Senior realizes life-long dream, leads orchestra through O Canada

The National Wed December 21 2016 By: Rhianna Schmunk

The life-long dream of a UBC alumnus came true after he was invited to conduct the UBC student orchestra through a performance of O Canada, CBC’s The National reports.

Peter Louw, 83, is of mixed descent and grew up in South Africa under apartheid. Despite a deep love of music, Louw wasn’t allowed to join an orchestra. He harboured the dream for nearly 50 years until he finally got the chance to make it a reality on Nov. 29 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

Canada, U.S. announce ban on offshore oil, gas licenses in Arctic

Canadian Press Tue December 20 2016 By: Dan Healing

UBC professor Michael Byers was quoted by the Canadian Press about the joint US-Canada announcement banning offshore oil and gas activity in the Arctic. Byers pointed out that the ban is of little consequence since there are no drilling plans in the region at the moment.

Instead, he said, the announcement seems to be politically motivated to show that Prime Minister Trudeau is protecting the environment despite recently sanctioning the Trans Mountain expansion and Line 3 replacement. The story appeared in Toronto Star, CBC, BNNHuffington Post Canada, Maclean’s MagazineMetro News Canada, News1130, Washington Post and South China Morning Post.

Does being wealthy make you more charitable?

The Conversation Tue December 20 2016 By: Ashley Whillans

UBC PhD candidate Ashley Whillans penned an op-ed that appeared in The Conversation and SFGate about her new research on what inspires individuals to donate.

Whillans’ research suggests that tailoring messages to fit with people’s wealth-based mindsets and motivations encourages charitable giving across the socioeconomic spectrum. The story also appeared on the CBC News and Yahoo News. Whillans also appeared on CBC’s BC Almanac. The segment beings at the 00:03:00 mark.

Homebuyers grant only serves the ‘privileged’

CBC Mon December 19 2016 By: Roshini Nair

Nathanael Lauster, a UBC sociology professor, spoke to CBC’s Early Edition about B.C.’s new program to give loans to first-time homebuyers to cover their down payment.

He said the grant is only for a “privileged set of people” who already have a high enough income to successfully apply for mortgages. The story also appeared on Yahoo.

Here’s how Canadian news media created a ‘Trump of the North’

Washington Post Wed December 14 2016 By: Eric Merkley

Eric Merkley, a UBC political science PhD candidate, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post about the rise of a Canadian Conservative politician who can be compared to Donald Trump. Merkley wrote it is not difficult to manipulate the news media and extreme views can land politicians top headlines.

Becoming a mother may change the brain to read baby’s mind

New Scientist Mon December 19 2016 By: Andy Coghlan

New Scientist interviewed Liisa Galea, a UBC neuroscientist and Psychology professor, for an article about changes to the brains of new mothers. Galea said mothers intuitively know they feel different and now the research shows a mother’s brain is different for at least two years after pregnancy.

Vancouver homes are so pricey that government will pitch in

CKNW Thu December 15 2016

Several UBC experts spoke to various media outlets after the B.C. government unveiled a program to offer five-year interest-free and payment-free loans to first-time homebuyers. Joshua Gottlieb, an economics professor at UBC, spoke to CKNW and called the plan a “superficial remedy.”

Here’s how we’ll know if Trump engages in secret surveillance

Washington Post Thu December 15 2016 By: William Bendix and Paul J. Quirk

The Washington Post published an op-ed on warning signs that the Trump administration is unilaterally altering surveillance policies, co-written by Paul J. Quirk, a UBC political scientist and Phil Lind Chair in U.S. Politics.

Quirk and William Bendix, a political science professor at Keene State College, wrote that some signs include efforts to silence privacy watchdogs and warnings from congressional critics of domestic spying.

The mistakes we make when giving to charity

Wall Street Journal Sun December 11 2016 By: Shlomo Benartzi and Christopher Olivola

The Wall Street Journal featured research that explored our biases when it comes to how we value various ways of giving to charity.

Ashley Whillans, a UBC social psychology PhD candidate, worked with researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and New York University to determine what type of giving is more admirable. Most survey respondents believed a wealthy person led a more admirable life if they volunteered at a soup kitchen than if they donated money that would feed twice as many people.

Premiers at odds over climate plan as Canada juggles stance

Roundhouse Radio Sat December 10 2016 By: Jonathon Brown

Kathryn Harrison, a UBC political science professor spoke to Roundhouse Radio for an article about negotiations for a national climate plan. She said B.C. has played an important role by being the first province to establish a carbon tax at $30/tonne, but said the province could help or hinder the process going forward.

“The unhelpful part is that B.C. is one of the provinces that is seeking to develop fossil fuel exports that will unnecessarily yield significant greenhouse gas emission increases,” she said. “If Canada is going to achieve a 30 per cent reduction by 2030 and at the same time, build new LNG facilities and pipelines that rely on expansion of the tar sands, it means we’re going to have to reduce emissions further everywhere else.”

Mystery of abandoned babies has bittersweet ending

Vancouver Sun Sat December 10 2016 By: Lora Grindlay

UBC sociology professor Wendy Roth spoke to the Vancouver Sunabout the exponential growth of ancestry DNA websites since they first became public in 2003. She cited her research that found success in finding one’s birth families is not typical.

“It’s all about luck. It’s about who happened to take the test and who happened to take the test with that particular company and also opted in to view their matches,” said Roth. The story also appeared in the Times Colonist.

How to cope with stress in a healthy way during the holiday season

Vancouver Sun Fri December 9 2016 By: Rebecca Keillor

Joelle LeMoult, a UBC psychology professor, spoke to the Vancouver Sun about healthy ways to manage stress over the holidays.

“Whenever I take planes and they give you that run down, ‘if there’s an emergency you should put your mask on first before helping others,’ I think to myself, ‘My gosh, who does that?’ But that’s actually what we should be doing in our lives. If we’re not taking care of ourselves we’re really not able to take care of others,” LeMoult said.

The story also appeared in the Ottawa Citizen and Windsor Star.

Demonetization may make sense from political cost-benefit stance

Times of India Sat December 10 2016 By: Sanjiv Shankaran

The Times of India cited research by Amartya Lahiri, a UBC economist, about the demonetization of the majority of India’s circulating cash.

Lahiri studied the measure from a cost-benefit framework and found that probable benefits are not enough to justify a measure on this scale. “All public policy must rely on a clear-headed cost-benefit analysis. This one fails that test,” Lahiri wrote.

Meet the previously mysterious advisers behind

Ottawa Citizen Thu December 8 2016 By: Kady O’Malley

Richard Johnston, a UBC political science professor, was one of the advisers behind the federal government’s online survey on electoral reform, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

Johnston and seven other advisers were involved in the review process for the questionnaire but had no role in creating the questions, according to Vox Pop Labs, the company responsible for managing the survey.

Super-you: You have a superstitious mind – to protect you

New Scientist Wed December 7 2016 By: Graham Lawton

Ara Norenzayan, a UBC psychologist, spoke to New Scientist for an article examining our beliefs in the supernatural.

“There are some core intuitions that make supernatural belief easy for our brains,” Norenzayan said. One such cognitive ability is called “theory of mind” which lets us think about and intuit other people’s thoughts.