Historical Linguistics and second language acquisition

Learning a new language can be a daunting task for many, but a recent study by University of British Columbia (UBC) English professor James Stratton, suggests that understanding language history may hold the key to more effective language learning. Stratton, a historical linguist who works on second language acquisition, is not alone in finding language…

Who cares about the environment? Meet five ‘eco-types’

There is little doubt that society is politically polarized over many dimensions of environmental protection. There has been a widening gap in recent years between conservative and liberal voter support for government spending on environmental protection, belief in climate change and support for climate policy. Research suggests conservatives tend to be more enamored of capitalism…

Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Bias, and Ethics

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly touching every facet of our society, including transportation, the stock market, dating, and health care (where I focus my work). As AI makes its way into medical devices, hospital readmission algorithms, iPhone apps that scan moles to determine if you should see a dermatologist, etc., the public is being increasingly…

The appointment of senator Dr. Margo Greenwood

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the Governor General appointed Dr. Margo Greenwood as an independent senator to fill a vacancy for British Columbia. Dr. Greenwood is an internationally recognized and highly respected Indigenous scholar of Cree ancestry. She is a researcher and author with over 30 years of experience in health fields.…

How climate change is impacting older women

Older women can come to the table to tackle inclusive climate change solutions. Recent heat waves around the world are reminders of global warming and its detrimental impact on our health and well-being. At the same time, Canada is on track to become a super-aged society with older adults constituting 20 per cent of the…

Investing in Indigenous youth and forests

Canada’s Forest Trust (CFT) and Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP), part of Dexterra Community Initiatives (DCI), have drawn up a partnership in order to build powerful relationships with Indigenous communities and youth in Canada. Through this partnership, CFT and OYEP will collaborate on their shared goals of supporting Indigenous youth through engagement, leadership opportunities and…

Can robots be good therapists?

Using therapeutic robots to support people’s needs is a rising field of research in healthcare. Designing them for best results, however, is more than an engineering problem according to Paul Bucci, a Computer Science PhD student at UBC. A variety of robots are currently available for assistive care. PARO, a white baby seal robot from…

Better Connected – Girlpower in the age of social media

Social media is being re-defined by younger generations as a tool for positive activism, and the movement inspired mother-daughter team, Tanya and Julia Kyi, to write the children’s book Better Connected (Orca Books Publishers, 2022). “The good things I saw Julia and her friends accomplish on social media sparked the idea for this book,” explains…

Finding a purpose in climate change reform

Climate change is a problem that is both multifaceted and universally impactful to the current and future generations of society. Learning about this ongoing crisis and drawing lines to minimize our community’s carbon footprint is what the Vancouver Public Library and UBC Climate Hub’s workshops are all about. “We believe connection is crucial for bringing…

Brown Girl Guilt

Harpo Mander has always said, “You can’t become what you can’t see.” That’s why when she found herself working at an unfulfilling job, where she wasn’t able to fully express herself, she quit and created a space whereshe could. Now she is the host of Brown Girl Guilt, a multilayered podcast that delves into the…

Making bees matter

Cities are increasingly important refuges for critical pollinators, including bees. May 20 has been designated World Bee Day and home gardeners have their part to play in their survival. According to the Nature Conservancy, Canada has over 800 bee species (450 species in British Columbia alone) from carpenter bees to sweat bees. Climate change, pesticide…

Giving a chance to all young skaters

Skateboarding is becoming the best option for youth with autism to get involved in sports. The fun and inclusive environment fosters community between one kid and another. Blair Durnan, the executive director of Spectrum Skateboard Society, is spearheading this initiative. The organization offers safe and exciting camps for neurodivergent children. “The future of Spectrum Skateboard…