Saturday, 30 March 2013

Call for Proposals: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11;Call for Applications: Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Woman to Woman Program

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 06:32 AM PDT
Call for Proposals: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11
The deadline for proposals for Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11 is May 7, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
Grand Challenges in Global Health is a family of grant programs focused on one unifying purpose: To overcome persistent bottlenecks in creating new tools that can radically improve health in the developing world.
Grand Challenges in Global Health was launched in 2003, and several years later - 45 grants totaling $458 million were awarded for research projects involving scientists in 33 countries. These projects were managed by teams working in partnership across disciplines, sectors, and countries, and many featured work from leaders in fields such as chemistry, engineering, statistics, and business, who had never before focused on global health. New Grand Challenges in Global Health projects are currently under way.
Recognizing that great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, in 2008 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched Grand Challenges Explorations, a $100 million program to encourage even bolder and less conventional solutions.
Grand Challenges Explorations is an agile, accelerated grant initiative with short two-page applications and no preliminary data required. Anyone with a bold idea that shows great promise can apply. Applications are submitted online, and winning grants are chosen approximately 4 months from the submission deadline. Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million.
Open to All Disciplines: Anyone Can Apply
The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline, from student to tenured professor, and from any organization – colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies.

Agile, Accelerated Grant-Making
The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page applications and no preliminary data required. Applications are submitted online, and winning grants are chosen approximately 4 months from the submission deadline.
Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million.
To date, more than 800 Grand Challenge Explorations grants have already been awarded for innovative, early-stage projects in 48 countries.
Explorations Round 11 Topics

• The "One Health" Concept: Bringing Together Human and Animal Health for New Solutions
• Increasing Interoperability of Social Good Data
• Develop the Next Generation of Condom
• New Approaches for Detection, Treatment, and Control of Selected Neglected Tropical Diseases
• Labor Saving Strategies and Innovations for Women Smallholder Farmers
For general inquiries about Grand Challenges in Global Health, including Grand Challenges Explorations, please contact us at
Posted: 25 Mar 2013 06:16 AM PDT
Call for Applications: Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Woman to Woman Program
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is requesting proposals for its Woman to Woman grant program. This one-year grant provides institutions with $50,000 to start a Woman to Woman peer support program.
Now Accepting Applications for New Programs!  Applications Due May 1, 2013.
Woman to Woman is OCRF’s signature patient program--a professionally led volunteer support, education and advocacy model for women undergoing treatment for gynecologic cancer. Started in 2003 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, OCRF is now expanding Woman to Woman nationally to other hospitals throughout the country with support from QVC, our long-time partner.
Woman to Woman improves the quality of care for women with gynecologic cancer by fostering a patient-to-patient connection within a structured program. Woman to Woman volunteers—themselves survivors of gynecologic cancers-- offer emotional support and mentoring while encouraging and empowering women; share information and resources about gynecologic cancer; and help empower women to advocate for themselves. The program supports women and families through all phases of treatment, recurrence, and recovery.
Each woman participating in the program receives materials designed by OCRF specifically for Woman to Woman. These materials, which are provided to programs free of charge by OCRF, include comprehensive information about gynecologic treatment and survivorship, as well as a “comfort bag” of items that will be useful to them during treatment.
In 2011, OCRF launched the national expansion of Woman to Woman by funding a new program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. Two additional sites, at Duke Cancer Institute and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, were awarded in late 2012.
2013 Funding Opportunities
Institutions interesting in starting a Woman to Woman program can apply for a grant during the first 2013 funding cycle, which is currently open.  Applications are due by May 1, 2013.
For questions about Woman to Woman, please email Julia Volpin at

Thursday, 28 March 2013

VOTE YES, in FAVOUR of the Coast Capital Savings member special resolution

Subject: Please share! IMPORTANT! PLEASE VOTE, and VOTE YES, in FAVOUR of the Coast Capital Savings member special resolution. Here is why.

Dear All,

I would like to write to ask that if you are Coast Capital Savings Members, that you - and everyone you know who is a member, PLEASE VOTE, and vote YES: IN FAVOUR of the current Member's Special Resolution ballot currently being circulated and voted on by members of Coast Capital savings. 

