Moore on the move; questions about vaccine

By Laurie Devine


Desautels Faculty of Management’s Professor Karl Moore is a familiar face to readers of the Globe and Mail with his “Talking Management” podcasts featuring video interviews with successful business leaders.  Now, his videocasts are also being picked up for syndication from The New York Times, starting with a recent interview with African billionaire Mo Ibrahim.


A McGill study in the July issue of the Journal of Personality and SocialPsychology turned heads around the world.  Researcher John Lydon and colleagues showed how the different sexes react to temptation and how it can affect their relationships. The McGill psychologists determined that men tend to look at their partners in a more negative light after meeting a single, attractive woman.  Women, on the other hand, are likelier to work to strengthen their current relationships after meeting an available, attractive man.  Every major Canadian newspaper picked up the story, as did international outlets ranging from Cosmo to the Discovery Channel, The London Times, The Times of India, The Washington Post, LA Times and the UK’s Telegraph.


Debate over mandating a vaccine for cervical cancer is another very hot topic. A high-profile story in The New York Times noted that some experts, including McGill’s Abby Lippman, worry about the consequences of the rapid and aggressive rollout of the new vaccines without more medical evidence about how best to deploy them. Tens of millions of girls in Europe and the U.S. have already been vaccinated. “This big push is making people crazy — thinking they’re bad moms if they don’t get their kids vaccinated,” said Lippman, epidemiology professor at McGill and policy director of the Canadian Women’s Health Network. The story, by The TimesDr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, was the top emailed article on the day it was published in the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of The Times.


Other big news this summer came out of McGill’s physics lab. Taking advantage of a unique cosmic configuration, including a ‘wobbling star’, graduate student René Breton and his colleagues measured an effect predicted by Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. Happily, Albert may rest in peace, his theory held true and the paper went on to be published in the journal Science. USA Today and The Telegraph were there to tell the story to the masses.


When McGill’s Neeltje Boogert, a PhD biology student working in Louis Lefebvre’s lab, presented her research at the International Behavioral Ecology Congress at Cornell, Nature News took notice. Boogert’s work showed male birds that sang the most complex melodies were also quicker at solving a problem to find food. “Female birds might use song complexity as an indicator of how smart the male is,” Boogert says. The experiment is the first to test the idea that complicated crooners are the brainiest of birds.