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Arts scholars in the media

Selected media hits featuring Arts faculty members:


4 myths about mindfulness meditation | Jeff Wilson (Religious Studies) writes for CNN | September 14 2014

"Essentially, mindfulness is a technique of open awareness without judgment, which allows the meditator to observe their physical and mental actions and reactions without attachment or aversion."


The Star with the Franklin search: How the Franklin wreck was finally found | Robert Park (Anthropology) featured in The Toronto Star | September 9 2014

"He waved to Park to come over. Stenton followed. Stirling showed them the piece of iron which, as taught, he hadn’t touched.'As soon as I saw it, I knew it was different than anything we’d ever seen before in terms of its size and its very clear shape,' Stenton said."


Coolest Classes in Canada Will Make You Wish You Were Still a Student | Aimée Morrison's (English) class featured in Huffington Post | September 3 2014

"What it's all about: 'An examination of how digital communication technologies create and promote online identities and social spaces, as well as interpersonal and communal interactions.' And, according to the school, that includes LOLcat grammar, Facebook and selfies."


Valuing the public in science advice | Heather Douglas (Philosophy) writes for The Guardian | August 28 2014

"This means that science advice cannot be value-free, if it is to say anything advisory. Indeed, because value judgments (employed across the scientific community) also shape what problems scientists pursue and what we have evidence about, science is doubly inflected by values."


An Arab Boom | Bessma Momani (Political Science) appears on The Agenda with Steve Paikin | August 15 2014


ISIS uses gruesome social media posts to recruit more ‘blood-thirsty’ jihadis and instill terror in enemies | Lorne Dawson (Sociology) comments in the National Post | August 11 2014

"'Probably we’re seeing way more young Canadians entertaining going to Syria and fighting for ISIS or one of the other groups because it has this exotic adventure component to it, and it is easier for them to morally justify,' he said."


Baby talk: Bad for your toddler’s language development? | Katherine White (Psychology) comments in Today's Parent | August 12 2014

"Making consonants and vowels clearer helps babies hear the difference between them. By the age of two, that can translate into a vocabulary that’s bigger than that of kids whose moms and dads don’t use this technique."


Terror Recruits | Lorne Dawson (Sociology) on CBC Radio | July 29 2014


Brazen populism can’t kill the Senate | Emmett Macfarlane (Political Science) comments in Maclean's Canada | July 16 2014

"'I suspect, by the time the Senate itself starts to complain that its capacities and function have been damaged, that we have hit unconstitutional waters,' says Macfarlane."


New hospital ethicist focuses on what patient would want | Rosalind Abdool (Philosophy PhD candidate) featured in the Windsor Star | July 15 2014

"Opening up the floor for dialogue, seeing if everyone can come to a consensus about what the patient would want if he was capable of deciding, is the essential idea, said Abdool, who is finishing a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Waterloo."


Does Israel want to go to war? | Jasmin Habib (Political Science) on CTV News | July 9 2014


Professor believes Supreme Court will also strike down new prostitution law | Emmett Macfarlane (Political Science) on CBC Radio | July 9 2014


Hockey analytics: Why it makes sense to pick a forward first in NHL draft | Phil Curry (Economics) writes for The Toronto Star | July 3 2014

"Defencemen and goalies are obviously pretty important to a team’s success, so why do teams picking first predominantly take forwards? One possibility is that it is relatively easier to predict future performance for forwards. A team might not want to use a first overall pick on a player that has a high chance of not living up to the billing of first overall."


Bitcoin has a future, but maybe not as a currency | Jean-Paul Lam (Economics) comments in CBC News | June 24 2014

"The bitcoin community has decided to cap the number of available bitcoins at 21 million. (To date, just under 13 million bitcoins have been mined worldwide.) Lam says this 'inelastic money supply' is what creates the huge price volatility."


Fix the link where science and policy meet | Heather Douglas (Philosophy) and UWaterloo colleagues Thomas Homer-Dixon and Lucie Edwards write in The Globe and Mail | June 23 2014

"By rebuilding capacity and broadening and stabilizing channels for scientific advice, these changes would greatly improve the quality of that advice. They’d also improve democratic accountability. To judge whether the government’s decisions are grounded in scientific knowledge, the public needs access to the expertise and information decision-makers use. Restricting this access damages our democracy."


Professors and students give failing grade to Ontario parties | Kate Lawson (English) comments in The Toronto Star | May 28 2014

"'Universities really do add to the economy, so it’s baffling and disappointing the parties aren’t addressing education,' said Lawson. 'Not a single party has delivered a clear vision of the future for the postsecondary education sector.'"


John Lennon, Johnny Cash are our modern 'saints,' researcher says | Kathleen Riddell's (Religious Studies PhD candidate) research featured in CBC News | May 25 2014

"'It's not a replacement for traditional religion. It's more about ideals. We wrap our values into them, our ideals and our struggles,' she said. 'They are presentable because they are in a neat attractive package, a cultural product.'"


Department of Hockey Analytics: Possession is 3/4 of the playoffs | Phil Curry (Economics) writes for The Toronto Star | May 22 2014

"This year’s playoffs are also shaping up to be a lesson in the value of possession. Twelve of the top sixteen possession teams made the playoffs, and of the four teams left, three are who you would expect based on their possession stats in the regular season: L.A. was 1st overall in shot attempt differential, Chicago was 2nd, and the Rangers were 6th."


