In The News

CBC: What is the significance of acknowledging the Indigenous land we stand on?

July 24, 2017

During the opening ceremony for the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) on Sunday evening, organizers will honour and acknowledge the Aboriginal homelands on which the games are taking place. It's a tradition that has dated back centuries for Indigenous people, but for many non-Indigenous Canadians, officially recognizing the territory or lands we stand on is a fairly new concept. However, it's one that many Indigenous people say marks a small but essential step toward reconciliation. "We honour and thank the Huron-Wendat Nation, Metis Nation of Ontario, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and Six Nations of the Grand River as our community partners and traditional inhabitants of the lands of the City of Toronto, Region of Hamilton, Durham Region and surrounding areas," reads the acknowledgement, which is published on the official NAIG website. Read the full article here.

TVO: How girls question feminism yet embrace ‘girl power’

July 20, 2017

In Smart Girls: Success, School and the Myth of Post-Feminism, Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby, two Brock University child and youth studies professors, set out to show how girls in elementary and high school are caught up in a balance between academic excellence, perfectionism and popularity to achieve what media headlines declare about their lives: Girls Are Taking Over the World. Girls Are the New Dominant Sex. During conversations with girls in the study that informs the book, Pomerantz and Raby heard some unexpected ideas about sexism and feminism. In preparation for their Agenda in the Summer interview (airing tonight on TVO), I asked them to explain what they learned about next-generation feminism. When you asked the girls in your study about sexism, what was their response? Shauna Pomerantz: We often heard them say they didn’t experience sexism and that it’s something that occurs in other parts of the world like Afghanistan, but that here they have all the rights and freedoms that anyone would have. So this is how we discussed the post-feminist climate where young people feel they’re beyond the need for feminism, that feminism is redundant. But at the same time we really pushed this point. We would ask them whether or not they thought boys judged them on their looks and bodies and many of them inevitably would say, “Yeah, we feel judged by boys and other girls.” So sometimes we would come to a point in the interview after a bit of questioning where the girls would say, maybe there is a bit of sexism. Read the full article here.

CBC: Want your kids to do as they’re told? Try this

July 12, 2017

Parents on the verge of pulling out their hair while trying to get misbehaving pre-schoolers to behave can rejoice — a new study is shedding light on a technique that could help. According to research out of Brock University, it's a relatively simple approach; just get your kids to say out loud what it is they're promising to do. Think, "I promise not to steal any cookies from the jar," or "I promise not to repaint the walls of my room with fluorescent markers." "It definitely improves the likelihood of them adhering to what you're asking them to do," said Angela Evans, an associate professor in the university's department of psychology who led the study of 99 children under 5. Read the full article here.

The Hamilton Spectator: Discovery by McMaster team provides key for targeted cancer treatment

July 6, 2017

A reason why certain drugs work for some cancer patients but not others has been identified by a team of McMaster University researchers. The discovery means doctors can immediately start targeting therapy so patients get the drug most likely to work for them and don't waste precious time on treatment guaranteed to fail. "We just have to give the right drug to the right patients, and the only way to connect the two is to understand how the drugs work," said Dr. Mick Bhatia, principal investigator of the study and scientific director of the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute. "These drugs have been around for years. They worked in some people and not in others but we didn't know why." The answer is a protein in cancer stem cells that some people have and others don't. Read the full article here.

Toronto Star: York University study takes on ‘controversy’ over honey bee declines, pesticide use

July 5, 2017

A major new study conducted in Ontario and Quebec corn fields has found that neonicotinoids, a widely-used and controversial class of pesticides, hurt the health of honey bees, and comes as provincial, federal, and international regulators wrestle with reining in the use of these agrochemicals. The Canadian research, led by biologists at York University, is published in the journal Science along with another ambitious study conducted in European fields. Together, they address a major gap. “They are putting these bees into landscapes where farmers are really farming,” says Professor Nigel Raine, Rebanks family chair in pollinator conservation at the University of Guelph, who was not involved in the research. “The key message that’s coming out of both of them is that they found impacts on honey bee colonies. Previously that has not been found in the field, and that has been a source of confusion.” Both honey bees and wild bees have suffered dramatic declines in recent decades. Bees are critically important pollinators for many crops and most wild flowering plants; estimates of the benefits they provide humans through these “ecosystem services” is measured in the tens of billions of dollars. Read the full article here.