Commentary

There is no solid science to support the idea that we need to detox our bodies in the way the purveyors of detoxification suggest, says health trend debunker Timothy Caulfield.

26
November
2018

Almost every day, our local newspaper runs an advertisement for a product that will, allegedly, help you detoxify your liver, which, apparently, we all need to do. It is a full-page ad. It has impressive medical-ish diagrams and science-y sounding terminology.

Every morning my reaction is the same: Do people really believe this stuff?

 

The idea that we need to cleanse and detoxify our bodies seems to have become a culturally accepted fact. This feels especially true around the holidays, which are associated with heavy foods and even heavier shame about what that turkey and gravy and wine might be doing to our insides. After a weekend of indulgence, wellness gurus cry, your body is begging for a detox. But is it?

What is clear is that detoxes are a big business. There are detoxification products everywhere, including detoxi...

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12
December
2018

COMMENTARY || New parks bolster Alberta’s conservation leadership

Proposed provincial park in Bighorn Country a significant step toward protecting wildlife, water and land for generations to come, says U of A ecologist.

Alberta is taking welcome steps to conserve the vibrant lands and clean waters that make this province a haven for wildlife and humans alike. The government’s newly announced proposal to establish
07
December
2018

COMMENTARY || The sports psychology behind 'grit'

The passion and perseverance we celebrate in movie heroes and athletes can also sustain us through adversity in life, says U of A educational psychologist.

Grit has multiple meanings, including grainy and abrasive. That’s the prevailing hockey definition, typically referencing “playing with an edge.” But in psychological terms, grit means something
29
November
2018

COMMENTARY || Russia playing with fire in Ukraine

Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian naval vessels has repercussions that could ripple far beyond Ukraine, argues U of A historian.

Russia’s violent seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels sailing to Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov is but the latest instance of the Kremlin’s brazen aggression directed toward its neighbour and
08
November
2018

COMMENTARY || How do we balance rights in cases of medically assisted dying?

Canadian constitutional law offers a way to settle the seemingly intractable battle of rights over medically assisted dying in faith-based health facilities, say U of A legal scholars.

A disturbing story featuring the clash of health-care ethics and the rights of faith-based health-care facilities recently came to light. We tend to think of such episodes unfolding in courtrooms,
08
November
2018

COMMENTARY || What my hate mail reveals about growing public distrust

U of A health law expert Timothy Caulfield and colleague Alessandro Marcon examined hate mail to find the common themes that emerged. Here’s what they found.

If you write about controversial stuff, you are bound to get a bit of hate mail. I get hate mail. Some of it is comprehensive (“I have yet to agree with any argument you have made about anything”).
05
November
2018

COMMENTARY || Cutting kids from the team shouldn't end their desire to play

Getting cut is hard on young athletes, but there are things coaches can do to help them stick with sports.

As researchers and educators, we know first-hand the positive impact that participation in sports can have on child development. We are also acutely aware that many children and youth do not have the
30
October
2018

COMMENTARY || No end in sight for conflict in Ukraine

Strife over Ukraine’s Donbas region remains the single most intractable political problem in contemporary Europe, says U of A historian.

It’s been four and a half years since tensions between Ukraine and Russia erupted. Despite an uneasy truce negotiated two years later that remains in place, there is no sign the underlying causes of
24
October
2018

COMMENTARY || Is a $15 minimum wage worth it? Here’s what the numbers say

Different experiences with similar wage hikes in Alberta and B.C. suggest Ontario’s decision to stop at $14 was both right and wrong, say economists.

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, there were three provinces that had a $15 minimum wage scheduled to come into effect: Alberta (by 2018), Ontario (by 2019), and British Columbia (by 2021). By Wednesday, Sept.
22
October
2018

COMMENTARY || Hockey's long history of violence still lingers today

Problem of concussions and head injuries in hockey won't be solved until attitudes about playing through pain change, argues sports historian.

Since the beginnings of modern hockey in the late 19th century, violence has been accepted as “just part of the game.” Hard checking, slashing and fighting have always been regarded as key elements
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 || The social implications of teens leaving Facebook

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

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