Blogging is light this week--partly due to travel, partly due to burnout. But I did want to mention what I was doing yesterday. I was attending a meeting of the CIMVHR (see title for the full name), as Carleton is a partner in this network. It is doing amazing work, seeking to advance research on a variety of issues affecting both active military people and veterans.
This week's meeting was chock full of announcements related to new sources of funding to make this partnership sustainable. The network demonstrates the power of harnessing academic institutions across Canada along with government ones. Not only are they supporting research, they are essentially creating political heft.
How so? I think it is no accident that the Minister of National Defence announced new commitments for military mental health care, $200 million over three years, the day before the conference kicked off. The network's big event served as a focal point for both media and politicians as they must confront the well-being of the people put in harm's way.
Thus far, the network has focused on medical/therapeutic/hard science kind of stuff. I don't do health care policy kind of research, but I am sure that the next iterations will have more work on the politics and policy of this stuff.
Anyhow, I was most impressed by how the organizers, Alice Aiken and Stephanie Bélangér, have been able to build this organization so very quickly and to make a big impact. So much for academia being irrelevant. And so much for the idea that women cannot lead and make a difference in important areas of policy. I am proud to be part of this network, if only as an observer and hopeful imitator.