Science.gov

Sample records for improving public understanding

  1. Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academies Press, 2008

    2008-01-01

    Can the United States continue to lead the world in innovation? The answer may hinge in part on how well the public understands engineering, a key component of the "innovation engine." A related concern is how to encourage young people--particularly girls and under-represented minorities--to consider engineering as a career option.…

  2. Museum Monsters and Victorious Viruses: Improving Public Understanding of Emerging Biomedical Research

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Judy; Jee, Benjamin; Matuk, Camilla; McQuillan, Julia; Spiegel, Amy N.; Uttal, David

    2015-01-01

    Although microbes directly impact everyone's health, most people have limited knowledge about them. In this article, we describe a museum and media public education campaign aimed at helping diverse audiences better understand emerging knowledge about microbes and infectious disease. Funded primarily by the Science Education Partnership (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health, this campaign involved crosscutting programs designed to extend impacts throughout a broad public audience. PMID:26392634

  3. Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Physics Education, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Presents comments from the editorial board of Physics Education to the Royal Society's ad-hoc group on science and the public. Areas examined include whether schools provide students with a useful understanding of science and technology (ST), if the public has sufficient understanding of ST to make balanced judgements, and others. (JN)

  4. Your Planetarium: A Friend Indeed; or How to improve the public understanding of Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratcliffe, Martin

    1995-05-01

    Astronomical research requires public funding, and thment on public support. The greatest contact between the public and astronomy occurs through the nationUs planetariums, and the staff of these facilities are frequently asked to com'ent on recent discoveries. It is in our best interest to use and support the work of planetariums as an already existing outlet, not only to build public support for research, but as a nationUs commitment to the greater public understanding o" science. AAS President Frank Shu notes in newsletter 74, "failure to prepare the general citizenry to face an increasingly complex technological future indeed puts the nation at risk". Indeed, the issue is an important one. The efforts of the Henry Buhl Jr. Planetarium in Pittsburgh to provide up-to-date, accurate information about current astronomical research, the collaborative effort between STScI and the Buhl Planetarium to produce a new planetarium show, Through the Eyes of Hubble, and future efforts for collaborative projects to present science in an informed, yet entertaining way will be presented, and reflect similar efforts of the entire planetarium communty. Following the presented papers, a discussion session will offer the opportunity to explore new links between the planetarium ommunity and the astronomical community. The ideas will be presented to the newly constituted Astronomy Education Policy Board of the AAS as part of the national astronomy education initiative.

  5. Evaluating the effects of ideology on public understanding of climate change science: how to improve communication across ideological divides?

    PubMed

    Zia, Asim; Todd, Anne Marie

    2010-11-01

    While ideology can have a strong effect on citizen understanding of science, it is unclear how ideology interacts with other complicating factors, such as college education, which influence citizens' comprehension of information. We focus on public understanding of climate change science and test the hypotheses: [H1] as citizens' ideology shifts from liberal to conservative, concern for global warming decreases; [H2] citizens with college education and higher general science literacy tend to have higher concern for global warming; and [H3] college education does not increase global warming concern for conservative ideologues. We implemented a survey instrument in California's San Francisco Bay Area, and employed regression models to test the effects of ideology and other socio-demographic variables on citizen concern about global warming, terrorism, the economy, health care and poverty. We are able to confirm H1 and H3, but reject H2. Various strategies are discussed to improve the communication of climate change science across ideological divides. PMID:21560547

  6. Ofqual's Reliability Programme: A Case Study Exploring the Potential to Improve Public Understanding and Confidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newton, Paul E.

    2013-01-01

    In May 2008, Ofqual established a two-year programme of research to investigate the nature and extent of (un)reliability within the qualifications, examinations and assessments that it regulated. It was particularly concerned to improve understanding of, and confidence in, this technically complex and politically sensitive phenomenon. The…

  7. Improving understanding, promoting social inclusion, and fostering empowerment related to epilepsy: Epilepsy Foundation public awareness campaigns--2001 through 2013.

    PubMed

    Price, P; Kobau, R; Buelow, J; Austin, J; Lowenberg, K

    2015-03-01

    It is a significant public health concern that epilepsy, the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States, is generally poorly understood by both the public and those living with the condition. Lack of understanding may magnify the challenges faced by those with epilepsy, including limiting treatment opportunities, effective management of symptoms, and full participation in daily life activities. Insufficient awareness of epilepsy and appropriate seizure first aid among the public and professionals can result in insufficient treatment, inappropriate seizure response, physical restraint, social exclusion, or other negative consequences. To address the need for increased public education and awareness about epilepsy, the national Epilepsy Foundation, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has conducted yearly multifaceted public education and awareness campaigns designed to reach the broad population and targeted segments of the population including youth, young adults, racial/ethnic groups (i.e., African-, Hispanic-, and Asian-Americans), and people with epilepsy and their caregivers. Campaign channels have included traditional media, social media, and community opinion leaders and celebrity spokespersons. The key activities of these campaigns, conducted from 2001 to 2013, are summarized in this report. PMID:25726152

  8. Using Immersive Visualizations to Improve Decision Making and Enhancing Public Understanding of Earth Resource and Climate Issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, K. C.; Raynolds, R. G.; Dechesne, M.

    2008-12-01

    New visualization technologies, from ArcGIS to Google Earth, have allowed for the integration of complex, disparate data sets to produce visually rich and compelling three-dimensional models of sub-surface and surface resource distribution patterns. The rendering of these models allows the public to quickly understand complicated geospatial relationships that would otherwise take much longer to explain using traditional media. We have impacted the community through topical policy presentations at both state and city levels, adult education classes at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS), and public lectures at DMNS. We have constructed three-dimensional models from well data and surface observations which allow policy makers to better understand the distribution of groundwater in sandstone aquifers of the Denver Basin. Our presentations to local governments in the Denver metro area have allowed resource managers to better project future ground water depletion patterns, and to encourage development of alternative sources. DMNS adult education classes on water resources, geography, and regional geology, as well as public lectures on global issues such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and resource depletion, have utilized the visualizations developed from these research models. In addition to presenting GIS models in traditional lectures, we have also made use of the immersive display capabilities of the digital "fulldome" Gates Planetarium at DMNS. The real-time Uniview visualization application installed at Gates was designed for teaching astronomy, but it can be re-purposed for displaying our model datasets in the context of the Earth's surface. The 17-meter diameter dome of the Gates Planetarium allows an audience to have an immersive experience---similar to virtual reality CAVEs employed by the oil exploration industry---that would otherwise not be available to the general public. Public lectures in the dome allow audiences of over 100 people to comprehend

  9. Increasing Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Isobel

    1998-01-01

    The Science of Genes workshop is a program designed to increase public understanding of science by demystifying the language used to describe it. Methods include analogies, models, simple experiments, and opportunities for discussion of controversial topics such as genetic engineering. (JOW)

  10. Public understanding of geoscientific topics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Münch, Ute; Lauterjung, Jörn

    2014-05-01

    Geoscientific topics and their consequences for the society are becoming more and more important for our daily life. Natural hazards such as flood and storm or the consequences of the climate change are urgent tasks and great challenges we have to tackle. Cascading natural hazards or environmental risks, can't be evaluated as single events by one scientific discipline, they rather need the expertise of different experts. The same applies for slowly progressive processes such as the climate change and its different aftereffects. More than ever politicians, decision makers, but also the public are asking for comprehensive background information and data to discuss activity options and to develop sustainable solutions. The improvement of public knowledge about science, their assets and drawbacks, chances and risks is getting crucial. To paint a comprehensive picture of different factors, correlations and dependencies the pooling of expertise is required. Thus eight research centres of the research field "Earth and Environment" of the Helmholtz-Association, Germany's largest scientific research organisation are currently building up a knowledge platform. Scientists of different disciplines will provide background information and explain their latest findings in an understandable way. Infographics, maps and animations will be applied to simplify and interpret complicated facts and findings. In addition to the web presence target group-specific products and activities will be organized. To meet the expectations of the different stakeholders an intensive dialog is aspired: round table discussions, exhibitions in museums and public places, tweeds are envisaged. In the beginning the partners will concentrate on the topics "consequences of the climate change", "pollutant dispersion" and "natural hazards/meteorological extreme events". The project is called Earth System Knowledge Platform (ESKP) coordinated by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and the Helmholtz

  11. Understanding the nature of health: New perspectives for medicine and public health. Improved wellbeing at lower costs

    PubMed Central

    Bircher, Johannes; Hahn, Eckhart G.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Current dilemmas of health care systems call for a new look at the nature of health. This is offered by the Meikirch model. We explore its hypothetical benefit for the future of medicine and public health. Meikirch model: It states: “Health is a dynamic state of wellbeing emergent from conducive interactions between individuals’ potentials, life’s demands, and social and environmental determinants.” “Throughout the life course health results when an individuals’ biologically given potential (BGP) and his or her personally acquired potential (PAP), interacting with social and environmental determinants, satisfactorily respond to the demands of life.” Methods: We explored the Meikirch model’s possible applications for personal and public health care. Results: The PAP of each individual is the most modifiable component of the model. It responds to constructive social interactions and to personal growth. If an individual’s PAP is nurtured to develop further, it likely will contribute much more to health than without fostering. It may also compensate for losses of the BGP. An ensuing new culture of health may markedly improve health in the society. The rising costs of health care presumably are due in part to the tragedy of the commons and to moral hazard. Health as a complex adaptive system offers new possibilities for patient care, particularly for general practitioners. Discussion: Analysis of health systems by the Meikirch model reveals that in many areas more can be done to improve people’s health and to reduce health care costs than is done today. The Meikirch model appears promising for individual and public health in low and high income countries. Emphasizing health instead of disease the Meikirch model reinforces article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations – that abandons the WHO definition - and thereby may contribute to its reinterpretation. PMID:27134730

  12. Using a Forest Health Index as an Outreach Tool for Improving Public Understanding of Ecosystem Dynamics and Research-Based Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osenga, E. C.; Cundiff, J.; Arnott, J. C.; Katzenberger, J.; Taylor, J. R.; Jack-Scott, E.

    2015-12-01

    An interactive tool called the Forest Health Index (FHI) has been developed for the Roaring Fork watershed of Colorado, with the purpose of improving public understanding of local forest management and ecosystem dynamics. The watershed contains large areas of White River National Forest, which plays a significant role in the local economy, particularly for recreation and tourism. Local interest in healthy forests is therefore strong, but public understanding of forest ecosystems is often simplified. This can pose challenges for land managers and researchers seeking a scientifically informed approach to forest restoration, management, and planning. Now in its second iteration, the FHI is a tool designed to help bridge that gap. The FHI uses a suite of indicators to create a numeric rating of forest functionality and change, based on the desired forest state in relation to four categories: Ecological Integrity, Public Health and Safety, Ecosystem Services, and Sustainable Use and Management. The rating is based on data derived from several sources including local weather stations, stream gauge data, SNOTEL sites, and National Forest Service archives. In addition to offering local outreach and education, this project offers broader insight into effective communication methods, as well as into the challenges of using quantitative analysis to rate ecosystem health. Goals of the FHI include its use in schools as a means of using local data and place-based learning to teach basic math and science concepts, improved public understanding of ecological complexity and need for ongoing forest management, and, in the future, its use as a model for outreach tools in other forested communities in the Intermountain West.

  13. Public understanding of drug therapy.

    PubMed

    Herxheimer, Andrew

    2012-06-01

    Knowing some basic principles about medicines would help patients to understand drug therapy and to help and encourage them to use it well. These principles relate to the categories and names of drugs, their different uses, how they reach the site of action (absorption, distribution, fate), how they produce their effects, both beneficial and harmful, the time courses of drug actions, how the pattern and intensity of the effects of a drug depend on dose and timing, drug interactions, how drug effects are demonstrated and investigated and sources of information and their trustworthiness. These basic principles are an essential part of health literacy and understanding them would enable individuals to comprehend better the information that they are likely to receive about medicines that they will take. Different populations need different types of education. For schoolchildren, the principles could fit into biology and domestic science teaching, starting in the later years of primary school or early in secondary school. A teaching package would also be needed for their teachers. For adults, web-based learning seems the most practical option. Web-based programmes could be supported by the NHS and professional bodies and through public libraries and local community health services. Specific groups for targeting could include young mothers and carers of chronically ill people. For retired people, one could envisage special programmes, perhaps in collaboration with the University of the Third Age. Conversations between patients and professionals would then become more effective and help shared decision making. PMID:22360596

  14. Public understanding of science is not scientific literacy

    SciTech Connect

    McGowan, A.

    1995-12-31

    The author notes that public understanding of science has, in many quarters, been taken over by the wrong notion of scientific literacy. The need for the scientific community to develop the language that speaks to the public in general is explored. Methodologies to improve communication to the general public and increase their understanding with clearly developed metaphors are examined.

  15. Public Understanding of Science: From Contents to Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millar, Robin; Wynne, Brian

    1988-01-01

    Argues that the conventional view of public understanding of science may be an unhelpful guide to improved science education practice. Suggests that the public understanding of the "processes," instead of "contents," of science may be more useful to interpret and cope with science, technology, and society issues. (Author/YP)

  16. Understanding vaccines: a public imperative.

    PubMed

    Federman, Ross S

    2014-12-01

    Though once a discovery greatly celebrated by the nation, the vaccine has come under fire in recent decades from skeptics, critics, and a movement set into motion by fraudulent scientists and fueled by frustrated parents looking for answers to the autism conundrum. There is enough denialist resistance to vaccination to bring upon renewed fear of young children and infants becoming infected with diseases, the threats of which had been functionally eradicated from the United States. In more recent years, the surge in independent online journalism and blogging has invited many to rapidly share their opinions with millions of readers and, importantly, has appeared to open the door for opinion to be portrayed as fact. As a result, many parents are inundated with horror stories of vaccine dangers, all designed to eat away at them emotionally while the medical and scientific communities have mounted their characteristic response by sharing the facts, the data, and all of the reliable peer-reviewed and well-cited research to show that vaccines are safe and effective. It has become clear to me that facts are no match for emotion, but perhaps an understanding behind vaccine methodology will help parents overcome these fears of vaccinating. By helping those who doubt vaccines better understand what vaccines really are and how they work in such an incredibly engineered fashion, we may have a stronger weapon than we realize in battling the emotional arsenal that comes from the fear and skepticism of vaccinating. PMID:25506276

  17. Understanding Vaccines: A Public Imperative

    PubMed Central

    Federman, Ross S.

    2014-01-01

    Though once a discovery greatly celebrated by the nation, the vaccine has come under fire in recent decades from skeptics, critics, and a movement set into motion by fraudulent scientists and fueled by frustrated parents looking for answers to the autism conundrum. There is enough denialist resistance to vaccination to bring upon renewed fear of young children and infants becoming infected with diseases, the threats of which had been functionally eradicated from the United States. In more recent years, the surge in independent online journalism and blogging has invited many to rapidly share their opinions with millions of readers and, importantly, has appeared to open the door for opinion to be portrayed as fact. As a result, many parents are inundated with horror stories of vaccine dangers, all designed to eat away at them emotionally while the medical and scientific communities have mounted their characteristic response by sharing the facts, the data, and all of the reliable peer-reviewed and well-cited research to show that vaccines are safe and effective. It has become clear to me that facts are no match for emotion, but perhaps an understanding behind vaccine methodology will help parents overcome these fears of vaccinating. By helping those who doubt vaccines better understand what vaccines really are and how they work in such an incredibly engineered fashion, we may have a stronger weapon than we realize in battling the emotional arsenal that comes from the fear and skepticism of vaccinating. PMID:25506276

  18. Advocating Science: Literacy and Public Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shortland, Michael

    1988-01-01

    Reviews several arguments deployed in favor of promoting the public understanding of science. Examines assumptions embodied in these arguments. An introductory discussion of scientific literacy is given and suggested as being a more appropriate goal because it provides more criteria for assessing the nature and understanding of science. (RT)

  19. Improving understanding, promoting social inclusion, and fostering empowerment related to epilepsy: Epilepsy Foundation public awareness campaigns — 2001 through 2013☆

    PubMed Central

    Price, P.; Kobau, R.; Buelow, J.; Austin, J.; Lowenberg, K.

    2015-01-01

    It is a significant public health concern that epilepsy, the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States, is generally poorly understood by both the public and those living with the condition. Lack of understanding may magnify the challenges faced by those with epilepsy, including limiting treatment opportunities, effective management of symptoms, and full participation in daily life activities. Insufficient awareness of epilepsy and appropriate seizure first aid among the public and professionals can result in insufficient treatment, inappropriate seizure response, physical restraint, social exclusion, or other negative consequences. To address the need for increased public education and awareness about epilepsy, the national Epilepsy Foundation, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has conducted yearly multifaceted public education and awareness campaigns designed to reach the broad population and targeted segments of the population including youth, young adults, racial/ethnic groups (i.e., African-, Hispanic-, and Asian-Americans), and people with epilepsy and their caregivers. Campaign channels have included traditional media, social media, and community opinion leaders and celebrity spokespersons. The key activities of these campaigns, conducted from 2001 to 2013, are summarized in this report. PMID:25726152

  20. Understanding Fire Through Improved Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Aztec(TradeMark) is the commercial name for Southwest Sciences laser. The laser has coarse tuning ranges of 10 nanometers (nm) to 30 nm at wavelengths ranging from 630 nm to 2,300 nm, making it the only commercially available external cavity diode laser with wavelengths beyond 1,650 nm. The laser's high-speed tuning in both coarse and fine wavelength regimes allows for increased trace gas detection. With the automated coarse tuning option, the Aztec sweeps through its wavelength range in less than 1 millisecond. While some diode lasers can only detect one type, or species, of a trace gas, the Aztec's broad wavelength tuning provides access to multiple trace gas species. The Aztec has a wide range of applications for both NASA and commercial users, from protecting astronauts in space to improving combustion processes on Earth. It may serve as a new tool for planetary exploration, as it can detect a wide range of multiple gas species in planetary atmospheres. The laser could optically detect gaseous indicators of incipient fires on the International Space Station and Space Shuttle, as well as detect low concentrations of potentially toxic gases in spacecraft crew habitats. The laser could also provide more accurate fire detection in aircraft cargo compartments. Since the Aztec can detect several gases that only evolve during an actual fire, its implementation could reduce the large number of commercial aircraft landings that currently occur due to false alarms. Other applications include environmental and industrial process monitoring.

  1. A new model for understanding the public

    SciTech Connect

    Bisconti, A.S.

    1995-05-01

    Progress in siting waste facilities has been impeded by a too-limited understanding of what the public wants. National and statewide surveys sponsored by the U.S. Council for Energy Awareness and others on both high-level and low-level radioactive waste reveal a new, more comprehensive model for assessing public opinion. These surveys by independent research firms -- Market Strategies, Gordon S. Black, Tarrance, and Bruskin/Goldring -- have a margin of error of +3% for national polls and +4% for statewide polls. The old model assumes that because people fear radioactive waste, support for building waste facilities is politically risky. The new model shows that fear of radioactive waste is an important dynamic, but reaches a different conclusion about the public`s sense of generational responsibility. Because people see waste as dangerous, most support the principle of transporting the waste to a permanent disposal facility instead of keeping the waste stored at many different sites. Most want to keep the uses of radioactive materials that produce waste -- including nuclear energy. They strongly believe that disposing of radioactive waste now instead of leaving it for future generations is the environmentally responsible thing to do.

  2. Public Understanding of Science through Evaluations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dusenbery, P.; Koke, J.

    Evaluation is an integral part of exhibition development. It is usually a 3-phase process: front end, formative and summative. This report will compare science misconception studies of students with a number of front-end museum studies in order to elucidate the similarities and differences between student and general public understanding of science. The Space Science Institute (SSI) has recently conducted a major front-end evaluation of its Alien Earths exhibition. Alien Earths has four interrelated exhibit areas: Our Place in Space, Star Birth, PlanetQuest, and Search for Life. Exhibit visitors will explore the awesome events surrounding the birth of stars and planets; they will join scientists in the hunt for planets outside our solar system including those that may be in ``habitable zones'' around other stars; and finally they will be able to learn about the wide range of conditions for life on Earth and how scientists are looking for signs of life beyond Earth. The front-end evaluation elicited visitors' beliefs about the origins of life, what life is dominant on Earth, and the role indirect evidence plays in science. The front-end evaluation also examined visitors' understanding of the tools used in origins research from grand telescopes to microscopes, their ability to decipher and interpret images of star forming regions, and their fluency with the specific terminology likely to be used in the Alien Earths scripts. Front-end evaluation worked to support concept design and development by developing the visitors' entrance narrative -- their pre-existing knowledge, commonly held misconceptions, and their attitudes and interests towards the topic. This served to identify potential points of access and barriers to efficient communication.

  3. Understanding the Change Styles of Teachers to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bigby, Arlene May Green

    2009-01-01

    The topic of this dissertation is the understanding of teacher change styles to improve student achievement. Teachers from public schools in a state located in the northern plains were surveyed regarding their Change Styles (preferred approaches to change) and flexibility scores. The results were statistically analyzed to determine if there were…

  4. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

    2010-10-24

    We describe the difficulties advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with quantum measurement. To reduce these difficulties, we have developed research-based learning tools such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) and peer instruction tools. A preliminary evaluation shows that these learning tools are effective in improving students' understanding of concepts related to quantum measurement.

  5. Improving Student Understanding of Spatial Ecology Statistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopkins, Robert, II; Alberts, Halley

    2015-01-01

    This activity is designed as a primer to teaching population dispersion analysis. The aim is to help improve students' spatial thinking and their understanding of how spatial statistic equations work. Students use simulated data to develop their own statistic and apply that equation to experimental behavioral data for Gambusia affinis (western…

  6. School Science and Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fensham, Peter J.; Harlen, Wynne

    1999-01-01

    Traces how the idea of measuring the connection between school science and public awareness of science has emerged. Describes the Program for International Student Achievement (PISA) project's indicators of educational progress in science. Contains 28 references. (Author/WRM)

  7. Understanding the Cost of Public Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McPherson, Peter; Shulenburger, David

    2010-01-01

    This article explains the cost of education in public research universities. "Price," meaning "tuition," is often incorrectly substituted for "cost," meaning expenditures by the university that make the education possible. University cost is disaggregated to enable readers to distinguish between the costs associated with providing education to…

  8. Designing a Curriculum for Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millar, Robin

    1996-01-01

    Addresses the issue of what the curriculum might look like if the promotion of public understanding of science was taken as its primary aim. Discusses understanding science content, methods of science, and science as a social enterprise. (JRH)

  9. Publics and vaccinomics: beyond public understanding of science.

    PubMed

    Einsiedel, Edna F

    2011-09-01

    Vaccines have been among the most effective tools for addressing global public health challenges. With the advent of genomics, novel approaches for vaccine discovery are opening up new opportunities for vaccine development and applications, particularly with the expectation of personalized vaccines and the possibility of addressing a broader range of infectious diseases. In this context, it is useful to reflect on the social contexts of vaccine development as these have been influenced by social, ethical, political challenges. This article discusses the historical context of vaccine controversies and factors that help explain public acceptance and resistance, illustrating that these challenges go well beyond simple public misunderstandings. The broader vaccine challenges evident along the innovation trajectory, from development to commercialization and implementation include problems in research and development, organizational issues, and legal and regulatory challenges that may collectively contribute to public resistance or confidence. The recent history of genomics provides further lessons that the developing field of vaccinomics can learn from. PMID:21732820

  10. Toward Wider Public Understanding of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arons, Arnold

    1973-01-01

    Describes college science teaching as overemphasizing jargon and end results and ignoring knowledge of methods, processes, successes, and limitations of science. Stresses students' understanding of science by self-paced synthesis of experience and historical, philosophical, and sociological presentation of science courses. (CC)

  11. Defining quality improvement in public health.

    PubMed

    Riley, William J; Moran, John W; Corso, Liza C; Beitsch, Leslie M; Bialek, Ronald; Cofsky, Abbey

    2010-01-01

    Many industries commonly use quality improvement (QI) techniques to improve service delivery and process performance. Yet, there has been scarce application of these proven methods to public health settings and the public health field has not developed a set of shared principles or a common definition for quality improvement. This article discusses a definition of quality improvement in public health and describes a continuum of quality improvement applications for public health departments. Quality improvement is a distinct management process and set of tools and techniques that are coordinated to ensure that departments consistently meet the health needs of their communities. PMID:20009636

  12. Public understanding of local lead contamination.

    PubMed

    McNew-Birren, Jill

    2014-11-01

    Residents of Herculaneum, Missouri have been influential in shaping the management of contamination challenges resulting from the community's proximity to the last primary lead processing plant in the United States. This paper provides a nuanced examination of two perspectives of resident activist groups involved in lead-related controversy in Herculaneum. Ethnographic data collection and storyline analysis were used to trace the evolution in local views from resembling an industrialist-environmentalist dichotomy to more compromising positions associated with ecological modernization. Implications for characterizing public environmental perspectives in the US as beginning to entertain certain aspects of the ecological modernist paradigm are discussed. PMID:24068182

  13. Improving Student Conceptual Understanding of Forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, Frank; Townsend, Greg

    1997-05-01

    A widely accepted measure of student understanding of Newton's Laws is the Hestenes Force Concept Inventory. In the past several years we have made several modifications in both lecture methods, labs and requirements on homework in an attempt to get a larger fraction of the students to assimilate a Newtonian model of the universe. Although FCI scores of 70% are achieved in most classes now, for those questions involving the second law, scores are closer to the 50% range, a substantial improvement over traditional instruction for these large lecture groups but still quite disappointing. A description of recent modifications in the lecture and homework will be presented along with plans for future changes.

