Issues & Experts >  Issues & Experts Archive > Week of June 3 — 10, 2002

Week of June 3 — 10, 2002

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Jun 04, 2002
Federal Liberals regroup…Despite continuing opposition from some Liberal MPs over the weekend departure of Paul Martin from his finance portfolio, the priority in the minds of many seems to be to keep the party intact. But how will either Prime Minister Jean Chretien or Martin emerge from both party and public reaction? SFU political scientist Patrick Smith expects both will be "short term losers." When the party addresses its leadership next year, he adds: "Next February will be the big test, and there should be some definite action, especially among Martin’s western supporters, for a review vote." SFU business professor Lindsay Meredith can talk about the key players’ political marketing strategies as well as the economic implications of the story.

Patrick Smith, 604.291.3088; 604.291.1544 (home)
Lindsay Meredith, 604.291.3653;

Students prepare for ‘a step beyond’…Some 2,400 students are ready to celebrate the completion of their degrees at one of six of SFU’s spring convocation ceremonies June 5-7. Ceremonies begin at 9:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day. Honorary degrees will be conferred on Cornelia Oberlander (Wednesday morning), Rosalie Segal (Wednesday afternoon) and Theodore Maiman (Thursday afternoon). Oberlander is Canada’s premier landscape architect. Segal is well known and respected in B.C. for her generosity and philanthropy. Maimain pioneered the field of photonics when he invented the world’s first operational laser in 1960. For more details contact the media/pr office.

Marianne Meadahl/Julie Ovenell-Carter, Media & PR, 604.291.4323/3210.

Digging up the past in the Okanagan…A class of 26 aboriginal student researchers is spending the next few weeks in a deep pit (nearly three metres) that is shedding new light on the early history of the Okanagan. SFU archaeologist George Nicolas is leading the group in a field school which wraps up June 14. The field school began 10 years ago with excavations on the terraces overlooking the South Thompson River on the Kamloops Indian Reserve. Researchers discovered more than 75 archaeology sites. Full scale excavations at two terrace sites shows evidence of more than 6,000 years of intermittent occupation. The current school is focused in Secwepemc Heritage park, where researchers are uncovering details of one of the oldest sites in the area. Nicholas, who turned away a waiting list of 40 students, can talk about the significance of the decade long work, what they’ve learned and why the school has become so popular among aboriginal students from the area and beyond.

George Nicholas, 250.828.9799;

A sermon from the lab bench…In this age of genomics and cosmic exploration, religious organizations are funding a media blitz to persuade people that the latest science proves a Supreme Being is behind the design of the universe. Victor Stenger, a physicist, philosopher, popular writer and skeptic, says hogwash. "The universe," notes Stenger, a visiting fellow in philosophy at the University of Colorado,"is not populated by mysterious, incomprehensible forces that control our lives and destinies for some unseen purposes. Rather aided by science, we control our own lives and define our own purpose." Sponsored by the SFU Freethinkers’ Club, the BC Skeptics and the BC Humanists, Strenger will present a lecture debunking arguments that the universe is divinely ‘fine tuned’ for life. Stenger’s lecture is based on his new book Has Science Found God? The Latest Results in the Search for Purpose in the Universe, to be published by Prometheus Books in October 2002. Stenger’s lecture of the same name will take place Tuesday, June 4, 7:30 p.m., Multi-Purpose Complex 7618, Burnaby campus.

Barry Beyerstein, 604.291.3743,
Victor Stenger,