Newsmakers: Best of 2010

SFU crime busters on CBC TV’s The Nature of Things
Four SFU forensic experts told all in Bugs, Bones & Botany: The Science of Crime, which aired on CBC TV’s The Nature of Things in January 2010. Jennifer Gardy, an SFU molecular biology and biochemistry PhD alumna, hosted the episode. The SFU experts were Gail Anderson, Rolf Mathewes, Mark Skinner and Lynne Bell.


SFU stars on The Rick Mercer Report
In March, CBC-TV’s Rick Mercer, star of The Rick Mercer Report, announced on nationwide TV that SFU was both the national and the western regional winner in the third annual Spread the Net/UNICEF Canada university challenge. SFU raised more than $16,000 to buy 16,000 insecticide-treated bed nets to protect children from malaria in Liberia and Rwanda.


Global security
More than 100 English-speaking media outlets reported on the SFU-based Human Security Report Project, including The Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and Minneapolis Star Tribune. More than100 German-speaking media picked it up as well, including Deutsche-Presse Agentur and Vienna Online.


Nature enforces nerve speed limit: study
The New York Times, National Geographic.com, CBC Radio’s As It Happens and other media quickly picked up a new study by SFU biomedical physiologist and kinesiologist, Max Donelan, that explains why “it takes an elephant longer to notice a fly and flick it away than it takes a shrew…”.  The study found land mammals’ nervous systems conduct information at a maximum speed that is relatively constant regardless of the animal’s size.


Robotic cell phones express emotions
The Discovery Channel was first to report on Cally and Callo, the robotic cellphone siblings from SFU inventors Ji-Dong Yim and Chris Shaw, scientists in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Local, national and international media, including the Mumbai Mirror in India, also reported on the cellphones that can walk, dance and express human-like gestures and emotions in response to text-messaged emoticons. Nokia even arranged for doctoral student Yim and his robots to star in two television commercials.


New study claims Rembrandt tricked eyes to linger longer
Associate professor Steve DiPaola, of the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, fielded 15 media interviews in one day about his research into Rembrandt’s artistic techniques for painting portraits that guide the viewer’s eye around the painting. The media outlets included the Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail, Yahoo News, Metro Montreal, National Public Radio, Newstalk1010 in the U.S., science blogs and more.


Andrew Petter named president of Simon Fraser University
SFU president-designate Andrew Petter spent an entire day in back-to-back media interviews once SFU named him as its ninth president and vice-chancellor. He did a string of interviews for local radio and print publications.


SFU names Carole Taylor next chancellor
News of broadcaster, politician and business leader, Carole Taylor's appointment as SFU's tenth chancellor was all over the airwaves, with interviews on local radio and television and in local and national newspapers.