Opinion: VSB needs diversity mentors

Vancouver Sun Sun April 24 2016 By: Hélène Frohard-Dourlent

UBC sociology instructor Hélène Frohard-Dourlent criticized the proposal to shed diversity mentor positions in the Vancouver School District in light of a budget shortfall for 2016-17.

“The anti-homophobia diversity mentor is so key precisely because it is a staff position that ensures that policy changes are understood well and consistently, that educators and school staff are supported in their efforts to change practices,” Frohard-Dourlent said in an op-ed for the Vancouver Sun. “The provincial government must step up and provide adequate and stable funding for public education to ensure that this commitment can continue, for the benefits of all students in our district.”

Genocide? Pogrom? Crime against humanity? Words do matter

Vancouver Sun Sat April 23 2016 By: Douglas Todd

It’s important to be clear what words like pogrom and genocide mean, according to a Vancouver Sun column.

The writer quoted a UBC emeritus professor of psychiatry, Robert Krell whose organization, Holocaust Education Centre, teaches students about recognized genocides. Krell makes a distinction between genocides–concerted efforts that take place over months or years to wipe out a group of people entirely from a region–and suggests that the 1984 anti-Sikh riots were more like pogroms, which are not systemic and end after the frenzy of hatred dies down.

LSD art auction to raise money for PTSD study

Vancouver Sun Fri April 22 2016 By: Tiffany Crawford

A number of valuable artworks created on LSD blotter paper (but not infused with LSD) will be up for auction next month to raise funds for a study looking at how MDMA can be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, reports the Vancouver Sun.

Addictions counsellor Mark Haden, an adjunct professor at UBC who is involved in the study, has four items for the auction.

“MDMA works remarkably well. The regular treatments for PTSD is about 25-per-cent effective over a long period of time. And we are demonstrating about 83-per-cent effective in only about a month,” said Haden.

A similar article appeared in The Province.

Influence other people through your vocal pitch

Tech Times Thu April 21 2016 By: Catherine Cabral-Isabedra

A new study found that using a lower voice early in a conversation can influence your listeners much more so than using a higher vocal pitch, reports Tech Times.

The researchers–from UBC, University of Illinois and Harvard–also found that individuals naturally assign themselves into followers and leaders when placed in a group. The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

A similar article appeared on Vancity Buzz.

5 times procrastinating is actually a good idea

TIME Thu April 21 2016 By: Moira Lawler

Putting things off has its upsides, provided you’re procrastinating on purpose, according to a new article in TIME. An example is when you put off reading your email. In a study, UBC researchers found that limiting the number of times a day you check your email reduces your stress levels and can make you more productive. Study participants who felt more tense completed fewer tasks.

Stripping down Game of Thrones’ gender politics

Metro News Fri April 22 2016 By: Colin McNeil

UBC film studies lecturer Christine Evans was interviewed in a Metro News article on the many nude scenes in the TV series Game of Thrones.

The show “is in tenuous territory” when it comes to gender politics, Evans said, and the rape and humiliation of the show’s key female characters could be the last straw for many viewers. However, she doubted that increasing male nudity in the series is the answer.

How Canada is working with indigenous peoples to prevent suicide

PBS Thu April 21 2016 By: Laura Santhanam

A PBS piece about suicide rates among Canada’s indigenous population mentions a 2008 study by UBC psychology professor Michael Chandler.

In his research, Chandler found that youth suicide risks were strongly linked with a loss of cultural identity and lack of control over community services including education, law enforcement and government. The study’s conclusions influenced this year’s $271 million federal plan to support “culturally relevant” mental wellness programs for indigenous communities.

Low-pitched voices more likely to be seen as dominant

Metro News Thu April 21 2016 By: Thandi Fletcher

A UBC study has found that people with lower-pitched voices are more likely to be considered dominant, reports Metro News.

“What we found in this study is that it’s actually changes in vocal pitch that influence rank or dominance,” said senior author and UBC psychology professor Jessica Tracy. “Even really subtle things like the pitch of our voice…still has a big effect on how we’re perceived.”

The story also appeared in Times of India.

China plans to ship cargo across Northwest Passage

Globe and Mail Wed April 20 2016 By: Nathan Vanderklippe

China has published a shipping guidebook that announces its plans to ship cargo across Canada’s Northwest Passage, the Globe and Mail reports.

“It should send a signal to Ottawa that more and more ships are coming, that serious countries and serious companies see the Northwest Passage as a viable route – or a route that will become viable in the next decade or two,” commented Michael Byers, UBC’s Arctic expert and a Canada Research Chair in global politics and international law.

A similar article appeared on MSN.

Vancouver to consider motion to limit campaign spending

The Province Tue Apr 19 2016 By: Matt Robinson

Vancouver city councillors are set to consider a motion for a referendum on municipal campaign spending rules, The Province reported.

UBC economist Francesco Trebbi said the issue of campaign spending caps is complicated. On one hand, parties in power often have the most donations to lose out on if a cap is in place, but they often require less money anyways because of their built name recognition.

Why weed and music go so well together

Vice/Thump Wed Apr 20 2016 By: Gigen Mammoser

Why people like listening to music while smoking pot was the subject of a feature in Thump, Vice’s culture site. Among the experts interviewed was UBC psychology professor Zach Walsh.

“[Marijuana] puts you in a relaxed pleasant state, and there you are able to be receptive to music, or to be perhaps in the moment. Cannabis improves all types of things that are related to being present in the moment,” said Walsh.

Why every girl needs a feminist dad

Telegraph UK Thu Apr 21 2016 By: Laura Bates

UBC psychology research is cited in a Telegraph UK op-ed. The op-ed focuses on a father’s influence on his daughter, and a UBC study found girls were more ambitious if their dads did their fair share of household duties.

Ministers, parliamentarians at Taiwan event anger China

Hill Times Wed Apr 20 2016 By: Chelsea Nash

Canadian parliamentarians and cabinet ministers are under fire from the Chinese embassy for attending a Taiwanese dinner reception and for calling Taiwan a country, reports Hill Times.

“As the Conservative party’s foreign affairs critic, it is wonderful as well to celebrate all things Taiwanese,” said Conservative MP Tony Clement at the event.

Yves Tiberghien, director of the Institute of Asian Research at UBC, said Clement would probably not have made these remarks had he still been in government, because Canada follows a one-China policy.

One Belt, One Road raise hopes

China Daily Wed Apr 20 2016 By: Hua Shengdun

China Daily discussed a talk on China’s One Belt One Road initiative and China-US relations held in Washington on Monday.

“I see the One Belt One Road as low hanging fruit for US-China cooperation, because there is no conflict of interest,” said Yves Tiberghien, director of the Institute of Asian Research at UBC. “If anything, it’s going to help stabilize Afghanistan and the Middle East.”

Does marriage make you happier?

Business Insider Thu Apr 7 2016 By: Erin Brodwin

Business Insider article looks at studies suggesting that married people are happier than single people, and concludes that it’s not the act of marriage itself that makes people happier; it’s the quality of the relationship itself.

The article cites a 2014 study led by UBC economics professor John Helliwell, which found that couples who were best friends and lived together were just as happy as couples who were best friends and married.

“Maybe what is really important is friendship, and to never forget that in the push and pull of daily life,” said Helliwell.

Similar articles appeared on YahooThe Independent and Tech Insider.