Espousing equality, but embracing a hierarchy

As much as people disparage social and organizational hierarchy, it remains ubiquitous, and new research suggests a reason. A recently published paper in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that hierarchies are a form of structure that we embrace for comfort in a chaotic world, reported The New York Times June 21. The paper, by Justin Friesen of York University, Aaron C. Kay of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke, Richard Eibach of the University of Waterloo and Adam Galinsky of the Columbia Business School, builds on the notion of compensatory control: When we feel a lack of personal control, we compensate by looking for order or predictability in our environment. Read full story.

Hazardous rail cargo information to be kept hidden from public
Last November, the federal government began requiring rail companies to share information on hazardous goods with municipalities. . . . But cities remain forbidden from publicizing that data – it’s mainly for the use of emergency first responders in case of spills. Many say this isn’t enough. Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt’s decision “reflects a failure to respond to the levels of public and municipal concern over the movement of dangerous goods by rail through urban areas,” said York University Professor Mark Winfield in the Toronto Star June 20. Read full story.

Record number of York Region voters decline ballots
The sharp increase in the number of declined ballots certainly suggests it was an effort on the part of many voters to make a political point, said York University political science Professor Dennis Pilon in the Aurora Banner June 20. “The increase in declined ballots should concern our politicians, because for a voter to make the effort to come to the polls just to make a statement against the political system is a degree of effort that is not typical,” he said, adding unhappy voters typically don’t show up at all. Read full story.

Mike Myers directs Shep Gordon documentary
“When I went to York University to get a fine arts degree in film I thought I was going to be [American director] John Cassavetes,” said Mike Myers to Postmedia June 10. “I wanted to make movies about Canada and tell Canadian stories and wanted Canada to be a place where it’s all about early attempts at success. Then I got hired by Second City and then got hired by ‘Saturday Night Live’ and was thrilled about it all. But you just get busy. Stuff takes time.” Read full story.

Overregulation a major issue for banks
“If you think about what you want in a conservative, stable industry, it’s a high degree of certainty,” said Schulich School of Business Professor James Darroch in Investment Executive’s July 2014 issue. “If you’re getting regulatory creep, that creates uncertainty.” Overzealous regulation also may introduce new risks into the system rather than reduce risk overall by driving business into less regulated or unregulated channels, creating complex issues for regulators and policy-makers to try to anticipate and address. Read full story.

Crown applies to take Bosma murder case direct to trial
Alan Young, a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, calls the direct indictment provision “a historical relic” that is rarely used and often questionable, reported the Hamilton Spectator June 20. He says it can be used successfully in a case that has “taken years to get through the system” and the attorney general sees as needing a push to get to the trial. Particularly if there is a risk that some of the key witnesses or a victim could die before trial. Read full story.

Ontario votes wisely
“Every single person I know – including most of the literally 1,200 health studies students that I teach at York University each year – shares my views. Most students are appalled at the direction that Ontario has been taken during the past 20 years. Yet they see nothing in NDP words or actions that would lead them to support the party,” wrote York University Professor Dennis Raphael in the Toronto Star June 21. Read full story.

Cold weather means strong returns?
Does cold weather freeze stock market returns? A study done by Ming Dong and Andréanne Tremblay of York University considered this question, reported June 20. The researchers predicted that warm weather would positively affect returns because of increased optimism. They found that was true, particularly where people can spend time comfortably outside. But, surprisingly, cold weather boosts returns as well. Read full story.

Questioning aid abroad
“Voluntourism,” defined as a form of tourism in which travellers participate in voluntary work, has become a buzzing topic in debates on foreign aid and discussions for summer plans, reported The Charlatan June 22. . . . Understanding the international development side as well as the business side of the voluntourism industry are both important. The course at Seneca teaches both of these aspects. Other institutions like York University, Trent University and the University of Toronto offer similar courses, but focus on either the finance side or the international development side. Read full story.

Ratan Tata gets honorary doctorate from Canada’s York University
Canada’s world-famous York University has conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree on former Tata group chairman Ratan Tata for his quest for innovation and role in promoting corporate social responsibility, reported The Times of India June 22. Read full story.

A life of activism gives you hope, energy and direction
Maude Barlow received an honorary doctor of laws from York University in Toronto yesterday morning, reported June 20. Read full story.

5 studies you may have missed
Your daily workout may leave you feeling like a sweaty super hero, but is that enough? A new study conducted at York University in Canada suggests the majority of people have a broad misunderstanding of how much exercise is needed to maintain good health, reported CNN June 20. Read full story.

From ‘soft power’ to ‘economic diplomacy’
“The absence of a federal ministry of education and the largely circumscribed role of the federal government in education in both the United States and Canada result in international education policy falling between the cracks of federal and state-provincial responsibility,” wrote York University Professor Roopa Desai Trilokekar in University World News June 20. Read full story.

We’re inventing a new way to diagnose diabetes in the poorest parts of the world
REACH Diagnostics is a social enterprise focused on providing early diagnostic tools to urban slum citizens around the world, reported The Huffington Post June 19. Established by five undergraduate business students from the Schulich School of Business, REACH Diagnostics has an ambitious goal: to touch the lives of 25 million urban slum citizens by 2019. Read full story.