Why are Canadians not being told the truth about disease?

“It is now widely known, at least among the research and public health communities, that the primary factors that shape health are not the so-called ‘lifestyle’ factors of diet, physical activity and tobacco use, but rather the living conditions – or social determinants of health – individuals experience throughout their life course,” wrote York University health policy and management Professor Dennis Raphael in the Hamilton Spectator March 11. “Yet, if we followed advice from major disease associations . . . we would have no sense that these living conditions play any direct role in the incidence of the major life-ending diseases.” Read full story.

Mathematician Lee Lorch fought tirelessly against racism
Though he was a mathematician by profession, Lee Lorch made an enduring contribution to the civil rights cause with his tireless campaigns against racial discrimination which repeatedly cost him his job and forced him to make Toronto his home. . . . Though he officially retired from York University in 1985, Lorch remained a diligent mathematician, publishing his final academic article in 2008. “He kind of embodied the idea of no mandatory retirement,” said York biology Professor Dawn Bazely in the Toronto Star March 11, who recalled Lorch urging faculty members to support activist causes well into his 90s. Read full story.

Sex workers should get a say on prostitution policy
“Sex workers are among the first to acknowledge the poor working conditions in the sex industry and are also the best positioned to develop solutions,” co-wrote York University doctoral candidate Elya M. Durisin the Toronto Star March 10. “As such, policy-makers, labour organizers and sex workers should work together to collectively consider new and exciting ways to form unions and develop labour protections. Problematic working conditions in the sex industry should not be used as an excuse to criminalize further people and consensual activities. Instead, it is incumbent upon us to consider sex workers’ own advocacy in favour of decriminalization.” Read full story.

Learning from history
On March 10, Matt Galloway of CBC’s “Metro Morning” spoke with Osgoode Hall Law School student Avnish Nanda, one of the co-founders of Komagata Maru Week. Read full story.

An upcoming play explores problems queer people face in public washrooms
To explore the problems that queer people sometimes face in washrooms, York University Professor Sheila Cavanagh conducted a vast number of interviews across North America, 100 of which became the basis of her book Queering Bathrooms: Gender, Sexuality and Hygienic Imagination (2010). She then adapted the book into a play called Queer Bathroom Monologues, reported Daily Xtra March 10. Read full story.

Letter: Embrace Lakehead’s innovations
I have been following with interest the ongoing debate about how to best prepare lawyers to practise in the real world of law. In particular, I note the article dated Feb. 25 by Prof. Gus Van Harten of Osgoode Hall Law School in which he expresses a harsh opinion on the “Lakehead approach” to legal education. . . . As a practising lawyer and chairwoman of the County & District Law Presidents’ Association, I take some exception to these assumptions, reported Law Times March 10. Read full story.

CSR, the foundation of good governance
The concept of the modern company has to be re-devised to make it more able to meet a range of stakeholders demanding more than socially responsible practices, according to a visiting professor. In the Ethical Investor March 11, Dirk Matten, Hewlett Packard Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility at York University, said society needs to develop a new “theory of the firm” because companies are increasingly beholden to a range of stakeholders, not just shareholders. Read full story.

Astronomers map out Earth’s place in the universe among ‘Council of Giants’
A new paper by York University physics and astronomy Professor Marshall McCall, published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, maps out bright galaxies within 35-million light years of the Earth, offering up an expanded picture of what lies beyond our doorstep, reported Phys.org March 10. Read full story.