Dr. Scott Simon (Ph.D., Anthropology, McGill University, 1998) is Full Professor in the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies, holder of the Research Chair of Taiwan Studies, and member of both the Centre for International Policy Studies and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa. With an undergraduate background in both East Asian Studies and Germanic Studies, he has lived, studied, worked and done research in Taiwan, Japan, China, Germany, and France. His first long-term research project in Taiwan (1996-1998) was about the formation of Taiwanese national identity amidst Taiwan’s rapid post-war industrialization. He has done ethnographic field research in Seediq and Truku indigenous communities of Taiwan since 2004, including over two years of residence in indigenous communities. He also did one year of research in Japan in 2017-18, while working at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka. In 2020, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Guam, where he did research with the Chamoru people.
Dr. Simon is author of three books about Taiwan, among numerous other academic publications. His main academic interests are human rights, indigenous-state relations and ecological anthropology. His current SSHRC-funded research project “Austronesian Worlds: Human-Animal Relations in the Pacific Anthropocene,” looks at how indigenous peoples in the Western Pacific view their place in the wider ecology and affirm local sovereignty. Based on an intellectual interest in self-determination and sovereignty as fundamental human rights, he has also written about Taiwan’s journey towards self-determination, Chinese threats to popular sovereignty in Taiwan and elsewhere, the security of the Indo-Pacific, and how Canada and other states can enhance relations with Taiwan.