Issues & Experts >  Issues & Experts Archive > BPA, miners, e-shopping, women, climate, suburbia

BPA, miners, e-shopping, women, climate, suburbia

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October 14, 2010
BPA declared toxic
Canadian health authorities have finally declared Bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used to make some hard plastic containers and toys, a toxic substance. The declaration doesn’t quite mean that BPA is going the way of DDT, completely banned. But SFU health scientist Bruce Lanphear, an expert on BPA, can elaborate on the significance of Health Canada’s addition of the substance to its list of toxins that must be managed.

Bruce Lanphear, 778.782.8650, 778.387.3939 (cell);

Viral fascination
The unfolding of the miraculous rescue of 33 miners trapped for 69 days in what amounted to a Chilean subterranean prison has kept the world captivated. SFU communication and new media expert Peter Chow-White believes it is more the viral nature of news stories today that drives world fascination with events such as this than their good news nature. “It's almost like the events took on a meme quality in terms of how it spread across social networks,” says Chow-White. In Internet terms a meme refers to a piece of digital media or an event that rises in popularity quickly that people interact with, rather than passively view.

Peter Chow-White, 778.782.7289;

Smiley e-commerce
A smiling human face on e-commerce shopping sites does wonders for product sales and buyer interest, says SFU business expert Diane Cyr. The on-line marketing expert has co-authored a study that finds e-commerce sites are more appealing and trustworthy to potential buyers when those sites include friendly human images.

Diane Cyr, 778.782.7416;

New media devaluing women
A key issue to be debated at an SFU symposium is the extent to which new media is perpetuating and intensifying the devaluation of women. SexMoneyMedia runs Oct. 14-16 at SFU’s Harbour Centre campus. Catherine Murray, chair of SFU’s Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, says: “The lack of women in media production management in an increasingly competitive new media world is intensifying the exploitation of women in all forms of media, including film, television, video games and social networking.”

Catherine Murray, 604.838.5272 (cell), 778.782.5526;

Discussing climate change
Problems and possible solutions connected to climate change’s grip on the marine environment will be the underlying theme of the 11th annual Canadian Coast to Coast (C2C) Seminar Series. Founded by SFU and Dalhousie University, the hour-long presentation series makes discussions about high profile scientific issues accessible to lay audiences at universities and colleges nationwide through collaborative telecommunications. On Tuesday, Oct. 19, anyone can grab a free front row seat at SFU’s IRMACS Centre at the Burnaby campus to hear Francis Zwier talk about analyzing mean climatic conditions globally and regionally. Zwier is the director of the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium in Victoria. His live presentation, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at IRMACS Centre, will be simulcast to audiences at C2C university and college member institutions nationwide.

Veselin Jungic, 778.822.3340;

Retrofiting Suburbia
With a bold new lecture program underway that zeroes in on Surrey’s transportation issues, SFU Surrey will host a talk next week taking a timely look at surburbia. Ellen Dunham-Jones, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture, and co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia, Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs (2009) will speak on Next Generation Urbanism on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. (room 2600). Later in the week Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. she’ll be at SFU Vancouver’s Harbour Centre campus to talk on Retrofitting Suburbia.

Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.4323;


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