Pleiades Promoter Project

UBC School of Journalism

Journalism Ethics for the
Global Citizen

November 6, 2009
Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
University of British Columbia
8:30 am - 5:00 pm, plus a dinner reception to follow


Ira BasenIra Basen, Documentary Producer, CBC Radio;
Freelance Journalist

Ira Basen began his career at CBC Radio in 1984. He was senior producer at Sunday Morning and Quirks and Quarks. He has been involved in the creation of three network programs; The Inside Track (1985), This Morning (1997), and Workology (2001), as well as several special series, including “Spin Cycles”, an award winning six part look at PR and the media, that was broadcast on CBC Radio One in January/February 2007, and “News 2.0”, a two part exploration of news in the age of social media that aired in June 2009.
Ira has written for Saturday Night, The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Maisonneuve, and the Canadian Journal of Communication, and he is an occasional columnist at He has won numerous awards, including the Canadian Science Writers Association Award, the Canadian Nurses Association Award, the Gabriel Award, and the New York Radio Festival Award.  He is currently teaching at Ryerson University, and the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. He is the co-author of the Canadian edition of The Book of Lists (Knopf Canada, 2005).

Trevor BowdenTrevor Bowden, Co-founder, Big Room Inc.
Trevor is a co-founder of Big Room Inc., a social venture based in Vancouver. Big Room coordinates a global team applying for the Dot Eco (.eco) top-level domain, and operates the ecolabel directory From 2002-2007, Trevor was based in London, England, where he worked as a senior consultant with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and the Principles for Responsible Investment. In 2006, he joined Sustainable Finance (acquired by PwC), a project finance consultancy focused on implementation of the Equator Principles by financial institutions.

CasselsAlan Cassels, Drug Policy Researcher, University of Victoria
Alan Cassels is a drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria.  He has a strong interest in studying how clinical research and experience on pharmaceuticals get translated for policy-makers, prescribers and consumers.  He led a team of Canadian researchers to carry out the first ever study of Canadian newspaper coverage of new prescription drugs. (published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in April  2003) and has frequently reported on consumer health issues for magazines, newspapers and the CBC Radio program IDEAS.   He is co-author, with Australian journalist Ray Moynihan of  Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning us All into Patients, (Greystone Books, 2005)  about the role of the ethical drug industry in helping to underwrite the creation and marketing of illness.   His newest book, The ABC’s of Disease Mongering: An Epidemic in 26 letters  (Emdash Book Publishing, 2007)  has been likened to “Dr. Seuss taking on an overmedicated and overdiagnosed culture.”  Alan Cassels has lectured in journalism schools in Canada, the US and Australia on the essentials of pharmaceutical reporting and was the founder of Media Doctor Canada, ( a web-based service dedicated to improving the quality of Canadian medical reporting.

Erika CheckErika Check Hayden, Senior Reporter, Nature
Erika is a senior reporter for the science journal Nature. Based in San Francisco, Erika currently covers biology, medicine, biotechnology, and Bay Area science, and has reported on many fields of science, including geology, space, and the environment. Erika has been working as a journalist for more than a decade. She began her career at Stanford University, where she majored in biology and wrote for the school newspaper and alumni magazine. She then worked at Newsweek Magazine in New York, where she covered science, medicine and breaking news. After joining Nature's staff in 2001, Erika worked from Washington, D.C., for five years before moving to San Francisco in 2006. Erika freelances for various publications, including Wired, Discover, and Popular Mechanics. She has taught in the master's program in science writing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; at the Banff Science Communications program in Banff, Canada; and at the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop in New Mexico. She was also a fellow at the March 2009 Communications for Senior Scientists program at the Banff Centre and at the June 2009 Knight Digital Media Center's Multimedia and Convergence Workshop in Berkeley, California.

DalyPatricia Daly, Vice President, Public Health and Chief Medical Health Officer Vancouver Coastal Health
Dr. Daly is the Vice President, Public Health and Chief Medical Health Officer for Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.  She is responsible for communicable disease control, health protection, community care facilities licensing, population health and public health surveillance within Vancouver Coastal Health.

