unwarranted and unacceptable constraints on academic freedom,” and recommended that TWU be placed on a list of institutions “found to have imposed a requirement of a commitment to a particular ideology or statement as a condition of employment.”

“Universities violate academic freedom when they require academic staff to commit to a particular ideology or statement of faith as a condition of employment, and it’s on this basis that CAUT is interested in joining the cases,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson.

TWU has filed an objection to CAUT intervention while CAUT’s response states that allowing it “will provide a fresh and useful perspective” in the hearing of both appeals.

Media contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers

(o) 613-726-5186 (c) 613-222-3530

Author: bourne
Posted: June 29, 2017, 6:25 pm

(Ottawa— 21 June, 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) marks National Aboriginal Day on June 21, 2017 against the backdrop of the150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation.

It is an appropriate moment to reflect upon both the countless contributions of Aboriginal Peoples, and also the historic wrongs committed against First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities in Canada.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has documented the many pressing issues still requiring attention, and its report points to the critical role education policy can play in supporting the reconciliation process.

Indigenous rights, including the right to education, are inherent rights enshrined in Treaties, the Canadian Constitution, and international agreements. CAUT is committed to restoring, renewing, and regenerating Indigenous practices, languages, and knowledge.

On this year’s National Aboriginal Day, CAUT asks governments to provide new resources to support Aboriginal students to access post-secondary education, and urges academic staff associations and universities and colleges to support Indigenizing the academy by working together to establish equitable policies and practices that involve Aboriginal Peoples and Indigenous Knowledge in all aspects of campus life.

Media contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers

(o) 613-726-5186 (c) 613-222-3530

Author: bourne
Posted: June 21, 2017, 12:59 pm

(Ottawa — June 6, 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) strongly condemns the unfair treatment of Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) faculty representative Louise Briand by the institution’s board of governors.

After an anonymous complaint lodged on May 4, Professor Briand was removed from her position on the UQO Board of Governors representing academic staff because she was accused of having been ‘disrespectful’ during Board meeting deliberations. Briand had been critical of the spending priorities of the institution, arguing that infrastructure spending was given priority over investment in teaching, program development, and research.

In a letter addressed to the chair of the UQO board of governors’ Governance and Ethics Committee, CAUT emphasizes that the UQO has a duty to respect Professor Briand’s academic freedom, as well as her freedom of expression.

“Academic freedom includes the right to express one's opinion about the university, its administration, and the system in which one works," says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. "UQO should immediately reinstate Professor Briand."

CAUT represents over 70,000 academic staff across Canada.

Author: bourne
Posted: June 6, 2017, 6:00 pm

(Ottawa – June 2, 2017) A Quebec Superior Court judge has retracted his own ruling from last January that required a Université du Québec à Montréal professor to violate the confidentiality of her research participants.

On May 31, in a case where the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) intervened, Justice Marc St-Pierre ruled that  professor Marie-Ève Maillé’s promise of confidentiality met the four criteria of the “Wigmore” test for determining whether a communication is privileged.

“We are extremely pleased that the judge chose to uphold researcher-participant confidentiality,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “The decision confirms that it is in the public interest for researchers to conduct their work with a promise of anonymity to study participants.”

The case involved the work of then graduate student Marie-Ève ​​Maillé, who interviewed 93 people in 2010 about a controversial wind farm being built in the Arthabaska region of Quebec, and promised them anonymity.

After local residents launched a class action lawsuit against the wind farm company, Éoliennes de l'Érable Inc., Justice St-Pierre ruled last January that Maillé, now an adjunct professor in social and public communications, must disclose the names of people who took part in her research.

Maillé requested a review of the judgment after receiving a letter indicating she could be held in contempt of court for refusing to comply.

Robinson notes that this latest judgment builds upon a 2014 case involving academic privilege and researcher-participant confidentiality, also from the Quebec Superior Court.

In that instance, CAUT funded a legal challenge on behalf of two University of Ottawa criminology professors resisting police efforts to obtain records related to a study about male escorts. One of their subjects was convicted murderer Luka Magnotta.

Justice Sophie Bourque denied Montreal police access to taped interviews the professors had collected, upholding for the first time the rights of researchers to protect confidential information necessary for their academic work.

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Author: bourne
Posted: June 2, 2017, 4:03 pm

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has written to Iranian leader Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei to ask for immediate release of Mr. Esmail Abdi, General Secretary of the Tehran Teacher Trade Association.

“The blatant disregard for Mr. Abdi’s rights to freedom of association, expression and the right to travel contravenes the central tenets of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a convention to which Iran is a signatory,” wrote CAUT executive director David Robinson.

Mr. Abdi was singled out for his leadership role and legitimate participation in trade union activities, apprehended on false charges and sentenced to six years in Iran’s notorious Evin prison, where he’s been on a hunger strike since April 30.

Mr. Abdi’s condition is reportedly deteriorating, and he is not allowed to communicate with a lawyer or family members. CAUT’s letter calls for all charges to be dropped and for his immediate release.
 

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Author: autobox
Posted: May 24, 2017, 7:00 am

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is dismayed that Canadian citizen and former Ottawa resident Dr. Hassan Diab remains imprisoned in France after his extradition there in 2014.

Until 2007, Diab engaged in the life of an academic, conducting research and teaching sociology at Ottawa-area universities, but was arrested by RCMP in 2008 after French authorities accused him of involvement in a 1980 terrorist bombing in Paris.

The allegations against him are based on secret unsourced evidence and what many view as deeply flawed handwriting analysis. Diab continues to deny involvement in any terrorist activity.

CAUT urges you to sign the petition calling upon the Government of Canada to work towards the immediate granting of bail for Dr. Diab and securing his urgent return to his family and home in Canada.

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Author: autobox
Posted: May 19, 2017, 7:00 am

At the 82nd Council meeting of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, delegates elected officers for the next year.

President James Compton and Vice-President Brenda Austin-Smith were re-elected. Also re-elected to another term were Peter McInnis (St. Francis Xavier), Chair of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee; John Kingma (Laval), Representative-at-large (Québec); Kelly Anne Meckling (Guelph), Representative-at-large (General); and, Kevin Kane (Alberta), Representative-at-large (General).

Four new members were elected to the Executive Committee: David Newhouse (Trent), Representative-at-large (Aboriginal); Sarika Bose (UBC), Chair of the Contract Academic Staff Committee; Pat Armstrong (York), Co-Chair of the Equity Committee; and, Blanca Navarro Pardinas (Moncton-Edmunston), Representative-at-large (Francophone).

“I’m looking forward to working with our new executive over the next year as we continue to defend academic freedom and push for better funding for post-secondary education and research, and better working conditions for all academic staff,” said CAUT President James Compton.

Below is the complete list of Executive Committee members for 2017-18.

President: James Compton – WESTERN ONTARIO (UWOFA)

Past President: Robin Vose – ST. THOMAS (FAUST)

Vice-President: Brenda Austin-Smith - MANITOBA (UMFA)

Treasurer: Yalla Sangaré - SAINTE-ANNE (APPBUSA) 

Chair, AF&T: Peter McInnis - ST. FRANCIS XAVIER (ST.FXAUT)

Chair, CBEBC: Terri Van Steinburg- KWANTLEN (FPSE)

Chair, L&A: Carla Graebner - SIMON FRASER (SFUFA)

Chair, CAS: Sarika Bose – BRITISH COLUMBIA (UBCFA)

Co-Chair, Equity: Pat Armstrong – YORK (YUFA)

Co-Chair, Equity: Wesley Crichlow - UOIT (UOITFA)

Representative-at-large (General): Kelly Meckling – GUELPH (UGFA)

Representative-at-large (General): Kevin Kane – ALBERTA (AASUA)

Representative-at-large (Aboriginal): David Newhouse – TRENT (TUFA)

Representative-at-large (Quebec): John Kingma – LAVAL (SPUL)

Representative-at-large (Francophone): Blanca Navarro Pardinas - EDMUNSTON (ABPPUM-CE)

 

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Author: autobox
Posted: May 18, 2017, 7:00 am

The Canadian Association of University Teachers joins with unions and employee associations across Canada in marking the 26th National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

It has been 25 years since the explosion of the Westray Mine on May 9, 1992, which killed 26 coal miners in Plymouth, Nova Scotia. Following the tragedy, workers and their unions fought for and gained significant health and safety protection under federal legislation that criminalizes violations of workplace safety.

