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    Algoma University Interdisciplinary Colloquium Series: Michelle Atkin "Examining the Limits of Free Expression through Canadian Case Law: Reflections on the Canadian Library Association’s Code of Ethics and its supporting Statement on Intellectual Freedom"

    Every month or so one of my university colleagues presents a talk to the public.  These are pretty casual affairs, with a bar, indeed people get up and get drinks during the talks.  OK, maybe that is just me, but there is a cash bar, really!  I contacted Ken Hernden, who runs the series (along with Warren Johnston) and asked if we should not start recording and posting these.  Ken, of course thought this was a great idea. So, here is the first in what will become an intermittent series.  By the way, you Tangential Convergence listeniners will recognize Ken and Robin introducing their librarian colleague.  Oh yeah, and everything below this was stolen used with permission from an email Ken sent about the talk...  (Oh yeah, and the music is called "Beer Rights" by Battery Life).


    Various library associations around the world have developed codes of ethics to help guide librarians in their conduct as information professionals.  The structures of these codes and their enforceability have been the subject of much debate, particularly in the Canadian context.  This paper will examine the Canadian Library Association’s Code of Ethics and its Statement on Intellectual Freedom as applied to the practice of librarianship and its efforts to protect and promote intellectual freedom in Canada.  It will begin with a discussion of the ‘right’ to intellectual freedom under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  It will then look at the legal limitations to that right as demonstrated by Canadian case law.  Specific attention will be paid to challenges to the legal limits of intellectual freedom in the areas of pornography, obscenity, defamation, hate speech and the application of public morals on book selection for schools.  Taking recent case law into account, the paper will then reflect back on the CLA’s Code of Ethics and its Statement on Intellectual Freedom. It will discuss the legal limits of intellectual freedom and the potential impact that those limits have upon professional codes of ethics and statements of values.  Finally the paper will provide suggestions for potential amendments to these important CLA documents so as to better reflect the constitutional guarantees afforded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

    About the Author

    Michelle Louise Atkin received her BA in Political Science from Carleton University in 1999, MLIS from McGill University in 2003, and her PhD in Information Studies from McGill in 2011.  Dr. Atkin's research work concerns information ethics, law and policy.  Her first book, Balancing Liberty & Security:  An Ethical Study of U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (2001-2009), is due out in early 2012.  Dr. Atkin is currently working on a second book on intellectual freedom and will be presenting her paper, "Examining the Limits of Free Expression through Canadian Case Law:  Reflections on the Canadian Library Association’s Code of Ethics and its supporting Statement on Intellectual Freedom" at the national conference of the Association for Information Science Education in Dallas Jan. 19, 2012.

    Dr. Atkin is an award winning librarian and teacher, having received a Professional Achievement Award from Carleton University in 2007 and a Capital Educator's Award from the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation in recognition of her accomplishments as a Law Professor in 2009 for her undergraduate "Legal Research Methods" and "Law and the Information Society" courses.  Dr. Atkin was the Law Reference Librarian at the Carleton University Library for 8 years (2003-2011) before joining Algoma University as an Associate Librarian and part-time professor (Department of Law & Politics). 

    You can directly download the talk here if you would like.


    Neuropharmacology and Statistics course materials now available here

    You can see at the top of the page that the materials for PSYC/BIOL 3506 (Neuropharmacology) and PSYC 3256 (Design and Analysis 1) are available.  This includes the notes and of course the outlines.  Enjoy....  (If you are not in my classes this will be of little interest to you....)


    Graduate School and How to Increase Your Chances of Getting In

    My old friend, Dave Mumby of Concordia University, visited Algoma a couple of weeks back and gave a talk about getting in to grad school.  Dave is well suited for this, as he has written a book about the subject, which is entering its second edition.  You may recognize Dave from such blog posts as this one about peer review here on my blog.   

    I have recomended Dave's book, Graduate School, Winning Strategies For Getting In to a number of students over the years becuase it is simply the best resource out there dealing with the application (and hopefully acceptance) process.

    Music “First Semester Freedom Fighter” by Hell or Highwater

    Listen Now

     (The audio was originally posted at my psych class podcast blog).


    Broca's Area Episode 115 - Crocheting While Playing Bingo in TIbet

    A few years ago, 2005 to be exact, Isabelle and I had a podcast called Broca's Area.  We went through a couple of format changes etc but we had fun.  We packed it in back in 2009.  We resurrected the show for the first Canadian National Day of Podcasting (Dec 1, 2010).  Well, it is December 1, 2011, so we are back.  Now, I would love to get back into doing this show, but that is another matter.

    We talked about the economy, war and peace, and the idea that Isabelle will either end up becoming an old woman who plays bingo or a wonk in Tibet....

     We hope you enjoy the episode (which you can download directly here).  Leave a comment!


    Spit and Twitches: The Animal Cognition Podcast - Episode 2, The Hippocampus and Recognition Memory with Dave Mumby

    I have known Dave Mumby for about 22 years now.  We first met at some conference or another when we were both graduate students.  We are now, however, much older....  Over the years we have kept an eye on each others' research and have even threatened to work together some day.  Dave's work has focussed on a number of areas, but he has arguably received the most attention for his work on the role od the hippocampus and other limbic regions in recognition memory.  We of course talked research, and we also had the questions that he did not expect, including the obligitory Ron Wiesman athletic question....  Thanks a lot for sitting down with me Dave.


     Download episode 2.

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