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Letters to the editor


If you have a PhD, you’re a Dr. too

Bravo Dr. Cucuz! I totally support your position (“Reclaiming our titles”). Some years ago, I was on a Calgary CBC Radio panel where the physicians were introduced as Dr. So and So. Not me … I was Mary. I was later told that the CBC did this in order to not confuse the public. Ridiculous! I challenged this and was told that the CBC had changed its policy and practice … I hope so!.

Mary Valentich
Dr. Valentich is a professor emerita in the faculty of social work at the University of Calgary.


CBC needs to change its professional title policy

As a male PHD-holding academic, I am horrified to read of the culture of minimizing the achievements of my female colleagues (“Reclaiming our titles”), but sadly not surprised as I have seen it happen too. We need to do better.

Feeding into this dialogue is the policy of our national broadcaster, the CBC [which] staunchly use “Mr.” or “Ms.” or “Mrs.” and not “Dr.” for those of us with PhDs. (I am told the concern is that the use of PhD will confuse Canadians although this seems not to concern PBS.)

While CBC’s policy is likely evenly applied across gender, I am left wondering whether the national broadcaster calling PhDs “Dr.” might help elevate the achievements and status of my female colleagues when their research and successes are more widely disseminated to the general public by the CBC.

David Greenwood
Dr. Greenwood is a professor in the department of biology at Brandon University.


Tri-councils need a budget increase

I hope our U15 university presidents/principals/rectors champion a budget increase to the base budgets of the Tri-councils of CIHR/NSERC/SSHRC in the next federal budget.

We are indebted to the talent and efforts of Drs. Strickland, McDonald and Houghton (“COVID-19 a lesson to governments to increase science funding, say Canada’s Nobel laureates”) for their dedication and advocacy backed by the credibility of their own independent recognition as Nobel laureates.

Without the U15 universities championing basic research and the support of our most talented in the arts, humanities, and STEM, Canada will be forever relegated to a status of depending on other countries for solutions to the challenges of health, disease and climate change.

John Bergeron
Dr. Bergeron is a professor in the department of medicine and emeritus Robert Reford professor of anatomy at McGill University.