  14. Comprehension, Apprehension, Prehension: Heterogenity and the Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Michael, Mike

    2002-01-01

    Examines the main approaches to public understanding of science (PUS) in light of recent developments in social and cultural theory. While traditional and critical perspectives on PUS differ in terms of their models of the public, science, and understanding, they share a number of commonalities which include humanism, incorporeality, and discrete…

  15. The Public Understanding of Science--A Rhetorical Invention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Locke, Simon

    2002-01-01

    Contributes to the development of a rhetorical approach to the public understanding of science or science literacy. Proposes a resolution that builds on the view that rhetoric is socially constituted and leads to the conception of public understanding as witchcraft. (Contains 69 references.) (DDR)

  16. Public Understanding of Chemistry, ACS National Meeting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gettys, Nancy S.

    2000-06-01

    Three public events for area school-aged children were held on Saturday, March 25, 2000, prior to the opening of the 219th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. All took place at the Moscone Convention Center in downtown San Francisco. The photographs tell the story: the programs were successful and a good time was had by all. Readers may be encouraged to try these ideas in their own area. If so, the local organizers of Carver Kidvention have additional information at www.scvacs.org/Carver/index.html or contact Howard Peters (Santa Clara Valley Section, ACS), peters4pa@aol.com. Additional photos of the Kidvention event may also be seen as supplemental material.

  17. Improving students' understanding of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Guangtian

    2011-12-01

    Learning physics is challenging at all levels. Students' difficulties in the introductory level physics courses have been widely studied and many instructional strategies have been developed to help students learn introductory physics. However, research shows that there is a large diversity in students' preparation and skills in the upper-level physics courses and it is necessary to provide scaffolding support to help students learn advanced physics. This thesis explores issues related to students' common difficulties in learning upper-level undergraduate quantum mechanics and how these difficulties can be reduced by research-based learning tutorials and peer instruction tools. We investigated students' difficulties in learning quantum mechanics by administering written tests and surveys to many classes and conducting individual interviews with a subset of students. Based on these investigations, we developed Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials (QuILTs) and peer instruction tools to help students build a hierarchical knowledge structure of quantum mechanics through a guided approach. Preliminary assessments indicate that students' understanding of quantum mechanics is improved after using the research-based learning tools in the junior-senior level quantum mechanics courses. We also designed a standardized conceptual survey that can help instructors better probe students' understanding of quantum mechanics concepts in one spatial dimension. The validity and reliability of this quantum mechanics survey is discussed.

  18. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies--1990.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farm Foundation, Chicago, IL.

    This collection of papers aims to improve the policy education efforts of extension workers responsible for public affairs programs. The first section, "An Evolving Public Policy Education" examines the history of public education; address current issues such as leadership models, ethics in policy formation and policy education; and forecasts…

  19. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies--1992.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halbrook, Steve A., Ed.; Grace, Teddee E., Ed.

    This publication reports the major discussions at a conference that was held to improve the policy education efforts of extension workers responsible for public affairs programs. It begins with abstracts of the 22 presentations. Four papers deal with public policy education in the 1990s: "To Inform Their Discretion: Policy Education and Democratic…

  20. Understanding Evaluation Training in Schools and Programs of Public Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fierro, Leslie A.; Christie, Christina A.

    2011-01-01

    This study provides an understanding of how the coursework required for attaining a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree in epidemiology or health education from accredited schools or programs of public health prepares students to evaluate programs or interventions. Study data were generated using a content analysis of required coursework…

  1. Public Understanding of Climate Change in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Elke U.; Stern, Paul C.

    2011-01-01

    This article considers scientific and public understandings of climate change and addresses the following question: Why is it that while scientific evidence has accumulated to document global climate change and scientific opinion has solidified about its existence and causes, U.S. public opinion has not and has instead become more polarized? Our…

  2. The Public Understanding of Science Effort: A Critique.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trachtman, Leon E.

    1981-01-01

    Questions whether a variety of institutions and organizations should adopt as specific policies the goal of interpreting science and technology to the general public. Suggests that there are occasions in which an increase in public understanding of science may fail to be socially constructive and actually damaging. (CS)

  3. School Science, Citizenship and the Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, E. W.

    1999-01-01

    Quantitative and qualitative studies of public understanding of science conducted in many countries provide important insights into the extent to which lay citizens understand important scientific concepts, and the ways in which they seek and use scientific knowledge. Identifies some dimensions of "citizen science" and examines their implications…

  4. Can citizen science enhance public understanding of science?

    PubMed

    Bonney, Rick; Phillips, Tina B; Ballard, Heidi L; Enck, Jody W

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 20 years, thousands of citizen science projects engaging millions of participants in collecting and/or processing data have sprung up around the world. Here we review documented outcomes from four categories of citizen science projects which are defined by the nature of the activities in which their participants engage - Data Collection, Data Processing, Curriculum-based, and Community Science. We find strong evidence that scientific outcomes of citizen science are well documented, particularly for Data Collection and Data Processing projects. We find limited but growing evidence that citizen science projects achieve participant gains in knowledge about science knowledge and process, increase public awareness of the diversity of scientific research, and provide deeper meaning to participants' hobbies. We also find some evidence that citizen science can contribute positively to social well-being by influencing the questions that are being addressed and by giving people a voice in local environmental decision making. While not all citizen science projects are intended to achieve a greater degree of public understanding of science, social change, or improved science -society relationships, those projects that do require effort and resources in four main categories: (1) project design, (2) outcomes measurement, (3) engagement of new audiences, and (4) new directions for research. PMID:26445860

  5. Toward a manifesto for the 'public understanding of big data'.

    PubMed

    Michael, Mike; Lupton, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we sketch a 'manifesto' for the 'public understanding of big data'. On the one hand, this entails such public understanding of science and public engagement with science and technology-tinged questions as follows: How, when and where are people exposed to, or do they engage with, big data? Who are regarded as big data's trustworthy sources, or credible commentators and critics? What are the mechanisms by which big data systems are opened to public scrutiny? On the other hand, big data generate many challenges for public understanding of science and public engagement with science and technology: How do we address publics that are simultaneously the informant, the informed and the information of big data? What counts as understanding of, or engagement with, big data, when big data themselves are multiplying, fluid and recursive? As part of our manifesto, we propose a range of empirical, conceptual and methodological exhortations. We also provide Appendix 1 that outlines three novel methods for addressing some of the issues raised in the article. PMID:26468128

  6. Understanding News Values: Secret to Good Public Relations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oates, Rita Haugh

    1981-01-01

    Explains the news values that journalists use. Shows English teachers and administrators how they can apply this knowledge of news media to improve public relations between the school and the community. (RL)

  7. Continuous Improvement in Schools: Understanding the Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Stephen; Kumari, Roshni

    2009-01-01

    This article investigates conceptually and practically what it means for schools to engage in the practice of continuous improvement. The analysis draws upon prior research and discussion to predict core elements of the practice of continuous improvement in schools. The predictions are then applied to a case study of continuous improvement efforts…

  8. Public Understanding of Science. Summary of Grants and Activities 1976-1981.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.

    The Public Understanding of Science Program (PUOS) was formed in 1957 to help improve popular awareness and understanding of the role, activities, methods, and implications of science. The first section of this document highlights the role and purpose of the PUOS program, summarizing the need for informal science education, PUOS strategy, the…

  9. Public understanding of chemistry research in print news

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hands, Michael D., Jr.

    Despite numerous calls for improving scientific literacy, many American adults show a lack of understanding of experiments, scientific study, and scientific inquiry. News media is one important avenue for science learning, but previous research investigating health and/or environmental science news has shown that it is inconsistent in the presentation of scientific research limitations, potentially impacting reader understanding. In the first phase of this dissertation, seventeen news articles reporting on a single chemistry research article, along with associated press releases and research articles, were analyzed using move analysis to determine the structure of each type of text. It was found that the overall structure of each text genre was similar, with the main difference being that research articles start by presenting background information, while the others lead with highlighting overall research outcomes. Analysis of the steps revealed that, as seen for health and environmental science news articles, descriptions of the study limitations and methods were generally omitted in the news articles. Using these findings, a pilot study was conducted where study limitations were added to a chemistry research news article and the effect of its presence on staff members employed at a large Midwestern university (n=12) and science faculty employed at the same institution (n=6) was explored. Interviews with the participants revealed that including limitations enhanced readers' ability to identify conclusions and evaluate claims, but decreased their trust in the information. In the final part of this study, the trends seen in the previous phase were explored to determine their generalizability. Members of the public (n=232) and science faculty (n=191) read a randomly assigned news article either presenting or omitting the study limitations and research methods. Participants reading articles presenting limitations were able to evaluate the reasonableness of claims

  10. Healthy People 2010: Understanding and Improving Health.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.

    This publication presents 10-year health objectives for the nation, reflecting the scientific advances that have occurred in the past 20 years in preventive medicine, disease surveillance, vaccine and therapeutic development, and information technology. It incorporates information from a broad cross-section of scientific experts. The publication…

  11. Public health understandings of policy and power: lessons from INSITE.

    PubMed

    Fafard, Patrick

    2012-12-01

    Drug addiction is a major public health problem, one that is most acutely felt in major cities around the globe. Harm reduction and safe injection sites are an attempt to address this problem and are at the cutting edge of public health policy and practice. One of the most studied safe injection sites is INSITE located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Using INSITE as a case study, this paper argues that knowledge translation offers a limited framework for understanding the development of public health policy. This paper also argues that the experience of INSITE suggests that science and social justice, the meta-ideas that lie at the core of the public health enterprise, are an inadequate basis for a theory of public health policy making. However, on a more positive note, INSITE also shows the value of concepts drawn from the ways in which political science analyzes the policy process. PMID:22549176

  12. Understanding Public School Residency Requirements: A Guide for Advocates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Education Law Center, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Parents, guardians, caregivers and school administrators will sometimes disagree over whether a student resides in a school district and can be enrolled in a district public school. The information in this manual is designed to help parents, guardians and caregivers understand the legal concepts involved in residency disputes, and to inform…

  13. Public policy and environmental noise: modeling exposure or understanding effects.

    PubMed Central

    Staples, S L

    1997-01-01

    This paper argues that if the federal government is to successfully protect the public from the adverse effects of environmental noise, its policies will need to be informed by a scientific understanding of the psychological and social factors that determine when noise results in annoyance and when noise may affect health as an environmental stressor. The overreliance of federal agencies on mathematical modeling of average group responses to physical noise levels is discussed as oversimplifying and limiting the understanding of noise effects in crucial ways. The development of a more sophisticated information base is related to policy needs, such as the need to make accurate predictions about the annoyance of particular communities, the need to understand relationships between public participation in noise abatement efforts and annoyance, and the need to identify populations that may be susceptible to stress-related health effects. PMID:9431308

  14. Public policy and environmental noise: modeling exposure or understanding effects.

    PubMed

    Staples, S L

    1997-12-01

    This paper argues that if the federal government is to successfully protect the public from the adverse effects of environmental noise, its policies will need to be informed by a scientific understanding of the psychological and social factors that determine when noise results in annoyance and when noise may affect health as an environmental stressor. The overreliance of federal agencies on mathematical modeling of average group responses to physical noise levels is discussed as oversimplifying and limiting the understanding of noise effects in crucial ways. The development of a more sophisticated information base is related to policy needs, such as the need to make accurate predictions about the annoyance of particular communities, the need to understand relationships between public participation in noise abatement efforts and annoyance, and the need to identify populations that may be susceptible to stress-related health effects. PMID:9431308

  15. Public understanding in Great Britain of ocean acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capstick, Stuart B.; Pidgeon, Nick F.; Corner, Adam J.; Spence, Elspeth M.; Pearson, Paul N.

    2016-08-01

    Public engagement with climate change is critical for maintaining the impetus for meaningful emissions cuts. Ocean acidification (OA) is increasingly recognized by marine scientists as an important, but often overlooked, consequence of anthropogenic emissions. Although substantial evidence now exists concerning people’s understanding of climate change more generally, very little is known about public perceptions of OA. Here, for the first time, we characterize in detail people’s understanding of this topic using survey data obtained in Great Britain (n = 2,501) during 2013 and 2014. We draw on theories of risk perception and consider how personal values influence attitudes towards OA. We find that public awareness of OA is very low compared to that of climate change, and was unaffected by the publication of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Using an experimental approach, we show that providing basic information can heighten concern about OA, however, we find that attitude polarization along value-based lines may occur if the topic is explicitly associated with climate change. We discuss the implications of our findings for public engagement with OA, and the importance of learning lessons from communications research relating to climate change.

  16. Toward an improved understanding of MCS propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    Processes that drive the propagation of elevated mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) have been the topic of a growing body of recent research. Elevated MCSs are responsible for a large percentage of warm season rainfall in the continental United States, and produce flash floods more frequently than other modes of convection. A comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of MCS propagation is important, since propagation sometimes opposes other environmental forces that influence MCS motion. This leads to nearly stationary MCSs that produce prolific local rainfall totals. The ingredients-based Propagation index (IPI) is introduced in this research. IPI is defined as the normalized product of horizontal warm thermal advection (a proxy for lifting), convective available potential energy (CAPE), and relative humidity. Horizontal plots of IPI are useful in identifying regions of probable convective initiation, including the intersections between potentially unstable flow and outflow boundaries, regions of mesoscale lift along the nose of the low-level jet, convectively induced gravity waves, and frontogenesis. Effective inflow-layer shear vectors are also introduced, and found to be useful for scenarios where IPI does yield predictive insight, such as the traditional "RKW" scenario where the forward propagation of an MCS is driven by thunderstorm outflow. It is argued that horizontal maps of IPI and EILS vectors will contribute significantly to short-term (e.g. 1-2 hr) predictions of the movement of MCSs, and to the subsequent assessment of their potential for flash flood production.

  17. A Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allison, L.; Hehn, J.; Kass, J.; O'Grady, R.; Scotchmoor, J.; Stucky, R.

    2006-12-01

    For many of the problems facing contemporary societies, such as potential impacts of climate change, coastal degradation, reductions of fisheries stocks, volcanic and earthquake hazards in densely populated areas, quality and availability of water, and exploitation of hydrocarbon resources and development of alternative energy sources, formulation of wise public policy depends on evaluation of the state of geoscientific research in the relevant areas. In a democratic society, public discourse about and input to policy decisions on key issues affecting the public welfare requires a public that understands the scientific research process, values the contribution of science to society, and has a working knowledge of what science can and cannot yet say about specific issues. Arguably, that ideal falls short in contemporary American society. Disturbing trends in science education, low public scientific literacy, and increasing alarms about U.S. competitiveness have all been prominent national news topics in recent years. (1) A recent National Science Board report indicated that two-thirds of Americans do not understand what science is, how it is conducted, and what one can expect from it. (2) A recent Gallup poll reports widespread and increasingly prevalent belief in pseudoscience. (3) There is a growing public complacency about and disengagement from science at the very moment when the impact of science on public life is greater than ever. (4) The Business Roundtable of major U.S. companies notes that the scientific and technical building blocks of our economic leadership are eroding at a time when many other nations are gathering strength. In response, a Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science COPUS has been initiated. Essential to COPUS is the premise that public understanding of science and the scientific process and an awareness of the impacts of scientific advancements on our quality of life are necessary to increase student interest in science as a

  18. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies, 1995.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halbrook, Steve A., Ed.; Merry, Carroll E., Ed.

    This document contains abstracts and the complete texts of 19 papers that were presented at a conference held to improve the policy education efforts of extension workers responsible for public affairs programs. The following papers are included: "Microwave Society and Crock-Pot Government" (Bill Graves); "Citizen Participation, Social Capital and…

  19. Consequential Validity of Accountability Policy: Public Understanding of Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brewer, Curtis; Knoeppel, Robert C.; Lindle, Jane Clark

    2015-01-01

    Educational accountability policy rests heavily on the assessments used to influence teaching, learning, and school improvement. A long-debated aspect of assessment use, consequential validity, plays an important role in public interpretation of assessment use whether for individual students or for state policy. The purpose of this survey study…

  20. Inquiry, instrumentalism, and the public understanding of science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudolph, John L.

    2005-09-01

    Two seemingly complementary trends stand out currently in school science education in the United States: one is the increased emphasis on inquiry activities in classrooms, and the other is the high level of attention given to student understanding of the nature of science. This essay looks at the range of activities that fall within the first trend, noting, in particular, the growing popularity of inquiry activities that engage students in engineering-type tasks. The potential for public disengagement from science and technology issues is described as a result of the continued juxtaposition of these sorts of inquiry activities with our current, idealized portrayals of the nature of science - the emphasis of the second trend. Drawing on Dewey's instrumental theory of knowledge, an alternative way of thinking about science is offered that would not only provide for a more authentic understanding of science, but also invite much needed public participation in the broad governance of science in modern-day democratic societies.

  1. Understanding public confidence in government to prevent terrorist attacks.

    SciTech Connect

    Baldwin, T. E.; Ramaprasad, A,; Samsa, M. E.; Decision and Information Sciences; Univ. of Illinois at Chicago

    2008-04-02

    A primary goal of terrorism is to instill a sense of fear and vulnerability in a population and to erode its confidence in government and law enforcement agencies to protect citizens against future attacks. In recognition of its importance, the Department of Homeland Security includes public confidence as one of the principal metrics used to assess the consequences of terrorist attacks. Hence, a detailed understanding of the variations in public confidence among individuals, terrorist event types, and as a function of time is critical to developing this metric. In this exploratory study, a questionnaire was designed, tested, and administered to small groups of individuals to measure public confidence in the ability of federal, state, and local governments and their public safety agencies to prevent acts of terrorism. Data was collected from three groups before and after they watched mock television news broadcasts portraying a smallpox attack, a series of suicide bomber attacks, a refinery explosion attack, and cyber intrusions on financial institutions, resulting in identity theft. Our findings are: (a) although the aggregate confidence level is low, there are optimists and pessimists; (b) the subjects are discriminating in interpreting the nature of a terrorist attack, the time horizon, and its impact; (c) confidence recovery after a terrorist event has an incubation period; and (d) the patterns of recovery of confidence of the optimists and the pessimists are different. These findings can affect the strategy and policies to manage public confidence after a terrorist event.

  2. Statistics in Public Understanding of Science review: How to achieve high statistical standards?

    PubMed

    Crettaz von Roten, Fabienne

    2016-02-01

    This article proposes a checklist to improve statistical reporting in the manuscripts submitted to Public Understanding of Science. Generally, these guidelines will allow the reviewers (and readers) to judge whether the evidence provided in the manuscript is relevant. The article ends with other suggestions for a better statistical quality of the journal. PMID:26195660

  3. Phytotechnologies--preventing exposures, improving public health.

    PubMed

    Henry, Heather F; Burken, Joel G; Maier, Raina M; Newman, Lee A; Rock, Steven; Schnoor, Jerald L; Suk, William A

    2013-01-01

    Phytotechnologies have potential to reduce the amount or toxicity of deleterious chemicals and agents, and thereby, can reduce human exposures to hazardous substances. As such, phytotechnologies are tools for primary prevention in public health. Recent research demonstrates phytotechnologies can be uniquely tailored for effective exposure prevention in a variety of applications. In addition to exposure prevention, plants can be used as sensors to identify environmental contamination and potential exposures. In this paper, we have presented applications and research developments in a framework to illustrate how phytotechnologies can meet basic public health needs for access to clean water, air, and food. Because communities can often integrate plant-based technologies at minimal cost and with low infrastructure needs, the use of these technologies can be applied broadly to minimize potential contaminant exposure and improve environmental quality. These natural treatment systems also provide valuable ecosystem services to communities and society. In the future, integrating and coordinating phytotechnology activities with public health research will allow technology development focused on prevention of environmental exposures to toxic compounds. Hence, phytotechnologies may provide sustainable solutions to environmental exposure challenges, improving public health and potentially reducing the burden of disease. PMID:23819283

  4. Phytotechnologies – Preventing Exposures, Improving Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Heather F.; Burken, Joel G.; Maier, Raina M.; Newman, Lee A.; Rock, Steven; Schnoor, Jerald L.; Suk, William A.

    2014-01-01

    Phytotechnologies have the potential to reduce the amount and/or toxicity of deleterious chemicals/agents, and thereby, prevent human exposures to hazardous substances. As such, phytotechnologies are a tool for primary prevention within the context of public health. Research advances demonstrate that phytotechnologies can be uniquely tailored for effective exposure prevention for a variety of applications. In addition to exposure prevention, phytotechnologists have advanced the use of plants as sensors to delineate environmental contaminants and potential exposures. The applications presented in this paper are at various stages of development and are presented in a framework to reflect how phytotechnologies can help meet basic public health needs for access to clean water, air, and food resources. As plant-based technologies can often be integrated into communities at minimal cost and with low infrastructure needs, their use in improving environmental quality can be applied broadly to minimize potential contaminant exposure. These natural treatment systems concurrently provide ecosystem services of notable value to communities and society. In the future, integration and coordination of phytotechnology activities with public health research will allow technology development that focuses on prevention of environmental exposures. Such an approach will lead to an important role of phytotechnologies in providing sustainable solutions to environmental exposure challenges that improve public health and potentially reduce the burden of disease. PMID:23819283

  5. AGU Publications: Improvements for Authors and Readers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, Brooks

    2013-12-01

    AGU has introduced several new features aimed at simplifying and improving the submission of papers to AGU journals. Enhanced PDF and HTML formats and new journal home pages developed with our publishing partner, Wiley, will also provide improvements for readers. In previous issues of Eos, we provided broader overviews of AGU publications, including the transition to Wiley and open access (Eos, 94(30), 264-266, doi:10.1002/2013EO300009; Eos, 94(39), 345, doi:10.1002/2013EO390006).

  6. Improving health outcomes with better patient understanding and education.

    PubMed

    Adams, Robert John

    2010-01-01

    A central plank of health care reform is an expanded role for educated consumers interacting with responsive health care teams. However, for individuals to realize the benefits of health education also requires a high level of engagement. Population studies have documented a gap between expectations and the actual performance of behaviours related to participation in health care and prevention. Interventions to improve self-care have shown improvements in self-efficacy, patient satisfaction, coping skills, and perceptions of social support. Significant clinical benefits have been seen from trials of self-management or lifestyle interventions across conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis. However, the focus of many studies has been on short-term outcomes rather that long term effects. There is also some evidence that participation in patient education programs is not spread evenly across socio economic groups. This review considers three other issues that may be important in increasing the public health impact of patient education. The first is health literacy, which is the capacity to seek, understand and act on health information. Although health literacy involves an individual's competencies, the health system has a primary responsibility in setting the parameters of the health interaction and the style, content and mode of information. Secondly, much patient education work has focused on factors such as attitudes and beliefs. That small changes in physical environments can have large effects on behavior and can be utilized in self-management and chronic disease research. Choice architecture involves reconfiguring the context or physical environment in a way that makes it more likely that people will choose certain behaviours. Thirdly, better means of evaluating the impact of programs on public health is needed. The Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework has been

  7. Assessing Models of Public Understanding In ELSI Outreach Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Bruce V. Lewenstein, Ph.D.; Dominique Brossard, Ph.D.

    2006-03-01

    Advances in the science of genetics have implications for individuals and society, and have to be taken into account at the policy level. Studies of ethical, legal and social issues related to genomic research have therefore been integrated in the Human Genome Project (HGP) since the earliest days of the project. Since 1990, three to five percent of the HGP annual budget has been devoted to such studies, under the umbrella of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) Programs of the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institute of Health, and of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE-ELSI budget has been used to fund a variety of projects that have aimed at ?promoting education and help guide the conduct of genetic research and the development of related medical and public policies? (HGP, 2003). As part of the educational component, a significant portion of DOE-ELSI funds have been dedicated to public outreach projects, with the underlying goal of promoting public awareness and ultimately public discussion of ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding availability of genetic information (Drell, 2002). The essential assumption behind these projects is that greater access to information will lead to more knowledge about ethical, legal and social issues, which in turn will lead to enhanced ability on the part of individuals and communities to deal with these issues when they encounter them. Over the same period of time, new concepts of ?public understanding of science? have emerged in the theoretical realm, moving from a ?deficit? or linear dissemination of popularization, to models stressing lay-knowledge, public engagement and public participation in science policy-making (Lewenstein, 2003). The present project uses the base of DOE-funded ELSI educational project to explore the ways that information about a new and emerging area of science that is intertwined with public

  8. Overcoming barriers to public understanding of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayhoe, K.

    2012-12-01

    Humans are interfering with global climate, increasing the risk of serious consequences for human society and the natural environment. As the scientific evidence builds, however, so does the public controversy surrounding this issue. Why is climate change so contentious? What makes it so hard to comprehend? I argue that there is no single reason for this, but rather a perfect storm of multiple confounding factors; scientific, historical, ideological, psychological and even physiological in nature. Education—of both the messengers and the audience—can play a critical role in surmounting many of the common barriers to understanding, accepting, and acting this important issue.