Despite this victory, we will reflect particularly this year on the fact that workers continue to be killed or injured on the job, few charges have been laid pursuant to the legislation, and only one prosecution has ever resulted in jail time. 

On this Day of Mourning, CAUT urges provincial and federal governments to closely examine why so few employers have been held to account; to invest in training for police and crown prosecutors; and for provincial labour ministries, police forces and other involved authorities to improve collaboration so that senseless workplace deaths can be minimized.  

Media contact: Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-222-3530 (c); keller@caut.ca

Author: autobox
Posted: April 28, 2017, 7:00 am

To celebrate Earth Day, the Canadian Association of University Teachers urges you to join millions around the globe and participate in the March for Science. 

The March for Science is a celebration of science. We get together as a diverse nonpartisan group fighting for robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We call for political leaders and policy makers to develop evidence-based policies in the public interest.

Earth Day is also an occasion to reflect on climate change and the implications and challenges of tackling the problem. Academic staff has a special responsibility and a unique opportunity to be part of the solution. There are practical, concrete actions that you and your staff associations can take to reduce the threat.

Across Canada and the globe, staff associations and researchers are building expertise. On campus, action against climate change is focusing on three main fronts:

  • Reducing the carbon footprint of campuses
  • Teaching and Research
  • Political Advocacy

Canadians view academic staff with extraordinary legitimacy. This credibility lends you both power and the responsibility to forcefully present the case for confronting climate change.

This Earth Day, walk the walk, or talk the talk, but let’s do something.

There are many satellite marches planned in Canada. Register now  to march in Washington, or across Canada, or register to join any march virtually by digital live-stream.

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Author: autobox
Posted: April 21, 2017, 7:00 am

The Canadian Association of University Teachers welcomes today’s release of the report of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review, and the recommendations for a funding increase of $1.3 billion for basic, non-targeted research.

“The report makes it clear that basic science and scholarly inquiry in Canada have been seriously underfunded for much of the last decade,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “The most important recommendation in today’s report, and one that we urge the government to act on, is that Ottawa significantly and rapidly increase its investment in independent investigator-led research.”  

Robinson notes the report also calls for a better-balanced allocation of funding across the three federal research granting agencies.

“The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, while representing the largest constituency of university researchers, has been the poor cousin for years. The report rightly notes that there is a need to allocate new funds across the granting councils in a more balanced way to ensure more opportunities for those scholars in the social sciences and humanities,” adds Robinson.

Robinson says CAUT also welcomes the report’s recommendations to support Indigenous researchers and to improve equity and diversity in federal research programs, including the setting of “hard equity targets and quotas where persistent and unacceptable disparities exist.”

The report further recommends the creation of a new National Advisory Council on Research and Innovation (NACRI) to provide broad oversight of federal research programs, and to develop and harmonize funding strategies across the agencies. It also calls for improvements to the oversight and governance of the granting agencies. 

“When considering these changes, it will be critical we ensure that governance of the granting councils is reflective of the active research community and operates at arms-length from government,” adds Robinson.

Read CAUT's analysis here.

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For more information, please contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, 613-820-2270 or keller@caut.ca

Author: autobox
Posted: April 10, 2017, 5:30 pm

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) wrote to the Hungarian government to express concern about proposed legislation threatening the internationally prestigious Central European University (CEU).

In its letter, the CAUT notes that amendments to Act CCIV on National Higher Education, if passed, will make the institution’s continued operation as a free and independent international graduate university impossible.

“For 25 years, CEU has played a global role in advancing knowledge and scientific inquiry,” says CAUT President James Compton. “Academic freedom and university autonomy are fundamental pillars of all democratic societies. The proposed legislative changes would undermine those pillars and set a dangerous precedent for other institutions in Hungary.”

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For more information, please contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, 613-820-2270 or keller@caut.ca

 

Author: Anonymous
Posted: April 4, 2017, 1:00 pm

This Earth Day, April 22, countless people around the globe will stand up and March for Science. The Canadian Association of University Teachers supports the Science March and urges you to join in the many satellite marches planned in Canada.

Please register now to march in Washington, or across Canada. You can also register to join any march virtually by digital live-stream.

The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity, and as a foundation to uphold the common good.

We must stand together to face down forces seeking to discredit scientific consensus and restrict scientific discovery. How can we afford not to?

Author: Anonymous
Posted: April 3, 2017, 6:22 pm