This month, there has been much debate concerning the decision on a proposal entitled “Detrimental effects of popularizing anti-evolution’s intelligent design theory on Canadian students, teachers, parents, administrators, and policy-makers,” submitted to SSHRC.
The theory of evolution is not in doubt. SSHRC recognizes the theory of evolution as one of the cornerstones of modern science and of our understanding of the world. As part of its support for critical enquiry in the social sciences and humanities, SSHRC has funded many research projects on evolution and society over the years. Projects of this nature that meet the standards for scientific excellence will continue to be funded.
SSHRC’s decision on this proposal was the outcome of an internationally-recognized peer-review process, which is used to ensure that all funded projects meet the highest standards for academic excellence. Decisions are taken through a rigorous and competitive process. Each research proposal is reviewed by a committee of independent experts, which then provides advice to SSHRC regarding the quality of the proposal and whether it should be funded. In its appraisal of this proposal, the committee was not convinced that it met the necessary threshold conditions of quality of approach and methodology.
SSHRC is mandated to support a broad spectrum of research in the social sciences and humanities in Canada. SSHRC-funded projects shed light on social, economic and other issues that affect Canadians’ everyday lives.