Defunding police requires understanding the role of policing

Demystifying police work is needed to increase public support for major reforms, argues U of A sociologist

Defunding police requires understanding the role of policingTwo contrasting perspectives have emerged in response to recent calls to “defund” police. One perspective – espoused by some activists on the political left – holds that policing is fatally broken, can’t be fixed through any reforms and ought to be cancelled outright through financial asphyxiation. The second perspective argues that policing takes an outsized…

New guidelines help people with dementia stay safe if lost

U of A researchers tap into experiences and ideas of people living with dementia to fill public information gap

New guidelines help people with dementia stay safe if lostResearchers have developed a new guideline to help people with dementia stay safe if they get lost, based partly on the experiences of those who are living with the condition. “By including people with dementia, it tells them they can be active agents in their own care and they can keep themselves safe,” said lead…

Fight, flee or learn to manage stress

It may be that the impact stress has on our health has less to do with its cause and more to do with how we think about it

Fight, flee or learn to manage stressSocial science seems to have found the secret to a long and happy life. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal tells us, “Go after what creates meaning in your life and then trust yourself to handle the stress that follows.” In recent years, however, we’ve looked at stress as our enemy, seeking instead to live in complete ease.…

Canada’s donor base needs a government boost

A temporary dollar-for-dollar matching program is affordable – and necessary for the health of the charitable sector

Canada’s donor base needs a government boostWhen it comes to shoring up Canada’s troubled charitable sector, we’ve heard good words. “I appreciate the need to protect the entire (charitable) sector to keep it resilient, to make sure that it thrives and doesn't collapse and comes out strong after COVID-19 is over,” federal Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen told the Canadian Press…

A new social media approach: thoughtful, informed

Social media has become immersive entertainment. But it’s also ruthless and stressful for many people

A new social media approach: thoughtful, informedEach of us has an agenda (however fleeting) to influence people around us. We want them to agree with our perspective, our angst even. Sometimes we succeed in gaining momentum with a group – raising dissenting voices into a fevered pitch that results in others (the accidental audience members) being hooked into the current melee.…

Statue-toppling and the narrowness of righteous minds

Just because someone else’s history makes you uncomfortable doesn’t give you a moral licence to erase it from public space

Statue-toppling and the narrowness of righteous mindsIf I were a Brit – which I’m not – I’d be materially annoyed at the vandalization of Winston Churchill’s statue and the related attempts to remove it from its perch in London’s Parliament Square. And in keeping with today’s enthusiasm for rhetorical hyperbole, I’d be tempted to consider it the thin end of the…

Brain research shows the arts promote mental health

  by Brittany Harker Martin Associate Professor, Leadership, Policy & Governance, University of Calgary Disclosure statement Brittany Harker Martin owns Mindset Consulting Inc. and is the founder of Brain Smoothies, an art-based program. During self-isolation due to coronavirus, many are turning to the arts. Perhaps they seek a creative outlet or opportunity for expression, but…

Risk of ADHD lower in children who follow healthy lifestyle

Researchers identify a cumulative ‘dosage’ effect of optimal diet, physical activity, screen time and sleep

Risk of ADHD lower in children who follow healthy lifestyleThe risk of a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be significantly lowered by following healthy lifestyle recommendations, according to new research from the University of Alberta and Dalhousie University. Children who met seven to nine of the recommendations had a 58 per cent lower risk of being diagnosed with ADHD than children who…

How police departments can root out violent members

U of A sociologist recommends training, screening, higher education, more accountability and better gender balance

How police departments can root out violent membersThe global condemnation of the death of George Floyd, one of the latest in a constellation of officer-involved deaths of unarmed civilians, has grown into a worldwide social movement for disbanding or defunding police. At the far end of the debate, there are those calling for abolishing the police altogether. On the other hand, there are…

Is your business ready for post-COVID-19 opportunities?

It’s time for micro businesses to start rebuilding, thinking differently and moving forward with new purpose

Is your business ready for post-COVID-19 opportunities?It’s time to start rebuilding. That was the resounding message at a recent micro business forum via Impact Calgary that I was part of. Impact Calgary seeks to inspire, launch and grow tech-enabled businesses that have social impact. A micro business is defined as 10 employees or less. They account for nearly 74 per cent…
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