When Doing Good Goes Wrong: Reimagining Effective Altruism Using Equity- and Justice-based Approaches in Global Health and Development Aid

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.– Martin Luther King Jr. (1957). The younger generations have grown up watching the extraordinary impact of scientific technologies from pocket-sized smartphones to the expedited development of the COVID-19 vaccine. Many of us have been empowered to be dreamers, idealists, and visionaries – challenging unjust systems and developing solutions to our world’s problems. The question…

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The Rainbow Road: Overcoming Obstacles Faced by LGBTQ+ Scientists

Faggot. Sissy. Gay. Behind my smile and confident disposition, these old voices still echo in my ears. Growing up as a closeted gay boy to immigrant Asian parents and having attended Catholic schools until I moved away for university at 19, I never learned about what it meant to be gay. Instead, I would have religion class everyday, a constant reminder that there was something wrong with me. I remember carrying my bible to school,…

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Which Came First, STEM or Race? Scientific Racism and Its Lasting Impacts

If there is one message that you take away from this article, I hope it is that there is no such thing as political neutrality, and to believe that science is above the chaos and unfounded biases that the rest of the world operates within is nothing short of naïve. Scientists are simply people and are part of the same society and colonialist culture that have provided a foundation for many of the systemic inequities…

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Issue 1, 2021 – Cover

Canadian human rights took a revolutionary turn after the introduction of the Bill of Rights in 1960. Although it applied only to federal statutes, provinces followed the lead and enacted human rights laws throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s. The awareness of and support for human rights were crucial for activists to gain strength and push for greater inclusion. For instance, sexual relations between men over the age of 21 was decriminalized during this period. The…

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Letter from the Editors – Volume 9, Issue 1

“WE ALL SHOULD KNOW THAT DIVERSITY MAKES FOR A RICH TAPESTRY, AND WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT ALL THE THREADS OF THE TAPESTRY ARE EQUAL IN VALUE NO MATTER WHAT THEIR COLOR.” – Maya Angelou The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted deep inequalities within our societies as we struggle to contain its spread. In Canada, 2021 has been plagued with reports on how underprivileged communities are disproportionately affected. Worldwide, rich countries have hoarded the global vaccine supply,…

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Letter from the Chair – Volume 9, Issue 1

Who are we, what makes us unique, and where do we come from? We sometimes ask ourselves these questions, and in this remarkable issue of IMMpress Magazine, answers are given to us as key demographics from our Immunology graduate community. This serves to not only better understand how our graduate student body continues to evolve and grow, but also highlights the need for further reflection for us to effectively enact the principles of equity, diversity,…

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Alumni Interview with Dr. Akiko Iwasaki

Dr. Akiko Iwasaki is currently a professor at Yale University and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her research is focused on the dynamics of innate immune responses and memory T cell functions against viruses at mucosal surfaces and leveraging this information to develop novel vaccine strategies. We had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Iwasaki to discuss her career, fighting misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as her advocacy for equity…

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A Book Review of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Henrietta Lacks died in agony on October 4th, 1951 due to the tumours that had spread throughout her body. In the end, the only thing she wanted was for her family to be taken care of, and this was a wish that did not become a reality. Although Henrietta’s physical body died, some proclaim that she has achieved immortal life as her cells still live on today through the infamous cell line, HeLa. Too often,…

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The Research Pentathlon: The History and Merit of Interdisciplinary Science

The pentathlon was a special event in the Olympic games of ancient Greece. Unlike other competitions, it featured five different events, testing an athlete’s ability to perform well in a variety of sports. Over time the popularity of the pentathlon faded and specialized events with specialized athletes became favoured in the Olympics we know today. Similarly, most scientists also specialize, working within a particular research field and often not branching outside of it. Scientific isolationism…

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