  9. Science for Alaska: Public Understanding of University Research Priorities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, D.

    2015-12-01

    Science for Alaska: Public Understanding of Science D. L. Campbell11University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA Around 200 people brave 40-below-zero temperatures to listen to university researchers and scientists give lectures about their work at an event called the Science for Alaska Lecture Series, hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute. It is held once a week, for six weeks during the coldest part of a Fairbanks, Alaska, winter. The topics range from space physics to remote sensing. The lectures last for 45 minutes with 15 minutes for audience questions and answers. It has been popular for about 20 years and is one of many public outreach efforts of the institute. The scientists are careful in their preparations for presentations and GI's Public Relations staff chooses the speakers based on topic, diversity and public interest. The staff also considers the speaker's ability to speak to a general audience, based on style, clarity and experience. I conducted a qualitative research project to find out about the people who attended the event, why they attend and what they do with the information they hear about. The participants were volunteers who attended the event and either stayed after the lectures for an interview or signed up to be contacted later. I used used an interview technique with open-ended questions, recorded and transcribed the interview. I identified themes in the interviews, using narrative analysis. Preliminary data show that the lecture series is a form of entertainment for people who are highly educated and work in demanding and stressful jobs. They come with family and friends. Sometimes it's a date with a significant other. Others want to expose their children to science. The findings are in keeping with the current literature that suggests that public events meant to increase public understanding of science instead draws like-minded people. The findings are different from Campbell's hypothesis that attendance was based

  10. Measuring and Understanding Public Opinion on Human Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwon, Misook

    The theory of evolution has long generated controversy in American society, but Americans' attitudes about human evolution are often neglected in studies of "culture wars" and the nature of mass belief systems more generally (Berkman and Plutzer 2010; Freeland and Houston 2009). Gallup and other survey organizations have polled about evolution, but offered limited response categories that mask complexity in public opinion (Bishop 2006; Moore 2008). The main problems concerning the leading survey questions about evolution are: first, questions measure only a single dimension, thus they ignore the potential for multidimensionality in people's attitudes. Second, depending on question wording and response options, the results of public opinion surveys vary by polling groups. This is an example of measurement error which misleads the interpretation and impression of American public opinion on the origin of humankind. A number of studies have analyzed Americans' beliefs about evolution and hypothesized about the influential effects of several factors (Deckman 2002; Mazur 2005; Mooney 2005; Miller et al. 2006; Newport 2006; Forrest 2007;Nisbet and Goidel 2007;Scott 2009). However, there remains a lack of complete understanding of what Americans know and believe about human evolution. Given the salience of this issue and the significant influence of public opinion on policy-making in America (Page and Shapiro 1992; Stimson 2004; Newport 2004), the measurement error and explanation of polling results on controversial issues related to this topic are in need of clarification. In this study, I address these deficiencies with analyses of data from a 2008 national survey by Harris Interactive (n= 4,626) that included numerous measures of factual knowledge and beliefs about evolution. The items offer more nuanced response options than the standard three-category question asked for decades by the Gallup poll. The Harris survey also had multiple measures of religiosity and the

  11. Improving Students' Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Jing

    2012-01-01

    Electricity and magnetism are important topics in physics. Research shows that students have many common difficulties in understanding concepts related to electricity and magnetism. However, research to improve students' understanding of electricity and magnetism is limited compared to introductory mechanics. This thesis explores issues…

  12. A territorial understanding of sustainability in public development

    SciTech Connect

    Peti, Marton

    2012-01-15

    Sustainability theories in European Union (EU) development policies are facing significant challenges: it is difficult to transmit context-specific, publicly communicable messages; the recent development policies strengthen the concurrent development paradigm of economic growth and competitiveness; 'climate change' became a more popular environmental integration term than sustainability in the last few years. However, due to the recent crises of the economic growth, there is a great chance to reintroduce a sustainability-based development. A territorial/regional understanding of sustainability can also be an answer for the current challenges, a platform for refreshing the concept with relevant, specific messages that are close to the everyday life. This paper summarises the 'territorial system'-based basic principles of territorial sustainability in a model called AUTHARSIIV (AUTonomy, HARmony, Solidarity, Innovation, Identity and Values). This is a supplementary sustainability content specified for the context of spatial/regional development or planning. The paper also examines the presence of 'general and territorial sustainability' in regional development programmes, and case studies on applying the territorial sustainability principles in planning, assessment, and implementation. According to the results, sustainability is rarely adapted to the conditions of a given sector or a region, and the territorial aspect of sustainability is underrepresented even in territorial programmes. Therefore, the paper proposes a new planning and assessment system that is based on a set of regionally legitimate sustainability values.

  13. What is preventing relevant understanding of climate science in the public, media, and policy arenas?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reisman, J. P.

    2012-12-01

    We need to do a critical self examination of why the communication has thus far failed to sufficiently convey relevance in order to provide a basis for public and policy-maker understanding of the science. This session will focus on major impediments to communicating relevance and the foundations of climate science in two target audiences, those that are unsure, and those that have been misled. The question of 'why' is key. Considerations focus on social psychology and confluence effects that improve, or impede, climate communications and achievement of relevant understanding. Key components of human understanding require context in order to be addressed. Understanding these components form the basis for more effective climate communications.

  14. Improving At-Risk Learners' Understanding of Fractions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuchs, Lynn S.; Schumacher, Robin F.; Long, Jessica; Namkung, Jessica; Hamlett, Carol L.; Cirino, Paul T.; Siegler, Robert; Changas, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of an intervention designed to improve at-risk 4th graders' understanding of fractions and to examine the processes by which effects occurred. The intervention focused more on the measurement interpretation of fractions; the control condition focused more on the part-whole…

  15. Improving At-Risk Learners' Understanding of Fractions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuchs, Lynn S.; Schumacher, Robin F.; Long, Jessica; Namkung, Jessica; Hamlett, Carol L.; Cirino, Paul T.; Jordan, Nancy C.; Siegler, Robert; Gersten, Russell; Changas, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of an intervention designed to improve at-risk 4th graders' understanding of fractions and to examine the processes by which effects occurred. The intervention focused more on the measurement interpretation of fractions; the control condition focused more on the part-whole interpretation…

  16. Using Science Notebooks to Improve Writing Skills and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Malcolm B.; Nesbit, Catherine

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to provide teachers with strategies for improving students' writing and deepening their conceptual understanding through the use of science notebooks. The strategies include using various resources and providing a variety of feedback opportunities for students. A sample science investigation and an accompanying…

  17. An Improved Publication Process for the UMVF.

    PubMed

    Renard, Jean-Marie; Brunetaud, Jean-Marc; Cuggia, Marc; Darmoni, Stephan; Lebeux, Pierre; Beuscart, Régis

    2005-01-01

    The "Université Médicale Virtuelle Francophone" (UMVF) is a federation of French medical schools. Its main goal is to share the production and use of pedagogic medical resources generated by academic medical teachers. We developed an Open-Source application based upon a workflow system which provides an improved publication process for the UMVF. For teachers, the tool permits easy and efficient upload of new educational resources. For web masters it provides a mechanism to easily locate and validate the resources. For both the teachers and the web masters, the utility provides the control and communication functions that define a workflow system.For all users, students in particular, the application improves the value of the UMVF repository by providing an easy way to find a detailed description of a resource and to check any resource from the UMVF to ascertain its quality and integrity, even if the resource is an old deprecated version. The server tier of the application is used to implement the main workflow functionalities and is deployed on certified UMVF servers using the PHP language, an LDAP directory and an SQL database. The client tier of the application provides both the workflow and the search and check functionalities and is implemented using a Java applet through a W3C compliant web browser. A unique signature for each resource, was needed to provide security functionality and is implemented using the MD5 Digest algorithm. The testing performed by Rennes and Lille verified the functionality and conformity with our specifications. PMID:16160272

  18. Understanding An Informed Public's Views On The Role Of Evidence In Making Health Care Decisions.

    PubMed

    Carman, Kristin L; Maurer, Maureen; Mangrum, Rikki; Yang, Manshu; Ginsburg, Marjorie; Sofaer, Shoshanna; Gold, Marthe R; Pathak-Sen, Ela; Gilmore, Dierdre; Richmond, Jennifer; Siegel, Joanna

    2016-04-01

    Policy makers and practitioners increasingly believe that medical evidence plays a critical role in improving care and health outcomes and lowering costs. However, public understanding of the role of evidence-based care may be different. Public deliberation is a process that convenes diverse citizens and has them learn about and consider ethical or values-based dilemmas and weigh alternative views. The Community Forum Deliberative Methods Demonstration project, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, obtained informed public views on the role of evidence in health care decisions through seventy-six deliberative groups involving 907 people overall, in the period August-November 2012. Although participants perceived evidence as being essential to high-quality care, they also believed that personal choice or clinical judgment could trump evidence. They viewed doctors as central figures in discussing evidence with patients and key arbiters of whether to follow evidence in individual cases. They found evidence of harm to individuals or the community to be more compelling than evidence of effectiveness. These findings indicate that increased public understanding of evidence can play an important role in advancing evidence-based care by helping create policies that better reflect the needs and values of the public. PMID:27044953

  19. Understanding public health informatics competencies for mid-tier public health practitioners: a web-based survey.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Chiehwen Ed; Dunn, Kim; Juo, Hsin-Hsuan; Danko, Rick; Johnson, Drew; Mas, Francisco Soto; Sheu, Jiunn-Jye

    2012-03-01

    The literature suggests that there is a need for measuring public health informatics (PHI) competency to further understand whether current educational modules and modalities meet the needs of PHI practitioners and researchers to perform their jobs more effectively, particularly for mid-tier practitioners that constitute the majority of public health workers in the USA. The present study seeks to update current knowledge of the perceptions and experiences of PHI competencies proposed by the U.S. Council on Linkage in Public Health specifically for mid-tier PH practitioners and researchers. The results were collected and analyzed by using a Web-based survey (WBS) method administered among both practitioners and researchers. Researchers first compiled a draft list of candidate competency set by incorporating existing competency areas provided by: 1) the Council on Linkage; and by 2) those proposed by the USA's Centers for Disease Control CDC Public Health Informatics Work Group. Nine sets of competency statements with 120 competency items and demographic information of respondents were included in the WBS. The online survey instruments were pilot-tested accordingly to incorporate feedback from respondents of the pilot. Fifty-six subjects were recruited from PH experts who were: 1) members of the Health Informatics Information Technology (HIIT) group of American Public Health Association; and, 2) members from the Community of Science (COS) Website who were the first authors published in the PHI field from PubMed. The sample included diverse backgrounds of PHI workers. They expressed an increased need for training to improve their PHI competencies. Respondents agreed that four competency sets should be adequately represented, including Leadership and System Thinking Skills (82%), followed by Financial Planning and Management Skills (79%), Community Dimensions of Practice Skills (77%), and Policy Development/Program Planning Skills (63%). The findings parallel current

  20. Bring Hidden Hazards to the Publics Attention, Understanding, and Informed Decision by Coordinating Federal Education Initiatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niepold, F.; Karsten, J. L.; Wei, M.; Jadin, J.

    2010-12-01

    In the 2010 National Research Council’s America’s Climate Choices’ report on Informing Effective Decisions and Actions Related to Climate Change concluded; “Education and communication are among the most powerful tools the nation has to bring hidden hazards to public attention, understanding, and action.” They conclude that the “current and future students, the broader public, and policymakers need to understand the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to climate change, develop scientific thinking and problem-solving skills, and improve their ability to make informed decisions.” The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) works to integrate the climate related activities of these different agencies, with oversight from the Office of Science and Technology Policy and other White House offices. USGCRP’s focus is now on evaluating optimal strategies for addressing climate change risks, improving coordination among the Federal agencies, engaging stakeholders (including national policy leaders and local resource managers) on the research results to all and improving public understanding and decision-making related to global change. Implicit to these activities is the need to educate the public about the science of climate change and its consequences, as well as coordinate Federal investments related to climate change education. In a broader sense, the implementation of the proposed Interagency Taskforce on Climate Change Communication and Education will serve the evolving USGCRP mandates around cross-cutting, thematic elements, as recommended by the National Research Council (NRC, 2009) and the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Revised Research Plan: An update to the 2003 Strategic Plan (USGCRP, 2008), to help the Federal government “capitalize on its investments and aid in the development of increased climate literacy for the Nation.” This session will update the participants on the work to date and the near term coordinated plans

  1. Improving student understanding of lock-in amplifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, Seth; Gauthier, Alexandre; Levy, Jeremy; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-01-01

    The lock-in amplifier is a versatile instrument frequently used in physics research. We find that students tend to struggle with its basic operating principles, leading to a variety of difficulties. To improve their understanding, we have developed a research-based tutorial that makes use of a computer simulated lock-in amplifier. The tutorial allows students to realize their conceptual difficulties by comparing their predictions with the outcome of the simulations, hopefully leading them to a better understanding of the process of lock-in amplification.

  2. Public Understanding of Sustainable Development: Some Implications for Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, William

    2015-01-01

    A number of recent surveys of public opinion claim that there is now widespread acceptance of the need for sustainable development, and that the general public, through its social and consumer activity is already successfully engaged. However, in all this, the focus has primarily been on individual and family behaviours such as recycling and…

  3. Mathematical Model of the Public Understanding of Space Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prisniakov, V.; Prisniakova, L.

    The success in deployment of the space programs now in many respects depends on comprehension by the citizens of necessity of programs, from "space" erudition of country. Purposefulness and efficiency of the "space" teaching and educational activity depend on knowledge of relationships between separate variables of such process. The empirical methods of ``space'' well-information of the taxpayers should be supplemented by theoretical models permitting to demonstrate a ways of control by these processes. Authors on the basis of their experience of educational activity during 50- years of among the students of space-rocket profession obtain an equation of ``space" state of the society determining a degree of its knowledge about Space, about achievements in its development, about indispensable lines of investigations, rates of informatization of the population. It is supposed, that the change of the space information consists of two parts: (1) - from going of the information about practical achievements, about development special knowledge requiring of independent financing, and (2) from intensity of dissemination of the ``free" information of a general educational line going to the population through mass-media, book, in family, in educational institutions, as a part of obligatory knowledge of any man, etc. In proposed model the level space well-information of the population depends on intensity of dissemination in the society of the space information, and also from a volume of financing of space-rocket technology, from a part of population of the employment in the space-rocket programs, from a factor of education of the population in adherence to space problems, from welfare and mentality of the people, from a rate of unemployment and material inequality. Obtained in the report on these principles the equation of a space state of the society corresponds to catastrophe such as cusp, the analysis has shown which one ways of control of the public understanding of space

  4. Using quality improvement methods to improve public health emergency preparedness: PREPARE for Pandemic Influenza.

    PubMed

    Lotstein, Debra; Seid, Michael; Ricci, Karen; Leuschner, Kristin; Margolis, Peter; Lurie, Nicole

    2008-01-01

    Many public health departments seek to improve their capability to respond to large-scale events such as an influenza pandemic. Quality improvement (QI), a structured approach to improving performance, has not been widely applied in public health. We developed and tested a pilot QI collaborative to explore whether QI could help public health departments improve their pandemic preparedness. We demonstrated that this is a promising model for improving public health preparedness and may be useful for improving public health performance overall. Further efforts are needed, however, to encourage the robust implementation of QI in public health. PMID:18628274

  5. Teaching science for public understanding: Developing decision-making abilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegel, Marcelle A.

    One of the most important challenges educators have is teaching students how to make decisions about complex issues. In this study, methods designed to enhance students' decision-making skills and attitudes were investigated. An issue-oriented science curriculum was partly replaced with activities designed by the experimenter. The first objective of the study was to examine the effects of an instructional method to increase students' use of relevant scientific evidence in their decisions. The second goal of the research was to test whether the instructional activities could promote students' beliefs that science is relevant to them, because attitudes have been shown to affect students' performance and persistence (Schommer, 1994). Third, the study was designed to determine whether the instructional activities would affect students' beliefs that their intelligence is not fixed but can grow; this question is based on Dweck and Leggett's (1988) definition of two orientations toward intelligence---entity theorists and incremental theorists (Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Dweck & Henderson, 1989). Two urban high-school classrooms participated in this study. Tenth graders examined scientific materials about current issues involving technology and society. Instructional materials on decision making were prepared for one class of students to enhance their regular issue-oriented course, Science and Sustainability. A computer program, called Convince Me (Schank, Ranney & Hoadley, 1996), provided scaffolding for making an evidence-based decision. The experimental group's activities also included pen-and-paper lessons on decision making and the effect of experience on the structure of the brain. The control class continued to engage in Science and Sustainability decision-making activities during the time the experimental class completed the treatment. The control group did not show significant improvement on decision-making tasks, and the experimental group showed marginally

  6. Defining and Assessing Quality Improvement Outcomes: A Framework for Public Health

    PubMed Central

    McLees, Anita W.; Nawaz, Saira; Thomas, Craig; Young, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    We describe an evidence-based framework to define and assess the impact of quality improvement (QI) in public health. Developed to address programmatic and research-identified needs for articulating the value of public health QI in aggregate, this framework proposes a standardized set of measures to monitor and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public health programs and operations. We reviewed the scientific literature and analyzed QI initiatives implemented through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Public Health Improvement Initiative to inform the selection of 5 efficiency and 8 effectiveness measures. This framework provides a model for identifying the types of improvement outcomes targeted by public health QI efforts and a means to understand QI’s impact on the practice of public health. PMID:25689185

  7. Investigators Share Improved Understanding of the North American Carbon Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birdsey, Richard A.; Cook, Robert; Denning, Scott; Griffith, Peter; Law, Beverly; Masek, Jeffrey; Michalak, Anna; Ogle, Stephen; Ojima, Dennis; Pan, Yude; Sabine, Christopher; Sheffner, Edwin; Sundquist, Eric

    2007-06-01

    The U.S. North American Carbon Program (NACP) sponsored an "all-scientist" meeting to review progress in understanding the dynamics of the carbon cycle of North America and adjacent oceans, and to chart a course for improved integration across scientific disciplines, scales, and Earth system boundaries. The meeting participants also addressed the need for better decision support tools for managing the carbon cycle of North America, so that strong science can inform policy as interest in taking action increases across the nation. Herein we report on themes to integrate the diversity of NACP science and fill significant gaps for understanding and managing the North American carbon cycle: integration among disciplines involving land, atmosphere, and ocean research; strengthening data management infrastructure to support modeling and analysis; identification of study regions that are critical for reducing uncertainties in the North American carbon balance; and integrating biophysical science with the human dimensions of carbon management and decision support.

  8. Public Understanding of Climate Change: Certainty and Willingness To Act.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fortner, Rosanne W.; Lee, Jae-Young; Corney, Jeffrey R.; Romanello, Samantha; Bonnell, Joseph; Luthy, Brian; Figuerido, Claudia; Ntsiko, Nyathi

    2000-01-01

    Describes two parallel studies conducted shortly before the Kyoto conference on climate change: (1) an examination of media portrayals of global warming and the certainty with which information was reported; and (2) a telephone survey to assess public knowledge and attitudes about global climate change. Findings do not support a hypothesis that…

  9. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies, 1997.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ernstes, David P., Ed.; Hicks, Dawne M., Ed.

    This document contains 21 papers: "Land Grant University and Extension in the 21st Century" (Jon Wefald); "A Reality Check" (Bud Webb); "Land Grant Colleges and Universities of the Future" (Michael J. Phillips); "Vulnerability of the Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture: A Public Affairs Perspective" (Allen Rosenfeld); "The Future of Land Grant…

  10. Information Equity, Public Understanding of Science, and the Biotechnology Debate.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Priest, Susanna Hornig

    1995-01-01

    States that media effects are largely long-term and indirect, and that lay publics associate more risk with science and technology in their social context than with the underlying science itself. Uses biotechnology to explore media effects issues. Concludes that the scientific community's interests would be better served by news addressing…

  11. Understanding Public Land Management through Role-Playing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberle, Alex P.

    2004-01-01

    Role-playing activities are an example of active learning that introduces students to "real-world" situations. This paper discusses the development and assessment of a role-play that involves an undergraduate geography class in a local public land management process. This particular case study is useful because it reflects broader themes and…

  12. Understanding Pretrial Publicity: Predecisional Distortion of Evidence by Mock Jurors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hope, Lorraine; Memon, Amina; McGeorge, Peter

    2004-01-01

    Prejudicial pretrial publicity (PTP) constitutes a serious source of juror bias. The current study examined differences in predecisional distortion for mock jurors exposed to negative PTP (N-PTP) versus nonexposed control participants. According to work by K. A. Carlson and J. E. Russo (2001), predecisional distortion occurs when jurors bias new…

  13. Teaching Chinese Students: Understanding Their Public Sector Paradigm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conrad, Cynthia; Coleman, Charles

    2011-01-01

    Teaching Chinese students in an American university can be both challenging and rewarding. Cultural and language differences can lead to some superficial confusion and interpretational problems. However, the vast differences in the ways Chinese students view the role of the public sector, as compared to the US, can mean that the instructors and…

  14. The Public Understanding of Error in Educational Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gardner, John

    2013-01-01

    Evidence from recent research suggests that in the UK the public perception of errors in national examinations is that they are simply mistakes; events that are preventable. This perception predominates over the more sophisticated technical view that errors arise from many sources and create an inevitable variability in assessment outcomes. The…

  15. Improving the Scientific Integrity of Nontechnical Publications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent articles in Rangelands reveal two points about nontechnical publications of the Society for Rangeland Management: 1) the need for a rigorous peer-review process in publishing issue papers, and 2) the need to clearly separate peer-reviewed literature from editorial articles in Rangelands. The...

  16. Investigators Share Improved Understanding of the North American Carbon Cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Birdsey, Richard A.; Cook, Robert B; Denning, Scott; Griffith, Peter; Law, Beverly E.; Masek, Jeffrey; Michalak, Anna; Ogle, Stephen; Ojima, Dennis; Pan, Yude; Sabine, Christopher; Sheffner, Edwin; Sundquist, Eric

    2007-06-01

    U.S. North American Carbon Program Investigators Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 22-25 January 2007. The U.S. North American Carbon Program (NACP) sponsored an "all-scientist" meeting to review progress in understanding the dynamics of the carbon cycle of North America and adjacent oceans, and to chart a course for improved integration across scientific disciplines, scales, and Earth system boundaries. The meeting participants also addressed the need for better decision support tools for managing the carbon cycle of North America, so that strong science can inform policy as interest in taking action increases across the nation.

  17. Improving Lecture Quality through Training in Public Speaking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mowbray, Robert; Perry, Laura B.

    2015-01-01

    Lecturing is a common instructional format but poor lecturing skills can detract from students' learning experiences and outcomes. As lecturing is essentially a form of public communication, training in public speaking may improve lecture quality. Twelve university lecturers in Malaysia participated in a six-week public speaking skills…

  18. Critical Interactives: Improving Public Understanding of Institutional Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buell, Duncan A.; Cooley, Heidi Rae

    2012-01-01

    Over the past 3 years, the authors have pursued unique cross-college collaboration. They have hosted a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)-funded Humanities Gaming Institute and team-taught a cross-listed course that brought together students from the humanities and computer science. Currently, they are overseeing the development of an…

  19. Understanding attitudes towards the use of animals in research using an online public engagement tool.

    PubMed

    Schuppli, Catherine A; Molento, Carla F M; Weary, Daniel M

    2015-04-01

    Using an online public engagement experiment, we probed the views of 617 participants on the use of pigs as research animals (to reduce agricultural pollution or to improve organ transplant success in humans) with and without genetic modification and using different numbers of pigs. In both scenarios and across demographics, level of opposition increased when the research required the use of GM corn or GM pigs. Animal numbers had little effect. A total of 1037 comments were analyzed to understand decisions. Participants were most concerned about the impact of the research on animal welfare. Genetic modification was viewed as an intervention in nature and there was worry about unpredictable consequences. Both opponents and supporters sought assurances that concerns were addressed. Governing bodies for animal research should make efforts to document and mitigate consequences of GM and other procedures, and increase efforts to maintain a dialogue with the public around acceptability of these procedures. PMID:23825296

  20. A public health approach to understanding and preventing violent radicalization

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Very recent acts of terrorism in the UK were perpetrated by 'homegrown', well educated young people, rather than by foreign Islamist groups; consequently, a process of violent radicalization was proposed to explain how ordinary people were recruited and persuaded to sacrifice their lives. Discussion Counterterrorism approaches grounded in the criminal justice system have not prevented violent radicalization. Indeed there is some evidence that these approaches may have encouraged membership of radical groups by not recognizing Muslim communities as allies, citizens, victims of terrorism, and victims of discrimination, but only as suspect communities who were then further alienated. Informed by public health research and practice, a new approach is proposed to target populations vulnerable to recruitment, rather than rely only on research of well known terrorist groups and individual perpetrators of terrorist acts. Conclusions This paper proposes public health research and practice to guard against violent radicalization. PMID:22332998

  1. Scholarly and Public Views: Understanding Narratives around Nanotechnology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teggatz, Jennifer L.

