Raelians not alone

“The stranger-than-fiction, self-promoting Raelians are by no means alone in their attempts to pervert science,” writes bioethics consultant Jackie Smith, who teaches a nursing ethics course at York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, in an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail Jan. 14. “History is full of stories of poor and desperate people subjected to dangerous medical experiments – some leading to progress, some only to harm. It’s no surprise that the genetic era is seeing legitimate and rogue scientists lose sight of human rights and dignity in a race for publicity, scientific glory and lucrative contracts.”

Financial turbulence at airline

“Confidence in airline travel is probably at an all-time low,” Fred Lazar, professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, said in a Toronto Star story Jan. 14 about the ailing Air Canada. “The cost environment probably couldn’t be too much worse.”

Skeptical of drug-law reform

Don’t expect marijuana to be decriminalized any time soon despite promises from Justice Minister Martin Cauchon, say some experts and drug advocates, reports CP Wire Jan. 13. “There won’t be enough time to pass it,” said Alan Young, a professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. “He [Cauchon] knows it’s going to die on the order paper.” The Daily News in Halifax reported Jan. 11 that Young said an Ontario judge’s ruling, that Ottawa’s Medical Marijuana Access regulations are unconstitutional, is binding on lower courts. Young expects it to wreak havoc on marijuana-possession laws and believes Ottawa will likely appeal the ruling within 30 days.

On air

Martin Shadwick, military analyst with York’s Centre for International and Security Studies, commented Jan. 10 on the following radio shows about Canada’s role if the US takes military action against Iraq: “On the Island” (CBCV-FM), Victoria; “Ontario Morning” (CBCK-FM), Kingston; “Calgary Eye Opener” (CBR-AM); “Morning Edition” (CBK-AM), Saskatchewan; “Ottawa Morning” (CBO-FM); “Information Radio” (CBW-AM), Winnipeg; “Info Morning” (CBH-FM), Halifax; “Breakaway” (CBVE-FM), Quebec….York University’s jazz program was mentioned on the CBC National News Jan. 10 as part of coverage of the biggest jazz conference in the world in Toronto, the International Association for Jazz Education, held last week.