University Briefs

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UBC researchers conduct polls on driverless cars


PhD candidate AJung Moon is hoping to gauge public opinion on driverless vehicles through online polls as part of the Collaborative Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CARIS) lab at UBC.

The concept of driverless cars presents technical as well as moral dilemmas. One such question, presented in the latest polls and developed by philosophy PhD student Jason Millar, asks whether, in a scenario where an autonomous car is entering a tunnel and is about to hit a child, should it keep going, killing the child, or swerve into the wall, killing the passenger?

Since April, the group has been publishing a new poll every two weeks, allowing participants a chance to voice their opinions about the legislation and ethics of driverless cars.


With files from The Ubyssey


Acadia leads the charge against binge drinking


Acadia University has taken a leadership role in a collaborative effort made by institutions across the country to curb student drinking.

Since the alcohol-related death of first-year student Jonathan Andrew in 2011, the university has been on a mission to create awareness about binge drinking as a public health crisis. At a recent conference of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services, keynote speaker and AU president Ray Ivany said that as a result of Andrew’s death, “Our campus changed forever.”

Ivany’s address called more to action, advocating systemic change as a solution to reduce the harms of high risk drinking. There are 30 post-secondary institutions involved in the collaborative so far.


With files from University Affairs
UofT student charged with high treason in Tajikistan


University of Toronto political science doctoral candidate Alexander Sodiqov is currently being held under arrest in his home country of Tajikistan for charges of high treason against the state.

Sodiqov was arrested on June 16 near the southern border shared with Afghanistan while he was interviewing Tajikistani activist Alim Sherzamonov for his project, “Rising Powers and Conflict Management in Central Asia,” which his supervisor, Edward Schatz, said aims to reduce violence in Tajikistan.

Schatz told The Varsity, “We hope that the professional, fair-minded individuals working in government structures in Tajikistan will recognize Alexander Sodiqov for who he is, which is a talented, young scholar.”


With files from The Varsity