How Harper government funding cuts affect science research in Waterloo Region | Heather Douglas (Philosophy) on CBC Radio | May 7 2014


10 things you need to know about the global food system | Elizabeth Fraser (MAGG candidate) writes for The Guardian | May 1 2014

"The most important thing to know about the global food system is also one of the least appreciated: there is enough food for everyone on the planet to live a healthy and nutritious life."


Upcoming Elections | Anna Esselment (Political Science) on CTV News Kitchener | April 27 2014


Did the Supreme Court just kill Senate reform? | Emmett Macfarlane writes for Maclean's Canada| April 25 2014

"Fundamentally, this decision was about who gets to write the rules to the game—the game, in this case, being democracy and government."


Picture books aren't just fun: Moms are exposing toddlers to rich information about animals | Daniela O'Neill's (Psychology) research featured in Medical Xpress | April 23 2014

"Our findings show that reading picture books with kids exposes them to information about animals in a way that allows children to readily apply this knowledge more broadly. This is key to learning."


Is the crisis in Ukraine a greater threat to Western security than the Syrian civil war? | Bessma Momani on CBC Radio | April 22 2014


Calm Down, You Can Literally Worry Yourself Sick | Christine Purdon's (Psychology) research featured in the Huffington Post Canada | April 21 2014

"Worriers typically get bogged down by events that haven't happened yet but might in a worst case scenario, says Dr. Christine Purdon... They succumb to what she calls a "worry chain," where one worrying thought spurs another and another, until they no longer can think straight."


Don't Worry Yourself Sick | Christine Purdon's (Psychology) research featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer | April 19 2014

"There are a number of exercises people prone to worrying can do to calm down and regain their confidence, Dr. Purdon suggests. Sometimes it can help just to analyze where a particular concerns originates from. Getting to the root of one’s worries can be a first step to overcome them."


From cults to homegrown terror: How Lorne Dawson found his academic calling | Lorne Dawson (Sociology) featured in CBC news and online | April 16 2014

"'With each layer of explanation, you're reducing the pool of potential candidates who could become a terrorist. So it's like a funnel. The funnel element is key because there are elements that are common to almost all people who radicalize that happen to be common to wide swaths of people in our population.'"


What constitutes a just war? | Brian Orend (Philosophy) interviewed in Christian Today | April 14 2014

"If re-drawing the borders helps keep the peace, then that doesn't have to be irrational, or cowardly capitulation. Here, it may allow western/central Ukraine to pursue the deeper ties to the West (EU) that it wants, whereas the Crimea and perhaps the East are allowed to retain the traditional links to Russia."


Men and women are equally good at reading partners’ sexual satisfaction, new study finds | Erin Fallis' (Psychology PhD candidate) research featured in The Washington Post | April 12 2014

"'I would discourage against looking at orgasm as a comprehensive measure of sexual satisfaction,' she said."


There's no point faking it - your partner DOES know if you're sexually satisfied or not | Erin Fallis' (Psychology PhD candidate) research featured in the Daily Mail UK | April 10 2014

"Lead author Erin Fallis said: 'On average, both men and women have fairly accurate and unbiased perceptions of their partners’ sexual satisfaction.'"


Angry ‘hashtag activists’ can get people behind a cause, but are they stifling public debate?Aimée Morrison (English) comments in the National Post | April 4 2014 

"'I think we need to be more clear,' she said, 'that what happens on the Internet is real life.'"


Donald Rumsfeld Hasn’t Learned a Damn Thing | James G. Blight and janet M. Lang (History; Balsillie School of International Affairs) write for Politico | April 4 2014

"The theatrical release of Errol Morris’s newest documentary, The Unknown Known, about former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in many ways resembles Morris’s 2004 Academy Award-winning The Fog of War, about another defense secretary, Robert McNamara."


Award-winning app helps new immigrants move where the jobs are | Carlos Saavedra (MDEI candidate) on CBC Radio | April 2 2014


York University professor too quick to denounce sexism in refusing student’s request to avoid women in class: rights advisor | David Seljak (Religious Studies) interviewed in National Post | March 25 2014

"People are doing religion à la carte, on the fly, in a makeshift fashion to suit their needs. The protection of religious freedom is not a protection of institutionalized, book-derived, authoritative religion, it’s a protection of all religious freedom…"


Confess Your Digital Sins | Marcel O'Gorman (English) writes for Slate | March 20 2014

"We are beseeching them to give up their handheld devices and experience a small portion of their lives as analog penitents, free of digital mediation."


Ashley Smith's life inspires theatre production | Andrew Houston (Drama and Speech Communication) on CBC radio and online | March 20 2014

"... the class took up this subject matter with great — I wouldn't say excitement, I think there was a kind of fear around mental health — but they were intrigued and they were connected to it personally, and for me, that's really important in the work that I do."


Bitcoin boosters' faith unshaken by scandals | Jean-Paul Lam (Economics) comments in Globe and Mail | March 6 2014

“'The irony of bitcoin is, it was created to avoid regulations, to avoid government intervention completely,' Prof. Lam said. 'So the minute there is regulation ... I think that’s the end of [virtual currency] as we know it.'”