"A veteran professor-turned-dean who wanted to bring light to "the dark side" explains what worked for him."
Summary from Academica Top Ten - Wednesday January 18, 2017
"Good deans must have readiness, good temperament, sense of purpose In a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article, Robert Bruner describes the three qualities that make for a good dean: readiness, temperament, and purpose. In discussing readiness, Bruner highlights the importance of having accumulated leadership experience, stating that “the best deans are wise in the world, as well as ethical and effective.” Of temperament, he notes that the role does not require the dean to be a genius, but a dean must have “high self-confidence, resilience to failure, humility, and a bias for action.” Of purpose, Bruner writes that deans must feel driven by the institutional mission and values, a desire to serve stakeholders, belief in the students that will graduate from the institution, and their own capacity to bring something to the situation."
Air Date: Jan 13, 2017 Length: 24:04 About this Video
Last July, Toronto approved the establishment of three safe injection sites and now, in an effort to battle opioid overdose deaths, the province has agreed to fund those sites and one in Ottawa. Toronto Councillor Joe Cressy has been a strong advocate for the public health benefits of such facilities. He joins The Agenda with Ahmed Bayoumi, the co-author of a 2012 report on the harm reduction potential of safe injection sites in Ottawa and Toronto.
Two months after his second birthday, Vishwarnam Sawra died in his mother’s arms, one of thousands of young lives lost to malnutrition in the Indian state of Maharashtra after years of drought and the withdrawal of state nutrition schemes
The boom in tourist arrivals, especially from the United States, like those sitting outside the restaurants in one of Havana’s streets, has been insufficient to avoid Cuba’s recession during 2016. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS
"As Bonnie Burstow sees it, there’s no such thing as mental “illness,” no evidence that psychological problems stem from physical imbalances in the brain, and even less that treatments like anti-psychotic drugs actually help people.
But PhD students who follow the University of Toronto professor’s radical ideas have a tough time winning financial support: arguing that mental health care as we know it should be abolished can be a hard sell.
So Burstow has put up $50,000 of her own money and convinced the U of T to back a striking new scholarship – for studies in “anti-psychiatry.”
The university defends the grant as an embodiment of academic freedom, but the controversial initiative is raising questions about just how far that freedom should extend."
Summary from Academica Top Ten - Friday, January 13, 2016:
"Critics speak out against “anti-psychiatry” scholarship A scholarship in “anti-psychiatry” created and funded by a University of Toronto professor has provoked concern among critics and other professors at the school. The National Post reports that according to U of T Professor Bonnie Burstow, “there is no such thing as mental ‘illness,’ no evidence that psychological problems stem from physical imbalances in the brain, and even less that treatments like anti-psychotic drugs actually help people.” Critics, however, say that they are concerned that the school is allowing an anti-scientific scholarship that could put mentally ill people in harm’s way. “This is a case where academic freedom should be quashed,” says U of T Professor Edward Shorter. “People will read this and think ‘Well, maybe mother doesn’t need that psychiatrist after all, it’s just a lot of bunkum.’ And then the first thing you know, someone has committed suicide.” "
By learning how nature works and how to work within it, we can overcome many problems we've created by trying to jam our technologies on top of natural systems. Fossil fuels were formed when plants absorbed and converted sunlight through photosynthesis hundreds of millions of years ago, then retained that energy when they died, decayed and became compacted and buried deep in the Earth, along with the animals that ate them. Rapidly burning limited supplies of them is absurd, especially when they can be useful for so many other known and possibly yet undiscovered purposes.
Since the introduction of penicillin in the middle of the 20th century, antimicrobial treatments have been used not only in human medicine but in veterinary care as well. But their excessive use in livestock (and aquaculture) contaminates the environment and contributes to a rise of resistant microorganisms, posing threats to human health, animal health, food security and people’s livelihoods. Photo: FAO
ROME, Jan 11 2017 (IPS) - There is a major though silent global threat to human and animal health, with implications for both food safety and food security and the economic well-being of millions of farming households. It is so-called anti-microbial resistance.
The problems arises from the indiscriminate, excessive use of synthetic products, such as anti-microbial medicines, to kill diseases in the agricultural and food systems, which may be a major conduit of the anti-microbial resistance (AMR) that causes 700,000 human deaths each year and has the potential to raise this number to up to 10 million annually.
AMR is a natural phenomenon of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that are no longer sensitive to the effects of antimicrobial medicines, like antibiotics, that were previously effective in treating infections.
Nevertheless, commercial practices meant to increase benefits have been leading to the dramatic fact that these drugs are more and more used to practically solely promote animal growth.
