Highlights of UBC media coverage in December 2012

For power and status, dominance and skill trump likability

A UBC study revealed that people are impressed by competency and dominance, which includes the ability to impose ideas on others through bullying and intimidation, and are more likely to select leaders who demonstrate these traits, reported The Telegraph, Popular Science, Mail Online, and The Evening Standard.

Study participants paid significantly greater attention to individuals who had been judged to be more dominant or appeared to be competent.

“Our findings suggest there are really two ways to top the social ladder and gain leadership: impressing people with your skills or powering your way through with old-fashioned dominance,” said lead author Joey Cheng, a PhD candidate.

Vancouver School of Economics

UBC announced its plans to establish the Vancouver School of Economics. The new school will be an expansion of Canada’s top-ranked economics department.

The Vancouver School of Economics will open up 328 student spaces for an intensive new four-year undergraduate program, reported the Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, Times Colonist and Business in Vancouver.

Michael Devereux, inaugural director of the school and a research fellow of the Bank of Canada, says the proposed bachelor of international economics will be a flagship program for the school. UBC’s Sauder School of Business will be a supporting partner.

Transit to UBC

Future developments of the Lower Mainland’s public transportation system got considerable media attention last month. The Broadway corridor is the busiest transit route in the region with much of the traffic travelling all the way to UBC. The Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight, The Tyee, CBC Early Edition and others reported on UBC’s views and priorities.

“What’s important to us is that we have a connection to the city so that the 62,000 people who are our campus population have an effective link to the city and the rest of the region,” Pascal Spothelfer, UBC’s Vice President of Communications and Community Partnership said to Global.

Tanker spill could wipe out economic gains from Northern Gateway

The cost of a tanker spill off the north coast of British Columbia could outweigh the economic gains from the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, says a study by the UBC Fisheries Centre, reported the Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News, Canadian Press, CTV, Global, CBC and others. The study was funded by the World Wildlife Fund.

Researchers Ngaio Hotte and Rashid Sumaila estimated that over its lifespan, the Northern Gateway project could generate more than $600-million in economic benefits. They then examined the impact of a spill on fishing, tourism and marine transportation.

Hotte and Sumaila further estimated the cost of spill response and cleanup to be $2.4-billion for a small spill and $9.6-billion for a larger spill