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Daily Media Report recap: July 18 to August 1


A major restructuring at a large Canadian engineering firm. Questions about smart cities. Barriers to women’s participation in STEM. These were the most-read stories from the Daily Media Report in late July.

SNC-Lavalin restructuring: Canadian engineering and construction giant SNC-Lavalin announced in late July that it would stop bidding on new fixed-price turnkey projects and that it would reorganize its resources and infrastructure sections in order to focus on high-performing and growth areas of the business and to set the company on a healthy financial foundation once again.

Smart cities: In an op-ed in the New York Times, University of Toronto engineering professor Shoshanna Saxe raised questions about the benefits of smart cities. While cities race to declare themselves ‘smart,’ she writes, questions remain about the durability of technological solutions, the costs associated with managing and maintaining smart cities, and whether ‘smart’ solutions are the key to solving urban problems.

Barriers to women in STEM: Two studies dive deeper into barriers to women’s participation in STEM subjects. One study, published in the journal BioScience, suggests that larger class sizes in STEM classrooms has the greatest negative effect on female class participation. In another survey, described in an opinion piece in The Scientist, investigated the origins of a related topic: women’s inhibition to communicate in public academic forums.