    2012-01-01

    How people come to conceptualize and understand science topics has implications for how they learn, communicate about, and relate to science. This dissertation conceptualizes and examines "cultural narratives" as cognitive tools used by individuals and shared through culture. Using nanotechnology as a case study I argue that people may…

  2. Inquiry, Instrumentalism, and the Public Understanding of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rudolph, John L.

    2005-01-01

    Two seemingly complementary trends stand out currently in school science education in the United States: one is the increased emphasis on inquiry activities in classrooms, and the other is the high level of attention given to student understanding of the nature of science. This essay looks at the range of activities that fall within the first…

  3. Improving Public Perception of Behavior Analysis.

    PubMed

    Freedman, David H

    2016-05-01

    The potential impact of behavior analysis is limited by the public's dim awareness of the field. The mass media rarely cover behavior analysis, other than to echo inaccurate negative stereotypes about control and punishment. The media instead play up appealing but less-evidence-based approaches to problems, a key example being the touting of dubious diets over behavioral approaches to losing excess weight. These sorts of claims distort or skirt scientific evidence, undercutting the fidelity of behavior analysis to scientific rigor. Strategies for better connecting behavior analysis with the public might include reframing the field's techniques and principles in friendlier, more resonant form; pushing direct outcome comparisons between behavior analysis and its rivals in simple terms; and playing up the "warm and fuzzy" side of behavior analysis. PMID:27606184

  4. Improving Patient Understanding of Prescription Drug Label Instructions

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Terry C.; Federman, Alex D.; Bass, Pat F.; Jackson, Robert H.; Middlebrooks, Mark; Parker, Ruth M.

    2008-01-01

    Background Patient misunderstanding of instructions on prescription drug labels is common and a likely cause of medication error and less effective treatment. Objective To test whether the use of more explicit language to describe dose and frequency of use for prescribed drugs could improve comprehension, especially among patients with limited literacy. Design Cross-sectional study using in-person, structured interviews. Patients Three hundred and fifty-nine adults waiting for an appointment in two hospital-based primary care clinics and one federally qualified health center in Shreveport, Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois; and New York, New York, respectively. Measurement Correct understanding of each of ten label instructions as determined by a blinded panel review of patients’ verbatim responses. Results Patient understanding of prescription label instructions ranged from 53% for the least understood to 89% for the most commonly understood label. Patients were significantly more likely to understand instructions with explicit times periods (i.e., morning) or precise times of day compared to instructions stating times per day (i.e., twice) or hourly intervals (89%, 77%, 61%, and 53%, respectively,  < 0.001). In multivariate analyses, dosage instructions with specific times or time periods were significantly more likely to be understood compared to instructions stating times per day (time periods — adjusted relative risk ratio (ARR) 0.42, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.34–0.52; specific times — ARR 0.60, 95% CI 0.49–0.74). Low and marginal literacy remained statistically significant independent predictors of misinterpreting instructions (low - ARR 2.70, 95% CI 1.81–4.03; marginal -ARR 1.66, 95% CI 1.18–2.32). Conclusions Use of precise wording on prescription drug label instructions can improve patient comprehension. However, patients with limited literacy were more likely to misinterpret instructions despite use of more explicit language. PMID

  5. Understanding public (mis)understanding of tDCS for enhancement

    PubMed Central

    Cabrera, Laura Y.; Reiner, Peter B.

    2015-01-01

    In order to gain insight into the public’s perspective on using the minimally invasive technique transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as an enhancement tool, we analyzed and compared online comments in key popular press articles from two different periods (pre-commercialization and post-commercialization). The main conclusion drawn from this exploratory investigation is that public perception regarding tDCS has shifted from misunderstanding to cautionary realism. This change in attitude can be explained as moving from a focus on an emergent technology to a focus on its applications, benefits, and risks as the technology becomes more grounded within the public domain. Future governance of tDCS should include the concerns and enthusiasms of the public. PMID:25964748

  6. Applying Constructivism to Improve Public Relations for Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marek, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Educators are often hesitant to use techniques of public relations and marketing communication to attempt to alter undesirable understandings of the rationale and processes of education held by external constituencies. This paper shows that contemporary practice in public relations and marketing communication can be conceptualized as an…

  7. Improving Public Schools within Existing Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nathan, Joseph

    This paper demonstrates how educators can improve student learning, increase resources available to schools, and make the teaching profession more attractive without spending additional tax funds. Section 1, "The School as Community Center," analyzes sharing school facilities with community organizations and easing fiscal constraints through…

  8. Understanding catchment behavior through stepwise model concept improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenicia, Fabrizio; Savenije, Hubert H. G.; Matgen, Patrick; Pfister, Laurent

    2008-01-01

    Lack of data is one of the main limitations for hydrological modeling. However, it is often used as a justification for over simplifying, poorly performing models. If we want to enhance our understanding of hydrological systems, it is important to fully exploit the information contained in the available data, and to learn from model deficiencies. In this paper, we propose a methodology where we systematically update the model structure, progressively incorporating new hypotheses of catchment behavior. We apply this methodology to the Alzette river basin in Luxembourg, showing how stepwise model improvement helps to identify the behavior of this catchment. We show that the most significant improvement of the evolving model structure is associated to the characterization of antecedent wetness. This is improved accounting for interception, which affects vertical storage distribution, and accounting for rainfall spatial heterogeneity, which influences storage variations in the horizontal dimension. Overall, our results suggested that, due to the damping effect of the basin, the description of fast catchment response benefits more from spatially distributed information than that of slow catchment response.

  9. Public Understanding of Science: Using Technology To Enhance School Science in Everyday Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cajas, Fernando

    1999-01-01

    Discusses the use of school science in students' everyday lives. Argues that the goal of connecting school science to students' everyday lives moves the discussion of public understanding of science to public understanding of technology. Examines the implications and limitations of this movement. Contains 40 references. (Author/WRM)

  10. Understanding public reactions to commercialization of biobanks and use of biobank resources.

    PubMed

    Nicol, Dianne; Critchley, Christine; McWhirter, Rebekah; Whitton, Tess

    2016-08-01

    Biobanks will be essential to facilitate the translation of genomic research into real improvements to healthcare. Biobanking is a long-term commitment, requiring public support as well as appropriate regulatory, social and ethical guidelines to realize this promise. There is a growing body of research that explores the necessary conditions to ensure public trust in biomedical research, particularly in the context of biobanking. Trust is, however, a complex relationship. More analysis of public perceptions, attitudes and reactions is required to understand the primary triggers that influence gain and loss of trust. Further, the outcomes of these analyses require detailed consideration to determine how to promote trustworthy institutions and practices. This article uses national survey data, combined with the results of a community consultation that took place in Tasmania, Australia in 2013, to analyze the specific issue of public reactions to commercialization of biobanks and their outputs. This research will enhance the ability of biobanks to respond preemptively to public concerns about commercialization by establishing and maintaining governance frameworks that are responsive to those concerns. The results reveal that it is possible to counter the 'natural prejudice' that many people have against commercialization through independent governance of biobank resources and transparency with regard to commercial involvement. Indeed, most participants agreed that they would rather have a biobank with commercial involvement than none at all. This analysis provides nuanced conclusions about public reactions towards commercialization and equips researchers and biobank operators with data on which to base policies and make governance decisions in order to tackle participant concerns respectfully and responsively. PMID:27343817

  11. Challenging Ideology: Could a Better Understanding of Academic Enquiry Lead to Better Public Policy Making?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Roger

    2010-01-01

    Does the present level of public unhappiness with the conduct of governance offer an opportunity to revisit the quality of public policy making and the pernicious role of ideology? In this article I argue that there are some strong parallels between academic enquiry and public policy making, and that a better understanding of the former could lead…

  12. Improving Students' Understanding of Lock-In Amplifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, Seth; Gauthier, Alexandre; Levy, Jeremy; Chandralekha, Singh

    2014-03-01

    A lock-in amplifier is a versatile instrument frequently used in physics research. However, many students struggle with the basic operating principles of a lock-in amplifier which can lead to a variety of difficulties. To improve students' understanding, we have been developing and evaluating a research-based tutorial which makes use of a computer simulation of a lock-in amplifier. The tutorial is based on a field-tested approach in which students realize their difficulties after predicting the outcome of simulated experiments involving a lock-in amplifier and check their predictions using the simulated lock-in amplifier. Then, the tutorial guides and helps students develop a coherent understanding of the basics of a lock-in amplifier. The tutorial development involved interviews with physics faculty members and graduate students and iteration of many versions of the tutorial with professors and graduate students. The student difficulties and the development and assessment of the research-based tutorial are discussed. We thank National Science Foundation for award NSF-1124131.

  13. Assessing and improving student understanding of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2006-02-01

    We developed a survey to probe student understanding of quantum mechanics concepts at the beginning of graduate instruction. The survey was administered to 202 graduate students in physics enrolled in first-year quantum mechanics courses from seven different universities at the beginning of the first semester. We also conducted one-on-one interviews with fifteen graduate students or advanced undergraduate students who had just finished a course in which all the content on the survey was covered. We find that students share universal difficulties about fundamental quantum mechanics concepts. The difficulties are often due to over-generalization of concepts learned in one context to other contexts where they are not directly applicable and difficulty in making sense of the abstract quantitative formalism of quantum mechanics. Instructional strategies that focus on improving student understanding of these concepts should take into account these difficulties. The results from this study can sensitize instructors of first-year graduate quantum physics to the conceptual difficulties students are likely to face.

  14. Improving public health by tackling climate change

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Across the world, climate change is now responsible for substantial mortality and morbidity, through direct effects on health and also by threatening the determinants of health. This commentary argues that adaptation policies to enhance resilience to adverse climate events are important, but must be coupled with determined action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The prize is synergy: many such policies, for example concerning food, travel and community engagement, can simultaneously improve physical and mental health. This is a commentary on http://www.ijhpr.org/content/2/1/23. PMID:23773290

  15. Understanding and improving longevity in RF MEMS capacitive switches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldsmith, Chuck; Forehand, David; Scarbrough, Derek; Peng, Zheng; Palego, Cris; Hwang, James; Clevenger, Jason

    2008-02-01

    This paper discusses issues relating to the reliability and methods for employing high-cycle life testing in capacitive RF MEMS switches. In order to investigate dielectric charging, transient current spectroscopy is used to characterize and model the ingress and egress of charges within the switch insulating layer providing an efficient, powerful tool to investigate various insulating materials without constructing actual MEMS switches. Additionally, an in-situ monitoring scheme has been developed to observe the dynamic evolution of switch characteristics during life testing. As an alternative to high-cycle life testing, which may require days or weeks of testing, a method for performing accelerated life tests is presented. Various methods for mitigating dielectric charging are presented including: reduced operating voltage, reduced dielectric area, and improved control waveforms. Charging models, accelerated life test results, and high-cycle life test results for state-of-the-art capacitive RF MEMS switches aid in the better understanding of MEMS switch reliability providing direction for improving materials and mechanical designs to increase the operation lifetime of MEMS capacitive switches.

  16. Beyond Theory: Improving Public Relations Writing through Computer Technology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neff, Bonita Dostal

    Computer technology (primarily word processing) enables the student of public relations writing to improve the writing process through increased flexibility in writing, enhanced creativity, increased support of management skills and team work. A new instructional model for computer use in public relations courses at Purdue University Calumet…

  17. A systems approach to understanding and improving health systems.

    PubMed

    Erazo, Álvaro

    2015-09-01

    Health systems face the challenge of helping to improve health conditions. They occupy a priority place in middle- and lower-income countries, since the absence or fragility of health systems adversely impacts expected health outcomes. Thus, due to the direct relationship between programs and systems, the absence or weakness of either will result in a consequent deficiency in public health and the very execution of the programs. In the same vein, weakened health systems are one of the main bottlenecks to attaining the Millennium Development Goals. Systems thinking is one of the "four revolutions in progress" that are helping to transform health and health care systems. Within that framework, this article identifies conceptual and operational elements of systems applicable to health systems that contribute to overcoming the obstacles and inertia that hinder health activities and outcomes. It discusses relevant concepts characteristic of systems thinking, such as structural variables and dynamic complexity, the relationship between programs and health systems, and the monitoring and evaluation function, together with the role of innovation and systems integration as high-priority elements. This will aid in the development of designs that also stress the context of the components that guide management, identifying processes and outcomes in a health management continuum. PMID:26758004

  18. Improved Understanding of ice and dust processes using Data Assimilation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Richardson, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    We use the DART Data Assimilation (DA) framework to ingest radiance observations from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) into the PlanetWRF Mars General Circulation Model (GCM) and measure the skill of the model in reproducing the observations, and hence to test and improve understanding of the aerosol processes at the heart of Martian climate. The DA framework is used to constrain the surface ice properties in the model using the TES radiance observations and lander pressure measurements as independent constraints on the ice properties. We compare the skill of two ice models in reproducing the TES radiance observations while simultaneously matching lander pressure observations. In one model the effect of subsurface ice is contained within the surface albedo and emissivity parameterization, in the second model subsurface ice is parameterized based on Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) data. Both models reproduce the pressure cycle observed by the Viking Lander instruments, but the model with subsurface ice performs significantly better at reproducing the TES radiance observations over the ice-covered poles. We also use the DA framework to investigate the model skill using the Conrath vertical dust profile (with a near surface maximum dust abundance) and a modified dust profile with high altitude maximum that has been inferred from limb observations by the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) and the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES). The GCM using the modified dust profile produces an atmosphere with thermal lapse rate closer to that measured using nadir observations from TES.

  19. Improving illiterate patients understanding and adherence to discharge medications

    PubMed Central

    Clayton, Matthew; Syed, Faizan; Rashid, Amjid; Fayyaz, Umer

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Adherence to a hospital discharge medication regime is crucial for successful treatment and to avoid increasing rates of drug resistance. A patient's success in adhering to their medication regime is dependent on many social, cultural, economic, illness and therapy-related factors, and these are often more pronounced in the developing world. Anecdotal evidence in Services Hospital, Lahore (Pakistan) suggested that the relatively high levels of illiteracy in the patient population was a major factor in poor adherence. Baseline measurement revealed that 48% of all the hospital's patients were illiterate with just 5%–12% of illiterate patients being able to interpret their handwritten discharge prescription after leaving hospital. Unsurprisingly follow-up clinics reported very poor adherence. This quality improvement project intervened by designing a new discharge prescription proforma which used pictures and symbols rather than words to convey the necessary information. Repeated surveys demonstrated large relative increases in comprehension of the new proformas amongst illiterate patients with between 23%–35% of illiterate patients understanding the new proformas. PMID:26734151

  20. Toward an Improved Understanding of the Global Fresh Water Budget

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hildebrand, Peter H.

    2005-01-01

    priorities for future improvements in global fresh water budget monitoring. The priorities are based on the potential of new approaches to provide improved measurement and modeling systems, and on the need to measure and understand the potential for a speed-up of the global water cycle under the effects of climate change.

  1. Understanding and Improving High Voltage Vacuum Insulators for Microsecond Pulses

    SciTech Connect

    Javedani, J B; Goerz, D A; Houck, T L; Lauer, E J; Speer, R D; Tully, L K; Vogtlin, G E; White, A D

    2007-03-05

    High voltage insulation is one of the main areas of pulsed power research and development, and dielectric breakdown is usually the limiting factor in attaining the highest possible performance in pulsed power devices. For many applications the delivery of pulsed power into a vacuum region is the most critical aspect of operation. The surface of an insulator exposed to vacuum can fail electrically at an applied field more than an order or magnitude below the bulk dielectric strength of the insulator. This mode of breakdown, called surface flashover, imposes serious limitations on the power flow into a vacuum region. This is especially troublesome for applications where high voltage conditioning of the insulator and electrodes is not practical and for applications where relatively long pulses, on the order of several microseconds, are required. The goal of this project is to establish a sound fundamental understanding of the mechanisms that lead to surface flashover, and then evaluate the most promising techniques to improve vacuum insulators and enable high voltage operation at stress levels near the intrinsic bulk breakdown limits of the material. The approach we proposed and followed was to develop this understanding through a combination of theoretical and computation methods coupled with experiments to validate and quantify expected behaviors. In this report we summarize our modeling and simulation efforts, theoretical studies, and experimental investigations. The computational work began by exploring the limits of commercially available codes and demonstrating methods to examine field enhancements and defect mechanisms at microscopic levels. Plasma simulations with particle codes used in conjunction with circuit models of the experimental apparatus enabled comparisons with experimental measurements. The large scale plasma (LSP) particle-in-cell (PIC) code was run on multiprocessor platforms and used to simulate expanding plasma conditions in vacuum gap regions

  2. Lost in translation: Discourses, boundaries and legitimacy in the public understanding of science in the UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lock, Simon Jay

    2008-07-01

    This thesis documents the historical development of debates around the public understanding of science in the UK from 1985 until 2005. Testimonies from key actors involved in the evolution of the recent public understanding of science arena, and an examination of documentary evidence, have been used to map out how this issue was problematised by scientists in the mid-1980s, and how it has developed into a contested field of activity, political interest and academic research. I propose that this historical period can be broadly understood in four phases each characterised by a dominant discourse of the public understanding of science. I examine how, within each phase, the various groups involved have engaged in boundary work: rhetorically constructing, and mobilising, ideas of 'science', 'the public', and the perceived 'problem' in the relationship between the two, in the pursuit of defining and legitimating themselves and these definitions of the relationship between science and public. Phase I is characterised as a rhetorical re-framing of earlier 'problems' of the public understanding of science by scientists and scientific institutions in the context of the 1980s. Phase II is dominated by the boundary work between scientists and social scientists as they contended for legitimacy and authority over competing discourses of public understanding of science and the institutionalisation of PUS activity and research. Phase III is characterised by a variety of discursive formulations of the 'problem' of PUS following the House of Lords report (2000) and a subsequent change in the rhetoric of public understanding of science to one of public engagement. Phase IV is dominated by the language of 'upstream engagement' and identifies the political interest in managing science's relationship with the public and the social scientific responses to this.

  3. Prenatal Training Improves New Mothers’ Understanding of Jaundice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ling; Hu, Peng; Wang, Jian; Zhang, Min; Zhang, Qing Ling; Hu, Bo

    2015-01-01

    Background Mothers’ knowledge of neonatal jaundice (NNJ) is grossly deficient or inaccurate, which may adversely affect the actions of mothers in the recognition of NNJ and cause a delay in seeking medical attention. Material/Methods A total of 1036 primiparas were separated randomly into the intervention group and the control group, with 518 primiparas in each group. Results All (100%) mothers in the intervention group understood that NNJ is a yellow discoloration of the skin and sclera; 94.19% of them considered that NNJ is a common problem in newborns; 82.80% and 95.27% replied that jaundice appearing within the first 36 hours and lasting more than 2 weeks usually indicates pathological NNJ; 96.34%, 80.86%, and 90.32% realized that premature newborns, low birth weight, and perinatal asphyxia, respectively, are more likely to be accompanied by NNJ; 97.41%, 78.71%, and 64.95% knew that maternal-fetal blood group incompatibility, infection, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, respectively, are the common inducements to NNJ; 94.84% could associate NNJ with brain damage; 92.26%, 93.12%, and 74.62% agreed that phototherapy, strengthen feeding, and exchange blood transfusion, respectively, can greatly relieve NNJ. However, some respondents in the control group responded in other ways, such as stopping breastfeeding (9.19%), placing newborns in sunlight (10.24%) and traditional Chinese medicine (10.24%), which was significantly higher than that of the intervention group. There was also a significant delay for respondents in the control group in consulting a pediatrician, and 6.30% of them did not seek medical help until after the interview. Conclusions Prenatal training could significantly improve new mothers’ understanding of NNJ. PMID:26056164

  4. From Headline to Hard Grind: The Importance of Understanding Public Administration in Achieving Health Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    O’Flynn, Janine

    2016-01-01

    Many public policy programs fail to translate ambitious headlines to on-the-ground action. The reasons for this are many and varied, but for public administration and management scholars a large part of the gap between ambition and achievement is the challenge associated with the operation of the machinery of government itself, and how it relates to the other parties that it relies on to fulfill these outcomes. In their article, Carey and Friel set out key reasons why public health scholars should seek to better understand important ideas in public administration. In commenting on their contribution, I draw out two critical questions that are raised by this discussion: (i) what are boundaries and what forms do they take? and (ii) why work across boundaries? Expanding on these key questions extends the points made by Carey and Friel on the importance of understanding public administration and will better place public health scholars and practitioners to realise health outcomes.

  5. [Notes for understanding the problem of "public" health in the health sector].

    PubMed

    Guimarães, Cristian Fabiano; da Silva, Rosane Azevedo Neves

    2015-03-01

    This paper presents a theoretical review of how the public health concept has been perceived in health practices, based on the problematic field introduced in Italian and Brazilian health reforms, in order to understand the construction of public health and the meanings that this term acquires in the health arena. The main goal is to understand how public health appears in the context of health movements in Italy and Brazil, as well as its movement of variation. In this sense, an attempt is made to identify elements that contribute to the composition of a genealogy of public health. From the investigation of public health practices, the tensions produced by this concept are analyzed, giving visibility to those practices that demonstrate the public health experience as a force in the world of health. PMID:25760131

  6. Improving Education and Public Outreach Through Astronomy Education Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.

    2005-04-01

    Following in the footsteps of physics education research, the relatively new field of astronomy education research is already making dramatic improvements to the teaching and learning of astronomy. Whereas physics education research has focused predominantly on the introductory physics course, astronomy education is working on developing instruments and models to understand widely ranging domains that span K-12, undergraduate majors and non-majors, and even into the realms of public outreach. As one example, the repeated call for a more student-centered approach to teaching due to the ineffectiveness of lecture has been gaining prominence in the astronomy teaching community. At the beginning of a large-enrollment introductory astronomy survey course, we administered 68-multiple choice items as a pretest to 81 students. At the end of each lecture we administered the specific items related to that particular day's lecture a second time as a posttest. The pretest was 30% correct and the test, when given after lecture alone showed 52% correct. These results illustrate that instructor-centered strategies are largely ineffective at promoting meaningful conceptual gains. Alternatively, when using curriculum materials created from a basis of astronomy education research, we find that the posttest average score grows beyond 70%. Each 15-minute Lecture-Tutorial poses a carefully crafted sequence of conceptually challenging, Socratic-dialogue driven questions, along with graphs and data tables, all designed to encourage students to reason critically about difficult concepts in astronomy. A significant effort was focused on carefully evaluating changes in students' conceptual understanding and attitudes toward learning astronomy. The quantitative and qualitative results strongly suggest that the Lecture-Tutorials help students make significant conceptual gains.

  7. Creating Quality Improvement Culture in Public Health Agencies

    PubMed Central

    Mahanna, Elizabeth; Joly, Brenda; Zelek, Michael; Riley, William; Verma, Pooja; Fisher, Jessica Solomon

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. We conducted case studies of 10 agencies that participated in early quality improvement efforts. Methods. The agencies participated in a project conducted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (2007–2008). Case study participants included health directors and quality improvement team leaders and members. We implemented multiple qualitative analysis processes, including cross-case analysis and logic modeling. We categorized agencies according to the extent to which they had developed a quality improvement culture. Results. Agencies were conducting informal quality improvement projects (n = 4), conducting formal quality improvement projects (n = 3), or creating a quality improvement culture (n = 4). Agencies conducting formal quality improvement and creating a quality improvement culture had leadership support for quality improvement, participated in national quality improvement initiatives, had a greater number of staff trained in quality improvement and quality improvement teams that met regularly with decision-making authority. Agencies conducting informal quality improvement were likely to report that accreditation is the major driver for quality improvement work. Agencies creating a quality improvement culture were more likely to have a history of evidence-based decision-making and use quality improvement to address emerging issues. Conclusions. Our findings support previous research and add the roles of national public health accreditation and emerging issues as factors in agencies’ ability to create and sustain a quality improvement culture. PMID:24228680

  8. English Activities in International Understanding Lessons in a Japanese Public Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monoi-Yamaga, Naoko

    2010-01-01

    This study was an investigation of public elementary school students' affective changes through English Activities of international understanding lessons at Japanese public elementary school. The learners' expected affective changes were regarded as "International Posture", "Self-esteem", "Collective Self-esteem", and "Interest in Foreign Affairs"…

  9. The Public Understanding of Science: `The Wolfendale Report' and Other Matters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfendale, A. W.

