Richard McLaren, a professor in Western’s Faculty of Law, released a new report for the World Anti-Doping Agency’s investigation into Russian state-sponsored doping at the London and Sochi Olympic Games. The latest findings rocked the sporting world as it detailed evidence of an “institutionalized and disciplined medal-winning strategy and conspiracy.” McLaren’s report was featured prominently in media coverage here in Canada and around the world, including in-depth pieces in the Toronto Star and Christian Science Monitor.
Todd Simpson, a research scientist from Western’s Nanofabrication Facility, created a microscopic figure he dubbed the world’s smallest snowman. The figure was made from three tiny silica spheres stacked on top of each other, with arms and a nose made of platinum. Standing less than three microns tall (a human hair is 50 microns in diameter), the snowman can only be seen with an electron microscope. Coverage appeared across Canada and around the world in publications like Scientific American, The Irish Examiner, Toronto Star, and The Weather Network.
Western's Kind Mail project, where alumni wrote notes of encouragement to students living in their old residence rooms during the stressful holiday exam season, was noticed by national media prior to the holiday break in December. Launched as a pilot, the goal of the Kind Mail project was to engage 200 alumni in its inaugural year. In the end, more than 1,400 alumni participated and the project was featured by The Globe and Mail and CTV National News.
A Western research team led by Claire Crooks in the Faculty of Education published a study in the Journal of Primary Prevention that found Indigenous students coached by aboriginal mentors appear to do better at school and be mentally healthier than their non-mentored peers. The study was featured in a Canadian Press article that ran in publications across the country including the Victoria Times Colonist and by Radio Canada International. Environmental Science professor Brian Branfireun provided expertise for a Toronto Star piece on the effects of mercury contamination on the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation.