Future doctors demand boundaries with ‘big pharma’

In July, a study led by York University in the online medical journal PLoS One ranked Canada’s 17 medical schools on the strength of their 2011 conflict-of-interest guidelines. More than half got a failing grade, reported Maclean’s Sept. 24. Representatives at some schools fired back, saying the research inaccurately depicted their policies. But a movement was born, one in which students and young doctors are demanding clearer boundaries between “big pharma” and medical schools. Read full story.

Peter Love
York University environmental studies Professor Peter Love has been named to Canada’s 2014 Clean50 for his leading role as an advocate for a culture of conservation, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 24. Read full story.

Fairfax’s BlackBerry deal seeks to forgo takeover review
The consortium led by Canadian investment guru Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings, which has struck a tentative $4.7-billion US deal to take smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd private, is aggressively touting its Canadian status to avoid the government reviews of foreign takeovers that have plagued recent attempts to buy Canadian companies, reported Business News Network Sept. 24….York University Professor Gus Van Harten said he assumed Watsa was “referring to this being structured in a way so that it’s a Canadian takeover of a Canadian company.” Read full story.

Literary revelations: Top reviewers pick their surprise books of the year
“York University Professor S.D. Chrostowska’s nouveau-epistolary novel Permission is one of the most formally adventurous books I’ve read this year,” wrote Quill & Quire’s Steven W. Beattie in 49th Shelf Sept. 24. “Virtually plotless, and told in a series of enigmatic e-mails from a protean correspondent to an anonymous artist, the novel interrogates the relationships between author, reader and text. Recalling Barthes, Derrida and Robbe-Grillet, Chrostowska has written a surprising and unconventional novel of ideas.” Read full story.

Campus bar offers $3 pregnancy tests
At the Lakehead University campus bar in Thunder Bay, $3.50 will get you some fries, $5.75 will get you a tankard of beer and, as of Tuesday, $3 will get you a pregnancy test, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 24….The dispenser is a $600 donation from the local group of Healthy Brains for Children, an international non-profit group looking to prevent future cases of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder….Calls to the University of Toronto were not returned, but a spokesperson for York University said there isn’t anything similar on campus and a spokesperson for Ryerson University said they aren’t considering similar dispensers. Read full story.