UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 11 | Sep.
5 , 2002
In the News
Highlights of UBC media coverage in August 2002
Compiled by Rosalind Duane
At only 15 cm in diameter, Canada's first space telescope
has a big job to do. Astronomers at the MOST (Microvariability
and Oscillation of Stars) project are using the telescope
to measure the age of stars.
"It dawned on me, it's a bit like Galileo," the
project's lead scientist and UBC Astronomy Assoc. Prof. Jaymie
Matthews told the National Post. "We're in a position
to be the first people in human history to directly see the
light of a planet from outside our own solar system."
UBC student maps female arousal
UBC Master's student Shona Penhale has boldly gone where
no one has gone before by documenting the map of nerves of
the female genitalia.
Her research will be included in the next edition of Gray's
Anatomy and could help doctors perform more accurate surgery
to prevent damage to the female sexual arousal nerves.
"I was stunned," Penhale told the Vancouver Sun.
"I thought, 'How could, in the year 2000, we not know
how the nerves run through a woman's pelvis and innervate
her genitalia?' ".
Media frenzy feeds abduction fears
Numerous recent child abduction cases in the U.S. and Canada
have dominated news reports. UBC Journalism Asst. Prof. Mary
Lynn Young told the National Post, that some stories seem
to seize the public imagination.
"Certain stories tap into archetypal stories that we've
been told since childhood in fairy tales said Young. "So
these stories sort of snowball in the media."
A dog's good life
Dog owners are spending more and more money to provide worldly
pleasures for their pooches. UBC Psychology Prof. and dog
expert Stanley Coren told Vancouver Lifestyle Magazine that
showering dogs with presents is nothing new.
"We are not only willing to spend money on material
things but on overt services for our dogs, to have things
done for our dogs that are either too complex or too time-involved
for us to do ourselves."
UBC Human Kinetics Asst. Prof. Karim Khan told City TV that
in reasonably hot weather, drinking two to three cups of water
per hour is sufficient for most athletes.
"In some people the kidney doesn't control the fluid
balance as well as it should," said Khan. "And if
a person drinks inordinately large amounts of fluid the body
can't get rid of that fluid and this effect [called] water
intoxication occurs." Water intoxication can be deadly.
He added that even sports drinks can cause water intoxication
if you drink too much of them.
Researchers are concerned that there are too many whale-watching
vessels getting too close to orca populations.
"Seeing orcas is much easier if you are smack in front
of the animals, no matter what boat you're in, but there's
widespread agreement that traveling alongside them at a fair
distance is best for the orcas," UBC Marine Mammal Biologist
Andrew Trites told the Washington Post.
"In the end, orcas need a place to get away from boats,
perhaps in reserves where they can be left in peace,"
UBC Political Science Professor Philip Resnick told the Globe
and Mail that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's recent
trip to a historic Sikh temple in Abbotsford was a political
Despite its billing as a non-partisan event the Prime Minister
was praised by two cabinet ministers before his speech, and
he ended his speech by announcing that Canada would open an
immigration and visa office in the Punjab region where Canada's
Sikh community has its roots.
A number of incoming business students have filed a lawsuit
against UBC over this year's tuition hike for the MBA program.
The Ottawa Citizen reported that the writ filed against the
school said the increase is "unfair, unreasonable and
unconscionable." Tuition for the program has jumped from
$7,000 to $28,000.
Get your Master's downtown
UBC will offer a part-time MBA course at its downtown Robson
Square campus next spring.
UBC Finance Professor and chair of the Robson Square Transition
Team Stanley Hamilton told Sing Tao Daily that the reason
UBC is reaching into the downtown community to meet the increasing
demand of students seeking to complete their degree and hold
a job at the same time.
InVitro coverage urged
Dr. Anthony Cheung from the UBC InVitro Fertilization program
told Sing Tao Daily that only 10 per cent of couples suffering
from infertility undergo InVitro treatment, mainly due to
the high cost.
He's urging the treatment to be covered under MSP
He adds that infertility creates anxiety and stress for women
and can cause self-esteem and tension in the relationship.
With the aging population and low birth rate in Canada, Cheung
says it may take some political influence to push for medical
No top women
Not one woman heads up a company on B.C.'s top 100 private
companies this year and just one of B.C.'s top 100 public
companies has a female CEO.
Only two graced the list of top paid executives in B.C. and
one of those, QLT Inc. CEO and former UBC professor Julia
Levy, has since stepped down.
"If you asked me 15 years ago I would have told you
by now, we would be there," UBC Organizational Behaviour
Prof. Nancy Langton told Business in Vancouver. Langton has
been studying women in management since the early 1970s. "I
just shake my head. I don't know why we haven't done better
than we have."