Star series on race and crime is sound, says York statistician

One of North America’s top statisticians, York University Prof. Michael Friendly, says no matter how he analyzed police data, race remains a key factor in how Toronto police treat blacks, reported the Toronto Star Dec. 11. “I looked at the data in many different ways and the effect of race never went away,” said Friendly, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, after a closed-door meeting at the Star, reported the newspaper. The coordinator of the York University statistical consulting service said, “I don’t usually take a lot of outside consulting…. But I was interested and intrigued by the [Star’s race and crime] project,” the newspaper reported in a separate story.

Study funded on impact of new economy

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) announced $10 million in funding for four teams – including a York team – studying the impact of the new economy on education and learning in the workplace, reported Canada News-Wire Dec. 10. York’s team will study how workers have been affected, personally and professionally, by the new economy, and will determine the kinds of training that will best help them adapt to the changes.

Ontario funds York cancer research

Cancer researcher Sergey Krylov, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Pure & Applied Science, has received $396,000 from Ontario’s Cancer Research Network to develop a clinical test that will improve cancer prognosis and treatment, reports Canada News-Wire Dec. 9. Krylov’s method would allow clinicians to assess the efficiency of several anti-cancer drugs simultaneously, which would help choose therapies and decrease the probability of cancer recurrence. The funding is part of the $6-million first instalment of the Cancer Research Fund grants given to 15 top Ontario researchers currently conducting promising anti-cancer research in the province.

Laxer says Iraq a potential US base

In an opinion piece in the Toronto Star Dec. 11, James Laxer, political science professor, Atkinson School of Social Sciences, says US President George W. Bush decided in the spring of 2002 to carry out an assault on Iraq. “The window for war opens in mid-January and it closes about a month later. The odds favour war, not to eliminate Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction but to open the door to a grand American scheme to remake the Middle East in its own image,” said Laxer.

York holds memorial for Dec. 6 victims

York University’s Vari Hall was home to several memorials dedicated to informing the public about, and speaking out against, violence against women on the anniversary of the shooting of 14 women at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique in 1989, reported the North York Mirror Dec. 8. “We can’t get back the lives that were lost, but at the very least, we can make people aware of the problem,” said Marilyn Lambert-Drache, adviser to the University on the status of women. “We need to make sure that people remain educated about this problem.”

On air

Daniel Drache, director, Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York University, discusses a joint Canada/USA military deal that could see American troops stationed on the Canadian side of the border in the event of a major catastrophe, on “680 News”, CFTR-AM in Toronto Dec. 9. Drache was also a member of a panel discussing US-Canada relations on “Michael Coren Live”, CTS-TV in Toronto Dec. 10…. Saddam Hussein is desperate because he knows the US will invade Iraq no matter what, said Saeed Rahnema, professor in the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, and the Atkinson School of Social Sciences, on “Citypulse Tonight”, CITY-TV Dec. 7 on the results of an Ekos poll that says Saddam Hussein is a bigger threat to world peace. Rahnema said Middle East oil is very important to Americans…. “Omni News”, Omni.2 in Toronto Dec. 10 featured reaction from the Toronto community regarding the Kyoto Accord from Professors Peter Victor and Ilan Kapoor and student Rajeev Rawat, Faculty of Environmental Studies….