More than 12,000 full and part-time faculty members conduct world leading research that has helped rank UBC among the top 40 universities in the world.
The Wall Street Journal
February 11, 2012
“An appoggiatura is a type of ornamental note that clashes with the melody just enough to create a dissonant sound. ‘This generates tension in the listener,’ said Martin Guhn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who co-wrote a 2007 study on the subject. ‘When the notes return to the anticipated melody, the tension resolves, and it feels good.'”
February 21, 2012 (part of media coverage of AAAS conference UBC experts)
“Study results reveal that a crucial language development period, during which infants learn to tune in to the sounds of their native language, is sped up when women take antidepressants, and prolonged when a woman has depression.
“However, the researchers are not sure whether such speeding up or slowing down is beneficial or harmful in the long run, and it may not have any effect on a baby’s ultimate ability to acquire language, said Janet Werker, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia.
“Werker discussed her findings here at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting.”
- Maternal depression affects language development in babies (UBC Media Release)
- Maternal depression and bilingual households can impact infant language development (UBC Media Release)
The Wall Street Journal
February 22, 2012
“The Eco2 Index, crafted by researchers at the University of British Columbia, looks at both the economic and ecological security of a country and how fast countries are using up resources at their disposal – an initiative they say was promoted by the threat of climate change, a growing world population and mounting financial problems.
“‘We hear that countries are suffering financially every day in the news, but that only tells half the story,’ said Rashid Sumaila, director of the university’s Fisheries Centre, in a statement. ‘Piling up ecological deficits is just as concerning as piling up financial deficits.’
“Singapore was joined by other high-income countries at the bottom of the list, with many sharing similar land and resource scarcity problems.”
March 30, 2012
Blog by authors of UN’s World Happiness Report, including UBC Prof. John Helliwell
“Over the last 40 years, sadly, measured happiness has not increased in the United States despite sharply rising incomes. The problems of poverty, insecurity, corruption, loss of social trust, and other factors are weighing heavily on America’s sense of well-being. But there are also many countries where happiness has increased markedly. If the world applies the growing body of knowledge on happiness and well-being, we can surely help to build a world with much more happiness and a lot less misery.”
The New York Times
April 10, 2012
“Since the founding of the Orchestre Septentrional in 1948, the band’s homeland, Haiti, has endured the nearly three-decade Duvalier family dictatorship, 26 other governments, a foreign intervention, a devastating earthquake and, most recently, a cholera epidemic….
“‘They’ve created a community institution that is really unlike anything else in Haiti,’ says Gage Averill, author of A Day for the Hunter. A Day for the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti and an ethnomusicologist at the University of British Columbia. ‘It’s amazing. Few countries can speak of the political swings and economic challenges that Haiti can, but here’s this orchestra that even as it changes with the times, has carved out a distinct sound and approach to music making.’
May 14, 2012
“This is not the first time someone has raised concerns about the legitimacy of the sustainable labels on seafood. Two years ago, conservation scientist Jennifer Jacquet of the University of British Columbia and colleagues published an opinion in Nature arguing that the MSC was failing to protect the environment and [needed] radical reform.”
The New York Times
June 13, 2012
“Under Canadian law, aboriginal groups must be consulted about pipeline projects that cross their lands. Enbridge has offered many tribes a 10 percent stake in its westward pipeline project; Graham White, an Enbridge spokesman, said about half have accepted….
“Simon Donner, a scientist at the University of British Columbia, sees the pipeline as symptomatic of the weakness of Canada’s climate policy, and said he thinks the Canadian government is underestimating the opposition. ‘People won’t roll over on this issue,’ he said.”
July 1, 2012
“Video footage of bar-headed geese in high-altitude wind tunnel experiments has been released by researchers. The flights were captured in super slow-motion by the University of British Columbia….
“Dr [Jessica] Meir explained that a great deal of research into the ‘remarkable geese’ revealed how the birds are specially adapted to fly at extremely high altitude.”
The New York Times
July 9, 2012
“One team, led by Rosemary Redfield of the University of British Columbia, reports that arsenic does not contribute to the growth of the bacteria. They suggest that the original results may have been skewed by an undetected contaminant in the arsenic the researchers used.”
- Rosie Redfield named one of Nature’s 2011 newsmakers (UBC Reports)
August 22, 2012 (part of 2012 Games coverage of UBC experts and athletes)
“It’s cheating, but a scientist who will be monitoring athletes at the Paralympic Games says a third of competitors with spinal injuries may be harming themselves to boost their performance….
“A survey carried out by the IPC during the Beijing Paralympics indicated that around 17% of those who responded had used boosting. Some experts believe the real figure could be higher. Could it be as high as 30%, I asked Dr Andrei Krassioukov, a professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia and an experienced researcher into spinal injuries?
“‘Correct. It is possible,’ he replied…. ‘As a physician I totally understand why these Olympians are doing this, but as a scientist I am horrified with these events.'”