This is VERY important, because while CCS's profitability has gone down, the Director Remuneration has gone through the roof: approximately 450% increase in the past five years. Bill Wellburn, Chair of the Board, (who was also on the Provincial Capital Commission for years) has overseen his own salary increase from $33,000 in 2007 to $164,140 in 2011. That's a nearly 450% increase in salary (Four hundred and fifty percent) in four years. Is anyone else out there getting a hundred percent increase in salary per year? Teachers? Nurses? Anyone? This increase happened only AFTER members lost control over Board Remuneration. Is the massive increase in remuneration warranted? Many members have no idea how much board members make, as this is not published in the Annual Report, and may have no idea that the salaries are increasing so substantially.

Predictably, the Directors of Coast Capital are recommending that the credit union members vote against the special resolution, because then they would have to make their remuneration known to the members, and members would have a say. Here is a note from the Coast Capital Compensation watch facebook page:

Directors at Coast Capital DO NOT RECOMMEND our Special Resolution on Director Pay! They want to keep voting themselves their own pay raises without consulting members. This process has resulted in 500% pay increases since 2007. No wonder t...hey oppose our special resolution. Vote YES today to restore member control of Director pay. 
Our directors should NOT get paid more than all the top quartile Credit Unions in Canada (that are the instructions Directors give the "independent" remuneration consultants).
I am writing to request that my fellow members of Coast Capital Savings please vote "YES" to the special resolution, to regain some modicum of member control and transparency.

The wording of the Special Resolution is buried in the flyer, and there is MUCH misleading information there (in my view). The resolution is:
Be it resolved that, the members of Coast Capital Savings Credit Union establish
the remuneration for the Directors of the credit union and that the amount paid
to each Director is published in the Annual Report.
For more information, please see this website:
PLEASE share this information with others, and PLEASE VOTE! VOTE YES for this resolution! It is important that the credit union board be transparent, and that remuneration be reasonable, commensurate with the duties, and in line with other credit unions.
Thank you!

Yours truly,

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Roles in Chronic Pain Management & Research

Complementary and Alternative Medicine:
Roles in Chronic Pain Management & Research

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
New Orleans, LA
This preconference symposium, which will take place just prior to the American Pain Society’s 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting, will raise awareness of approaches and challenges for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) researchers and discuss possible clinical applications for health care professionals.  The challenges and opportunities associated with current CAM research as it relates to chronic pain management in the field of medicine will be addressed. A primary goal of the conference is to encourage collaborations among pain clinicians and researchers in CAM practice and research.
Registration for this symposium is required.  This symposium is not included with registration for the American Pain Society’s 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting. See conference registration and fees for more information

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Report shows entry bar is higher for state-school students and ethnic minorities than for their privately educated peers

Short link for this page:

Top universities face accusations of discrimination

Report shows entry bar is higher for state-school students and ethnic minorities than for their privately educated peers
Students from fee-paying schools such as Cheltenham Ladies' College were more likely to be offered places at top universities than those from state schools with the same grades. Photograph: Christopher Jones/Rex Features
Pupils from state schools and ethnic minorities are less likely to obtain an offer from one of the country's top universities than their white, privately educated peers even when they achieve the same A-level grades, a study has found.
Research by Durham University that will be published in the British Journal of Sociology in June found that state school pupils needed up to one grade higher than their peers at fee-paying schools to stand the same chance of receiving an offer from members of the Russell Group, the 24 most prestigious universities in the UK.
Dr Vikki Boliver, the author of the study, found that black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi pupils also required up to one grade higher at A-level than their white counterparts to stand the same chance of receiving an offer.
The study looked at 49,000 university applications between 1996 and 2006. The research found state school pupils were as likely to apply to Russell Group universities as their privately educated peers only if they had two higher A-level grades.

Monday, 25 March 2013

ProOrganic want you to call the White House

From Frederick Ravid, Author: "Tell Obama To Cease FDA Ties to Monsanto:" Please CALL the White House at (202) 456-1111 anytime after 9am Eastern MONDAY 3/25/13 (tomorrow) and say:

"This is __(name)______ , a registered voter from __(city, state)_________. I am calling with an urgent request that President Obama strike Section 735 from the 2013 Continuing Resolution. The rider defeats our country's constitutionally guaranteed Separation of Powers between the Legislature and the Courts, by prohibiting the Courts from exercising their role regarding USDA Regulation and the nation's food safety. Please remove this harmful rider. Thank you."

The 2013 Continuing Resolution is now on the President's desk awaiting signature. It contains a rider we strongly oppose, and Mr. Obama CAN prevent from becoming law. With a groundswell of public outcry, it's far easier for us to persuade the President. Please do your part NOW. Don't delay - the bill is awaiting the President's signature.

