Profs get soothed with money
A group of Western professors have gotten a whole sack of money
to study the placebo effect — and now they all feel
A group of Canadian researchers, including several from Western,
received a $1.2 million grant over five years from the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research, said Leora Swartzman, associate
professor of psychology and medicine and co-leader of the study
the grant is funding.
The research group at Western includes psychology professor
Gary Rollman, Patrica Morley Forster from the department of
anesthesia and neurology professor Dwight Molin, Swartzman
The grant will be funding a study that will look into the placebo
effect and unite the efforts of 32 researchers from Ontario
and Quebec who all have separate studies, Swartzman said. “We
have a series of studies we’re interested in,” she
According to Swartzman, the researchers recently attended a
conference to decide how the money is to be spent and which
individual studies will be focused on. She pointed out the
money will be spread among most of the researchers’ projects.
The research group at Western will be studying patients’ responses
to placebo techniques and placebo effects on patients with
chronic pain, Swartzman explained, adding the advantage of
the studies is the test subjects will not know they are not
receiving fake pills, so the nature of the placebo effect can
be fully studied.
“We will continue picking each other’s collective
brains — we plan to be piloting and trying to make plans
for the studies,” Swartzman stated.
Engineers building bridges?
When you eat a yummy frozen popsicle, what do you do with the
stick? Don’t, I repeat, don’t throw that stick
away! The world’s bridges may depend on it. Besides,
the engineering students want to break high schoolers’ art & crafts
This Thursday, Western’s engineering students will hold
their annual polar stick bridge building competition, said
Dennis Rijkhoff, a third-year structural engineering student.
“We do this every year, but this is the first year we’re
including high school students,” Rijkhoff explained.
Each team is given a kit which includes one kilogram of sticks,
five metres of dental floss and wood glue. “[Contestants]
are given specifications on how big the bridge should be — they
build it and bring it to the competition, then we break it
for them,” Rijkhoff said.
He explained the competition tests each bridge to determine
how much weight it can sustain.
The competition will be held this Thursday in Rm. 2202 of the
Engineering Building from 1 to 3 p.m. and Thu., Nov. 13 in
Rm. 2200 from 1 to 2 p.m..
Awareness delivered to you in movie form
Do you enjoy free movies? Do you enjoy romantic comedies? Do
you enjoy efforts for democracy in war-torn countries? How
about watching a free movie about democracy in Kosovo? Did
we mention it’s free?
The World University Service of Canada club at Western will
be holding a movie night this Tuesday, said Amy Bi, first-year
representative on the WUSC executive. The movie that will be
shown is called Kosovo: A Fragile Peace.
The film is a documentary following two American people trying
to work in local areas to encourage democracy and get people
in Kosovo to vote, Bi explained. If you want to get a peek
at one aspect of reconstruction in Kosovo, this is the film
for you, she added.
“[WUSC is showing the film] for general awareness sake,” Bi
added, saying WUSC is a club that focuses on cultural and political
“Our club slogan is ‘knowledge for an equitable world,’” Bi
The movie night is open to anyone, Bi said. It will take place
in Rm. 2028 of the Social Science Centre, starting at 5 p.m.
Best of all, the event is completely free.