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Arts scholars in the media

Selected media hits featuring Arts faculty members:


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 on 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 on 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.'”


TED Talks are Wildly Addictive for Three Powerful Scientific Reasons | Larry Smith (Economics) cited in Forbes online | February 25 2014

"Larry Smith, an economics professor at the University of Waterloo, gave a popular TEDx talk titled, Why You Will Fail To Have a Great Career [...] is notable for the fact that he doesn’t use any slides. He commands the attention of his audience through the passionate delivery he brings to the topic."


Why Some Smartphone Games Are So Addictive | Karen Collins (Drama and Speech Communication) comments in India Everyday | February 21 2014

"Give a carrot facial expressions and strange things happen. 'When something has a face, we find it much harder to give up, or get rid of. We are sort of hard wired into that,' said Karen Collins, a professor at the Games Institute of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada."


Beer Store study claiming convenience store sales will cause price spike is flawed, critics say | Anindya Sen's (Economics) research featured in the National Post | February 10 2014

"Mr. Sen argues that in a fair-market analysis it makes more sense to compare Ontario with Quebec, whose markets are adjacent and more comparable in size than Ontario and Alberta."


Train terror plot suspect, Chiheb Esseghaier lashes out at ‘NATO colonization’ of Afghanistan | Lorne Dawson (Sociology) comments in the National Post | February 4 2014

"'From my perspective, the views expressed … are very typical of the worldview of religious fundamentalists and very comparable to what one might hear from a strident anti-abortion activist coming from a Christian perspective,' said Prof. Lorne Dawson."


A fundamental question about Justin Trudeau’s Senate move | Emmett Macfarlane (Political Science) writes in Maclean's magazine | January 29 2014

"The proposals [...] will not convince those who think the only meaningful options are elections or abolition. For those who think there is still some value to an unelected upper chamber, however, what Trudeau seems to be pushing is for more of a cultural change. A move away from patronage and partisanship – even if just through new practices rather than formal legal change – is a good objective, and it might demonstrate that the Senate could be improved without the mess of a major constitutional battle."


Ontario to raise minimum wage for first time since 2010 | Anindya Sen (Economics) appears on CTV Kitchener | January 27 2014


Why did Harper wade into the Marc Nadon controversy? | Emmett Macfarlane (Political Science) comments in Maclean's magazine | January 16 2014

"University of Waterloo political science professor Emmett Macfarlane, author of Governing from the Bench: The Supreme Court of Canada and the Judicial Role, calls them 'moderate centrists.' On the other hand, he describes Nadon as a 'very unique and odd choice.'"


Bizarre downtown attacks | Owen Gallupe (Sociology) appears on CTV Kitchener | January 13 2014


The fear of offending is sapping universities of common sense | Emmett Macfarlane (Political Science) writes for The Globe and Mail | January 10 2014

"The administration at York appears to have lost sight of their most important responsibility to students, which is not to shield each individual student from the real world or attempt to provide them with their own morally idyllic experience. Rather, universities must cultivate an educational environment that is most conducive to student learning for the student body writ large and for the generation and dissemination of knowledge."


The Surprising Probability Gurus Wearing Diapers | Stephanie Denison's (Psychology) research featured in Wall Street Journal | January 10 2014

"Two new studies in the journal Cognition describe how some brilliant decision makers expertly use probability for profit... Stephanie Denison at the University of Waterloo in Canada and Fei Xu at the University of California, Berkeley, showed babies two large transparent jars full of lollipop-shaped toys."


Franklin expedition: More doubts raised that lead poisoned the crew | Robert Park (Anthropology) comments on CBC News | January 9 2014

"Park says there have been ongoing questions about the toxic lead theory for decades... He thinks all this just makes the unsolved mystery that much more compelling. 'There is something marvellously catastrophic about the Franklin expedition,' said Park."