Send me an email to - Let me know you got this!


Frederick Ravid
petition author Tell Obama To Cease FDA Ties To Monsanto

Friday, 22 March 2013

Take action to protect rape victims from public flogging

Thank you for taking action to protect rape victims from public flogging, and ensure that abusers are punished instead!

If we build a huge call from across the world, the President of the Maldives will realise that his country's reputation as a tourist destination is at risk. Send the email below to friends and family, and post this link on your Facebook wall.

Thanks again for your help,

The Avaaz team

Dear friends

It's hard to believe, but a 15-year-old rape survivor has been sentenced to be whipped 100 times in public! Let's put an end to this lunacy by hitting the Maldives government where it hurts: the tourism industry.

The girl's stepfather is accused of raping her for years and murdering the baby she bore. Now the court says she must be flogged for “sex outside marriage”! President Waheed of the Maldives is already feeling global pressure on this, and we can force him to save this girl and change the law to spare other victims this cruel fate. This is how we can end the War on Women – by standing up every time an outrage like this happens.

Tourism is the big earner for the Maldives elite, including government ministers. Let's build a million-strong petition to President Waheed this week, then threaten the islands' reputation through hard-hitting ads in travel magazines and online until he steps in to save her and abolish this outrageous law. Sign and forward this email now to get us to a million:

The Maldives is a paradise for tourists. But for women there, it can be hell. Under harsh interpretations of sharia law, women and children are routinely punished with flogging and house arrest if found guilty of extramarital sex or adultery. It's nearly always the women who get punished, not the perpetrators. A staggering one in three women between ages 15 and 49 have suffered physical or sexual abuse -- yet zero rapists were convicted in the past three years.

Winning this battle can help women everywhere, as the Maldives government is right now running for a top UN human rights position - on a platform of women's rights! Global outrage has already forced President Waheed to appeal the sentence in the 15-year-old's case. But that's not enough. Extremists inside the country will force him to abandon further reforms if international attention fades. Let’s tell the Maldives that it stands to lose its reputation as a romantic tourist hot spot unless it changes its attitudes to and laws about women.

If enough of us raise our voices, we can get President Waheed and his MPs to face down the extremists. The president is already on the back foot over this shameful, tragic story - let's seize this moment to prevent more horrifying injustices against girls and women. Sign the petition, then send this email widely:

Avaaz members have fought many battles in the global war on women. In Afghanistan, we helped protect a young woman who bravely spoke out about her horrific rape; in Honduras, we fought alongside local women against a law that would jail women using the morning-after pill. Let's now protect the women of the Maldives.

With hope and determination,

Jeremy, Mary, Nick, Alex, Ricken, Laura, Michelle and the whole Avaaz team


Maldives girl to get 100 lashes for pre-marital sex (BBC)

Maldives government to appeal flogging of rape victim (Dawn, Pakistan)

Rape victims punished, failed by Maldives justice system (Minivan news, Maldives)

Judicial statistics show 90 percent of those convicted for fornication are female (Minivan news, Maldives)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Progressive Economics Alternative Federal Budget 2013

