On the International Women’s Day, Carleton University honoured Dr. Merlyna Lim, among 10 women, who have had impact on our world through their “innovative teaching, ground-breaking research and vital community outreach”. The ALiGN Media Lab stands out as one of Dr. Lim’s great and innovative contributions in facilitating community-outreach initiatives and opening spaces for graduate and undergraduate students and public communities, especially the marginalized ones, to voice out their stories, views, and experiences relevant to social justice and political and social movements.

While excelling in research, Dr. Lim has always prioritized delivering her research to the public. Justice and equality are at the forefront of her work whether through her rigorous research and analysis of algorithms and social and digital networks or through initiatives that have generated possibilities for accessible and just communication of academic knowledge to the public. A recent example was launching an exhibit of her artwork, funded by Ottawa City, to facilitate a public dialogue on communication media and the complex interactions between “the hand” and the modern machines. She communicated through her beautiful artwork the most complex debates on technology, social media, and materiality/immateriality.

In addition to her presence on public media to provide her insights on social and political movements such as her recent interview with CTV on the protests in Hong Kong, Dr. Lim is never absent from International and local academic conferences. She was invited last year by the University of Humboldt in Berlin to deliver a public lecture and autobiographically profile her research and juxtapose it with her personal narrative. “Legally brown” was the title of her talk and how Dr. Lim defined her life/academic journey. In that talk, she explained how her life had a huge impact on her research choices. However, research to her was “never about me” but rather about things that mattered.

Congratulations Dr. Lim! You are a rock star in our social sciences world.