Commentary

Changes in how different groups use social media could create new "digital divides," says communications researcher.

11
October
2018

For years, Facebook grew in size and influence at a staggering rate. But recent reports suggest its hold on users—particularly in the developed world—may be weakening.

Globally, Facebook’s user numbers continue to rise steadily as more people in the developing world connect. In the United States, two in three adults use Facebook but that number has not changed for the past two years. In particular, the number of U.S. teens using Facebook is in decline.

According to the non-partisan Pew Research Center, 71 per cent of U.S. teens who are online used Facebook in 2015. Now, barely half say they do. Among those who remain, an increasing proportion seem to be trying to minimize their Facebook use, even as their use of other social media platforms such as Instagram appears to be on the rise.

As a researcher who studies the “digit...

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17
October
2018

COMMENTARY || Aga Khan Garden offers more than meets the eye

New garden is a valuable "living laboratory" for scientists as well as a cultural asset for Canadians, says U of A dean

As is characteristic of many of His Highness the Aga Khan’s initiatives, there is more to the newly opened Aga Khan Garden, Alberta than meets the eye. The Aga Khan Garden, a hidden gem located at
11
October
2018

COMMENTARY || Numbers show this edition of Oilers a vastly different team

New players, new coaches and different locker-room dynamics are all cause for optimism, says educational psychologist.

The Edmonton Oilers’ season on this side of the Atlantic starts today in Boston. The past seven years I’ve watched 500 Oilers games, studied hockey analytics and written several opinions. Along
05
October
2018

COMMENTARY || No evidence to suggest cannabis use causes schizophrenia—so why do some people think it does?

U of A psychology professor explains how the myth began and why it isn’t true.

For parents of individuals who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, one of the most troubling questions must be, “Did my child develop schizophrenia because they consumed cannabis?” Certainly,
26
September
2018

COMMENTARY || Preserving the Bighorn protects recreation opportunities

Designating a wildland conservation area in Alberta's Bighorn Backcountry would protect critical habitats for native species while affording opportunities for hunters and anglers, says U of A ecologist.

Alberta’s public lands provide the opportunity for Albertans to participate in an array of recreation activities from bird watching to dirt biking, in addition to affording industry the ability to
24
September
2018

COMMENTARY || The politics of fear on proportional representation

Concerns that electoral system will lead to fascist governments ignore differences between pre-WWII Europe and modern Canada, argues U of A historian.

As we approach the referendum on proportional representation in B.C., the “Yes” and “No” camps have begun to take shape. The opinion pieces on the Yes side have been passionate and
12
September
2018

COMMENTARY || Don't let legalized pot renormalize smoking

Edmonton city council on right track by pursuing parallel restrictions on public smoking and vaping of cannabis and tobacco, argues U of A anti-smoking advocate.

When smoking was prohibited in all indoor public places in Edmonton 13 years ago, I mistakenly thought that our work was done in protecting children and youth from public exposure to tobacco
29
August
2018

COMMENTARY || New era of astronomy uncovers clues about the cosmos

Banner year for space science heralds evolution that will bring experimental and theoretical approaches closer together, say astronomers.

Astronomers have had a blockbuster year. In addition to tracking down a cosmic source of neutrinos, they have detected the merger of two city-sized neutron stars, each more massive than the
16
August
2018

COMMENTARY || Sympathy for whale mom Tahlequah not enough to save the orcas

Federal emergency protection order needed to help conserve dwindling killer whale population in Pacific Northwest, argues environmental law expert.

Tahlequah, also known as J35, is one of 75 remaining southern resident killer whales that live in the Salish Sea off the coast of British Columbia and Washington state. For 17 days, Tahlequah carried
13
August
2018

COMMENTARY || How soccer games can help protect wildlife

Conservation organizations are increasingly using the ties that bind people together in community-based sporting events to promote wildlife conservation.

A whistle blows and young men in brightly coloured jerseys race towards a soccer ball on a grassy field in Erat, a community that lies within the boundaries of Korup National Park in southwest
13
August
2018

COMMENTARY || Opportunity to play matters as much for elite athletes as amateur athletes

Letting players play through mistakes was major factor in Golden Knights’ success, argues educational psychologist.

As usual, there’s non-stop chatter and hullabaloo this off-season about Oilers players. Rightly so. Speculating is fun, isn’t it? “So and so is a fourth-line grinder. So and so is a bottom-six
10
August
2018

COMMENTARY || Wildfires will only get worse unless we learn how to live with them

Increasingly unmanageable wildfire activity is forcing officials to re-envision how we manage fire in Canada.

Wildfire activity and its impact are increasing around much of the world. We see it on the news every summer now. Different locations (and sometimes the same locations) and different