Welcome to the May 2019 issue of Brainstorm

Brainstorm, a special edition of YFile publishing on the first Friday of every month, showcases research and innovation at York University. It offers compelling and accessible feature-length stories about the world-leading and policy-relevant work of York’s academics and researchers across all disciplines and Faculties, and encompasses both pure and applied research.

In the May 2019 issue

Intrepid historian spurs “electrifying” discovery in Canterbury Cathedral
Professor Rachel Koopmans convinces a conservation expert at Canterbury Cathedral to re-examine a panel of stained glass believed to have been created in the Victorian era. It turns out the glass is 800 years old – two centuries older than Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales – and is, in fact, the earliest surviving portrait of pilgrims to the site.

Toronto has twice as many urban Indigenous people than previously believed
Urban Indigenous people have been historically underrepresented in various censuses. New and highly applicable research brings this into sharp focus and offers a statistical solution that will have broad impacts across governmental and health policy and could be applied to other hard-to-reach populations.

Anti-bullying project on LGBTQ youth, a vital resource in schools and beyond
A groundbreaking new venture, the Beyond Bullying Project, offers a repository of real-life experiences that will shed light on this vital topic as well as offer support and resources. This could inform educators, school administrators, government policy-makers, LGBTQ youth, parents and more.

Re-examining a Muslim veil case where judge blocked feminist interveners
An Osgoode PhD student reconsiders a 2015 case in which a Muslim woman challenged federal policy requiring the removal of her niqab during the citizenship oath. The judge blocked several organizations that sought to intervene with feminist perspectives – a decision that could have a “chilling effect” on public interest interventions in Canadian courts, some believe.

Why we cling to beliefs – some dangerous, some not – and how to combat this urge
A new book raises fundamental questions about belief and explains why we hold onto certain convictions, even when they’re self-destructive or harmful. This page-turner will be of interest to those in psychiatric fields, psychology students and members of the public.

Launched in January 2017, Brainstorm is produced out of the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation in partnership with Communications & Public Affairs; overseen by Megan Mueller, senior manager, research communications; and edited by Jenny Pitt-Clark, YFile editor, and Ashley Goodfellow Craig, YFile deputy editor.