More from McGill In The Headlines


NATIONAL POST | Notre Dame fire highlights importance of detailed documentation for rebuilding

The blaze, which destroyed the cathedral’s roof and spire, has triggered an outpouring of unity and financial support as well as a promise from French President Emmanuel Macron to rebuild within five years. When they do, they’ll have a wealth of information to rely on, said Martin Bressani, director of the Peter Fu School of Architecture at McGill University. “Notre Dame is obviously the greatest historical monument in France,” he said.

Published: 17 Apr 2019

GLOBAL NEWS | Fat-shaming celebrities makes women more critical of their own bodies: study

Jennifer Bartz, one of the authors of the study, said they analyzed implicit bias because it can influence behaviour in a way unbeknownst to us.

“The thing about explicit attitudes… is that they’re vulnerable to self-censorship; they’re vulnerable to defensive processes,” said Bartz. “If we want to present ourselves in a particular light, we can kind of modulate those attitudes.”

Published: 16 Apr 2019

NPR | High Stress Drives Up Your Risk Of A Heart Attack

"Over the long term, repeated, persistent [stress] responses will activate the immune system and contribute to inflammation," says Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin, a physician and professor of medicine at McGill University. He says inflammation can set the stage for atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries.

Published: 15 Apr 2019

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC | First-ever picture of a black hole unveiled

“It seems like they are just as good at pushing material away—jets, winds, and outflows—as they are at collecting material,” says Daryl Haggard of McGill University, noting that scientists really have no clear idea about how black holes actually power jets.

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Published: 11 Apr 2019

THE WASHINGTON POST | The best foreign policy decade of our lives

Even more importantly, the perception that the arc of history was bending in all the best ways proved to be unfounded. As Jacob Levy noted recently in Vox, there is no arc of history, not really: “There is moral improvement over some time spans, in some places: the fall of Jim Crow or of communism in Eastern Europe.

Published: 10 Apr 2019

MONTREAL GAZETTE | Opinion: Rather than Bill 21, let's have pluralistic secularism

"The main purpose of Bill 21 is to “protect our identity,” says Premier François Legault. But whose identity is being protected and what kind of society will this bill promote?

Published: 9 Apr 2019

FINANCIAL POST | Debunking carbon tax myths: It's no cash grab

Chris Ragan, an economist at McGill University, speaks with the Financial Post's Larysa Harapyn about carbon pricing in Canada. 

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Published: 8 Apr 2019

CBC NEWS | Young Montreal environmentalists call on McDonald's to clean up its act

McGill student teacher Chama Laassassy, who supervised Bélanger and Dionne's project, planted the seed about excessive waste at McDonald's.

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Published: 5 Apr 2019

CBC NEWS | Here are the jobs subject to Quebec's proposed religious symbols ban (the list is longer than you'd think)

Prof. Robert Leckey, the dean of McGill University's faculty of law, notes the draft legislation, Bill 21, extends beyond the recommendations laid out by the 2010 Bouchard-Taylor report, which advised applying the ban to public workers who hold "coercive" state power.

"If the concern was that people would be afraid of bias when being disciplined by a state officer, it's way overbroad," said Leckey.

Published: 4 Apr 2019

MONTREAL GAZETTE | Charles Taylor calls CAQ's religious symbols bill 'clear discrimination'

The Quebec government’s new secularism bill is “clear discrimination,” an “unreasonable restriction,” and an unneeded answer to a problem that doesn’t exist.

That’s what Charles Taylor, one of the co-authors of Quebec’s 2008 report on reasonable accommodation, said Tuesday during a panel discussion organized by the McGill Muslim Law Students’ Association.

Published: 3 Apr 2019

MONTREAL GAZETTE | E is for ethics in AI — and Montreal's playing a leading role

Another example is the “dodgy and problematic” use of AI for facial recognition in job interviews, said Gabriella Coleman, a McGill professor who holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy. The technology claims to assess candidates’ facial expressions to detect if they’re being honest and to see if they have the right personality for the job.

Published: 2 Apr 2019

CTV NEWS | Quebec bill bans religious symbols for public workers, uses notwithstanding clause

Robert Leckey, dean of McGill University's law school, said Legault's compromise is quite limited. Current teachers, according to the bill, can keep their symbols "as long as they exercise the same function within the same school board."

Leckey said that is "unpleasantly narrow. You can't be promoted or change school boards and wear a religious symbol." Additionally, he said, the sweep of people captured by the bill goes much further than originally anticipated.

Published: 29 Mar 2019

NATURE | Why the sexes don’t feel pain the same way

Robert Sorge was studying pain in mice in 2009, but he was the one who ended up with a headache. At McGill University in Montreal, Canada, Sorge was investigating how animals develop an extreme sensitivity to touch. To test for this response, Sorge poked the paws of mice using fine hairs, ones that wouldn’t ordinarily bother them. The males behaved as the scientific literature said they would: they yanked their paws back from even the finest of threads.

Published: 28 Mar 2019

THE NEW YORK TIMES | Three Pioneers in Artificial Intelligence Win Turing Award

Backed by the Canadian government, Dr. Hinton, a computer science professor at the University of Toronto, organized a new research community with several academics who also tackled the concept. They included Yann LeCun, a professor at New York University, and Yoshua Bengio at the University of Montreal.Read more

Published: 27 Mar 2019

CBC NEWS | Indigenous, LGBTQ people disproportionately homeless, Quebec survey finds

McGill University Prof. Eric Latimer, the lead researcher on this project, said the two surveys can't be directly compared given their different approaches.

But he said a number of new housing-first programs have helped get more people off the street, even as rising rents have made it increasingly difficult for low-income people to stay in their homes.

Published: 26 Mar 2019