In 2012-13, UBC received $519 million in research funding for more than 8,100 projects. From climate change, to psychology, to fisheries, studies earned worldwide attention.


February 7, 2013

Are public attitudes to climate change as fickle as the weather?

“The study, carried out by the University of British Columbia, looked at public and media attitudes to climate science over the past 20 years. They found that scepticism rose during cold snaps, but belief in global warming increased during hot spells.

“Prof Simon Donner who carried out the analysis told me that it wasn’t quite as simple as that.”

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Prof. Simon Donner

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UK Daily Mail

March 13, 2013

Babies divide their friends from their foes at the age of just nine-months-old

“The University of British Columbia carried out research that found infants divide their friends from their foes as young as nine-months-old. Previous research has shown that babies generally prefer people who act kindly, but this new study is the first to find that they condone antisocial behaviour directed at individuals who are different to them.

“Professor Kiley Hamlin of the University’s Department of Psychology, who carried out the study, said: ‘Our research shows that by nine months, babies are busy assessing their surroundings, trying to determine who is friend or foe.'”

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Babies have a dark side under their cute exteriors, according to UBC-led study

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April 19, 2013

Can Tylenol dissolve feelings of dread?

“One study, for example, revealed an intriguing connection between the over-the-counter medication and its ability to lessen the sting of social rejection.

“So Daniel Randles, a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia and his colleagues decided to see if the interaction ran deeper. Perhaps, they thought, the pain-processing region in the brain reacts to many types of unexpected, potentially negative events.”

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A UBC study suggests Tylenol may reduce the psychological effects of fear and anxiety over the human condition

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United Press International

May 8, 2013

Two doses of HPV vaccine not three may offer similar protection

“Girls who received two doses of human papillomavirus vaccine had immune responses not worse than those who had three doses, Canadian researchers say.

“Dr. Simon R. M. Dobson of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and colleagues conducted a study to determine whether average antibody levels to HPV-16 and HPV-18 among girls receiving two doses were non-inferior — not worse than – to women receiving three doses.”

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Video: Girls who received two doses of the HPV vaccine had a reduced immune response to two strains of HPV, compared with girls who received three doses

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The Washington Post

May 15, 2013

World’s fish have been moving to cooler waters for decades, study finds

“University of British Columbia researchers found that significant numbers of 968 species of fish and invertebrates they examined moved to escape the warming waters of their original habitats. Previous studies had documented the same phenomenon in specific parts of the world’s oceans. But the new study is the first to assess the migration worldwide and to look back as far as 1970, according to its authors.”

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Climate change is driving fish species towards cooler, deeper waters

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The Telegraph, UK

November 26, 2013

Women make better board members

“Prof Kai Li, co-author of the study, said: ‘Female board members play a significant role in mitigating the empire-building tendency of CEOs through the acquisition of other companies.

“On average, merger and acquisition transactions don’t create shareholder value, so women are having a real impact in protecting shareholder investment and overall firm performance.’

“The team of financial experts from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia analysed a large sample of acquisition bids made by companies listed on the S&P 1500 index in the United States between 1997 and 2009.”

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The more women there are on a corporate board the less a company pays for its acquisitions, according to a UBC study

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The Guardian, UK

November 27, 2013

Google Earth reveals Persian gulf fish catch is six times larger than thought

“Researchers from the University of British Columbia scoured Google Earth in search of fishing weirs along the coasts of seven Persian Gulf nations. They found some 1,900 fish traps, suggesting that the total fish catch in the Persian Gulf may be up to six times the officially reported level of 5,260 metric tons per year.

“‘This ancient fishing technique has been around for thousands of years,’ said Dalal Al-Abdulrazzak, a PhD student with the UBC Fisheries Centre’s Sea Around Us Project and the study’s lead author, in a statement. ‘But we haven’t been able to truly grasp their impact on our marine resources until now, with the help of modern technology.'”

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UBC researchers used Google Earth images to estimate the number of fishing weirs along the Persian Gulf coast

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The Telegraph, UK

December 20, 2013

Irreplaceable scientific data must be saved

“Researchers at the University of British Columbia chose a random set of 516 studies published between 1991 and 2001 and found that all data from the two-year-old papers was still available but that the chance of it still existing fell off by 17 per cent for each year of age.

“The paper, published this week in Current Biology, warns that scientists are “poor stewards of their data” and calls for journals to begin uploading information onto public archives so it can be preserved for the future.”

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UBC researchers are calling on scientific journals to upload data onto public archives so it can be preserved for the future

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