    2008-01-01

    `The public understanding of Science' is a matter of interest and concern and one that we neglect at our peril. This paper deals with two aspects : the `Wolfendale Report' of 1995, commissioned by the British Government, and some personal reflections on how to make our presentations to `the public' more interesting.

  10. Mathematical Understanding and Representation Ability of Public Junior High School in North Sumatra

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minarni, Ani; Napitupulu, E. Elvis; Husein, Rahmad

    2016-01-01

    This paper is the result of first phase of the research about the development of students' mathematical understanding and representation ability through Joyful Problem-Based Learning (JPBL) at Public Junior High School in North Sumatra, Indonesia. The population is all of the students of public junior high school (PJHS) in North Sumatra. Samples…

  11. 75 FR 61706 - Request for Public Comments Regarding Small and Medium Enterprises' Understanding of and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-06

    ...The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is publishing a notice of inquiry to solicit comments from the public regarding small and medium enterprises' (SMEs) understanding of and compliance with export controls maintained pursuant to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). BIS anticipates that input from the public will help it administer and enforce export controls in a manner......

  12. Communicating with Parents: Understanding the Process, Improving Your Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Federation of Teachers (NJ), 2007

    2007-01-01

    Communication is the exchange of information, ideas and/or feelings from one person to another. The goal of communication is understanding. Without understanding, there is no communication. The communication process consists of verbal and nonverbal communication and listening. The spoken word is self-explanatory. Communication problems between…

  13. The Public Understanding of Science: 30 Years of the Bodmer Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Short, Daniel B.

    2013-01-01

    As research probes deeper into all aspects of science, greater specialisation is required. This natural progression takes knowledge and understanding further away from the general public. Hence part of the responsibility of scientists is to communicate that knowledge at an appropriate level of understanding. As most people do not actively follow…

  14. The Significance of Blackstone's Understanding of Sovereign Immunity for America's Public Institutions of Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snow, Brian A.; Thro, William E.

    2001-01-01

    Asserts that from the perspective of America's public institutions of higher education, Blackstone's greatest legacy is his understanding of sovereign immunity. Explores the similarities between Blackstone's understanding of sovereign immunity and the current jurisprudence of the U.S. Supreme Court. (EV)

  15. Science for Public Understanding: A Different Way To Teach and Learn Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millar, Robin; Hunt, Andrew

    2002-01-01

    Describes the AQA AS-level course 'Science for Public Understanding' and explains its underlying rationale. Shows how a topic-based course can be used to consolidate students' understanding of some scientific explanations and ideas-about-science in a systematic manner. (Author/MM)

  16. "It just goes against the grain." Public understandings of genetically modified (GM) food in the UK.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Alison

    2002-07-01

    This paper reports on one aspect of qualitative research on public understandings of food risks, focusing on lay understandings of genetically modified (GM) food in the UK context. A range of theoretical, conceptual, and empirical literature on food, risk, and the public understanding of science are reviewed. The fieldwork methods are outlined and empirical data from a range of lay groups are presented. Major themes include: varying "technical" knowledge of science, the relationship between knowledge and acceptance of genetic modification, the uncertainty of scientific knowledge, genetic modification as inappropriate scientific intervention in "nature", the acceptability of animal and human applications of genetic modification, the appropriate boundaries of scientific innovation, the necessity for GM foods, the uncertainty of risks in GM food, fatalism about avoiding risks, and trust in "experts" to manage potential risks in GM food. Key discussion points relating to a sociological understanding of public attitudes to GM food are raised and some policy implications are highlighted. PMID:12430532

  17. The Reproduction of Scientific Understanding about Pendulum Motion in the Public

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manabu, Sumida

    This paper describes life-span development of understanding about pendulum motion and effects of school science. The subjects were 2,766 people ranging from kindergartners up to 88 years senior citizens. The conflict and consensus between children and their parent's understanding of pendulum motion were also analyzed. The kindergartner's understanding, mostly non-scientific, made a marked developmental change to another type of non-scientific understanding by the time they reach G 4. Parents with scientific understanding do not presumably nurture scientifically minded children,even though about half of them can apply scientific conceptions that shorter pendulums swing faster, and the amplitude and speed of pendulum motion do not depend on its weight. There seems to be another type of developmental change from scientific understanding to non-scientific understanding around their fifties. Itis suggested that the scientific understanding in the public about pendulum motion become predominant due to the educational intervention through school science.

  18. Improving Science Education and Understanding through Editing Wikipedia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moy, Cheryl L.; Locke, Jonas R.; Coppola, Brian P.; McNeil, Anne J.

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes a graduate-level class project centered on editing chemistry-related entries in Wikipedia. This project enables students to work collaboratively, explore advanced concepts in chemistry, and learn how to communicate science to a diverse audience, including the general public. The format and structure of the project is outlined…

  19. Efficiency improvements of public hospitals under a capitation payment scheme.

    PubMed

    García-Lacalle, Javier; Martín, Emilio

    2013-07-01

    In a context of cost containment and demands for better quality in public health care, payment systems are used as an instrument to promote efficiency improvements in service providers. Andalusia has adopted an original type of risk-adjusted capitation payment mechanism to reimburse public hospitals. This paper presents the main characteristics of the reimbursement mechanism of the Andalusian Health Service highlighting some differences with the mechanisms adopted in other parts of Europe. The paper also explores the evolution of the efficiency and quality of the hospitals after its implementation using the Malmquist index. Results indicate that hospitals have slightly improved their efficiency, particularly urban hospitals, and these improvements are not significantly related to a negative evolution of quality. However, it is not possible to assert to what extent, improvements are the consequence of the new payment system. The organisation of the Servicio Andaluz de Salud and the limited competition between hospitals reduce the effectiveness of the reform. PMID:23343663

  20. An ecological public health approach to understanding the relationships between sustainable urban environments, public health and social equity.

    PubMed

    Bentley, Michael

    2014-09-01

    The environmental determinants of public health and social equity present many challenges to a sustainable urbanism-climate change, water shortages and oil dependency to name a few. There are many pathways from urban environments to human health. Numerous links have been described but some underlying mechanisms behind these relationships are less understood. Combining theory and methods is a way of understanding and explaining how the underlying structures of urban environments relate to public health and social equity. This paper proposes a model for an ecological public health, which can be used to explore these relationships. Four principles of an ecological public health-conviviality, equity, sustainability and global responsibility-are used to derive theoretical concepts that can inform ecological public health thinking, which, among other things, provides a way of exploring the underlying mechanisms that link urban environments to public health and social equity. Theories of more-than-human agency inform ways of living together (conviviality) in urban areas. Political ecology links the equity concerns about environmental and social justice. Resilience thinking offers a better way of coming to grips with sustainability. Integrating ecological ethics into public health considers the global consequences of local urban living and thus attends to global responsibility. This way of looking at the relationships between urban environments, public health and social equity answers the call to craft an ecological public health for the twenty-first century by re-imagining public health in a way that acknowledges humans as part of the ecosystem, not separate from it, though not central to it. PMID:23661624

  1. Understanding Synthesis Across Disciplines to Improve Nursing Education.

    PubMed

    Blondy, Laurie C; Blakeslee, Ann M; Scheffer, Barbara K; Rubenfeld, M Gaie; Cronin, Brenda M; Luster-Turner, Rose

    2016-06-01

    Nursing students must learn higher-order thinking skills of analysis and synthesis to manage complex data for decision making in healthcare. Teaching synthesis, however, is challenging and elusive due to lack of understanding of the concept and an explicit pedagogy for teaching it. A qualitative, multi-phased research project was designed to gain understanding of what synthesis is, how professionals acquire synthesis skills, and how to best teach synthesis. The first phase explored interdisciplinary descriptions of synthesis. Three focus groups were conducted, and interdisciplinary participants responded to several questions. Several themes emerged suggesting that synthesis depends on cognitive skills and competencies, situational and contextual factors, preparation and knowledge acquisition skills, interpersonal and interaction skills, and personal qualities. Participants also supported use of multi-modal teaching strategies to reinforce students' use of synthesis in learning. This project provided a beginning understanding of the synthesis process, revealing striking similarities in synthesis across professional disciplines. PMID:26689219

  2. Modelling associations between public understanding, engagement and forest conditions in the Inland Northwest, USA.

    PubMed

    Hartter, Joel; Stevens, Forrest R; Hamilton, Lawrence C; Congalton, Russell G; Ducey, Mark J; Oester, Paul T

    2015-01-01

    Opinions about public lands and the actions of private non-industrial forest owners in the western United States play important roles in forested landscape management as both public and private forests face increasing risks from large wildfires, pests and disease. This work presents the responses from two surveys, a random-sample telephone survey of more than 1500 residents and a mail survey targeting owners of parcels with 10 or more acres of forest. These surveys were conducted in three counties (Wallowa, Union, and Baker) in northeast Oregon, USA. We analyze these survey data using structural equation models in order to assess how individual characteristics and understanding of forest management issues affect perceptions about forest conditions and risks associated with declining forest health on public lands. We test whether forest understanding is informed by background, beliefs, and experiences, and whether as an intervening variable it is associated with views about forest conditions on publicly managed forests. Individual background characteristics such as age, gender and county of residence have significant direct or indirect effects on our measurement of understanding. Controlling for background factors, we found that forest owners with higher self-assessed understanding, and more education about forest management, tend to hold more pessimistic views about forest conditions. Based on our results we argue that self-assessed understanding, interest in learning, and willingness to engage in extension activities together have leverage to affect perceptions about the risks posed by declining forest conditions on public lands, influence land owner actions, and affect support for public policies. These results also have broader implications for management of forested landscapes on public and private lands amidst changing demographics in rural communities across the Inland Northwest where migration may significantly alter the composition of forest owner goals

  3. Modelling Associations between Public Understanding, Engagement and Forest Conditions in the Inland Northwest, USA

    PubMed Central

    Hartter, Joel; Stevens, Forrest R.; Hamilton, Lawrence C.; Congalton, Russell G.; Ducey, Mark J.; Oester, Paul T.

    2015-01-01

    Opinions about public lands and the actions of private non-industrial forest owners in the western United States play important roles in forested landscape management as both public and private forests face increasing risks from large wildfires, pests and disease. This work presents the responses from two surveys, a random-sample telephone survey of more than 1500 residents and a mail survey targeting owners of parcels with 10 or more acres of forest. These surveys were conducted in three counties (Wallowa, Union, and Baker) in northeast Oregon, USA. We analyze these survey data using structural equation models in order to assess how individual characteristics and understanding of forest management issues affect perceptions about forest conditions and risks associated with declining forest health on public lands. We test whether forest understanding is informed by background, beliefs, and experiences, and whether as an intervening variable it is associated with views about forest conditions on publicly managed forests. Individual background characteristics such as age, gender and county of residence have significant direct or indirect effects on our measurement of understanding. Controlling for background factors, we found that forest owners with higher self-assessed understanding, and more education about forest management, tend to hold more pessimistic views about forest conditions. Based on our results we argue that self-assessed understanding, interest in learning, and willingness to engage in extension activities together have leverage to affect perceptions about the risks posed by declining forest conditions on public lands, influence land owner actions, and affect support for public policies. These results also have broader implications for management of forested landscapes on public and private lands amidst changing demographics in rural communities across the Inland Northwest where migration may significantly alter the composition of forest owner goals

  4. Does Competition Improve Public School Efficiency? A Spatial Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Misra, Kaustav

    2010-01-01

    Proponents of educational reform often call for policies to increase competition between schools. It is argued that market forces naturally lead to greater efficiencies, including improved student learning, when schools face competition. In many parts of the country, public schools experience significant competition from private schools; however,…

  5. Successful Management of Public School Capital Improvement Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filardo, Mary

    2000-01-01

    In 1999, the 21st Century School Fund interviewed seven large school districts regarding management of capital-improvement programs. Researchers found three basic models: in-house management, other-public-agency management, and private-sector management. Systematic oversight and quality-control approaches will protect school systems from…

  6. Understanding and Reducing Faculty Reluctance to Improve Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCrickerd, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Many believe college instructors resist new teaching practices. In this article, the author develops a hypothesis to understand resistant faculty members, focusing on their likely educational experiences and on insights from psychology. Using Dweck's conception of self-theories and Fischer's conception of dynamic skill-theory, she defends the…

  7. Lectures and Simulation Laboratories to Improve Learners' Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brophy, Sean P.; Magana, Alejandra J.; Strachan, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    We studied the use of online molecular dynamics simulations (MD) to enhance student abilities to understand the atomic processes governing plastic deformation in materials. The target population included a second-year undergraduate engineering course in the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University. The objectives of the study were to…

  8. Improving Reading Strategies through an Understanding of Culture and Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wen, Xiaohong

    This paper contends that many of the difficulties students of Chinese have in reading comprehension are directly related to their level of understanding of Chinese language and culture, and that these difficulties could be alleviated by providing students with knowledge about the value system, social customs, formation of Chinese characters and…

  9. Standing in the Hallway Improves Students' Understanding of Conformity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, Timothy J.; Haubner, Richard R.; Bodle, James H.

    2013-01-01

    To help beginning psychology students understand how they are influenced by social pressures to conform, we developed a demonstration designed to elicit their conformity to a small group of students standing in the hallway before class. Results showed the demonstration increased students' recognition of their own tendency to conform, knowledge of…

  10. Information technologies to improve public health: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Manhas, Melissa; Kuo, Mu-Hsing

    2015-01-01

    This systematic review examines a total of eighteen studies on the use of health information technologies to improve public health. Health information technologies are tools that allow for the management of health information in computerized systems. Health information technology, including electronic health records, computers/emails, social media, and cellphones/text messaging are becoming widespread and readily accessible to populations around the globe. In this review, the use of these technologies and interventions are discussed and evaluated for their potential to improve public health. This review found some good-quality evidence on the use of electronic health records and little good-quality evidence on the use of email, social media, cell phones and text messaging to improve healthcare, illustrating the need for further study in these areas. PMID:25676984

  11. Productivity improvement and job satisfaction among public health nutritionists.

    PubMed

    Vermeersch, J A; Feeney, M J; Wesner, K M; Dahl, T

    1979-12-01

    A workshop for public health nutritionists which scrutinized ways to improve productivity and job satisfaction is reported. Participants believed that productivity could be improved most by improving the execution of tasks, followed by better planning of programs, office management, and skills in group education, and by delegation of non-professional activities to lesser-trained personnel. Job satisfaction of public health nutritionists could be increased by reducing stress and discomfort and promoting feelings of personal effectiveness and efficiency through role clarification and by management training. There is a large potential for greater productivity in the profession. Realization of this potential will contribute measurably to the cost-effectiveness of nutritional services. PMID:117042

  12. Understanding and improving the Fermilab booster high field orbit

    SciTech Connect

    Chao, Y.; Ketcham, L.; Moore, C.D.

    1989-03-01

    This note is an account of the authors' effort in both understanding the Booster high field orbit and controlling it through displacements of the main combined function magnets. We were able to achieve the second goal with considerable accuracy while having limited success with the first, due to insufficient knowledge of the Booster dynamics. This work was initiated in Spring 1987 with the orbit control via magnet moves the chief purpose. A series of magnet moves in 1987 and 1988 resulting from this study testified to its reliability. The understanding of the Booster orbit in general remains an ongoing process in which we keep modifying our model with the hope of eventually having a quantitative grasp of the closed orbit and being able to manipulate it with more flexibility and accuracy. In this paper we give a brief description of the Booster environment in which the magnet moves are carried out, together with background information concerning the magnet moves. The method we use is discussed. The result of the moves is documented, and our effort to understand the Booster high field orbit is given a detailed account. 12 figs., 5 tabs.

  13. Social Judgment Analysis: Methodology for Improving Interpersonal Communication and Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rohrbaugh, John; Harmon, Joel

    Research has found the Social Judgment Analysis (SJA) approach, with its focus on judgment policy and cognitive feedback, to be a significant factor in developing group member agreement and improving member performance. A controlled experiment was designed to assess the relative quality of the judgment making process provided by SJA.…

  14. Improving Access to and Understanding of Regulations through Taxonomies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheng, Chin Pang; Lau. Gloria T.; Law, Kincho H.; Pan, Jiayi; Jones, Albert

    2009-01-01

    Industrial taxonomies have the potential to automate information retrieval, facilitate interoperability and, most importantly, improve decision making - decisions that must comply with existing government regulations and codes of practice. However, it is difficult to find those regulations and codes most relevant to a particular decision, even…

  15. Understanding Leadership Paradigms for Improvement in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flumerfelt, Shannon; Banachowski, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: This research article is based on the Baldrige National Quality Program Education Criteria for Performance Excellence's conceptualization of improvement as a dual cycle/three element initiative of examining and bettering inputs, processes, and outputs as driven by measurement, analysis and knowledge management work. This study isolates a…

  16. Understanding and improving inpatient mortality in academic medical centers.

    PubMed

    Behal, Raj; Finn, Jeannine

    2009-12-01

    The purpose of this article is to describe factors contributing to potentially preventable mortality in academic medical centers and the organizational characteristics associated with success in reducing mortality. Sixteen U.S. academic medical centers that wished to improve risk-adjusted inpatient mortality rates requested a consultation that included interviews with physicians, nurses, and hospital leaders; review of medical records; and evaluation of systems and processes of care. The assessments took place on-site; they identified key factors contributing to preventable mortality, and each hospital received specific recommendations. Changes in observed mortality and in the ratio of observed to expected mortality were measured from 2002 to final follow-up in 2007. Evaluations determined each hospital's success factors and key barriers to improvement. The key factors contributing to preventable mortality were delays in responding to deteriorating patients, suboptimal critical care, hospital-acquired infections, postoperative complications, medical errors, and community issues such as the availability of hospice care. Of the 16 hospitals, 12 were able to reduce their mortality index. The five hospitals that had the greatest improvement in mortality were the only hospitals with a broad level of engagement among hospital and physician leaders, including the department chairs. In the hospitals whose performance did not improve, the department chairs were not engaged in the process. The academic medical centers that focused on mortality reduction and had engagement of physicians, especially department chairs, were able to achieve meaningful reductions in hospital mortality. The necessary ingredients for achieving meaningful improvement in clinical outcomes included good data, a sound method for change, and physician leadership. PMID:19940569

  17. The Component Model of Infrastructure: A Practical Approach to Understanding Public Health Program Infrastructure

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Kimberly; Rieker, Patricia P.

    2014-01-01

    Functioning program infrastructure is necessary for achieving public health outcomes. It is what supports program capacity, implementation, and sustainability. The public health program infrastructure model presented in this article is grounded in data from a broader evaluation of 18 state tobacco control programs and previous work. The newly developed Component Model of Infrastructure (CMI) addresses the limitations of a previous model and contains 5 core components (multilevel leadership, managed resources, engaged data, responsive plans and planning, networked partnerships) and 3 supporting components (strategic understanding, operations, contextual influences). The CMI is a practical, implementation-focused model applicable across public health programs, enabling linkages to capacity, sustainability, and outcome measurement. PMID:24922125

  18. NOAA Plans for Improving Public Access to Science Research (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Beaujardiere, J.

    2013-12-01

    The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum on 2013 February 22 calling for federal agencies to enhance public access to research results (PARR), and required agencies to submit, within 6 months of the memo, draft plans explaining how they would implement the requirements. For the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), research results include digital data about the Earth's environment and publications based on those data. Regarding environmental data, NOAA is already very active in ensuring and improving public access. Indeed, National Weather Service (NWS) data was highlighted as one of the good examples in the OSTP memo. More generally, the NOAA National Data Centers, the Environmental Data Management Committee (EDMC), and scientific and technical personnel across the agency are striving to ensure NOAA data are discoverable and accessible on-line, well-documented and formatted for usability, and preserved for future generations as a national asset. This presentation will describe current and potential activities in support of public access to NOAA and NOAA-funded environmental data. Regarding publications, there is greater uncertainty. The fundamental issue is how to ensure no-cost access (after an embargo period) to publications that typically require subscriptions. That issue must be addressed at the interagency level with the journal publishers. The plan indicates that NOAA will adopt shared mechanisms and agreements to the extent possible rather than building new systems. Some elements remain under discussion; this presentation will be limited to those aspects on which there is general agreement.

  19. The decline and rise of coronary heart disease: understanding public health catastrophism.

    PubMed

    Jones, David S; Greene, Jeremy A

    2013-07-01

    The decline of coronary heart disease mortality in the United States and Western Europe is one of the great accomplishments of modern public health and medicine. Cardiologists and cardiovascular epidemiologists have devoted significant effort to disease surveillance and epidemiological modeling to understand its causes. One unanticipated outcome of these efforts has been the detection of early warnings that the decline had slowed, plateaued, or even reversed. These subtle signs have been interpreted as evidence of an impending public health catastrophe. This article traces the history of research on coronary heart disease decline and resurgence and situates it in broader narratives of public health catastrophism. Juxtaposing the coronary heart disease literature alongside the narratives of emerging and reemerging infectious disease helps to identify patterns in how public health researchers create data and craft them into powerful narratives of progress or pessimism. These narratives, in turn, shape public health policy. PMID:23678895

  20. The Decline and Rise of Coronary Heart Disease: Understanding Public Health Catastrophism

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Jeremy A.

    2013-01-01

    The decline of coronary heart disease mortality in the United States and Western Europe is one of the great accomplishments of modern public health and medicine. Cardiologists and cardiovascular epidemiologists have devoted significant effort to disease surveillance and epidemiological modeling to understand its causes. One unanticipated outcome of these efforts has been the detection of early warnings that the decline had slowed, plateaued, or even reversed. These subtle signs have been interpreted as evidence of an impending public health catastrophe. This article traces the history of research on coronary heart disease decline and resurgence and situates it in broader narratives of public health catastrophism. Juxtaposing the coronary heart disease literature alongside the narratives of emerging and reemerging infectious disease helps to identify patterns in how public health researchers create data and craft them into powerful narratives of progress or pessimism. These narratives, in turn, shape public health policy. PMID:23678895

  1. Engaging Students Through Classroom Connection Webinars to Improve Their Understanding of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graff, Paige V.; Achilles, Cherie

    2013-01-01

    Planetary exploration missions to other worlds, like Mars, can generate a lot of excitement and wonder for the public. The Mars Science Laboratory Mission is one of the latest planetary missions that has intrigued the public perhaps more than most. How can scientists and educational specialists capitalize on the allure of this mission and involve students and teachers in a way that not only shares the story of the mission, but actively engages classrooms with scientists and improves their understanding of the science? The Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) Program [1], facilitated by the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate Education Program at the NASA Johnson Space Center achieves this by facilitating MSL mission focused classroom connection webinars. Five MSL-focused webinars facilitated through EEAB during the 2012 fall semester engaged almost 3000 students and teachers. Involved STEM experts/role models helped translate the science behind the Mars Science Laboratory mission in a comprehensive, exciting, and engaging manner. These virtual events captured participants attention while increasing their science awareness and understanding of the MSL mission.

  2. Using biological networks to improve our understanding of infectious diseases

    PubMed Central

    Mulder, Nicola J.; Akinola, Richard O.; Mazandu, Gaston K.; Rapanoel, Holifidy

    2014-01-01

    Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death, particularly in developing countries. Although many drugs are available for treating the most common infectious diseases, in many cases the mechanism of action of these drugs or even their targets in the pathogen remain unknown. In addition, the key factors or processes in pathogens that facilitate infection and disease progression are often not well understood. Since proteins do not work in isolation, understanding biological systems requires a better understanding of the interconnectivity between proteins in different pathways and processes, which includes both physical and other functional interactions. Such biological networks can be generated within organisms or between organisms sharing a common environment using experimental data and computational predictions. Though different data sources provide different levels of accuracy, confidence in interactions can be measured using interaction scores. Connections between interacting proteins in biological networks can be represented as graphs and edges, and thus studied using existing algorithms and tools from graph theory. There are many different applications of biological networks, and here we discuss three such applications, specifically applied to the infectious disease tuberculosis, with its causative agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host, Homo sapiens. The applications include the use of the networks for function prediction, comparison of networks for evolutionary studies, and the generation and use of host–pathogen interaction networks. PMID:25379138

  3. Mixed method approaches to understanding cancer-related dietary risk reduction among public housing residents.

    PubMed

    Klassen, Ann C; Smith, Katherine Clegg; Black, Maureen M; Caulfield, Laura E

    2009-07-01

    Improving diet is one important pathway for addressing cancer disparities. We conducted mixed-method analyses of 468 24-h dietary recalls from 156 African-American women residents of Washington DC public housing to better understand dietary patterns. Recalls were rated for five cancer-related preventive characteristics (adequate fruits/vegetables, moderate fat, moderate calories, no alcohol, and adequate Healthy Eating Index score), combined as a scale. Bivariate and multivariate analyses identified psychosocial and dietary characteristics associated with scale scores. Qualitative analyses of dietary records identified contextual aspects of food patterns within and across score groups. Sixty-one percent of respondents met zero or one dietary goal; alcohol abstention was most common (64%). Only 12% achieve either three (6%), four (4%), or all five (<1%) goals; five fruit and vegetable servings were least common (15%). The underlying scalar structure of responses suggests that fruit and vegetable consumption is seldom achieved in this population without other scale components. Poorer scores were associated with younger age, depressive symptoms, stressful life events, smoking, and food-purchasing practices. Qualitative analyses identified eight themes related to differences between dietary patterns. Findings reinforce the value of nonreductionist approaches to cancer-related nutrition intervention. PMID:19444616

  4. Public Understanding of Cognitive Neuroscience Research Findings: Trying to Peer beyond Enchanted Glass

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grotzer, Tina A.