KathrynKathryn Gretsinger, Adjunct Professor, UBC School of Journalism; Reporter, CBC Radio
Kathryn Gretsinger is an Adjunct Professor at the UBC School of Journalism. She brings her vast radio experience to our iJournalism course. Kathryn works with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio service. Her career began in 1988 working as a researcher at CBC Radio in Vancouver. From there, she moved to Edmonton to begin a stint as an Associate Producer. Kathryn then returned to BC to begin a run as the morning reporter for Vancouver’s highly rated morning show The Early Edition.
Kathryn covered a wide range of stories from treaty negotiations to women giving birth. From the mysteries of Vancouver’s underground tunnels to the exploding drug scene on the cities downtown east side.  Her concern about people with mental illnesses living on the streets led to a number of series.  This work was recognized by the Jack Webster Foundation and the Radio and Television News Director’s Association.
Her love of radio documentary took hold during days prowling Vancouver’s streets for stories.  Her documentary A Level Playing Field examined the life of Chinese students in early 1900s Vancouver.  The piece illustrated the great strides Chinese Canadians have made both in the sporting world and beyond.  The documentary won a series of awards.
In 1996, Kathryn took on a full time role as a radio host. She was the voice of the CBC’s Afternoon Show until 2004.
Kathryn completed her Masters Degree in Journalism at the University of British Columbia.
She continues her various roles with the public broadcaster. Kathryn frequently guest hosts national and regional programs. She trains reporters and producers on radio skills and documentary production at CBC Radio. And, when time permits, she records and produces audio documentaries for the network.

Kurt GrimmKurt Grimm, Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, UBC
Dr. Kurt Grimm is an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UBC. His established research expertise in Earth system science and paleoecology, coupled with his zeal for educational integration and innovation has blossomed into a simple and unified theory of self-organizing complexity. These insights are informing (and perhaps transforming) health, ecological, Life and sustainability sciences. The unprecedented changes unfolding amongst us are opportunities for transformative innovation and adaptation. We need a new Life-centric lens through which to understand and act within the real world.

FrancoisFrancois Heinderyckx, Professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles
François Heinderyckx is professor of media sociology and political communication at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) where he is director of the Department of Infomation and Communication Sciences. He is also president of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA).

Judy IllesJudy Illes, Professor of Neurology and Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics, UBC
Dr. Illes is Director of the National Core for Neuroethics at UBC, and faculty in the Brain Research Centre at UBC and at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. She also holds affiliate appointments in the School of Population and Public Health and the School of Journalism at UBC, and in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. USA. Dr. Illes' research focuses on the ethical, legal, social and policy challenges specifically at the intersection of the neurosciences and biomedical ethics. This includes studies on functional neuroimaging in basic and clinical research, regenerative medicine, dementia, addiction, and the commercialization of cognitive neuroscience. She also leads a robust program of research and outreach devoted to improving the literacy of neuroscience and engaging stakeholders on a global scale. Dr. Illes is an internationally recognized author, lecturer, and mentor. She is a co-founder and Executive Committee Member of the Neuroethics Society, a member of the Internal Advisory Board for the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, a former member of the Institute of Medicine, Forum on Neuroscience and Neurological Disorders, and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Dr. Illes is editor of the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB)-Neuroscience, and Chair of the Committee on Women in World Neuroscience for the International Brain Research Organization.

EricEric Jandciu, Research Coordinator, UBC School of Journalism
Eric is a past recipient of the CIHR Graduate Science Writer Scholarship. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree from Queen's University and a Master of Science (organometallic chemistry) from UBC. He also obtained a Master of Journalism from the UBC School of Journalism, where his thesis examined the academic background science journalists require and proposed an outline for an interdisciplinary science journalism course.
Eric has interned at the Natural Resources News Service in Washington, DC, where his investigative stories ranged in topic from scientist intimidation by the hog farming industry to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force meetings. Eric has also interned at Discovery Channel Canada in Toronto and his writing on science and health has appeared in the Toronto Star. In 2003 he moved to Heidelberg, Germany, to coordinate the copy editing of book and journal manuscripts at the scientific publishing house Springer. In April 2004, he founded a copy editing department at LE-TeX in Leipzig, Germany, a publishing services company specializing in scientific journal and book publication. Eric is currently GE3LS research coordinator at the UBC School of Journalism.