The Alternative Federal Budget 2013 – Doing Better, Together

These are the remarks by David MacDonald and I prepared for the press conference marking the release of the AFB 2013 in Ottawa, March 12, 2013.
Time flies and our Alternative Federal Budget is now in its 19th year.  Year after year it has shown that we can have a Canada where we all do better together.
This year the AFB is more inclusive than ever with 27 chapters written by over 90 contributors each laying out progressive policy ideas ready for implementation.  All policy proposals are fully costed and put within a realistic macro-economic framework to determine their impact on the deficit, debt and employment.
Approximately a year ago we warned that government austerity was going to further slow fragile growth.  Low and behold Canadian governments have already started to contributed to slower growth in 2012.  If the Parliamentary Budget Office is correct,  by 2014 Canadian governments — mostly due to federal cuts — will slice deep into what little economic growth we are seeing.
The failed experiment of austerity has taught us one thing: you can’t cut your way to growth. Government austerity is part of the problem, not part of the solution to slow growth.  Yet the federal government seems intent on pursuing this fiscal fantasy.
Mr. Flaherty has hinted the next budget will introduce even more cuts than those already baked into the system from the last 3 budgets. That threatens our economy, which has been close to stalled in the last 6 months. And it’s offside from the concerns of the majority of Canadians who are worried about their jobs, their pensions, and infrastructure in bad need of repair.
We need to remember that governments are not disconnected from the economy.  How they spend or don’t spend has a significant impact on whether our economy grows or shrinks
Canada doesn’t have a deficit problem, it has a growth problem.  Projected economic growth is down approximately a third from where it was in the 2000s.  This is not a short term issue but something likely to continue for years to come.  The impact of slow growth is that 1.3 million Canadians remain unemployed four years after the recession “ended,” about a third of which are youth.
Within Canada, the federal government is uniquely positioned to restart the economy by delivering much needed programs and creating jobs.  The federal debt burden is the lowest in the G8 by a fair margin.  In fact, the federal government would have to run a deficit six times larger than it did this year to move to second place.
Want balanced books? The Alternative Federal Budget says there`s more than one way to get to zero.
Our budget would push against the winds of slow growth by creating at its peak 300,000 full-time jobs reducing unemployment to pre-recession levels of about 6%.  The deficit in the short term would be higher but throughout the forecast horizon, the debt burden would continue to decrease. Our plan eliminates the deficit in the same timeframe as the feds.
Here’s how:
First, everyone knows if we don’t fix aging infrastructure now, we’ll pay more later. Interest rates have nowhere to go but up, and wages will rise as retirements accelerate. The AFB says there’s no time to waste and launches a focused 10-year fix-it strategy to repair the public infrastructure our communities and businesses rely on, day in and day out.
We don’t make life harder for 1.3 million unemployed Canadians – and tens of thousands of discouraged workers who have given up looking for a job — by making EI more difficult to get than at any point since the early 1940s, or by flooding the labour market with temporary foreign workers. Our plans lower the unemployment rate to 6%, restoring purchasing power and setting the foundation for sustained recovery.
The AFB tackles poverty and income inequality by investing in the areas Canadians say need to be a priority: education, affordable housing, public pensions, healthcare, and national child care.
For those who are sick and tired, and not just of politics, the AFB offers homecare that puts the emphasis on care, supports the provinces’ efforts to improve Pharmacare, and puts our money where our mouth is, making sure every young person gets access to primary dental care, thus avoiding preventable disease and billions in costs. That’s how we bend the cost curve: together.
The Alternative Budget reverses the long-term neglect of housing, water supplies, and education of our First Nations, and addresses the inexcusably high levels of violence against women.
Our carbon plan transforms Canada from an international laggard on the environmental scene into an environmental leader, with a forward-looking green strategy that would make all Canadians proud.
We take some of the dead money sitting on corporate balance sheets and bring it back to life, by increasing corporate tax rates to pre-crisis levels and using the cash to improve foundational services.  We apply a withholding tax on the growing amounts of Canadian cash flowing to tax havens, money that’s not being used for anything as it ducks being taxed. We believe it’s time for a financial transactions tax, following the recent lead of 11 European nations. We introduce a small inheritance tax on estates over $5 million to help offset the costs of looming intergenerational inequalities.
Finance Minister Flaherty suggested just a few days ago that balancing the books will take more sacrifice.  We agree. Our plan asks those who have done best in the wake of the biggest global economic crisis since the 1930s to put their shoulder to the wheel with the rest of us, to get things moving for everyone again.
But Finance Minister Flaherty wants sacrifice for different reasons, and from different people. Why do we need more cuts to balance the books by 2015? It’s an election year, and during the election campaign of 2011 the Conservatives promised two big new tax cuts as soon as the books were balanced – doubling contribution limits to the Tax Free Savings Accounts and introducing income splitting for families with young children. Both disproportionately benefit high income Canadians. Both come with a price tag of billions of dollars each.
By 2015 the well-heeled get big new tax breaks. The sacrifice will be borne by the rest of us, as jobs and services are cut.
That’s the status quo thinking that is being rejected the world over. The Alternative Federal Budget says “We can we do better, together” and shows us how.
Any government that is serious about addressing the issues that the majority of Canadians struggle with every day would implement a budget that looks like this.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Jane Goodall’s ‘Seeds of Hope’ book contains borrowed passages without attribution