    2011-01-01

    This article considers the appeal of cognitive neuroscience research to the general public within the context of the deep puzzles involved in using our minds to understand how our minds work. It offers a few promising examples of findings that illuminate the ways of the mind and reveal these workings to be counter-intuitive with our subjective…

  5. Public Understanding of Science as a Separate Subject in Secondary Schools in The Netherlands.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reiding, Jurrie; De Vos, Wobbe

    1999-01-01

    Describes and analyzes five years of an attempt to introduce the public understanding of science as a subject in its own right to be taught in The Netherlands. Concludes that in spite of its status as a separate subject, the current vision of the course does not yet have a clear identity that distinguishes it from traditional school science…

  6. Addressing Challenges to Public Understanding of Science: Epistemic Cognition, Motivated Reasoning, and Conceptual Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinatra, Gale M.; Kienhues, Dorothe; Hofer, Barbara K.

    2014-01-01

    Science is of critical importance to daily life in a knowledge society and has a significant influence on many everyday decisions. As scientific problems increase in their number and complexity, so do the challenges facing the public in understanding these issues. Our objective is to focus on 3 of those challenges: the challenge of reasoning about…

  7. Information Transfer and Cognitive Mismatch: A Popperian Model for Studies of Public Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abbott, R.

    1997-01-01

    The deficiencies and distortions revealed in studies of public understanding of science, intuitive physics, nutritional myths and misunderstandings, and mental mapping of geographical space are defects in information transfer from the physical and intellectual realms to the subjective realms of individuals (Popper's three "Worlds"). Argues that…

  8. The Public Understanding of Assessment in Educational Reform in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brookhart, Susan M.

    2013-01-01

    The United States education system depends on legislation and funding at the federal, state and local levels. Public understanding of assessment therefore is important to educational reform in the USA. Educational reformers often invoke assessment information as a reason for reform, typically by citing unacceptable achievement on some measure or…

  9. Problems of Understanding between Immigrants and Officials at Public Authorities in Argentina and Germany

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenberg, Katharina

    2012-01-01

    In conversations between immigrants and officials, problems of understanding are often noticeable. About 280 recordings realised at the Argentine Aliens' Department and at several public authorities in Germany show that knowledge divergences regarding linguistic, cultural and institutional knowledge result in (sometimes grave) difficulties of…

  10. Is Sustainability a Breakfast Cereal? Public Program Based Research into Community Understandings of Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLoughlin, Lynette C.

    2004-01-01

    What meanings and values does the community (the general public) attach to the term "sustainability"? As this complex concept is widely used in academic, political and policy arenas and gradually becomes embedded at institutional level, it is possible that the community does not share the understandings of sustainability that are guiding…

  11. Models of Understanding: Historical Constructions of Breast Cancer in Medicine and Public Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Jennifer

    2004-01-01

    The era of technical and scientific progress ushered in with the twentieth century brought new medical knowledge such as the Halstead 'radical' mastectomy, which promised a cure for breast cancer. These advances in medical knowledge were premised on an epidemiological model of disease, which shaped the treatment and public understanding of breast…

  12. The Role of Science and Discovery Centres in the Public Understanding of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Short, Daniel B.; Weis, Nicole

    2013-01-01

    The number of science and discovery centres has grown exponentially over the last two centuries. Science and discovery centres are one of the top five stimuli that influence a career choice in science. Their history, growth, impact and role in the public understanding of science are discussed. (Contains 2 tables, 7 figures, and 21 online…

  13. Public Understanding of Science in turbulent times III: Deficit to dialogue, champions to critics.

    PubMed

    Smallman, Melanie

    2016-02-01

    As part of the 20th Anniversary of the Public Understanding of Science journal, the journal has been reflecting on how the field and journal have developed. This research note takes a closer look at some of the trends, considering the journal's 50 most cited papers and using IRaMuTeQ, an open-source computer text analysis technique. The research note presents data that show that the move within public engagement from deficit to dialogue has been followed by a further shift from championing dialogue to criticising its practice. This shift has taken place alongside a continued, but changing, interest in media coverage, surveys and models of public understanding. PMID:25234052

  14. Experimental public speaking: contributions to the understanding of the serotonergic modulation of fear.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Leal, Cybele; Graeff, Frederico Guilherme; Del-Ben, Cristina Marta

    2014-10-01

    Public speaking is widely used as a model of experimental fear and anxiety. This review aimed to evaluate the effects of pharmacological challenges on public speaking responses and their implications for the understanding of the neurobiology of normal and pathological anxiety, specifically panic disorder. We also describe methodological features of experimental paradigms using public speaking as an inducer of fear and stress. Public speaking is a potent stressor that can provoke significant subjective and physiological responses. However, variations in the manners in which public speaking is modelled can lead to different responses that need to be considered when interpreting the results. Results from pharmacological studies with healthy volunteers submitted to simulated public speaking tests have similarities with the pharmacological responses of panic patients observed in clinical practice and panic patients differ from controls in the response to the public speaking test. These data are compatible with the Deakin and Graeff hypothesis that serotonin inhibits fear, as accessed by public speaking tasks, and that this inhibition is likely related to the actions of serotonin in the dorsal periaqueductal grey matter. PMID:25277282

  15. Bootstrapping Q Methodology to Improve the Understanding of Human Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Zabala, Aiora; Pascual, Unai

    2016-01-01

    Q is a semi-qualitative methodology to identify typologies of perspectives. It is appropriate to address questions concerning diverse viewpoints, plurality of discourses, or participation processes across disciplines. Perspectives are interpreted based on rankings of a set of statements. These rankings are analysed using multivariate data reduction techniques in order to find similarities between respondents. Discussing the analytical process and looking for progress in Q methodology is becoming increasingly relevant. While its use is growing in social, health and environmental studies, the analytical process has received little attention in the last decades and it has not benefited from recent statistical and computational advances. Specifically, the standard procedure provides overall and arguably simplistic variability measures for perspectives and none of these measures are associated to individual statements, on which the interpretation is based. This paper presents an innovative approach of bootstrapping Q to obtain additional and more detailed measures of variability, which helps researchers understand better their data and the perspectives therein. This approach provides measures of variability that are specific to each statement and perspective, and additional measures that indicate the degree of certainty with which each respondent relates to each perspective. This supplementary information may add or subtract strength to particular arguments used to describe the perspectives. We illustrate and show the usefulness of this approach with an empirical example. The paper provides full details for other researchers to implement the bootstrap in Q studies with any data collection design. PMID:26845694

  16. Concepts first, jargon second improves student articulation of understanding.

    PubMed

    McDonnell, Lisa; Barker, Megan K; Wieman, Carl

    2016-01-01

    In this experiment, students in a large undergraduate biology course were first exposed to the concepts without new technical vocabulary ("jargon") in a pre-class reading assignment. Their learning of the concepts and jargon was compared with that of an equivalent group of students in another section of the same course, whose pre-class reading presented both the jargon and concepts together in the traditional manner. Both groups had the same active-learning classes with the same instructor, and then completed the same post-test. Although the two groups performed the same on the multiple choice questions of the post-test, the group exposed to concepts first and jargon second included 1.5 times and 2.5 times more correct arguments on two free-response questions about the concepts. The correct use of jargon between the two groups was similar, with the exception of one jargon term that the control group used more often. These results suggest that modest instructional changes whereby new concepts are introduced in a concepts-first, jargon-second manner can increase student learning, as demonstrated by their ability to articulate their understanding of new concepts. PMID:26537537

  17. Understanding and Improving High-Performance I/O Subsystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Ghazawi, Tarek A.; Frieder, Gideon; Clark, A. James

    1996-01-01

    This research program has been conducted in the framework of the NASA Earth and Space Science (ESS) evaluations led by Dr. Thomas Sterling. In addition to the many important research findings for NASA and the prestigious publications, the program has helped orienting the doctoral research program of two students towards parallel input/output in high-performance computing. Further, the experimental results in the case of the MasPar were very useful and helpful to MasPar with which the P.I. has had many interactions with the technical management. The contributions of this program are drawn from three experimental studies conducted on different high-performance computing testbeds/platforms, and therefore presented in 3 different segments as follows: 1. Evaluating the parallel input/output subsystem of a NASA high-performance computing testbeds, namely the MasPar MP- 1 and MP-2; 2. Characterizing the physical input/output request patterns for NASA ESS applications, which used the Beowulf platform; and 3. Dynamic scheduling techniques for hiding I/O latency in parallel applications such as sparse matrix computations. This study also has been conducted on the Intel Paragon and has also provided an experimental evaluation for the Parallel File System (PFS) and parallel input/output on the Paragon. This report is organized as follows. The summary of findings discusses the results of each of the aforementioned 3 studies. Three appendices, each containing a key scholarly research paper that details the work in one of the studies are included.

  18. Reducing Food Loss And Waste While Improving The Public's Health.

    PubMed

    Neff, Roni A; Kanter, Rebecca; Vandevijvere, Stefanie

    2015-11-01

    An estimated 30 percent of the global food supply is lost or wasted, as is about 40 percent of the US food supply. There are valuable synergies between efforts to reduce food loss and waste and those promoting public health. To demonstrate the potential impact of building upon these synergies, we present an analysis of policies and interventions addressing food loss and waste, food security, food safety, and nutrition. We characterize as opportunities the policies and interventions that promote synergistic relationships between goals in the fields of food loss and waste and of public health. We characterize as challenges the policies and interventions that may reduce food loss and waste but compromise public health, or improve public health but increase food loss and waste. Some interventions are both opportunities and challenges. With deliberate planning and action, challenges can often be addressed and turned into opportunities. In other cases, it may be necessary to strike a balance between potential benefit in one area and risk of harm in the other. To help policy makers make the best use of the opportunities while tackling the challenges, it is essential to consider public health in efforts to reduce food loss and waste. PMID:26526239

  19. UNDERSTANDING OR NURSES' REACTIONS TO ERRORS AND USING THIS UNDERSTANDING TO IMPROVE PATIENT SAFETY.

    PubMed

    Taifoori, Ladan; Valiee, Sina

    2015-09-01

    The operating room can be home to many different types of nursing errors due to the invasiveness of OR procedures. The nurses' reactions towards errors can be a key factor in patient safety. This article is based on a study, with the aim of investigating nurses' reactions toward nursing errors and the various contributing and resulting factors, conducted at Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences in Sanandaj, Iran in 2014. The goal of the study was to determine how OR nurses' reacted to nursing errors with the goal of having this information used to improve patient safety. Research was conducted as a cross-sectional descriptive study. The participants were all nurses employed in the operating rooms of the teaching hospitals of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, which was selected by a consensus method (170 persons). The information was gathered through questionnaires that focused on demographic information, error definition, reasons for error occurrence, and emotional reactions for error occurrence, and emotional reactions toward the errors. 153 questionnaires were completed and analyzed by SPSS software version 16.0. "Not following sterile technique" (82.4 percent) was the most reported nursing error, "tiredness" (92.8 percent) was the most reported reason for the error occurrence, "being upset at having harmed the patient" (85.6 percent) was the most reported emotional reaction after error occurrence", with "decision making for a better approach to tasks the next time" (97.7 percent) as the most common goal and "paying more attention to details" (98 percent) was the most reported planned strategy for future improved outcomes. While healthcare facilities are focused on planning for the prevention and elimination of errors it was shown that nurses can also benefit from support after error occurrence. Their reactions, and coping strategies, need guidance and, with both individual and organizational support, can be a factor in improving patient safety. PMID

  20. Characterizing emergency departments to improve understanding of emergency care systems

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    International emergency medicine aims to understand different systems of emergency care across the globe. To date, however, international emergency medicine lacks common descriptors that can encompass the wide variety of emergency care systems in different countries. The frequent use of general, system-wide indicators (e.g. the status of emergency medicine as a medical specialty or the presence of emergency medicine training programs) does not account for the diverse methods that contribute to the delivery of emergency care both within and between countries. Such indicators suggest that a uniform approach to the development and structure of emergency care is both feasible and desirable. One solution to this complex problem is to shift the focus of international studies away from system-wide characteristics of emergency care. We propose such an alternative methodology, in which studies would examine emergency department-specific characteristics to inventory the various methods by which emergency care is delivered. Such characteristics include: emergency department location, layout, time period open to patients, and patient type served. There are many more ways to describe emergency departments, but these characteristics are particularly suited to describe with common terms a wide range of sites. When combined, these four characteristics give a concise but detailed picture of how emergency care is delivered at a specific emergency department. This approach embraces the diversity of emergency care as well as the variety of individual emergency departments that deliver it, while still allowing for the aggregation of broad similarities that might help characterize a system of emergency care. PMID:21756328

  1. New Views of the Moon: Improved Understanding Through Data Integration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jolliff, B. L.; Gaddis, L. R.; Ryder, G.; Neal, C. R.; Shearer, C. K.; Elphic, R. C.; Johnson, J. R.; Keller, L. P.; Korotev, R. L.; Lawrence, D. J.

    2000-01-01

    Understanding the Moon is crucial to future exploration of the solar system.The Moon preserves a record of the first billion years of the Earth-Moon system's history, including evidence of the Moon's origin as accumulated debris from a giant impact into early Earth. Lunar rocks provide evidence of early differentiation and extraction of a crust. Lacking an atmospheric shield, the Moon's regolith retains a record of the activity of solar wind over the past 4 billion years. It also holds a complete record of impact cratering, and analysis of samples has allowed calibration of ages, and thus dating of other planetary surfaces. And because of its proximity to Earth, it's low gravity well, and stable surface, the Moon's resources will be useful both in establishing lunar habitations and as fuel for exploration beyond the Moon. Lunar science has advanced tremendously in the 30 years since the Apollo and Luna missions. We know that the Moon is strongly differentiated, and recent tungsten isotope studies indicate that this differentiation occurred soon after solar system formation. The Moon probably accreted rapidly from debris that formed as a large planetesimal struck the early Earth. Ancient highland rocks provide evidence of early lunar differentiation, and basalts formed by later melting within the mantle reveal it cumulus nature. However, the timing, extent, and depth of differentiation, variations within the mantle, and lateral and vertical variations within the crust can only be surmised from the limited sample suites,gravity studies,and surface geophysics of the Apollo era. Data from the recent Lunar Prospector and Clementine missions permit reassessment of the global characteristics of the Moon and a reexamination of the distribution of elemental components, rock and soil types, and resources, as well as remanent magnetism, gravity field, and global topography New research provides some answers, but also leads to new questions.

  2. Mechanistic Understanding of Microbial Plugging for Improved Sweep Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Steven Bryant; Larry Britton

    2008-09-30

    Microbial plugging has been proposed as an effective low cost method of permeability reduction. Yet there is a dearth of information on the fundamental processes of microbial growth in porous media, and there are no suitable data to model the process of microbial plugging as it relates to sweep efficiency. To optimize the field implementation, better mechanistic and volumetric understanding of biofilm growth within a porous medium is needed. In particular, the engineering design hinges upon a quantitative relationship between amount of nutrient consumption, amount of growth, and degree of permeability reduction. In this project experiments were conducted to obtain new data to elucidate this relationship. Experiments in heterogeneous (layered) beadpacks showed that microbes could grow preferentially in the high permeability layer. Ultimately this caused flow to be equally divided between high and low permeability layers, precisely the behavior needed for MEOR. Remarkably, classical models of microbial nutrient uptake in batch experiments do not explain the nutrient consumption by the same microbes in flow experiments. We propose a simple extension of classical kinetics to account for the self-limiting consumption of nutrient observed in our experiments, and we outline a modeling approach based on architecture and behavior of biofilms. Such a model would account for the changing trend of nutrient consumption by bacteria with the increasing biomass and the onset of biofilm formation. However no existing model can explain the microbial preference for growth in high permeability regions, nor is there any obvious extension of the model for this observation. An attractive conjecture is that quorum sensing is involved in the heterogeneous bead packs.

  3. Vaccine adjuvants--understanding molecular mechanisms to improve vaccines.

    PubMed

    Egli, Adrian; Santer, Deanna; Barakat, Khaled; Zand, Martin; Levin, Aviad; Vollmer, Madeleine; Weisser, Maja; Khanna, Nina; Kumar, Deepali; Tyrrell, Lorne; Houghton, Michael; Battegay, Manuel; O'Shea, Daire

    2014-01-01

    Infectious pathogens are responsible for high utilisation of healthcare resources globally. Attributable morbidity and mortality remains exceptionally high. Vaccines offer the potential to prime a pathogen-specific immune response and subsequently reduce disease burden. Routine vaccination has fundamentally altered the natural history of many frequently observed and serious infections. Vaccination is also recommended for persons at increased risk of severe vaccine-preventable disease. Many current nonadjuvanted vaccines are poorly effective in the elderly and immunocompromised populations, resulting in nonprotective postvaccine antibody titres, which serve as surrogate markers for protection. The vaccine-induced immune response is influenced by: (i.) vaccine factors i.e., type and composition of the antigen(s), (ii.) host factors i.e., genetic differences in immune-signalling or senescence, and (iii.) external factors such as immunosuppressive drugs or diseases. Adjuvanted vaccines offer the potential to compensate for a lack of stimulation and improve pathogen-specific protection. In this review we use influenza vaccine as a model in a discussion of the different mechanisms of action of the available adjuvants. In addition, we will appraise new approaches using "vaccine-omics" to discover novel types of adjuvants. PMID:24844935

  4. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina.

    PubMed

    Ni, Siyu; Li, Changyan; Ni, Shirong; Chen, Ting; Webster, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to prepare different sized porous anodic alumina (PAA) and examine preosteoblast (MC3T3-E1) attachment and proliferation on such nanoporous surfaces. In this study, PAA with tunable pore sizes (25 nm, 50 nm, and 75 nm) were fabricated by a two-step anodizing procedure in oxalic acid. The surface morphology and elemental composition of PAA were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The nanopore arrays on all of the PAA samples were highly regular. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis suggested that the chemistry of PAA and flat aluminum surfaces were similar. However, contact angles were significantly greater on all of the PAA compared to flat aluminum substrates, which consequently altered protein adsorption profiles. The attachment and proliferation of preosteoblasts were determined for up to 7 days in culture using field emission scanning electron microscopy and a Cell Counting Kit-8. Results showed that nanoporous surfaces did not enhance initial preosteoblast attachment, whereas preosteoblast proliferation dramatically increased when the PAA pore size was either 50 nm or 75 nm compared to all other samples (P<0.05). Thus, this study showed that one can alter surface energy of aluminum by modifying surface nano-roughness alone (and not changing chemistry) through an anodization process to improve osteoblast density, and, thus, should be further studied as a bioactive interface for orthopedic applications. PMID:25045263

  5. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Siyu; Li, Changyan; Ni, Shirong; Chen, Ting; Webster, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to prepare different sized porous anodic alumina (PAA) and examine preosteoblast (MC3T3-E1) attachment and proliferation on such nanoporous surfaces. In this study, PAA with tunable pore sizes (25 nm, 50 nm, and 75 nm) were fabricated by a two-step anodizing procedure in oxalic acid. The surface morphology and elemental composition of PAA were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The nanopore arrays on all of the PAA samples were highly regular. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis suggested that the chemistry of PAA and flat aluminum surfaces were similar. However, contact angles were significantly greater on all of the PAA compared to flat aluminum substrates, which consequently altered protein adsorption profiles. The attachment and proliferation of preosteoblasts were determined for up to 7 days in culture using field emission scanning electron microscopy and a Cell Counting Kit-8. Results showed that nanoporous surfaces did not enhance initial preosteoblast attachment, whereas preosteoblast proliferation dramatically increased when the PAA pore size was either 50 nm or 75 nm compared to all other samples (P<0.05). Thus, this study showed that one can alter surface energy of aluminum by modifying surface nano-roughness alone (and not changing chemistry) through an anodization process to improve osteoblast density, and, thus, should be further studied as a bioactive interface for orthopedic applications. PMID:25045263

  6. Using reality mining to improve public health and medicine.

    PubMed

    Pentland, Alex; Lazer, David; Brewer, Devon; Heibeck, Tracy

    2009-01-01

    We live our lives in digital networks. We wake up in the morning, check our e-mail, make a quick phone call, commute to work, buy lunch. Many of these transactions leave digital breadcrumbs--tiny records of our daily experiences. Reality mining, which pulls together these crumbs using statistical analysis and machine learning methods, offers an increasingly comprehensive picture of our lives, both individually and collectively, with the potential of transforming our understanding of ourselves, our organizations, and our society in a fashion that was barely conceivable just a few years ago. It is for this reason that reality mining was recently identified by Technology Review as one of "10 emerging technologies that could change the world". Many everyday devices provide the raw database upon which reality mining builds; sensors in mobile phones, cars, security cameras, RFID ('smart card') readers, and others, all allow for the measurement of human physical and social activity. Computational models based on such data have the potential to dramatically transform the arenas of both individual and community health. Reality mining can provide new opportunities with respect to diagnosis, patient and treatment monitoring, health services planning, surveillance of disease and risk factors, and public health investigation and disease control. Currently, the single most important source of reality mining data is the ubiquitous mobile phone. Every time a person uses a mobile phone, a few bits of information are left behind. The phone pings the nearest mobile-phone towers, revealing its location. The mobile phone service provider records the duration of the call and the number dialed. In the near future, mobile phones and other technologies will collect even more information about their users, recording everything from their physical activity to their conversational cadences. While such data pose a potential threat to individual privacy, they also offer great potential value

  7. Understanding multinational companies in public health systems, using a competitive advantage framework

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background This paper discusses the findings of a study which developed five case studies of five multinational health care companies involved in public health care systems. Strategies were analysed in terms of attitude to marketing, pricing and regulation. The company strategies have been subjected to an analysis using Porter's Five Forces, a business strategy framework, which is unusual in health policy studies. Methods This paper shows how analysing company strategy using a business tool can contribute to understanding the strategies of global capital in national health systems. It shows how social science methodologies can draw from business methods to explain company strategies. Results The five companies considered in this paper demonstrate that their strategies have many dimensions, which fit into Porter's Five Forces of comparative advantage. More importantly the Five Forces can be used to identify factors that influence company entry into public health care systems. Conclusions The process of examining the strategic objectives of five health care companies shows that a business tool can help to explain the actions and motives of health care companies towards public health care systems, and so contribute to a better understanding of the strategies of global capital in national health systems. Health service commissioners need to understand this dynamic process, which will evolve as the nature of public health care systems change. PMID:21722372

  8. Understanding the Role of Public Administration in Implementing Action on the Social Determinants of Health and Health Inequities

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Gemma; Friel, Sharon

    2015-01-01

    Many of the societal level factors that affect health – the ‘social determinants of health (SDH)’ – exist outside the health sector, across diverse portfolios of government, and other major institutions including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector. This has created growing interest in how to create and implement public policies which will drive better and fairer health outcomes. While designing policies that can improve the SDH is critical, so too is ensuring they are appropriately administered and implemented. In this paper, we draw attention to an important area for future public health consideration – how policies are managed and implemented through complex administrative layers of ‘the state.’ Implementation gaps have long been a concern of public administration scholarship. To precipitate further work in this area, in this paper, we provide an overview of the scholarly field of public administration and highlight its role in helping to understand better the challenges and opportunities for implementing policies and programs to improve health equity. PMID:26673462

  9. Semantic interoperability between clinical and public health information systems for improving public health services.

