“We need a fundamentally new energy technology that can be scaled within the span of a human lifetime. Achieving this goal requires scientists to be afforded the opportunity to do daring work. This program provided us with a safe environment to take the long shot – given the profound impact this could have on society, we should remain open to it even if there is an unknown probability of success.” ~ Professor of chemistry and chemical and biological engineering Curtis Berlinguette commenting on a group of scientists’ partnership with Google to invest in cold fusion, a type of benign nuclear reaction hypothesized to occur at room temperature. (UBC News, May 27).
“… the era of writing letters and asking nicely [is over]… We are demanding action, and we are willing to cause disruption and make certain sacrifices in order to do that because we realize that all the conventional methods of campaigning and trying to communicate have failed.” ~ PhD student Maayan Kreitzman, who is a volunteer with Extinction Rebellion Vancouver. (Vancouver Sun, October 25).
“I want to be clear, UBC does not endorse the views of controversial speakers or the organizations that book them or any other speakers who are invited to its campuses. The fundamental issue here is what the university stands for. I believe, and the Vancouver Senate Statement on Academic Freedom clearly articulates, that UBC must be an open and inclusive forum, where members of the university have the freedom ‘to engage in full and unrestricted consideration of any opinion’. Selectively shutting down conversations on complex and challenging topics undermines that crucial foundation that enables challenge of the status quo. Ultimately, silenced opinions are not subject to ‘full and unrestricted consideration’.” ~ Provost Andrew Szeri commenting on free speech and speakers who rent UBC venues whose views are considered by some to be inflammatory or offensive. (UBC News, June 9).
“Our planet is the only one with badgers and dragonflies – and chocolate! It’s worth fighting for.” ~ David Suzuki on the biodiversity and climate crises. (Georgia Straight, September 10).
“We’re grateful to UBC for providing space and a great room that works for prayer… I like to imagine prayer as my refuge from the world. When I put my forehead down, it’s like speaking to a friend and letting the burdens in my life go. It’s a time to reconnect with yourself and feel grounded again.” ~ Tuqa Al-Shakarchi, a second-year dental hygiene student and president of the AMS Thaqalayn Muslim Association, commenting on UBC opening an additional temporary prayer room for Muslim students during exam time. (UBC News, April 17).
“You can’t blueberry your way out of a depression! Nor will a detox enema help. An anti‑inflammatory diet may help to prevent those illnesses associated with inflammation, including depression, but it isn’t a form of treatment.” ~ Clinical assistant prof Diane McIntosh, who is a leading proponent in Canada of the emerging theory that depression is a disease caused by the body’s immune system. (Globe & Mail, October 20).
“Although she doesn’t speak in a powerfully rhetorical way – the kind of thing that we expect to hear from politicians or celebrities – she’s a lot like the kid in the Hans Christian Andersen story who points out that the emperor has no clothes. She’s just so blunt and direct and uncompromising and that’s just extremely powerful.” ~ UBC Okanagan professor of environmental humanities Greg Garrard, on the attention Greta Thunberg is drawing to climate change. (CBC News, October 26).
“We all have that resiliency within us – especially if you come from a place where you’ve had to learn to survive… By any number of statistics, I shouldn’t be where I am… I’ve fallen and got back up, survived violence, worked two or three jobs to make ends meet as a single mom. In my journey, I keep getting better and healthier.” ~ Alumna Dawn Johnson on graduating from UBC’s Allard School of Law. She was a child in the foster system, lived on the streets, survived abuse, became a teen mom, and dropped out of school in Grade 7. (Globe & Mail, May 21).
“Often, resources for music education… are cut or not available in elementary and secondary schools so that they could focus on math, science and English. The irony is that music education… can be the very thing that improves all-around academic achievement and an ideal way to have students learn more holistically in schools.” ~ Professor of education Peter Gouzouasis discussing a study he led that found high school students who take music courses score significantly better on math, science and English exams than their non-musical peers. (UBC News, June 14).
“Diversity is essential in all facets of our society, and certainly so in engineering… For example, a man who doesn’t have the lived experience of using an intrauterine device (IUD) should not be the lead designer on this type of product.” ~ UBC alumna Annalies Tjebbes, who graduated through the biomedical option in UBC’s electrical engineering program. (UBC News, May 14).