Jane Goodall’s ‘Seeds of Hope’ book contains borrowed passages without attribution
Jane Goodall, the primatologist celebrated for her meticulous studies of chimps in the wild, is releasing a book next month on the plant world that contains at least a dozen passages borrowed without attribution, or footnotes, from a variety of Web sites.
The borrowings in “Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants” range from phrases to an entire paragraph from Web sites such as Wikipedia and others that focus on astrology, tobacco, beer, nature and organic tea.
Goodall wrote “Seeds of Hope” with Gail Hudson, who has contributed to two other books by the 78-year-old naturalist. Hudson is described on as a newspaper and magazine editor, freelance writer, former spirituality editor for and longtime devotee of organic foods and holistic living.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

researchgate profile Cheryl Lans

Most of my published papers and book chapters can be downloaded here -

Monday, 18 March 2013

Natural Products from Ethnodirected Studies: Revisiting the Ethnobiology of the Zombie Poison

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 202508.
Published online 2011 October 2. doi:  10.1155/2012/202508
PMCID: PMC3184504
Natural Products from Ethnodirected Studies: Revisiting the Ethnobiology of the Zombie Poison
Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque, 1 * Joabe Gomes Melo, 1 Maria Franco Medeiros, 1 Irwin Rose Menezes, 2 Geraldo Jorge Moura, 3 Ana Carla Asfora El-Deir, 4 Rômulo Romeu Alves, 5 Patrícia Muniz de Medeiros, 1 Thiago Antonio de Sousa Araújo, 1 Marcelo Alves Ramos, 1 Rafael Ricardo Silva, 1 Alyson Luiz Almeida, 1 and Cecília de Fátima Castelo Almeida 1
1Laboratory of Applied Ethnobotany, Department of Biology, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil
2Laboratory of Pharmacology and Molecular Chemistry, Department of Biological Chemistry, Cariri Regional University, Pimenta 63105-000, Crato, CE, Brazil
3Laboratory of Herpetology and Paleoherpetology, Department of Biology, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil
4Laboratory of Ictiology, Department of Biology, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil
5Ethnozoology, Conservation and Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Biology, State University of Paraíba, João Pessoa 58429-500, PB, Brazil
*Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque:
Academic Editor: Ana H. Ladio
Received June 29, 2011; Accepted August 4, 2011.
Wade Davis's study of Haitian “zombification” in the 1980s was a landmark in ethnobiological research. His research was an attempt to trace the origins of reports of “undead” Haitians, focusing on the preparation of the zombification poison. Starting with this influential ethnopharmacological research, this study examines advances in the pharmacology of natural products, focusing especially on those of animal-derived products. Ethnopharmacological, pharmacological, and chemical aspects are considered. We also update information on the animal species that reportedly constitute the zombie poison. Several components of the zombie powder are not unique to Haiti and are used as remedies in traditional medicine worldwide. This paper emphasizes the medicinal potential of products from zootherapy. These biological products are promising sources for the development of new drugs.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Island Tides - Tightening the grip: muzzling of scientists ramps up

Tightening the grip: muzzling of scientists ramps up

On Thursday, February 28th, 2013 in Island Tides

I had originally intended to write this column about my trip to Washington, DC on February 7-8, when I met with United States Senators and Congresspersons about climate and the Keystone XL pipeline. In brief, the trip was very successful in making links with strong proponents of climate action. Things are moving. The US General Accountability Office had decided that as a threat to federal government finances, climate change is now classed ‘high risk’.

I had planned a media availability session at the unfortunate time of Friday afternoon at 4pm, as it was the only time when I wasn’t busy in meetings. By complete fluke, Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird, came to Washington, DC the same day and held a joint press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry at 2pm. Thanks to Minister Baird, my press conference was perfectly timed and a ton of media showed up. In the Twitter world, this could all be explained with #synchronicity.

And further to my last column, President Barack Obama did indeed make climate action a significant part of his State of the Union address. While the Globe and Mail described this as a ‘surprise’, readers of Island Tides were likely not surprised.

Though there is much to share about events in Washington, new developments in the repression of Canadian science are more urgent. ‘Chilling’ is the word that has been used in media reports, and ‘chilling’ it is.

Back in October 2011, I wrote in Island Tides about the muzzling of DFO scientists. The scientist in question, Dr Kristi Miller, had achieved levels of scientific respect as her work on viruses linked to salmon aquaculture operations had been published in the internationally prestigious journal Science. When Science attempted to arrange media interviews with Dr Miller, the Privy Council Office ordered her to refuse.

It seems that the public outcry over that event, and others including ozone scientists at Environment Canada, led the Prime Minister’s Office to decide the contractual arrangements with scientists were too lax. As of February 1 this year, new rules were put in place requiring all scientists working on projects in conjunction with DFO in the Central and Arctic Region to treat all information as proprietary to DFO, and­worse­await departmental approval before submitting research to any scientific journals.

The story was broken by veteran journalist Michael Harris, in the online journal iPolitics. Harris has been one of the few journalists willing to dig into the pervasive repression, slashing of science and rejection of evidence based decision-making in Harper’s Ottawa.

The reaction from DFO was swift. It posted this attack on its website:

‘The iPolitics story by Michael Harris published on February 7th, 2013 is untrue. There have been no changes to the Department’s publication policy.’

Harris recounts that he was stunned. He had verified the change with several scientists, external to DFO. He called Dr Jeff Hutchings at Dalhousie University who re-confirmed the changes. Then Harris received support from an unexpected source­an anonymous DFO scientist posted the email from Michelle Wheatley, the Central and Arctic science director, sent out to detail the new publication policy.

The anonymous scientist wrote, ‘Here is the e-mail I got from my division manager on January 29, 2013: ‘Subject: New Publication Review Committee (PRC) Procedures for C&A Science …’. The email was reproduced in full, and began, ‘This message is regarding the new Publication Review Committee procedures for C&A Science…’

The email noted that the new policy was to take effect on February 1, 2013.

The anonymous scientist concluded: ‘You decide who’s being untruthful.’

A few days after DFO tried to deny that there were any changes, the Vancouver Sun broke the story of a US scientist, doing collaborative work with DFO, who is refusing to sign the new conditions. Calling it a ‘potential muzzle,’ Dr Andreas Muenchow, of the University of Delaware told the Sun, ‘I’m not signing it.’ Muenchow has been working on a project with DFO scientists in the Eastern Arctic since 2003.

In 2003, when the collaborative research project began, there were quite different rules about sharing data: ‘Data and any other project-related information shall be freely available to all Parties to this Agreement and may be used, disseminated or published, at any time.’

Within days of February 1st’s new publication policy, on February 7, came another DFO email to scientists: now they must obtain prior consent before applying for research grants.

You can see where this is going. It is not enough to muzzle scientists like Dr Miller when their research is published. The tightening of control over science must be established far earlier in the process. Stop the research from being submitted to journals. Stop the scientists from collaborating with others. Stop scientists from applying for research grants. Stop science from happening at all.

The elimination of whole branches of scientific work within the federal government, the slashing of governmental funds for science, and now a departmental veto on applying for research grants or submitting results to peer reviewed journals fits in the larger systemic dismantling of any aspect of governmental activities that could throw doubt on the wisdom of pressing for rapid expansion of fossil fuel exploitation.

‘Chilling’ is one word, but it does not seem adequate to this development. This is the 21st Century equivalent of the Dark Ages. This is book burning and superstition run rampant. This is the administration of a steady, slow drip of poison to a weakening democracy.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

2013 AHVMA conference Kansas

2013 AHVMA Annual Conference Page 1 of 5 DATE(S) CE EVENT ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
2013 AHVMA Annual Conference. Page 1 of 5. DATE(S). CE EVENT ..... Ethnoveterinary research: old remedies and their validation Part 1. Van Asseldonk. 0 ..

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Russian Ethnoveterinary Practices

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Avaaz stop privatization of BC forests

Friday, 8 March 2013

Eight essays from Rachel Carson to Agroforestry

Project Summary

Eight essays from Rachel Carson to Agroforestry Authored by Dr Cheryl Lans
List Price: $5.85
8" x 10" (20.32 x 25.4 cm)
Black & White on White paper
172 pages
Lans Cheryl
ISBN-13: 978-0988085244
ISBN-10: 0988085240
BISAC: Nature / Essays
1. Rachel Carson paved a path of limited advocacy for other scientists
2. Science is politics by other means when it comes to witchcraft
3. Ants, academic politics and integrity
4. Co-operatives as an alternative model of social organization
5. On how the media influence Canadian democracy
6. Methods in EVM - North America and the Netherlands
7. The moral case for animal welfare for snakes and alligators
8. Eco-alternatives to slash and burn agriculture for T&T
CreateSpace eStore:

Thursday, 7 March 2013

On the Legacy of Hugo Chávez | The Nation

On the Legacy of Hugo Chávez | The Nation

Progressive Economics Long Live Dutch Disease

Dutch Disease is Dead … Long Live Dutch Disease!!! Posted by Jim Stanford under Dutch disease, energy, exchange rates, manufacturing. March 4th, 2013 Comments: 4 In the hyper-polarized context of Canadian energy policy debates, even suggesting that there might be a downside to the untrammeled energy boom centred in northern Alberta is enough to get you labelled a traitor or an economic illiterate — or both. Conservative political leaders in both Ottawa and Edmonton, backed by energy-friendly think-tanks and the Sun media chain, have tried to paint such thinking as idiotic and dangerous, not deserving of serious consideration. This is a distinctly McCarthyist strategy: it relies on vilifying and marginalizing opposition, rather than debating facts and arguments.

