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Berge, Carol

  • Person
  • 1928-2006

Carol Berge (1928-2006), a native of New York City, studied writing, editing and magazine production at New York University and the New School for Social Research. Her early work was featured in the anthology, Four Young Lady Poets, ed. Leroi Jones (1962), and she wrote numerous books of poetry and prose, including Poems Made of Skin (1968), An American Romance (1969), From a Soft Angle: Poems About Women (1972) and Acts of Love: An American Novel (1973). She began writing poetry in college in the late 1940's and worked in the 1950's for several New York publishers and advertising companies. In 1959, Berge traveled to Europe and began writing full-time. In the early 1960's, she became involved with the group of avant-garde New York poets who presented readings at Le Deux Magots, Le Metro Cafe, and St. Marks Church. She worked closely with the poet Paul Blackburn, among others, coordinating readings and workshops in New York City. She also attended the now famous 1963 Vancouver poetry conference at the University of British Columbia, and wrote The Vancouver Report (1964), a comprehensive response to and report of that event. In 1970 Berge founded Center magazine and was its sole editor during its ten year run. In addition to her career as an author and editor, Berge taught literature and creative writing at a number of universities including Goddard College, the University of Southern Mississippi, where she edited the Mississippi Review, the University of New Mexico, and Wright State University.

Berggold, Craig

  • Person

Craig Berggold is a former farm worker organiser and an award-winning filmmaker (Educate Your Attitude and Pocket Desert). He also co-founded the Vancouver MayWorks Festival of Working People and the Arts. Berggold is a teaching fellow at Queen’s University and the author of an upcoming photography book about the Canadian Farmworkers Union.

Bett, Stephen C.

  • Person
  • 1948-

Stephen Bett is the author of seventeen books of poetry. His work has also appeared in well over 100 literary journals in Canada, the U.S., England, Australia, New Zealand, and Finland, as well as in three anthologies, and on radio. He taught in the English Department of Langara College for twenty-two years, after a negative experience in grad school documented at BC Bookworld.

Beyerstein, Barry

  • Person
  • 19 May 1947 - 25 June 2007

Barry Beyerstein was a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Simon Fraser University. His research focused on brain-behaviour relationships, with a focus on the topics of psychopharmacology, sensory psychophysiology, and critical assessments of claims of the paranormal and pseudoscience. He was a renowned skeptic of pseudoscience and the paranormal, heading the B.C. Skeptics Society. Beyerstein taught at SFU from 1973-2007. He passed away on June 25, 2007 at age 60.

Beyerstein was born on May 19, 1947 in Edmonton, Alberta to Christine and Hilliard Beyerstein. Barry began his university education as a charter student at Simon Fraser University, completing his B.A. in 1968. He received a Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in 1973, and subsequently moved back to Vancouver to join SFU's Department of Psychology as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1986 and Full Professor in 2004. Beyerstein continued to teach at SFU until he passed away due to a heart failure in 2007. He is survived by his wife Susan Beyerstein, and their two children, Lindsay and Loren.

Beyerstein published numerous articles and contributed to several important books in his field:

• The Write Stuff: Scientific Evaluations of Graphology (1992)
• The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal (1996)
• Mind Myths: Exploring Everyday Mysteries of the Mind and Brain (1999)
• Science Meets Alternative Medicine: What the Evidence Says About Unconventional Treatments (2000)
• Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain: Separating fact from fiction (2006)
• 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior (2009)

Beyerstein was the recipient of numerous awards and honours. He received significant research grants from the Steel Research Fund throughout the 1980s, and received the President's Award for Service to the University from SFU in 2003.

In addition to his scholarly output, Beyerstein was regularly sought out by the media for his understanding of human brain behavior. He presented on the BBC Radio's "All in the Mind" program; he appeared regularly on the CBC National Radio program "Quirks and Quarks"; and he spoke as a guest on the Jim Bohannon Show.

Outside the academy, Beyerstein served at various times on the boards of a number of organizations: the Drug Policy Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.

In a late essay, Beyerstein reminds his readers that, "false hope easily supplants common sense," and that, "in this vulnerable state, the need for hard-nosed appraisal is all the more necessary, but so often we see instead an eagerness to abandon any remaining vestiges of skepticism." Such calls to think critically about brain behaviour were common in Beyerstein's writing, teaching, and media appearances, showing his passion for identifying ways to see past myths, conspiracies, and claims of the paranormal and pseudoscience.

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