Lisa JohnsonLisa Johnson, Environment Reporter, CBC News Vancouver
Lisa Johnson tells stories daily on television and radio for CBC News, on topics ranging from killer whales to compost to bisphenol-A. She started at the CBC in 2003 and keeps landing in challenging roles, like reporting from CBC Radio's one-person Nelson bureau, and helping create a summer network environment show Feeling the Heat.
Lisa has an Honours degree in Biology (UBC '02) , which means she's spent time pipetting DNA, watching fish mating dances, and counting kelp in the dark at low tide. Lisa graduated with her Masters in Journalism from UBC in 2004, with a focus on science reporting and the Hal Strait Gold Medal for the top graduating student. Lisa cares about communicating science well, and occasionally gives talks to scientists about facing the media.
You can find regular updates on her stories by following @lisasj on Twitter.

NicolaNicola Jones, Science Journalist in Residence, UBC School of Journalism; Commissioning Editor, Nature
Nicola Jones is an award-winning science journalist who has returned to Vancouver after pursuing her career in London, UK. Nicola completed her first degree, a BSc in chemistry and oceanography, at UBC in 1997. After this she became a member of the first class of UBC’s journalism program, completing her master’s degree in 2000 with a focus on science and the Hal Straight gold medal for excellence. After a brief internship at Time Canada in New York, she moved to Britain for an internship with New Scientist magazine. She worked there as a staff reporter from 2001-2003, and then moved to the science journal Nature, also in London, where she was assistant news and features editor, and later the online news editor. She is now a commissioning editor for the opinion section of Nature, part time, and a freelance reporter. Her reporting focuses on Earth sciences, climate change, and oddities of science. Throughout her career, Nicola has been interested in broader issues of science communication and the community of science journalism: she has been a judge for several award committees, appeared as a guest on radio and television to help present science stories; taught a one-day course for staff at Nature Publishing Group on science writing; and was an invited speaker at the Brighton Science Festival in 2005.

Sid KatzSid Katz, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Executive Director, UBC Community Affairs
Sid Katz is a noted UBC science educator, journalist, and professor of pharmacology, has long supported the development of the School of Journalism and is the school’s first scientist in residence. Prof. Katz will
teach and assist students with their research and thesis projects and advise the Science Journalism Research Group as it carries out a four-year investigation into the public communication of controversial science.
Dr. Katz is Executive Director, Community Affairs of the University of British
Columbia and Managing Director of the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. He is also a Professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. Sid has had a parallel career in science journalism having contributed over 400 items on CBC Radio regional and national programs, including Morningside and As it Happens on science and health issues and was the national health science correspondent on the CTV National News. He served for a number of years as vice-president of the Canadian Science Writers Association and on many science writing awards juries.
Prof. Katz has won many awards for his science education activities, including the Order of Canada in 2003.

