Bringing science to market

Letting individuals take the lead, or guiding those who are interested, are also 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 Oct. 2. Hough is hoping that many marketable developments will spring from the University’s new Life Sciences Building, which opened in 2012….The building has two floors dedicated to undergraduate teaching, and two for research laboratories, a layout that Hough says gives students much more exposure to research. The laboratories are stocked with $5 million worth of equipment, and there is a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration. Read full story.

Priscila Uppal among writers with Ottawa connections nominated for GG awards
The book nominations just keep coming in for York University English Professor Priscila Uppal, an Ottawa-raised poet, novelist and playwright. Uppal’s book, Projection: Encounters With My Runaway Mother, received a nomination Wednesday in the non-fiction category for the prestigious 2013 Governor General’s Literary Awards. The book, which was released Sept. 18, has also been shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers Trust Prize for Non-Fiction. “I’m really quite thrilled and it’s already in its second printing,” said Uppal in the Ottawa Citizen Oct. 2. Read full story.

Can education be a challenge to terror?
“Borderless Higher Education for Refugees is one of many innovations globally that sees accessible and high quality education as an essential opportunity for all youth,” co-wrote York University PhD candidate Negin Dahya in The Globe and Mail Oct. 3. “It is an attempt to answer calls we have heard from refugees, including a Somali parent at a PTA meeting in the Dadaab camps who said that ‘the root cause of this conflict in Somalia is just a lack of knowledge’ and a young high school student who described her vision for the future: ‘I want to become a politician in Somalia and contribute to rebuilding the country.’” Read full story.

Toronto needs York Region more than York needs T.O.
Suburban doesn’t equal substandard. That was one of the key messages that emerged from the recent A Suburban Revolution? conference held at Toronto’s York University as part of the Major Collaborative Research Initiative, Global Suburbanisms: Governance, Land and Infrastructure in the 21st Century. The conference also featured the release of the Greater Toronto suburban working group’s roundtable report that not only challenges society’s ideas about the suburbs, but goes further to anoint them as being our urban future, reported Oct. 2. Read full story.

To China with music NACO on tour: Panda power fuels a better relationship with China
Bernard Frolic, professor emeritus at York University and a former senior foreign affairs cultural diplomat who was stationed in China, has a somewhat more jaundiced view of the impact of cultural tours. “[The NACO tour] is not something that is going to make an impact on the Canadian public or the Chinese public,” said Frolic Sept. 30 in the Ottawa Citizen….He says he believes the educational component of the tour will matter. “That is what has kept our links with China going.” Read full story.