    PubMed

    Lopez, Diego M; Blobel, Bernd G M E

    2007-01-01

    Improving public health services requires comprehensively integrating all services including medical, social, community, and public health ones. Therefore, developing integrated health information services has to start considering business process, rules and information semantics of involved domains. The paper proposes a business and information architecture for the specification of a future-proof national integrated system, concretely the requirements for semantic integration between public health surveillance and clinical information systems. The architecture is a semantically interoperable approach because it describes business process, rules and information semantics based on national policy documents and expressed in a standard language such us the Unified Modeling Language UML. Having the enterprise and information models formalized, semantically interoperable Health IT components/services development is supported. PMID:17901617

  10. Understanding Price Elasticities to Inform Public Health Research and Intervention Studies: Key Issues

    PubMed Central

    Nghiem, Nhung; Genç, Murat; Blakely, Tony

    2013-01-01

    Pricing policies such as taxes and subsidies are important tools in preventing and controlling a range of threats to public health. This is particularly so in tobacco and alcohol control efforts and efforts to change dietary patterns and physical activity levels as a means of addressing increases in noncommunicable diseases. To understand the potential impact of pricing policies, it is critical to understand the nature of price elasticities for consumer products. For example, price elasticities are key parameters in models of any food tax or subsidy that aims to quantify health impacts and cost-effectiveness. We detail relevant terms and discuss key issues surrounding price elasticities to inform public health research and intervention studies. PMID:24028228

  11. Beyond attributions: Understanding public stigma of mental illness with the common sense model.

    PubMed

    Mak, Winnie W S; Chong, Eddie S K; Wong, Celia C Y

    2014-03-01

    The present study applied the common sense model (i.e., cause, controllability, timeline, consequences, and illness coherence) to understand public attitudes toward mental illness and help-seeking intention and to examine the mediating role of perceived controllability between causal attributions with public attitudes and help seeking. Based on a randomized household sample of 941 Chinese community adults in Hong Kong, results of the structural equation modeling demonstrated that people who endorsed cultural lay beliefs tended to perceive the course of mental illness as less controllable, whereas those with psychosocial attributions see its course as more controllable. The more people perceived the course of mental illness as less controllable, more chronic, and incomprehensible, the lower was their acceptance and the greater was mental illness stigma. Furthermore, those who perceived mental illness with dire consequences were more likely to feel greater stigma and social distance. Conversely, when people were more accepting, they were more likely to seek help for psychological services and felt a shorter social distance. The common sense model provides a multidimensional framework in understanding public's mental illness perceptions and stigma. Not only should biopsychosocial determinants of mental illness be advocated to the public, cultural myths toward mental illness must be debunked. PMID:24826933

  12. Peer review for biomedical publications: we can improve the system.

    PubMed

    Stahel, Philip F; Moore, Ernest E

    2014-01-01

    The lack of formal training programs for peer reviewers places the scientific quality of biomedical publications at risk, as the introduction of 'hidden' bias may not be easily recognized by the reader. The exponential increase in the number of manuscripts submitted for publication worldwide, estimated in the millions annually, overburdens the capability of available qualified referees. Indeed, the workload imposed on individual reviewers appears to be reaching a 'breaking point' that may no longer be sustainable. Some journals have made efforts to improve peer review via structured guidelines, courses for referees, and employing biostatisticians to ensure appropriate study design and analyses. Further strategies designed to incentivize and reward peer review work include journals providing continuing medical education (CME) credits to individual referees by defined criteria for timely and high-quality evaluations. Alternative options to supplement the current peer review process consist of 'post-publication peer review,' 'decoupled peer review,' 'collaborative peer review,' and 'portable peer review'. This article outlines the shortcomings and flaws in the current peer review system and discusses new innovative options on the horizon. PMID:25270270

  13. Safe and Sound? Scientists’ Understandings of Public Engagement in Emerging Biotechnologies

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Matthias; Starkbaum, Johannes; Dabrock, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Science communication is a widely debated issue, particularly in the field of biotechnology. However, the views on the interface between science and society held by scientists who work in the field of emerging biotechnologies are currently insufficiently explored. Therefore filling this gap is one of the urgent desiderata in the further development of a dialogue-oriented model of science-public interaction. Against this background, this article addresses two main questions: (1) How do the persons who work in the field of science perceive the public and its involvement in science? (2) What preferred modes of communication are stressed by those scientists? This research is based on a set of interviews with full professors from the field of biotechnology with a special focus on synthetic biology. The results show that scientists perceive the public as holding a primarily risk-focused view of science. On the one hand, different forms of science communication are thereby either seen as a chance to improve the public acceptance of science in general and one field of research in particular. On the other hand, the exchange with the public is seen as a duty because the whole of society is affected by scientific innovation. Yet, some of the stakeholders’ views discussed here conflict with debates on public engagement in technological innovation. PMID:26660160

  14. Sagan Medal Paper: Improving Impact in Public Outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, D.

    2004-11-01

    Carl Sagan was masterful at reaching a wide public. He had great native talent as an educator, and he worked hard to hone his ability to promote his image as a television personality. Through TV as well as writing, he reached a far wider audience than would have been possible by classroom teaching or other direct personal contact. While none of us is "another Sagan", we can draw lessons from his use of media to leverage his message. One way to multiply our impact is through contributing to textbooks. I jumped at the opportunity to take on the popular George Abell college astronomy texts when the author unexpectedly died. I hoped that as a planetary scientist involved in NASA missions, I could do a better job than most astronomers to convey the excitement of planetary exploration. One edition of a text can reach tens of thousands of students and may represent the only college science course they will take. In the 1980s it was difficult for educators and writers to obtain high quality NASA images. Voyager and other missions issued press releases of first products, but the later, more carefully processed images were unavailable. By selecting the best planetary images and making them available with captions as slide sets, I could reach another large audience. Later I helped establish the NASA-USGS Planetary Photojournal for web-based images and captions. Developing websites for the public is today one of the best ways to broaden the impact of our work. My impact hazard website is now a decade old and exceeds a million hits a month. I also distribute "NEO News" via e-mail to more than 800 readers. I believe that the public is hungry for reliable, understandable information. We can all look at ways to use modern technology to help provide it.

  15. Using exercises to improve public health preparedness in Asia, the Middle East and Africa

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Exercises are increasingly common tools used by the health sector and other sectors to evaluate their preparedness to respond to public health threats. Exercises provide an opportunity for multiple sectors to practice, test and evaluate their response to all types of public health emergencies. The information from these exercises can be used to refine and improve preparedness plans. There is a growing body of literature about the use of exercises among local, state and federal public health agencies in the United States. There is much less information about the use of exercises among public health agencies in other countries and the use of exercises that involve multiple countries. Results We developed and conducted 12 exercises (four sub-national, five national, three sub-regional) from August 2006 through December 2008. These 12 exercises included 558 participants (average 47) and 137 observers (average 11) from 14 countries. Participants consistently rated the overall quality of the exercises as very good or excellent. They rated the exercises lowest on their ability to identifying key gaps in performance. The vast majority of participants noted that they would use the information they gained at the exercise to improve their organization’s preparedness to respond to an influenza pandemic. Participants felt the exercises were particularly good at raising awareness and understanding about public health threats, assisting in evaluating plans and identifying priorities for improvement, and building relationships that strengthen preparedness and response across sectors and across countries. Participants left the exercises with specific ideas about the most important actions that they should engage in after the exercise such as improved planning coordination across sectors and countries and better training of health workers and response personnel. Conclusions These experiences suggest that exercises can be a valuable, low-burden tool to improve emergency

  16. The Public Understanding of Science. Report of a Royal Society ad hoc Group Endorsed by the Council of the Royal Society.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Royal Society, London (England).

    Based on the premise that science and technology directly affect a wide range of personal activities and impact policy issues of national and international importance, this report aims to show why it matters that all sections of the public should have some understanding of science and to stimulate action by scientists and others to improve this…

  17. Understanding the conditions for improvement: research to discover which context influences affect improvement success.

    PubMed

    Øvretveit, John

    2011-04-01

    Context can be defined as all factors that are not part of a quality improvement intervention itself. More research indicates which aspects are 'conditions for improvement', which influence improvement success. However, little is known about which conditions are most important, whether these are different for different quality interventions or whether some become less or more important at different times in carrying out an improvement. Knowing more about these conditions could help speed up and spread improvements and develop the science. This paper proposes ways to build knowledge about the conditions needed for different changes, and to create conditional-attribution explanations to provide qualified generalisations. It describes theory-based, non-experimental research designs. It also suggests that 'practical improvers' can make their changes more effective by reflecting on and revising their own 'assumption-theories' about the conditions which will help and hinder the improvements they aim to implement. PMID:21450764

  18. Using Interactive Family Science Shows to Improve Public Knowledge on Antibiotic Resistance: Does It Work?

    PubMed Central

    Lecky, Donna M.; Hawking, Meredith K. D.; Verlander, Neville Q.; McNulty, Cliodna A. M.

    2014-01-01

    The public plays an important role in controlling the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. A large British survey showed that there is still public misunderstanding about microbes and antibiotics. e-Bug, a European DG Sanco sponsored project, aims to disseminate a school antibiotic and hygiene educational pack and website across Europe. Interactive science shows based on the e-Bug educational packs were developed to take the key health and hygiene messages from the e-Bug school resources to families. The science show was evaluated to assess public knowledge and understanding of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance pre and post intervention. An interactive stall comprised of a 3×2 m backing stand with background information, an interactive activity and discussions with a trained demonstrator was on display at a family holiday resort. Pre-piloted knowledge questionnaires were completed by parents and children pre and post intervention. Adult (≥19 years) baseline knowledge regarding antibiotics and antibiotic resistance was high although significant knowledge improvement was observed where baseline knowledge was low. Children's (5–11 years) knowledge around antibiotics and antibiotic resistance was significantly improved for all questions. The science show can be viewed as a success in improving parents' and children's knowledge of antibiotic use thereby highlighting the importance of educating the public through interaction. PMID:25162505

  19. Workshop on Goals and Methods of Assessing the Public's Understanding of Science, November 29 and 30, 1972, Palo Alto, California.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funkhouser, G. Ray

    Descriptions are included to illustrate the workshop objectives, participants, agenda, and sessions. The five sessions were concerned with the following aspects: (1) "Why Public Understanding of Science at All?" (2) "What Publics Should Understand What Science, for What Reasons?" (3) "The Experiences (including problems) of Science Communicators;"…

  20. Public Health Accreditation: Rubber Stamp or Roadmap for Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Timsina, Lava

    2015-01-01

    Objectives. We identified the characteristics of local health departments (LHDs) that intended to seek accreditation, and also examined the association between that intent and a complete community health assessment (CHA), community health improvement plan, agency strategic plan, or other specific accreditation requirements. Methods. We analyzed data from the 2010 profile survey of LHDs conducted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (n = 267). Results. Those LHDs that conducted a CHA (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.38, 1.00; P = .05) and developed a strategic plan (AOR = 0.30; 95% CI = 0.12, 0.74; P = .01) were less likely to have an intent to pursue accreditation in the first 2 years of the program. By contrast, those LHDs that were engaged in quality improvement (QI) activities were approximately 2.6 times more likely to pursue accreditation compared with those LHDs that did not have any QI activities (P < .001). Conclusions. Based on our findings, national public health accreditation might be the vehicle LHDs could use to improve their operating environments, better manage their resources, and reap the rewards associated with meeting national industry standards. PMID:25689214

  1. Publication Ethics and the Emerging Scientific Workforce: Understanding ‘Plagiarism’ in a Global Context

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Carrie; Zhao, Hui; McHugh, Michelle K.

    2013-01-01

    Scientific publication has long been dominated by the English language and is rapidly moving towards near complete hegemony of English, while the majority of the world’s publishing scientists are not native English speakers. This imbalance has important implications for training in and enforcement of publication ethics, particularly with respect to plagiarism. A lack of understanding of what constitutes plagiarism and the use of a linguistic support strategy known as patchwriting can lead to inadvertent misuse of source material by non-native speakers writing in English as well as to unfounded accusations of intentional scientific misconduct on the part of these authors. A rational and well-informed dialogue about this issue is needed among both native English speaking and non-native English speaking writers, editors, educators, and administrators. Recommendations for educating and training are provided. PMID:22104051

  2. Theory-based approaches to understanding public emergency preparedness: implications for effective health and risk communication.

    PubMed

    Paek, Hye-Jin; Hilyard, Karen; Freimuth, Vicki; Barge, J Kevin; Mindlin, Michele

    2010-06-01

    Recent natural and human-caused disasters have awakened public health officials to the importance of emergency preparedness. Guided by health behavior and media effects theories, the analysis of a statewide survey in Georgia reveals that self-efficacy, subjective norm, and emergency news exposure are positively associated with the respondents' possession of emergency items and their stages of emergency preparedness. Practical implications suggest less focus on demographics as the sole predictor of emergency preparedness and more comprehensive measures of preparedness, including both a person's cognitive stage of preparedness and checklists of emergency items on hand. We highlight the utility of theory-based approaches for understanding and predicting public emergency preparedness as a way to enable more effective health and risk communication. PMID:20574880

  3. Understanding and Supporting a Culture of Public Outreach in Amateur Organizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berendsen, M.; Ames, Z.; Figueiredo, C.; Storksdieck, M.; Stein, J.

    2010-08-01

    What types of resources can best support amateur science-based organizations who share their enthusiasm with the public? For several years the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) and Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), have partnered to conduct research aimed at understanding the culture of public outreach conducted by astronomy clubs and their members. Through this research ILI has conducted studies that yielded three main conclusions: amateurs want educational tools, pedagogical skills, and club organizational support. With these ideas in mind the ASP began working on solutions to the amateurs needs in 2004. Since then the ASP has developed a number of solution approaches with extensive help from amateur astronomers around the country.

  4. Understanding the conditions for improvement: research to discover which context influences affect improvement success

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Context can be defined as all factors that are not part of a quality improvement intervention itself. More research indicates which aspects are ‘conditions for improvement’, which influence improvement success. However, little is known about which conditions are most important, whether these are different for different quality interventions or whether some become less or more important at different times in carrying out an improvement. Knowing more about these conditions could help speed up and spread improvements and develop the science. This paper proposes ways to build knowledge about the conditions needed for different changes, and to create conditional-attribution explanations to provide qualified generalisations. It describes theory-based, non-experimental research designs. It also suggests that ‘practical improvers’ can make their changes more effective by reflecting on and revising their own ‘assumption-theories’ about the conditions which will help and hinder the improvements they aim to implement. PMID:21450764

  5. Public goods and private interests: Understanding non-residential demand for green power

    SciTech Connect

    Wiser, Ryan H.; Fowlie, Meredith; Holt, Edward A.

    2001-01-01

    This article presents the results of the first large-scale mail survey of non-residential green power customers in the United States. The survey explored the motivations, attitudes, and experiences of 464 business, non-profit, and public-sector customers that have voluntarily opted to purchase - and frequently pay a premium for - renewable electricity. Results of this study should be of value to marketers interested in targeting these customer segments, to policy makers interested in fostering and understanding non-residential demand for green power, and to academics pondering the motivations for firms to engage in such voluntary environmental initiatives.

  6. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies, 1994. [National Public Policy Education Conference (44th, Boise, Idaho, September 18-21, 1994).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halbrook, Steve A., Ed.; Grace, Teddee E., Ed.

    The National Public Policy Education Conference is held annually to improve the policy education efforts of extension workers responsible for public affairs programs. The 1994 conference addressed the following topics: (1) ethical perspectives in public policy education; (2) transition of food and agricultural policy; (3) building human…

  7. Improving Graphing Interpretation Skills and Understanding of Motion Using Microcomputer Based Laboratories.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Svec, Michael

    1999-01-01

    Examines the relative effectiveness of the traditional lab method and the microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) for improving student understanding. Examines three areas of achievement: graphing interpretation skills, and interpreting motion graphs and understanding of motion. Results indicate that MBL laboratories are more effective than…

  8. Understanding Student and Faculty Life. Using Campus Surveys to Improve Academic Decision Making.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baird, Leonard L.; And Others

    A comprehensive guide to the use of environmental assessments for understanding and improving student and faculty life is presented. Environmental assessments are examined as tools for academic decision-makers in understanding the extent and quality of the communication among its members, their sense of community, their emphasis on academic rigor,…

  9. Advanced MRI techniques to improve our understanding of experience-induced neuroplasticity.

    PubMed

    Tardif, Christine Lucas; Gauthier, Claudine Joëlle; Steele, Christopher John; Bazin, Pierre-Louis; Schäfer, Andreas; Schaefer, Alexander; Turner, Robert; Villringer, Arno

    2016-05-01

    Over the last two decades, numerous human MRI studies of neuroplasticity have shown compelling evidence for extensive and rapid experience-induced brain plasticity in vivo. To date, most of these studies have consisted of simply detecting a difference in structural or functional images with little concern for their lack of biological specificity. Recent reviews and public debates have stressed the need for advanced imaging techniques to gain a better understanding of the nature of these differences - characterizing their extent in time and space, their underlying biological and network dynamics. The purpose of this article is to give an overview of advanced imaging techniques for an audience of cognitive neuroscientists that can assist them in the design and interpretation of future MRI studies of neuroplasticity. The review encompasses MRI methods that probe the morphology, microstructure, function, and connectivity of the brain with improved specificity. We underline the possible physiological underpinnings of these techniques and their recent applications within the framework of learning- and experience-induced plasticity in healthy adults. Finally, we discuss the advantages of a multi-modal approach to gain a more nuanced and comprehensive description of the process of learning. PMID:26318050

  10. Improving our understanding of flood forecasting using earlier hydro-meteorological intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shih, Dong-Sin; Chen, Cheng-Hsin; Yeh, Gour-Tsyh

    2014-05-01

    In recent decades, Taiwan has suffered from severe bouts of torrential rain, and typhoon induced floods have become the major natural threat to Taiwan. In order to warn the public of potential risks, authorities are considering establishing an early warning system derived from an integrated hydro-meteorological estimation process. This study aims at the development and accuracy of such a warning system. So it is first necessary to understand the distinctive features of flood forecasting in integrated rainfall-runoff simulations. Additionally the adequacies of a warning system that is based on extracting useful intelligence from earlier, possibly faulty numerical simulation results are discussed. In order to precisely model flooding, hydrological simulations based upon spot measured rainfall data have been utilized in prior studies to calibrate model parameters. Here, precipitation inputs from an ensemble of almost 20 different realizations of rainfall fields have been used to derive flood forecasts. The flood warning system therefore integrates rainfall-runoff calculations, field observations and data assimilations. Simulation results indicate that the ensemble precipitation estimates generated by a Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model produce divergent estimates. Considerable flooding is often shown in the simulated hydrographs, but the results as to the peak time and peak stage are not always in agreement with the observations. In brief, such forecasts can be good for warning against potential damaging floods in the near future, but the meteorological inputs are not good enough to forecast the time and magnitude of the peaks. The key for such warning system is not to expect highly accurate rainfall predictions, but to improve our understanding from individual ensemble flood forecasts.

  11. Understanding Climate Adaptation on Public Lands in the Upper Midwest: Implications for Monitoring and Tracking Progress.

    PubMed

    Anhalt-Depies, Christine M; Knoot, Tricia Gorby; Rissman, Adena R; Sharp, Anthony K; Martin, Karl J

    2016-05-01

    There are limited examples of efforts to systematically monitor and track climate change adaptation progress in the context of natural resource management, despite substantial investments in adaptation initiatives. To better understand the status of adaptation within state natural resource agencies, we utilized and problematized a rational decision-making framework to characterize adaptation at the level of public land managers in the Upper Midwest. We conducted in-depth interviews with 29 biologists and foresters to provide an understanding of managers' experiences with, and perceptions of, climate change impacts, efforts towards planning for climate change, and a full range of actions implemented to address climate change. While the majority of managers identified climate change impacts affecting their region, they expressed significant uncertainty in interpreting those signals. Just under half of managers indicated planning efforts are underway, although most planning is remote from local management. Actions already implemented include both forward-looking measures and those aimed at coping with current impacts. In addition, cross-scale dynamics emerged as an important theme related to the overall adaptation process. The results hold implications for tracking future progress on climate change adaptation. Common definitions or measures of adaptation (e.g., presence of planning documents) may need to be reassessed for applicability at the level of public land managers. PMID:26888074

  12. Understanding Climate Adaptation on Public Lands in the Upper Midwest: Implications for Monitoring and Tracking Progress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anhalt-Depies, Christine M.; Knoot, Tricia Gorby; Rissman, Adena R.; Sharp, Anthony K.; Martin, Karl J.

    2016-05-01

    There are limited examples of efforts to systematically monitor and track climate change adaptation progress in the context of natural resource management, despite substantial investments in adaptation initiatives. To better understand the status of adaptation within state natural resource agencies, we utilized and problematized a rational decision-making framework to characterize adaptation at the level of public land managers in the Upper Midwest. We conducted in-depth interviews with 29 biologists and foresters to provide an understanding of managers' experiences with, and perceptions of, climate change impacts, efforts towards planning for climate change, and a full range of actions implemented to address climate change. While the majority of managers identified climate change impacts affecting their region, they expressed significant uncertainty in interpreting those signals. Just under half of managers indicated planning efforts are underway, although most planning is remote from local management. Actions already implemented include both forward-looking measures and those aimed at coping with current impacts. In addition, cross-scale dynamics emerged as an important theme related to the overall adaptation process. The results hold implications for tracking future progress on climate change adaptation. Common definitions or measures of adaptation (e.g., presence of planning documents) may need to be reassessed for applicability at the level of public land managers.

  13. Travel Behavior Change in Older Travelers: Understanding Critical Reactions to Incidents Encountered in Public Transport.

    PubMed

    Sundling, Catherine

    2015-11-01

    Accessibility of travel may be better understood if psychological factors underlying change in travel behavior are known. This paper examines older (65+) travelers' motives for changing their travel behavior. These changes are grounded in critical incidents earlier encountered in public-transport travel. A scientific framework is developed based on cognitive and behavioral theory. In 29 individual interviews, travelers' critical reactions (i.e., cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral) to 77 critical incidents were examined. By applying critical incident technique (CIT), five reaction themes were identified that had generated travel-behavior change: firm restrictions, unpredictability, unfair treatment, complicated trips, and earlier adverse experiences. To improve older travelers' access to public transport, key findings were: (a) service must be designed so as to strengthen the feeling of being in control throughout the journey; (b) extended personal service would increase predictability in the travel chain and decrease travel complexity; consequently, PMID:26593935

  14. Improving Marking Reliability of Scientific Writing with the Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bird, Fiona L.; Yucel, Robyn

    2013-01-01

    The Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning (DUAL) programme was developed with the dual aims of improving both the quality and consistency of feedback students receive and the students' ability to use that feedback to improve. DUAL comprises a range of processes (including marking rubrics, sample reports, moderation discussions and…

  15. Public understanding of participation in regulatory decision-making: The case of bottled water quality standards in India.

    PubMed

    Bhaduri, Saradindu; Sharma, Aviram

    2014-05-01

    "Science-based" standards are an integral part of modern regulatory systems. Studies on "public understanding of science" mostly focus on high technology areas in advanced economies. In contrast, the present study analyses the public understanding of regulation in the context of standard-setting for bottled water quality in India. Using primary data, the econometric models of this paper show that public understanding of participation in regulation depends on awareness of, and trust in, existing regulatory practices in a complex, non-linear manner. In this light, the paper argues that "deficit model" and "dialogue model" frameworks cannot be seen as two mutually exclusive frameworks of analyses. PMID:23825253

  16. Methodology to improve process understanding of surface runoff causing damages to buildings by analyzing insurance data records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernet, Daniel; Prasuhn, Volker; Weingartner, Rolf

    2015-04-01

    Several case studies in Switzerland highlight that many buildings which are damaged by floods are not located within the inundation zones of rivers, but outside the river network. In urban areas, such flooding can be caused by drainage system surcharge, low infiltration capacity of the urbanized landscape etc. However, in rural and peri-urban areas inundations are more likely caused by surface runoff formed on natural and arable land. Such flash floods have very short response time, occur rather diffusely and, thus, are very difficult to observe directly. In our approach, we use data records from private, but mostly from public insurance companies. The latter, present in 19 out of the total 26 Cantons of Switzerland, insure (almost) every building within the respective administrative zones and, in addition, hold a monopoly position. Damage claims, including flood damages, are usually recorded and, thus, data records from such public insurance companies are a very profitable data source to better understand surface runoff leading to damages. Although practitioners agree that this process is relevant, there seems to be a knowledge gap concerning spatial and temporal distributions as well as triggers and influencing factors of such damage events. Within the framework of a research project, we want to address this research gap and improve the understanding of the process chain from surface runoff formation up to possible damages to buildings. This poster introduces the methodology, which will be applied to a dataset including data from the majority of all 19 public insurance companies for buildings in Switzerland, counting over 50'000 damage claims, in order to better understand surface runoff. The goal is to infer spatial and temporal patterns as well as drivers and influencing factors of surface runoff possibly causing damages. In particular, the workflow of data acquisition, harmonization and treatment is outlined. Furthermore associated problems and challenges are

  17. Education to Action: Improving Public Perception of Bats.

    PubMed

    Hoffmaster, Eric; Vonk, Jennifer; Mies, Rob

    2016-01-01

    Public perception of bats has historically been largely negative with bats often portrayed as carriers of disease. Bats are commonly associated with vampire lore and thus elicit largely fearful reactions despite the fact that they are a vital and valuable part of the ecosystem. Bats provide a variety of essential services from pest control to plant pollination. Despite the benefits of bats to the environment and the economy, bats are suffering at the hands of humans. They are victims of turbines, human encroachment, pesticides, and, most recently, white nose syndrome. Because of their critical importance to the environment, humans should do what they can to help protect bats. We propose that humans will be more likely to do so if their perceptions and attitudes toward bats can be significantly improved. In a preliminary study we found some support for the idea that people can be educated about bats through bat oriented events and exhibits, and that this greater knowledge can inspire humans to act to save bats. PMID:26784239

  18. Education to Action: Improving Public Perception of Bats

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmaster, Eric; Vonk, Jennifer; Mies, Rob

    2016-01-01

    Public perception of bats has historically been largely negative with bats often portrayed as carriers of disease. Bats are commonly associated with vampire lore and thus elicit largely fearful reactions despite the fact that they are a vital and valuable part of the ecosystem. Bats provide a variety of essential services from pest control to plant pollination. Despite the benefits of bats to the environment and the economy, bats are suffering at the hands of humans. They are victims of turbines, human encroachment, pesticides, and, most recently, white nose syndrome. Because of their critical importance to the environment, humans should do what they can to help protect bats. We propose that humans will be more likely to do so if their perceptions and attitudes toward bats can be significantly improved. In a preliminary study we found some support for the idea that people can be educated about bats through bat oriented events and exhibits, and that this greater knowledge can inspire humans to act to save bats. PMID:26784239

  19. Communicating environmental health issues using GIS or improving response to citizens with understandable maps and data

    SciTech Connect

    Mann, J.H.

