Commentary

Recent increases in diversity of researchers receiving federal grants show there is no conflict between equity and excellence, argues U of A political scientist.

30
August
2019

Earlier this year, NASA’s plan to conduct a historic joint spacewalk of two female astronauts outside the International Space Station was thwarted because the station did not have space suits that fit both women.

Perhaps this is not surprising given the story told in the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Three brilliant black female mathematicians who had worked in racially segregated unit at NASA were the brains behind the computations that helped make John Glenn the first American to orbit the earth. Yet, until recently, their contributions went unrecognized. The film was a reminder that renowned scientific organizations can display gender and race biases.

There have been other hard lessons about what happens when scholars ignore diversity in the composition of research teams and in their research approach.

When the Apple...

Headlines

17
September
2019
| 13:55 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || What it takes for Alberta to compete globally

Improving economic productivity needs to be driven by shared desire among sectors to increase Albertans' well-being, argue experts.

Improving Alberta’s economic productivity or competitiveness is not a goal in and of itself. It needs to be driven by a shared desire to increase well-being. So let’s start by clearly defining what’s
16
September
2019
| 23:59 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Using technology to support caregivers of older people with dementia

Technology can support caregivers of people with dementia, but only if developers and designers take caregiver needs into consideration, argues U of A expert.

In June, the government of Canada released its long-awaited Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire. As a family caregiving researcher for more than two decades and a former family
30
July
2019
| 17:04 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || More community care leads to shorter stays in nursing homes

Aging in community offers better quality of life and more cost-effective care, but nursing homes need funding and staffing to meet needs of residents admitted later in life, say U of A researchers.

Nursing homes fill a vital role for older adults unable to remain at home or in other supportive environments. Nursing home care is costly to governments. In 2017, Canadian governments spent close
22
July
2019
| 17:02 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Online viewer privacy is regulated by an act originally designed to protect video rentals

Why the U.S. should strengthen a law that used to prevent video rental companies from buying and selling personal information, according to U of A digital cultures researcher.

In 1988, after United States Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s videotape rental history was leaked to the press, Congress realised the threat that new technologies — through the clandestine buying
19
July
2019
| 19:46 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Is it safe to drink alcohol while breastfeeding?

It is a controversial and very personal choice, but researchers have found that just as in pregnancy, there is no known safe consumption level while breastfeeding.

Is it safe to drink alcohol and breastfeed? As physicians, we have always cautioned patients not to. As mothers, we look forward to the occasional glass of wine. We also know that drinking while
17
July
2019
| 13:50 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Unproven stem-cell treatments can be dangerous. The hype needs to stop

Stronger regulations, enforcement needed to counter rapid growth of clinics offering experimental treatments, argues U of A health trend skeptic Timothy Caulfield.

For the past two decades, stem-cell research has received almost nonstop attention from the media. It has consistently been framed as a paradigm-shifting revolution that will transform medicine
10
July
2019
| 18:25 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Misinformation about CBD can be life-threatening

Misleading headlines about recent study falsely claim the cannabis compound can replace proven treatments for opioid addiction, argue experts.

Hyperbole can be rampant in health news, particularly with respect to cannabis. One recent headline declared, "CBD is effective in treating heroin addiction." Another proclaimed, "New
08
July
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Cancelling superlab undermines foundation of patient care

Lab physicians may work behind the scenes, but equipping them properly to provide fast and accurate test results is vital to health care, argues U of A physician.

You don’t know me, but I’m your doctor. I am one of hundreds of physicians trained in laboratory medicine who work to provide you with accurate and timely test results that help your “real” doctor
02
July
2019
| 20:22 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Half a million American minors now live in Mexico

Economic crisis, immigration enforcement drove migration of U.S.-born minors to Mexico between 2000 and 2015, researchers find.

While much of the current news has been focused on Central American migrants making their way through Mexico to the U.S., little attention has been paid to a different migration story: the number of
18
June
2019
| 13:45 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Here are the best parents to have around, according to youth sport coaches

Some parenting styles are better than others at helping young athletes succeed in sports, says U of A expert.

Youth sport is part of the fabric of family life for many families. Parents are more intensely involved in contemporary youth sport than ever before. And while youth sport can provide a context
03
June
2019
| 21:36 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || What it will take for the Oilers (or any other Canadian team) to win the Stanley Cup

Follow the data, which from 1993 to 2019, indicate focusing on above-average goaltending, team defence, strong penalty killing and two-way play as the keys to get ahead, according to academics.

What’s going on? Canadian teams have won 43 Stanley Cups to date, and Canadian men, women, junior and world teams almost always medal. Something’s amiss. And it’s systematic. By chance alone,