KirkKirk Lapointe, Managing Editor, Vancouver Sun
Kirk LaPointe is a media executive now working as Managing Editor of The Vancouver Sun, western Canada’s largest newspaper. Kirk has held a wide range of senior roles in Canada in newspapers, news agencies, television and online media. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia’s graduate School of Journalism since 2004.
Among other executive positions, he has been Senior Vice President, News, for the CTV Television Network, the largest private broadcaster in Canada, where he was responsible for all its news programming, including the CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson, CTV National News with Sandie Rinaldo, the morning program Canada AM, the all-news CTV NewsNet network, the award-winning W-FIVE documentary program, the online site, the launch of the youth-oriented 21C documentary program, and the flagship CFTO-TV Toronto news operations. During his time there, CTV won its first-ever Award of Excellence from the Canadian Journalism Foundation and several Gemini and Canadian Association of Broadcasters awards for programming. He launched and oversaw the network’s first Diversity Initiative and was Chairman of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters task force on cultural diversity.
Before that, he was Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Hamilton Spectator. He helped launch the National Post newspaper as its founding Executive Editor. He led the Southam News agency as its Editor-in-Chief and General Manager. In each of these positions, he launched or expanded their online operations.
Kirk is a founding director of the Canadian Centre for Faith and the Media, an advisor to the board of the Canadian Media Research Consortium, the newspaper representative on the CanWest Diversity Task Force, and a member of the ethics committee of the Canadian Association of Journalists. He has been honoured for his work in the freedom of information field and is a frequent public speaker on media issues.

Margaret MunroMargaret Munro, Science Reporter, CanWest News Service
Margaret Munro reports on the latest scientific developments and controversies for Canwest News Service, which serves 11 newspapers across Canada, including the Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen and Vancouver Sun.
Munro began her journalism career in Ottawa in 1978 and covered the launch of the first space shuttles and the demise of Canada’s nuclear reactor program before moving to Vancouver. Munro spent a decade at the Vancouver Sun and five years at the National Post, before joining Canwest in 2003. Her recent work has taken her from the Arctic to write about the ancient permafrost tumbling into the sea to remote Ontario communities at the epicenter of Canada’s escalating diabetes epidemic.
Munro’s honors includes several national writing awards from the Canadian Science Writers' Association, the 2003 Michener Fellowship for Public Service Journalism, the 2008 David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism from the American Geophysical Union and a 2009 media award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

ElodieElodie Portales-Casamar, Research Associate, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics
After growing up in Paris, Elodie attended university in Montpellier, where she studied biology and went on to complete her PhD in molecular and cell biology. Her thesis, entitled: “Identification and characterization of new isoforms of the Rho-GEF Trio”, involved working with knock-out mice and looking at neuronal differentiation.
During her PhD, Elodie experimented with online genome resources and realized how important bioinformatics was to the researcher. She therefore decided to make bioinformatics as the focus of her post-doctoral training and worked with Dr. Wasserman at CMMT, who took her into his lab despite a computational knowledge of close to zero. Elodie worked on the development of the PAZAR database ( as the main part of her post-doc project. After two years in the Wasserman lab, she became a research associate with the Pleiades Promoter Project, which has combined her skills in biology and bioinformatics.

SeckoDavid Secko, Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism, Concordia University
David Secko is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at Concordia University. His amazement at the speed at which an amoeba could crawl, led him to a Ph.D. (2004) from the University of British Columbia that focused on the soil amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. However, upon finishing his PhD, he started writing about science for the likes of The Scientist magazine and Vancouver’s Tyee. Now at Concordia University, David is working to give journalists new tools to communicate science as part of the Concordia Science Journalism Project (See: His interests further extend to research that links across journalism, science and ethical issues to clarify and experiment with the roles of the public, experts and journalists in the democratic governance of biotechnology. David was awarded a Health Communication Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in 2004 and the Hal Straight Gold Medal is Journalism from UBC’s School of Journalism in 2006. He is proud to have been there at the beginning of The Science Creative Quarterly and the Science Scouts.

