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UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 2 | Feb. 6, 2003


Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in January 2003.

Compiled by Brian Lin

Fishery Prof an iconoclast

In a profile on UBC Fisheries Prof. Daniel Pauly, The New York Times detailed his work in marine stocks around the globe.

“Looking at the big picture has not been the mandate of anybody,” Pauly told the NYT, with an accent that simultaneously hints at many languages, but not necessarily his native French or his acquired tongues, German or Spanish or the Swahili or Indonesian that he once spoke.

Most fisheries scientists work for regulatory agencies charged with managing a particular stock in a particular port, he said. But he and his colleagues “have given ourselves the mandate to look at the whole world.”

“Nobody has been asking these questions before,” Pauly said.

In the process, he and his fellow researchers are making a splash with paper after paper in the most prestigious scientific journals. Their news is uniformly bad. As a result, Pauly has become a man on a mission to spread the word that fish stocks are plummeting around the world.

Bacteria fighter honoured

In a profile, UBC Microbiologist and Peter Wall Institute Distinguished Prof. Brett Finlay told The Vancouver Sun he has a huge respect for bacteria. “They are endlessly fascinating and I have to say I like them in a perverse sense.”

Finlay, an expert in food- and water-borne bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella, is working on a vaccine for cows that may prevent E. coli outbreaks like the one that killed seven people in Walkerton, Ont., in 2000. The vaccine is undergoing large-scale trials and Finlay says results so far are promising.
“We are extremely proud that this eminent researcher was attracted to UBC and remains here to continue his important work and to mentor students from a variety of disciplines,” says UBC President Martha Piper.

Forgiving Campbell

Commenting on the likelihood of British Columbians forgiving Premier Gordon Campbell for his drinking and driving charges in Hawaii, Jessica Easton, a psychotherapist who works with UBC’s Centre for Applied Ethics, told BCTV that people can forgive Campbell because most are familiar with alcohol.

“In our culture we almost expect all adolescents will go through a time where they experiment with alcohol,” said Easton.

Honesty may also have sown the seeds for public sympathy and people seem willing to give him a second chance. “We have enough evidence to believe that he is a functioning, capable man who acts on his word,” Easton added.

Admission crunch

University administrators say they are beginning to turn away excellent students because financing of the post-secondary education system is not keeping pace with demand.

At UBC, the cut-off for Arts students has risen from 72 per cent in 1996 to 78 per cent in 2002, and from 82 per cent to 85 per cent in science.

UBC received so many applications in 2001 that it admitted 1,500 students more than the provincial government was willing to fund. But the university cannot afford to repeat the practice this year and so is using higher grade requirements as a tool to keep admissions in check, Rosalie Phillips, assistant registrar, undergraduate admissions told The National Post.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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