Canada must develop our knowledge economy

“As a long-time executive in the technology sector, I see nothing ‘disruptive’ about innovation,” wrote Paul Tsaparis, executive-in-residence at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in The Globe and Mail April 27. “I prefer the term ‘transformative technologies’ to describe the revolution that is quickly moving the knowledge-based sector to the forefront of the world’s most vital industries.” Read full story.

Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy takes artful approach to fighting dementia
The Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy, which opened last summer, wants to explore what’s possible: can an engaging arts-based day program slow cognitive decline? And how can it improve quality of life? The academy, located in the CNIB building on Bayview Ave., was created by the University Health Network and York University with a donation from the Bitove family. Its target clients are, primarily, people with mild and moderate forms of dementia, reported the Toronto Star April 25. Read full story.

Op-Ed: There is no consensus on Senate reform
“Let us begin with what the Supreme Court of Canada did not say,” wrote Bruce Hicks, the BMO Visiting Fellow and an adjunct professor at York University’s Glendon School of Public & International Affairs, in the Ottawa Citizen April 25. “It did not say that the government couldn’t reform the Senate. It simply said the government has to get the agreement of the provinces to make certain changes. So the decision was not in favour of the status quo, as the prime minister stated Friday.” Read full story.

Testicular, breast cancer social media campaigns get edgier
The shock value of naughty cancer awareness campaigns on social media do create buzz, but whether they work in the long run is less clear, a marketing expert says. “I can hear some extreme male groups saying, well you know, isn’t it exploitative?” said Alan Middleton, a professor of marketing at York University, in CBC News April 27. “The answer is yes it is. But like everything, does it do it successfully in the cause?” Creating broader awareness in an age of social and digital media has value for disease charities aiming to engage people beyond those directly involved, such as patients and their loved ones, Middleton said. Read full story.

TCHC’s challenges are also its greatest assets
“In a city that harbours a thriving renovation industry for private single family homes and a burgeoning condo boom, the sheer abandonment of the towers and their neighbourhoods is scandalous,” said York University Professor Roger Keil, whose research interests include global suburbanism and urban governance, in the Toronto Star April 28. Read full story.

Bieber’s guitarist ready to judge
York University alumnus Dan Kanter has toured around the world with Justin Bieber but he’s just as happy to be in Halifax discovering a great new breakfast spot, reported the Chronicle Herald April 25. Kanter is musical director and lead guitarist for Bieber, but this weekend he’s in Halifax as one of three judges for today’s “Next Star” auditions at the World Trade & Convention Centre. Read full story.

Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill make York University short list
Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Markham found out Friday they have been shortlisted as possible sites for a York University satellite campus, reported the Aurora Banner and others April 25. Read full story.

When does bilingualism help or hurt?
While many of us share the intuition that learning two languages is better, or believe we’ve been told that from the media or scientific studies, the actual evidence is mixed, reported Psychology Today April 27. York University psychology Professor Ellen Bialystok has been studying the pros and cons of bilingualism for almost 40 years. She and her team have found evidence on both sides of the bilingualism argument. They find that children who regularly speak more than one language, on average, have slight linguistic disadvantages but also cognitive advantages as compared to children who speak only one language. Read full story.

This is your brain on great literature
York University psychologist Raymond Mar performed an analysis of 86 fMRI studies, published last year in the Annual Review of Psychology, and concluded that there was substantial overlap in the brain networks used to understand stories and the networks used to navigate interactions with other individuals – in particular, interactions in which we’re trying to figure out the thoughts and feelings of others. Scientists call this capacity of the brain to construct a map of other people’s intentions “theory of mind”, reported Time April 26. Narratives offer a unique opportunity to engage this capacity, as we identify with characters’ longings and frustrations, guess at their hidden motives and track their encounters with friends and enemies, neighbours and lovers. Read full story.

Film brings Pompeii back to life perfectly – and destroys it again
The ancient city of Pompeii has been recreated with astonishing attention to historical accuracy for an epic film about its destruction following the eruption of Vesuvius some 2,000 years ago, reported the Guardian April 26. . . . York University Roman history Professor Jonathan Edmondson advised on the film’s historical accuracy. Read full story.