    1998-07-01

    People living near a Superfund site are understandably concerned about the effects of hazardous waste releases on the health of their families and themselves. These concerns often turn to anger if the residents believe investigators and public health officials are withholding critical details. In many communities with Superfund sites, residents are demanding detailed information on site investigations and public health assessments, even before such activities are completed. Investigators and public health officials can provide on-going public briefings using a geographic information system (GIS) as part of an interactive public presentation. A GIS is an excellent tool to answer questions about locations of multi-media site investigations and the analytical results because it combines computer mapping and graphics with a database. Rather than incorporate a multitude of slides and overheads into a detailed public presentation that too often never addresses the citizen concerns, a GIS can be used as a query system to answer citizen's questions. The GIS can be incorporated into a laptop or desktop computer for a one-on-one session with a resident or can be plugged into a computer projector to answer questions at public meetings.

  20. Celebrity Climate Contrarians: Understanding a keystone species in contemporary climate science-policy-public interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boykoff, M. T.

    2012-12-01

    Since the 1980s, a keystone species called 'climate contrarians' has emerged and thrived. Through resistance to dominant interpretations of scientific evidence, and often outlier views on optimal responses to climate threats, contrarians have raised many meta-level questions: for instance, questions involve to what extent have their varied interventions been effective in terms of sparking a new and wise Copernican revolution; or do their amplified voices instead service entrenched carbon-based industry interests while they blend debates over 'climate change' with other culture wars? While the value of their influence has generated numerous debates, there is no doubt that climate contrarians have had significant influence on climate science, policy and public communities in ways that are larger than would be expected from their relative abundance in society. As such, a number of these actors have achieved 'celebrity status' in science-policy circles, and, at times, larger public spaces. This presentation focuses on how - particularly through amplified mass media attention to their movements - various outlier interventions have demonstrated themselves to be (often deliberately) detrimental to efforts that seek to enlarge rather than constrict the spectrum of possibility for mobilizing appropriate responses to ongoing climate challenges. Also, this work analyses the growth pathways of these charismatic megafauna through interview data and participant observations completed by the author at the 2011 Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change. This provides detail on how outlier perspectives characterized as climate contrarians do work in these spaces under the guise of public intellectualism to achieve intended goals and objectives. The research undertaken and related in the presentation here seeks to better understand motivations that prop up these contrarian stances, such as possible ideological or evidentiary disagreement to the orthodox

  1. Using Public Participation to Improve MELs Energy Data Collection

    SciTech Connect

    Kloss, Margarita; Cheung, Iris; Brown, Richard; Meier, Alan

    2014-08-11

    Miscellaneous and electronic loads (MELs) comprise an increasing share of building energy consumption. Large-scale data collection is needed to inform meaningful energy reduction strategies because of the diversity of MELs and our lack of understanding about how people use them. Traditional methods of data collection, however, usually incur high labor and metering equipment expenses. As an alternative, this paper investigates the feasibility of crowdsourcing data collection to satisfy at least part of the data collection needs with acceptable accuracy. We assessed the reliability and accuracy of crowd-sourced data by recruiting 18 volunteers and testing our crowdsourcing protocol. The protocol asked volunteers to perform measurement tasks for three MELs devices of increasing complexity 1) record power meter and MELs product characteristics, 2) identify and measure all power modes available, and 3) report the measured power. Volunteers performed reasonably well for devices with functionalities with which they were familiar, but many could not correctly identify all available power modes in complex devices. Accuracy may improve when participants measure the power used by familiar devices in their home, or by providing more specific instructions, e.g. videos. Furthermore, crowdsourcing data collection from individual homeowners has the potential to generate valuable information about MELs energy use in homes when integrated with existing programs such as Home Energy Saver and Building America.

  2. Using Public Participation to Improve MELs Energy Data Collection

    SciTech Connect

    Cheung, Iris; Kloss, Margarita; Brown, Rich; Meier, Alan

    2014-03-11

    Miscellaneous Electric Loads (MELs) have proliferated in the last decade, and comprise an increasing share of building energy consumption. Because of the diversity of MELs and our lack of understanding about how people use them, large-scale data collection is needed to inform meaningful energy reduction strategies. Traditional methods of data collection, however, usually incur high labor and metering equipment expenses. As an alternative, this paper investigates the feasibility of crowdsourcing data collection to satisfy at least part of the data collection needs with acceptable accuracy. This study assessed the reliability and accuracy of crowdsourced data, by recruiting over 20 volunteers (from the 2012 Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Open House event) to test our crowdsourcing protocol. The protocol asked volunteers to perform the following tasks for three test products with increasing complexity - record power meter and product characteristics, identify all power settings available, and report the measured power. Based on our collected data and analysis, we concluded that volunteers performed reasonably well for devices with functionalities with which they are familiar, and might not produce highly accurate field measurements for complex devices. Accuracy will likely improve when participants are measuring the power used by devices in their home which they know how to operate, by providing more specific instructions including instructional videos. When integrated with existing programs such as the Home Energy Saver tool, crowdsourcing data collection from individual homeowners has the potential to generate a substantial amount of information about MELs energy use in homes.

  3. Emotion in obesity discourse: understanding public attitudes towards regulations for obesity prevention.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Lucy C; Warin, Megan J; Moore, Vivienne M; Street, Jackie M

    2016-05-01

    Intense concern about obesity in the public imagination and in political, academic and media discourses has catalysed advocacy efforts to implement regulatory measures to reduce the occurrence of obesity in Australia and elsewhere. This article explores public attitudes towards the possible implementation of regulations to address obesity by analysing emotions within popular discourses. Drawing on reader comments attached to obesity-relevant news articles published on Australian news and current affairs websites, we examine how popular anxieties about the 'obesity crisis' and vitriol directed at obese individuals circulate alongside understandings of the appropriate role of government to legitimise regulatory reform to address obesity. Employing Ahmed's theorisation of 'affective economies' and broader literature on emotional cultures, we argue that obesity regulations achieve popular support within affective economies oriented to neoliberal and individualist constructions of obesity. These economies preclude constructions of obesity as a structural problem in popular discourse; instead positioning anti-obesity regulations as a government-endorsed vehicle for discrimination directed at obese people. Findings implicate a new set of ethical challenges for those championing regulatory reform for obesity prevention. PMID:26564262

  4. Are Public Health Organizations Tweeting to the Choir? Understanding Local Health Department Twitter Followership

    PubMed Central

    Choucair, Bechara; Maier, Ryan C; Jolani, Nina; Bernhardt, Jay M

    2014-01-01

    potential to reach a wide and diverse audience. Understanding audience characteristics can help public health organizations use this new tool more effectively by tailoring tweet content and dissemination strategies for their audience. PMID:24571914

  5. LEGAL BASES FOR DISCLOSING CONFIDENTIAL PATIENT INFORMATION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN HEALTH PROTECTION AND HEALTH IMPROVEMENT

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Mark J.

    2015-01-01

    The disclosure of confidential patient data without an individual's explicit consent should be for purposes that persons have reason to both expect and accept. We do not currently have the required level of clarity or consistency in understanding regarding the disclosure of confidential patient information for public health purposes to support effective public dialogue. The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 establish a legal basis in England and Wales for data to be disclosed for public health purposes without patient consent. Under the Regulations, there is more than one potential route towards lawful processing: Data may be processed for public health purposes under both Regulations 3 and 5. The alternatives have different safeguards and conditions attached, and their respective applicability to processing for purposes of public health improvement is currently unclear and subject to review. Beyond the need for clarity regarding the safeguards applicable to processing for particular public health purposes, there are reasons to prefer recognition that Regulation 5 is the most appropriate legal basis for disclosure when the purpose is public health improvement rather than public health protection. Where health improvement, rather than protection, is the aim, there is no justification for discarding the additional safeguards associated with processing under Regulation 5. PMID:25995294

  6. LEGAL BASES FOR DISCLOSING CONFIDENTIAL PATIENT INFORMATION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN HEALTH PROTECTION AND HEALTH IMPROVEMENT.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Mark J

    2015-01-01

    The disclosure of confidential patient data without an individual's explicit consent should be for purposes that persons have reason to both expect and accept. We do not currently have the required level of clarity or consistency in understanding regarding the disclosure of confidential patient information for public health purposes to support effective public dialogue. The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 establish a legal basis in England and Wales for data to be disclosed for public health purposes without patient consent. Under the Regulations, there is more than one potential route towards lawful processing: Data may be processed for public health purposes under both Regulations 3 and 5. The alternatives have different safeguards and conditions attached, and their respective applicability to processing for purposes of public health improvement is currently unclear and subject to review. Beyond the need for clarity regarding the safeguards applicable to processing for particular public health purposes, there are reasons to prefer recognition that Regulation 5 is the most appropriate legal basis for disclosure when the purpose is public health improvement rather than public health protection. Where health improvement, rather than protection, is the aim, there is no justification for discarding the additional safeguards associated with processing under Regulation 5. PMID:25995294

  7. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies. A Group Study of Four Topics in the Field of Extension Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farm Foundation, Chicago, IL.

    The publication contains thirteen reports from the Twentieth National Agricultural Policy Conference held September 22-25, 1970, at Pokagon State Park, Angola, Indiana. The conference was designed to assist extension workers by broadening their perspective, understanding, and handling of the methodology of public affairs education. Four topics in…

  8. Improving Public School Teachers in Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hussain, Rana; Ali, Sajid

    2010-01-01

    This article tries to respond to a basic question: "can in-service teachers of public sectors in Pakistan be reformed?" The authors' response to this question is: "yes, public teachers can be reformed, if contextual possibilities are exploited efficiently". Although a straightforward and simplistic response to the question, this was felt necessary…

  9. Influencing Public Policy to Improve the Lives of Older Americans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hinrichsen, Gregory A.; Kietzman, Kathryn G.; Alkema, Gretchen E.; Bragg, Elizabeth J.; Hensel, Brian K.; Miles, Toni P.; Segev, Dorry L.; Zerzan, Judy

    2010-01-01

    Aging of the U.S. population raises numerous public policy issues about which gerontological researchers, policy experts, and practitioners have much to contribute. However, the means by which aging-related public policy is influenced are not always apparent. Drawing on experience working in the U.S. Senate and other settings as Health and Aging…

  10. Improving the Odds: Increasing the Effectiveness of Publicly Funded Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnow, Burt S., Ed.; King, Christopher T., Ed.

    This book, which is intended for policymakers, administrators, and researchers, contains 13 research papers and reviews of the literature on increasing the effectiveness of publicly funded training. The following papers are included: "Publicly Funded Training in a Changing Labor Market" (Burt S. Barnow, Christopher T. King); "The Economic,…

  11. Improving Publication: Advice for Busy Higher Education Academics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gibbs, Anita

    2016-01-01

    A major challenge for higher education academics is to research and publish when faced with substantial teaching responsibilities, higher student numbers, and higher output expectations. The focus of this piece is to encourage publication more generally by educators, and to build publication capacity, which academic developers can facilitate. The…

  12. Travel Behavior Change in Older Travelers: Understanding Critical Reactions to Incidents Encountered in Public Transport

    PubMed Central

    Sundling, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Accessibility of travel may be better understood if psychological factors underlying change in travel behavior are known. This paper examines older (65+) travelers’ motives for changing their travel behavior. These changes are grounded in critical incidents earlier encountered in public-transport travel. A scientific framework is developed based on cognitive and behavioral theory. In 29 individual interviews, travelers’ critical reactions (i.e., cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral) to 77 critical incidents were examined. By applying critical incident technique (CIT), five reaction themes were identified that had generated travel-behavior change: firm restrictions, unpredictability, unfair treatment, complicated trips, and earlier adverse experiences. To improve older travelers’ access to public transport, key findings were: (a) service must be designed so as to strengthen the feeling of being in control throughout the journey; (b) extended personal service would increase predictability in the travel chain and decrease travel complexity; consequently, (c) when designing new services and making effective accessibility interventions, policy makers should consider and utilize underlying psychological factors that could direct traveler behavior. PMID:26593935

  13. From dose rate to websites: making measurements accessible, understandable and helpful to the lay public.

    PubMed

    Zähringer, M; Luff, R; Schiesewitz, M; Burbeck, S; Högg, R

    2014-08-01

    The key role of public information in emergency preparedness has more recently been corroborated by the experience of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the subsequent nuclear accident at the Fukushima NPP. Information should meet quality criteria such as openness, accessibility and authenticity. Existing information portals of radiation monitoring networks were frequently used even in Europe, although there was no imminent radiation risk. BfS responded by increasing the polling frequency, publishing current data not validated, refurbishing the website of the BfS 'odlinfo.bfs.de' and adding explanatory text. Public feedback served as a valuable input for improving the site's design. Additional services were implemented for developers of smart phone apps. Websites similar to 'ODLInfo' are available both on European and international levels. NGOs and grass root projects established platforms for uploading and visualising private dose rate measurements in Japan after 11 March 2011. The BfS site is compared with other platforms. Government information has to compete with non-official sources. Options on information strategies are discussed. PMID:24993007

  14. Using Digital Multimedia to Improve Parents’ and Children’s Understanding of Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Tait, Alan R.; Voepel-Lewis, Terri; Levine, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Objective Data show that many research subjects have difficulty understanding study information using traditional paper consent documents. This study, therefore, was designed to evaluate the effect of an interactive multimedia program on improving parents’ and children’s understanding of clinical trial concepts and participation. Methods Parents (n = 148) and children (n = 135) were each randomized to receive information regarding clinical trials using either a traditional paper format (TF) or an interactive iPad program (IP) with in-line exercises. Participants’ understanding of the information was assessed using semi-structured interviews prior to (pre-test) and after (post-test) receiving the information. Participants also completed a short survey to assess their perceptions of the information delivery and satisfaction with the process. Results Regardless of the mode of information delivery, all participants demonstrated improved pre- to post-test understanding. While there were no statistical differences in parents’ post-test understanding between the TF and IP groups, children in the IP group had significantly greater post-test understanding compared with children in the TF group (11.65(4.1) vs 8.85(4.1) [2.8, 1.4,4.2] 0–18 scale where 18 = complete understanding). Furthermore, the IP was found to be significantly “easier to follow” and “more effective” in presenting information compared with the TF. Conclusions Results demonstrated the importance of providing information regarding clinical trial concepts to parents and children. Importantly, the ability of interactive multimedia to improve understanding of clinical trial concepts and satisfaction with information delivery, particularly among children, supports this approach as a novel and effective vehicle for enhancing the informed consent process. PMID:25829422

  15. Playing with Science: Using Interactive Games to Improve Public Engagement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unger, M.; Besser, N.

    2015-12-01

    The challenge of communicating science in an accurate, concise, and engaging way has never been more important. While much focus has been put on how scientific information gets delivered, perhaps less value has been put on what the public can communicate back to science. Imparting scientific knowledge to the public in one direction, however successfully done, could be called "transmission." It's not until the public responds that you have "communication," or maybe a better word would be "conversation." The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has been working on a project for use in its educational visitor center that not only attempts to engage the public with concise, accurate scientific information, but also to help the public respond, in order to create a communicative circuit. Using an interactive game platform, visitors can immerse themselves in a voyage of scientific discovery by choosing a character and building a story line based on multiple selections, a version of a "build your own adventure" experience. We are exploring ways to capture data from these interactions in order to inform additional program development based on areas of greatest interest to the public. The game could thus be used to update existing exhibits so they better reflect those areas of interest, making them more relevant and engaging to visitors, and expanding opportunities for dialogue between science centers and members of the public.

  16. Improving the use of competencies in public health education.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Christina Juris; Walston, Stephen L

    2015-03-01

    Competency-based education is the present and future of public health education. As programs have adopted competencies, many have struggled and continue to struggle with actual implementation and curricular redesign. We experienced these problems at The University of Oklahoma College of Public Health; thus, we propose an adaptable and replicable process to better implement competencies and evaluate student mastery of them throughout any public health program. We specifically recommend adopting mission-based competencies followed by a longitudinal evaluation plan like the model provided. PMID:25706022

  17. Scaffolded Instruction Improves Student Understanding of the Scientific Method & Experimental Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Costa, Allison R.; Schlueter, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    Implementation of a guided-inquiry lab in introductory biology classes, along with scaffolded instruction, improved students' understanding of the scientific method, their ability to design an experiment, and their identification of experimental variables. Pre- and postassessments from experimental versus control sections over three semesters…

  18. Improving Food Safety by Understanding the Evolution of Egg-contaminating Salmonella Enteritidis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improving Food Safety by Understanding the Evolution of Egg-contaminating Salmonella Enteritidis Jean Guard, Veterinary Medical Officer U. S. Department of Agriculture, Athens, GA USA (jean.guard@ars.usda.gov) The curious case of egg contamination by Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis S. ...

  19. Inventory of Federal Programs Involving Educational Activities Concerned with Improving International Understanding and Cooperation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Janice M.; Hohman, David E.

    This inventory contains the results of a survey of all Federal programs for fiscal years 1966, 1967, and 1968 that included educational activities aimed at improving international understanding and cooperation. A total of 159 such programs were reported by 31 responding Federal agencies. This inventory contains the following information for each…

  20. Social and Economic Benefits of Improved Adult Literacy: Towards a Better Understanding: Support Document

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartley, Robyn; Horne, Jackie

    2005-01-01

    This document was produced by the authors based on their research for the report, "Social and Economic Benefits of Improved Adult Literacy: Towards a Better Understanding," and is an added resource for further information. The original document is a feasibility study which explores the frameworks and methodologies available for determining and…

  1. Book review: Darwinian agriculture: How understanding evolution can improve agriculture by R. Ford Dennison

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural research continually seeks to increase productivity while protecting soil, water and genetic resources. The book Darwinian Agriculture: How Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture, by R. Ford Dennison, delivers a thought-provoking view of how principles of ecology and evolution ...

  2. Improving the Conceptual Understanding in Kinematics Subject Matter with Hypertext Media Learning and Formal Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manurung, Sondang R.; Mihardi, Satria

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of hypertext media based kinematic learning and formal thinking ability to improve the conceptual understanding of physic prospective students. The research design used is the one-group pretest-posttest experimental design is carried out in the research by taking 36 students on from…

  3. A Hands-On Exercise Improves Understanding of the Standard Error of the Mean

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryan, Robert S.

    2006-01-01

    One of the most difficult concepts for statistics students is the standard error of the mean. To improve understanding of this concept, 1 group of students used a hands-on procedure to sample from small populations representing either a true or false null hypothesis. The distribution of 120 sample means (n = 3) from each population had standard…

  4. Improving the Quality and Scientific Understanding of Trophic Magnification Factors (TMFs)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This short 1000 word report presents a series of research needs for improving the measurement and understanding of trophic magnification factors (TMFs). TMFs are useful measures of trophic magnification and represent the diet-weighted average biomagnification factor (BMF) of che...

  5. A Review of Some Promising Approaches To Understanding and Improving Thinking Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newsome, George L., III

    2000-01-01

    Examines the thinking and reasoning skills today's students need, reviewing promising approaches to understanding and improving these skills offered by cognitive psychologists and philosophers, evaluating the contributions of each approach, and suggesting how explanations offered by cognitive psychologists and criteria for evaluating students'…

  6. Water Literacy in College Freshmen: Could a Cognitive Imagery Strategy Improve Understanding?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ewing, Margaret S.; Mills, Terence J.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a study designed to determine whether levels of water literacy differed between (n=83) college freshman nonscience majors having one versus two years of high school science coursework, visual imagery exercises could improve understanding of the water cycle, and patterns exist in the concept of the water cycle. (Contains 23 references.)…

  7. Understanding the Evolving Roles of Improvement-Oriented High School Teachers in Gilgit-Baltistan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ali, Takbir

    2011-01-01

    In this paper the author presents a framework for understanding how improvement-oriented high school teachers' accounts of change experiences portray their evolving roles as change agents in school reform. The data on which this paper is based come from a one-year long in-depth study (doctoral thesis research project) in which the author set out…

  8. Understanding Public Perceptions of the HPV Vaccination Based on Online Comments to Canadian News Articles

    PubMed Central

    Feinberg, Yael; Pereira, Jennifer A.; Quach, Susan; Kwong, Jeffrey C.; Crowcroft, Natasha S.; Wilson, Sarah E.; Guay, Maryse; Lei, Yang; Deeks, Shelley L.

    2015-01-01

    Background Given the variation in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage across Canada, and debate regarding delivery of HPV vaccines in Catholic schools, we studied online comments on Canadian news websites to understand public perceptions of HPV and HPV vaccine. Methods We searched English- and French-language Canadian news websites for 2012 articles that contained the terms “HPV” or “human papillomavirus.” Articles about HPV vaccinations that contained at least one comment were included. Two researchers independently coded comments, analyzing them for emerging themes. Results We identified 3073 comments from 1198 individuals in response to 71 news articles; 630 (52.6%) individuals expressed positive sentiments about HPV vaccination (2.5 comments/individual), 404 (33.7%) were negative (3.0 comments/individual), 34 (2.8%) were mixed (1.5 comments/individual) and 130 (10.8%) were neutral (1.6 comments/individual). Vaccine-supportive commenters believed the vaccine is safe and effective. Common themes in negative comments included concerns regarding HPV vaccine safety and efficacy, distrust of pharmaceutical companies and government, and belief that school-age children are too young for HPV vaccine. Many comments focused on whether the Catholic Church has the right to inform health policy for students, and discussion often evolved into debates regarding HPV and sexual behaviour. We noted that many individuals doubted the credibility of vaccine safety information. Conclusion The majority of commenters do not appear to be against HPV vaccination, but public health messaging that focuses on both the vaccine’s safety profile, and its use as a means to prevent cancer rather than sexually transmitted HPV infection may facilitate its acceptance. PMID:26053866

  9. Bridging Science and Public Understanding of Water-Energy Nexus: Opportunities for broader impact connections with InTeGrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orr, C. H.; Manduca, C. A.; Bruckner, M.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding trade-offs and interactions between water and energy is crucial in understanding many issues of sustainability faced by society in our changing environment. Increasing capcity through public literacy and preparing the future workforce to address these challenges are key goals of the NSF STEP Center InTeGrate. We connect teaching about the Earth to societal issues for undergraduates across the curriculum. Understanding the interaction between engineering, sustainability and the geosciences and the role engineering plays in building a sustainable future, in areas such resource and energy use is a major foci of our work. Connecting this knowledge to societal issues that undergraduates can relate to, and improving interdisciplinary problem-solving are needed in addressing the Grand Challenges facing society. The project features interdisciplinary materials that engage students in learning about the Earth by focusing on pressing topics and using evidence-based teaching practice. These materials are designed for both science and non-science majors at the undergraduate level and have been rigorously reviewed and tested in the classroom. Topics include Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources, Interactions between Water, Earth's Surface and Human Activity, and Human's Dependence on Earth's Mineral Resources. Upcoming, new topics include modules on Energy Environment and Our Future, Global Energy and Atmosphere, Ecosystem Services Approach to Water Resources and course-length material on Grand Challenges of Interdisciplinary Water Sustainability and Gateway to Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability. We invite you to partner with the InTeGrate project as you think about broader impacts related to your work. Examples include creating a case study detailing your project and how faculty can use it in their classroom, contributing example activities that utilize your datasets, and more. Check out the site at: serc.carleton.edu/integrate/

  10. 'It'll never happen to me': understanding public awareness of local flood risk.

    PubMed

    Burningham, Kate; Fielding, Jane; Thrush, Diana

    2008-06-01

    Following the severe flood events of 1998 and 2000, the United Kingdom's Environment Agency prioritised the need to increase public flood risk awareness. Drawing on data collected during research undertaken for the Environment Agency, this paper contributes to understanding of one aspect of flood awareness: people's recognition that their property is in an area that is potentially at risk of flooding. Quantitative analyses indicate that class is the most influential factor in predicting flood risk awareness, followed by flood experience and length of time in residence. There are also significant area differences. Our qualitative work explores how those defined as 'at risk' account for their lack of awareness or concern about their risk status. We conclude that the problem is often not simply a lack of awareness, but rather, assessments of local risk based on experience that underestimate the impact of rare or extreme events. We underline the importance of engaging with local perspectives on risk and making local people part of 'awareness-raising' processes. PMID:18380852