Air Date: Jan 09, 2017 Length: 16:44 About this Video "It used to be that fashion retailers rolled out distinctive fashion lines by seasons - spring, summer, fall, and winter. But if you walk into one of the larger chain clothing retailers today, blink and you'll miss out on their stock. Product turns over constantly, it's inexpensive to buy, and easy to churn out. But there's a cost to cheap. Sarah Portway, PhD candidate in apparel design and a fashion design instructor at Cornell University, joins The Agenda to talk about why consumers should reconsider inexpensive mass-produced clothing." TVO
"As a department chair, screwups are inevitable, writes Professor Plainspoken. The key is finding ways to avoid beating yourself up about them."
Summary from Academica Top Ten: Monday January 16, 2017"
"Department chairs must learn to be patient with selves to avoid stress
“Somewhere along the way, I got the idea that being kind and patient with myself was self-indulgent. I am unlearning this now,” writes Professor Plainspoken on the ways to avoid stress as a department chair.
Reflecting on previous stressful experiences with paperwork, teaching schedules, and room assignments, as well as the maxim that “the best way to reduce stress is to stop screwing up,” the author explains that learning to let mistakes go and forgiving yourself are the best ways to reduce stress in these situations.
The author concludes with the suggestion that, “should you become chair, you cannot afford not to be kind and patient with yourself.”"
About this Video The Agenda examines whether public transit is similar to a social service or a public utility? The answer to that question informs what modes of transit cities think they need, where transit infrastructure should be built, and what it should cost. Transit Cities TVO
VANCOUVER - The only indigenous professor on a committee working on a new sexual assault policy at the University of British Columbia has resigned from the group after the school brought back John Furlong to speak at an upcoming fundraiser.
Daniel Heath Justice said in a letter to university president Santa Ono that the decision "silenced and erased" allegations that Furlong physically abused First Nations students while teaching at a Catholic school in Burns Lake, B.C., in 1969 and 1970.
Justice, chair of First Nations and indigenous studies, said he could not continue to serve on the committee because Ono's reversal has undermined the credibility of the process.
"I believe that a viable and legitimate survivor-centred approach to sexual assault cannot stand with integrity alongside this deeply troubling decision," Justice said in the letter posted on Twitter.
The university cancelled Furlong's speech at a Feb. 28 student athletics benefit after a graduate student circulated a letter critical of him. But Ono reversed the decision this week, calling Furlong a "champion for amateur sport" who is especially qualified to speak.
When Dr. Danielle Martin spoke before a U.S. Senate subcommittee a few years ago, she taught Americans a thing or two about universal health coverage. Her defence of Canada's health-care system made Canadians proud and dispelled some myths Americans may have believed about socialized medicine. But there's more to Danielle Martin than just being a staunch defender of Medicare. She is also a pragmatist who works both sides of the health-care system: she's a clinician at a general family practice at Women's College Hospital in Toronto, as well as the hospital's vice-president. She joins The Agenda to discuss her new book, "Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians."
"Like the president-elect, Robert Kennedy, Jr., has pushed arguments of a link to autism"
"“President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies and he has questions about it,” Kennedy told reporters after the meeting. “His opinion doesn’t matter but the science does matter and we ought to be reading the science and we ought to be debating the science. And that everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have—he’s very pro-vaccine, as am I—but they’re as safe as they possibly can be.” "
KINGSTON, Mar 26 2012 (IPS) - Like its Caribbean neighbours, Jamaica is looking for outcomes that will address its food security challenges when world leaders meet in Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Jun. 20 to 22.
Extensive training is the basis for giving teachers the autonomy to work the way they want. The result is a highly prized profession and an education system always near the top in international rankings
"Curcumin dupes assays and leads some drug hunters astray"
"Inside the golden-yellow spice turmeric lurks a chemical deceiver: curcumin, a molecule that is widely touted as having medicinal activity, but which also gives false signals in drug screening tests. For years, chemists have urged caution about curcumin and other compounds that can mislead naive drug hunters. "
"Austria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Integration Sebastian Kurz said on Friday he wants to ban public servants, including school teachers, from wearing the Islamic headscarf.
Mr. Kurz, of the Christian Conservative People’s Party (OVP), is working on a draft law with Muna Duzdar, a junior minister from the OVP’s senior Social Democrat coalition partner who has an Arab family background and is Muslim.
If passed by Austria’s parliament, the nationwide ban would be stricter than laws in France, where only the full body veil is illegal, or Germany, where the highest court in 2015 restricted lawmakers’ scope to ban teachers from wearing the headscarf.
“Because there (schools), it’s about the effect of role models and the influence on young people. Austria is religion-friendly but also a secular state,” Mr. Kurz said, according to a spokesman.
Christian crosses, widespread in staunchly Catholic Austria, should be allowed in classrooms, Mr. Kurz said, referring to the country’s “historically grown culture.”
According to the argument, a secular state cannot accommodate religious symbols. However, a secular state can allow Christian crosses in classrooms because Christianity is a "historically grown culture."
It should follow that either Christianity is not a religion, or that the "secular" state is in fact a Christian state.
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