“Drinking and Driving CounterAttack”: does science support tougher laws?

Drinking and driving CounterAttack is the current road safety campaign by the Province of British Columbia, ICBC and police departments around the region. While some people disagree with its core policy (harsher penalties start at alcohol levels of .05), I contend that science supports it.

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Drinking and driving CounterAttack is the current road safety campaign by the Province of British Columbia, ICBC and police departments around the region. While some people disagree with its core policy (harsher penalties start at alcohol levels of .05), I contend that science supports it. Continue reading ““Drinking and Driving CounterAttack”: does science support tougher laws?”

Vancouver cyclists: how to change unsafe behaviours

According to the Vancouver Sun1, many cyclists don’t know the laws, believe they don’t apply to them, or simply flout them intentionally. Here, I present two considerations on how to educate cyclists in Vancouver.

While the municipality plans to spend $25 million dollars in bicycle infrastructure1, other Vancouverites are concerned with the behaviour of cyclists and how to change their unsafe habits2. According to the Vancouver Sun1, many cyclists don’t know the laws, believe they don’t apply to them, or simply flout them intentionally. For instance, Statistics Canada reports that only 60% of B.C. cyclists wear helmets3. Continue reading “Vancouver cyclists: how to change unsafe behaviours”

Gulf of Mexico disaster may distort perception about risks of oil tanker traffic

The port cities committee of Metro Vancouver will evaluate the risks of the increasing oil tanker traffic in the region1. This is great news! I praise the city council’s foresight and interest in the issue. At the same time, I fear that the assessment might be distorted by the current environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Lions Gate Bridge
Photo by Tak Ishikawa

The port cities committee of Metro Vancouver will evaluate the risks of the increasing oil tanker traffic in the region1. This is great news! And I praise the city council’s foresight and interest in the issue. At the same time, I fear that the assessment might be distorted by the current environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Continue reading “Gulf of Mexico disaster may distort perception about risks of oil tanker traffic”

Playboy model is defeating scientists in PR battle over vaccines

Although the scientific paper that spawned fear of vaccines was officially retracted in February 2010 1, many parents are still reluctant to immunize their children. Yes, the anti-vaccination movement is still alive and kicking 2, and the paper is far from being retracted in the arena of public opinion 3. Why is this happening?

Although the scientific paper that spawned fear of vaccines was officially retracted in February 20101, many parents are still reluctant to immunize their children. Yes, the anti-vaccination movement is still alive and kicking 2, and the paper is far from being retracted in the arena of public opinion 3. Why is this happening?

Continue reading “Playboy model is defeating scientists in PR battle over vaccines”

The psychology of the anti-vaccination movement

In the last decade, parents in the whole world have come to believe that the risks associated to the use of vaccines are greater than the dangers of the diseases themselves. In the first minute of this clip, Professor Richard Dawkins and Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick explain why many parents were so easily dissuaded from vaccinating their kids.

In the last decade, parents in the whole world have come to believe that the risks associated to the use of vaccines are greater than the dangers of the diseases themselves. In the first minute of this clip, Professor Richard Dawkins and Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick explain why many parents were so easily dissuaded from vaccinating their kids. Their account is consistent with psychological research on decision making:

Continue reading “The psychology of the anti-vaccination movement”

Ideas on risk communication

A review of the literature on road safety, injury prevention and medical decision-making provides two important principles in risk communication: (1) fear is counterproductive, and (2) format and graphic design affect people’s choices.

A review of the literature on road safety, injury prevention and medical decision-making provides two important ideas for risk communication: (1) fear is counterproductive, and (2) format and graphic design affect people’s choices.

Continue reading “Ideas on risk communication”

Conflict is good for business!

Companies cannot provide perfect customer experiences. However, they can take advantage of bad situations, by facing the conflict, listening to the customer, understanding his or her needs, and making decisions accordingly. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how many conflicts you have (or don’t have) with the customer. What really matters is how your company deals with them.

This post is a response to “Experience Story: I can’t believe they listened to my feedback! …(eventually)” by Syed Hassan.

Many companies try their best to prevent conflicts with their clients and correct the problems that cause them. However, these efforts prove to be futile in the long run, because it is next to impossible to maintain a perfect record of flawless interactions with customers. The good news is that conflicts with customers—dissatisfaction, unmet expectations, mistreatment and service mistakes—can actually be good for business!

Continue reading “Conflict is good for business!”