Reading List 2010-09-24

My required reading list at school continues to grow as courses and assignments ramp up.

Here are things that caught my eye in the past week in the real world.

Bloomberg reports BHP Billiton hired former aides to three Canadian prime ministers. Is this nefarious in and of itself? Looks like pretty standard lobbying practice/ BHP Billiton is one of the main bidders interested in Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan. Though the post-politics lives of PMO staffers have gained more attention since Kory Teneycke’s Sun Media experience – which ended Monday.

Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian-Canadian blogger based in Toronto, might face the the death penalty. Known as the “blogfather” for being a pioneer in the Persian blogosphere, Derakhshan had a change of heart in a recent years and has come to support the governing regime. Nonetheless, he faces the possibility of the death penalty. [The Monthly Review– Interview with Derakhshan’s mother – ] [Reporters sans frontières]

Amy Harmon’s Sunday New York Times cover story is about the costs of the scientific method – and the harsh human toll that can be paid in clinical trial. Harmon weaves the story of cousins Thomas McLaughlin and Brandon Ryan gracefully with the world of clinical research. It is a wonderful piece of reporting and research. [New York Times – New Drug Stirs Debate on Rules of Clinical Trials]

On that note, Discover’s blog has an interesting article called “Should science journalists take sides?” Get past the overdone Matrix screen capture and read what is a really important ethically debate. With issues like anti-wireless internet in Barrie, Ont. and the controversial MS “Liberation” treatment getting more attention, journalists need to think long and hard about how they fit into these debates. [Discover – Should science journalists take sides?]

A must-read for Carleton students, their parents, staff and faculty. The faculty, contract instructor, teaching assistant and support staff unions are all in labour negotiations. Matthew Pearson presents the issues for the faculty union. [Ottawa Citizen – Promotion, tenure at the heart of faculty debate at Carleton]

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