Iain TaylorIain Taylor, Professor Emeritus, Department of Botany, UBC
Iain Taylor was born on the Welsh side of the border with England at Chester in 1938. He was educated in North Wales and at the University of Liverpool, where he received B.Sc. (1961) and Ph.D. (1964) degrees in Botany. After 2 years high school teaching in southwestern England, he was a post-doctoral fellow and visiting assistant professor in the Botany Department at the University of Texas. He moved to Canada and to UBC in 1968 and retired on January 1st 2004. He is currently a volunteer Project Director for the UBC Botanical Garden.
Throughout his career he has been involved in scientific publishing first with the Canadian Journal of Botany and with the journal Cellulose. From 1991-2006, he served as Assistant Editor-in-chief of the NRC of Canada Research Press. In 1996 his research moved from plant physiology and biophysics to ethical issues in science. He is an Associate Member of the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics and his current research interests include professionalism, scholarly publishing and ethical issues arising from new discoveries such as genetically engineered organisms.
Since 1993, he has presented 41 “So! It’s time to write a paper” workshops at UBC, hospitals, industrial groups, and scientific societies. These workshops have reached almost more than 500 researchers at all career stages.
He currently edits the UBC Botanical Garden Journal, Davidsonia, and serves of the editorial boards of Canadian Pharmacists’ Journal and the BC Journal of Ecosystems and Management. Between 2005 and 2009 he organized of the Council of Science Editors Short Course for Journal Editors. In his spare time, he sings in choirs and continues a struggle to rescue an old farm in the backwoods of BC.

Roy WadiaRoy Wadia, Director of Communications, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control
Roy Wadia has been Director of Communications at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control since September 2006. Prior to that he spent three years as Communications and Advocacy Officer and Spokesman at the World Health Organization in China, working on issues ranging from SARS and pandemic preparedness to HIV/AIDS and environmental health. Roy's background is actually in journalism and international affairs, including a 12-year career at Cable News Network (CNN), where he launched and produced much of CNN's Asia-Pacific news programming as well as helped pioneer its multimedia convergence process between TV and the Web.  Roy was born and raised in Bombay, India.

Stephen WardStephen Ward, James E. Burgess Professor of Journalism Ethics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Ward is the James E. Burgess Professor of Journalism Ethics at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously he was Director and Associate Professor of Journalism Ethics at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of British Columbia. Prof. Ward remains an adjunct professor at the UBC School of Journalism and continues to direct the GE3LS research project.
He is the award-winning author of The Invention of Journalism Ethics: The Path to Objectivity and Beyond., published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. The book won the 2005-2006 Harold Adams Innis Prize from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences for the best English-language scholarly book in the social sciences. He is co-editor of Media Ethics Beyond Borders: A Global Perspective which was published by Heinemann Publications of South Africa in June 2008.

Mary LynnMary Lynn Young, Director, UBC School of Journalism
Mary Lynn Young, PhD, is the director of the UBC Graduate School of Journalism.  She is an associate professor and an award-winning academic and university educator. She joined the faculty of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia in January 2000.
Dr. Young is a recognized authority on gender and the media, newsroom sociology, media credibility, representations of crime (including a new project on the media coverage of marijuana in Canada), media economics and content analysis. She has worked as an editor, national business columnist and senior crime reporter at major daily newspapers in Canada and the United States.
She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto in 2005 with her doctoral dissertation, Crime Content and Media Economics: Gendered Practices and Sensational Stories, 1950-2000. Prior to returning to graduate school, Dr. Young was a reporter and editor for more than a decade at a variety of daily newspapers including The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, The Hamilton Spectator and The Houston Post. Most recently she was a national business columnist at The Globe and Mail from 2003 to 2006.
In January 2007, Dr. Young launched the in partnership with other feminist academics. The website provides a feminist perspective in media depictions of missing and murdered women. As part of her work in this field, Dr. Young is a member of the Board of Directors at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Vancouver.

Nora YoungNora Young, Host and Creator of Spark on CBC Radio and
Nora Young pursues her fascination with technology, culture, and armchair sociology, in radio, in print, on television, and online.  She is the host and the creator of Spark, a technology show that airs nationally on CBC Radio, and lives online at  She is also a technology columnist with CBC Radio. 
As a journalist and speaker, Nora is interested in how new technology shapes the way we relate to each other, and to the world around us.  In addition to her professional work, she’s an avid hobby podcaster and a lazy blogger on issues about technology.  When away from the computer, Nora loves teaching yoga, cycling and being in nature.  She lives in Toronto.




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