Time for law schools to rethink teaching law

As a strong proponent of experiential learning, Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin argued it’s a better way to teach and learn. “Even those who have specialized knowledge and analytic abilities, if they haven’t actually put them to the test, the humility that comes from trying to solve a problem that is unsolvable is like nothing else we can possibly teach,” he said in Canadian Lawyer.

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Bringing universities to refugee camps in Kenya

“We knew it would be big in terms of resources, organization and thinking,” said Wenona Giles, a professor at York University and a co-leader of the Borderless Higher Education for Refugees project, in the New York Times. “We are going to be offering degree programs and that had not been done before, so that took a lot of chutzpah.”

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Atmospheric expert worked on Voyager 1

For York University Professor Jack McConnell, who died on July 29 of brain cancer at the age of 67, the possibility of life on Mars was irresistible, reported The Globe and Mail. “Venus isn’t likely, Mercury doesn’t have an atmosphere and Jupiter has no surface to speak of. Mars is the thing nearest to us that can most likely harbour life. That’s what intrigues people.”

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Bringing science to market

Letting individuals take the lead, or guiding those who are interested, are strategies at York University in Toronto. “Some academics want to be completely independent, others want lots of help,” said Margaret Hough, director of research and international relations in York’s Faculty of Science, in the journal Nature.

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Bigger clawbacks to Old Age Security not the answer

“The principled argument for not clawing back Old Age Security benefits is that all seniors should be entitled to a bare-bones public pension as a basic building block of the overall retirement income system,” wrote Andrew Jackson, the Packer Professor of Social Justice at York University, in The Globe and Mail.

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Toronto student crowned Champion of Americas…in Mandarin

This summer, York University student Luc Pokorn made the top five in the “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition in China, reported the Toronto Star. Over the course of a few weeks, people were eliminated through a series of zany events, cultural sketches and speeches, judged by a jury and televised in three installments.

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Look for Toronto’s urban future in the booming suburbs

For the past three years, as part of a long-term research project at York University, sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, we have been coordinating an expert group of suburb-shapers and builders to share our experiences with the aim of inspiring new forms of suburban governance, reported the Toronto Star.

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