Douglas Melton, Co-Director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, is the Keynote at the Stem Cell Summit 2013

Douglas Melton, Co-Director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, is the Keynote at the
Stem Cell Summit 2013
April 29-30, 2013 in Boston, MA
Register before February 28th and SAVE up to $375!
Submit an Abstract to participate in our Poster Session

Dear Colleague,

Douglas Melton, Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor at Harvard University, and the Co-Director of Harvard's Stem Cell Institute, will be giving the keynote presentation, "How To Make Pancreatic Beta Cells" at GTC's Stem Cell Summit 2013 on April 29-30, 2013 in Boston, MA

The Stem Cell Summit 2013 features two concurrent conference tracks:
Track A: Stem Cell Research & Regenerative Medicine
Track B: Stem Cell Commercialization & Partnering

Providing cutting-edge information on the most recent developments in all areas of stem cell research, topics include:

• Advances in iPS & ES Cells
• Advances in Adult Stem Cells
• New Paradigms for Cell Therapy
• Novel Technologies in Stem Cell Research
• Overcoming Challenges in Clinical Development
• Commercialization: Bringing Therapeutics to Market
• Partnerships & Acquisitions
• Funding Opportunities
• Regulatory Guidance & Updates

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Sierra Club BC has teamed up with Wilderness Committee and CCPA to urge the candidates in the May general election to put a bold global warming plan in their platforms

Dear friends,

Even as scientists warn that global warming is reaching a catastrophic tipping point that could result in the extinction of up to 50 per cent of all species and the costly destruction of coastal cities, B.C. is blithely pushing through with LNG, coal mines, coal port expansion (Fraser Surrey Docks to Texada), pipelines and tankers.

Sierra Club BC has teamed up with Wilderness Committee and CCPA to urge the candidates in the May general election to put a bold global warming plan in their platforms.

Please take 30 seconds to send a letter to the political parties here:

And spread this message widely to others.

Also have a look at this super-short, super-simple yet hard-hitting video from – of all people - the World Bank which encapsulates the global warming issue in a few soundbites and compelling imagery:

“World could be 4 degrees hotter by the end of this century”:


OvaScience at 33rd Annual Health Care Conference

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., February 28, 2013 - OvaScienceSM, (OTC: OVSC), a life sciences company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of new treatments for infertility, today announced that Michelle Dipp, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of OvaScience, will present at the Cowen and Company 33rd Annual Health Care Conference on Wednesday, March 6 at 10:00 a.m. at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston.

A live audio webcast of the presentation can be accessed by visiting the Investor section of the Company's website at  A replay of the webcast will be archived on the OvaScience website for two weeks following the presentation.    

About OvaScience
OvaScience (OTC: OVSC) is a life sciences company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of new treatments for infertility.  The Company's patented technology is based on the discovery of egg precursor cells (EggPCSM), which are found in the ovaries.  By applying proprietary technology to identify and purify EggPCs, AUGMENTSM aims to improve egg quality and increase the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF).  OvaScience's team of scientists, physicians and advisers includes recognized leaders in the field of reproductive medicine. For more information, please visit

Monday, 4 March 2013

Somalia jails rape victim and journalist

Dear friends,

I wrote about a Somali woman brutally gang-raped by government soldiers to bring attention to the awful rape problem there. Instead, the government used my article to jail the rape victim along with another journalist who wrote about it! After international outcry, an appeals court just overturned the victim's conviction, but the journalist is facing a sentence. Only if we all stand together can we end this epidemic of rape by security forces. Click below to join me: 

My name is Laila and I'm a journalist. I recently wrote a story about a young woman brutally gang-raped by government soldiers in Somalia, hoping that her bravery in telling such a painful story would bring attention to the awful rape problem there. Instead, the government used my article to jail a rape victim and another journalist covering the story for ‘insulting the state’!

