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Some years are just special!

Randip Bakshi http://www.twitter.com/randipbakshi

Some years are just special. 2013, it seems, would be one such year as it marks not one, not two, but three far-reaching milestones. First, the University of Victoria turns fifty this year, establishing itself as a leading, comprehensive research university not just in Canada but across the continent and maybe even beyond. Second, Congress, an annual meeting of Canada's scholars, researchers, and thinkers, turns eighty-two. Finally, it will be the year when its seventieth member, the Sexaulity Studies Association (SSA), came into existence. For many of us the impact of these short lived moments would be but a drop in a rather large academic ocean. With a host of activities to choose from and countless panels across disciplines, some even multidisciplinary, Congress reinforces the true spirit of modern day academia. As an environment for the exchange...

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Panel explores successes and further options for BC’s carbon tax

Vanessa Hawk

The Environmental Studies Association of Canada hosted a panel exploring “The Benefits of Carbon Taxation”, which was sponsored by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) and held on Tuesday, June 4 in the Bob Wright Centre.

The panel consisted of James Mack, head of the BC Climate Action Secretariat within the Ministry of Environment, Stewart Elgie, professor of law and economics at the University of Ottawa and Katya Rhodes, Vanier scholar and PhD candidate in sustainable energy management at SFU.

The panel explored the history of BC’s carbon tax and evaluated its environmental and economic impact, concluding that the policy is successful in reducing carbon emissions...

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Research in practice: Students share their research at the Internship Showcase

Andrina Fawcett http://twitter.com/thecardigangirl

Tuesday afternoon students showcased some of the amazing scholarship they have been producing in relationship with the community at the Congress 2013 Expo Space.

Gaming to gain problem solving skills

Teacher and Educational Psychology PhD student Andrew Sung looked at executive function training in children with autism and spectrum disorder.

Challenges with executive functioning result in problem solving, attention, and working memory difficulties in autistic children. However, as Andrew explained, “if you can improve an autistic child's attention and problem solving skills then that can lead to better school readiness and perhaps better social...

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Much maligned Monsters: Islam, Immigration, and Islamization

Randip Bakshi http://www.twitter.com/randipbakshi

Doug Saunders taking questions after his Big Thinking lecture at Congress 2013

I must confess this was a session I was very skeptical about. I wondered, as Saunders wondered when writing his book, how someone who subscribes to many of these myths could be objective, let alone compassionate, in his analysis. Objectivity aside, I couldn't help but ask myself if anyone was willing to accept Saunders' criticism of the "Muslim Tide" hypothesis. We live in an age where words like extremism, fundamentalism, and Islamophobia are regular adjectives in our day-to-day vocabulary; how, then, does this book purport to counter the very myths that have largely...

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Trials and Trust: Joy Kogawa Offers Lessons on the Art of Writing and of Life

Maryse Bernard www.twitter.com/MaryseVictoria

An early start wouldn't keep the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall from filling up for Monday morning’s Big Thinking event. By 7:30 AM, the lobby buzzed with delegates, eager for novelist and poet Joy Kogawa’s “On the Edge of Always” lecture. Upon taking the stage, the writer expressed how she was not only extremely thankful for the audience’s presence, but also overwhelmed.

“These are all people who read, who think, who ponder,” said Kogawa. “It’s actually really unthinkable that I’m here…because I’m not educated. Because I have not even one year of university to my name.”

Humility and gratitude seemed to...

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