After an international outcry, an appeals court just overturned the woman's conviction, but the journalist is still in jail -- and their case is one of many. Rape is horrific, but to be raped when the only authorities you can turn to for justice are your rapists -- it's the most crushing powerlessness. That's why I started a global petition on the Avaaz site, because Somalia's government depends heavily on financing from other governments, so the international community can press them to stop the cover up and bring real reforms to end the epidemic of rape by security forces.

Our call for change could really work, but it needs to be big. UN envoy Zainab Bangura has told us that she will directly deliver our petition to donor countries and Somalia's President. Help by signing and forwarding this email -- let's show these women that they're not alone, and that no one has the authority to rape them:

The brave young woman was accused of fabricating her own rape by government officials before she even got a trial. Then, the judge refused to hear witnesses or accept medical evidence proving that she was raped. Yesterday, an appeals court overturned her sentence, but the journalist who reported on it has been convicted, and it will happen again unless we act -- I’ve interviewed too many women who live in constant fear of getting shot or raped, often by the very people charged with protecting them.

But there is hope for Somalia like never before. In just 18 months, it has approved a new constitution, selected a new president, and is finally winning its war against extremists. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud is in a position to act to protect women from his own armed forces, if we together give him a big reason to crack down on this state violence.

While the global outrage pushed courts to stop the prosecution of this innocent survivor, Abdiaziz Abdinur, the journalist who spoke to her, is still facing jail! Funders hold the key to changing the way Somalia's own soldiers and security forces treat women. Sign now and forward this email to help grow a call big enough to change Somalia forever:

The Avaaz community has fought courageously to stop the war on women across the world. Last month, more than 1 million of us signed a petition calling for justice and real change in India after the tragic death of a rape victim in Delhi, and received encouraging signs from top government ministers that they were heeding our call. Now, we can bring that people power to Somalia and set the country on a new course.

WIth hope and determination,

Laila Ali, with the Avaaz team

*Laila is a British-Somali journalist based in Nairobi

PS: This petition was started on Avaaz's new Community Petitions Site. It's quick and easy to start a petition on any issue you care about, click here:


Somali woman wins appeal against sentence for claiming soldiers raped her (The Guardian)

I'm shocked that my reporting on rape in Somalia has led to the jailing of an alleged victim and a journalist (The Guardian)

Somalia: Woman Alleging Rape, Journalist Convicted (HRW)

Journalist arrested for interviewing reported rape victim (CPJ)

Somalia: Free journalist, others linked to rape allegation (HRW)

In meeting with Somali President, Clinton should stand up for rape victims (New York Times Blog)

Somali government to tackle rape cases (Al Jazeera)

Oxford and Cambridge institutional bias (bring attitudes to Canada?)

Oxford University has been accused of 'institutional bias' following figures obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request by the Guardian.

The report showed that, on average, white applicants are up to twice as likely to be offered a place as their ethnic minority equivalent, despite having earned the same grades at A-level. Applications to the university in 2010 and 2011 revealed that 25.7 per cent of white applicants received an offer for a place at the university, compared to only 17.2 per cent of students from ethnic minorities.
Oxford University has excused previous claims stating that ethnic minority applicants are more likely to apply for competitive courses, such as medicine. However the figures reveal that, while medicine is a highly sought after and prestigious course, white applicants were twice as likely to gain a place over ethnic minority candidates even when the same triple A* grades had been achieved via @Independent

Friday, 1 March 2013

Maternal investment

So it is my mother's birthday new week and I hope she thinks she got some return from her investment. I published most of my father's writings. Even if the books do not stay in print one of his stories is in my doctorate thesis and in a published paper and those don't go out of print or disappear. I thought my books would be safe in the Vancouver Public Library (until earmarked for sale) but one has disappeared and I hope it has been reordered. I also published a story by my father in an 2012 Indian publication called "Celebrating India", so at least more people know that the name Lans existed before it became an acronym. My published papers are still in the most downloaded category and my mother ended up paying for those. I could not publish them within the grant period and got no funding afterwards. I guess the funders could not predict that the papers would be popular, or thought that they would be used but not by high ranking people. Speaking of grants this week I was given an opportunity to revise, get reciprocal peer review and resubmit a grant. As commonly happens, the topic for this new grant year includes aspects of the grant that I submitted the year before. So I logged in to participate and I noticed that my grant had no public support the previous year and it was one of those new "popularity" based grants. So I decided not to participate. So there, I am not popular or paid; who knows if my kids would have been popular and successful, or would have survived long enough to make their grandparents proud?