Science.gov

Sample records for improving public understanding

  1. Improving the public understanding of science: New initiatives.

    PubMed

    Scotchmoor, Judy; Thanukos, Anastasia; Potter, Sheri

    2009-10-01

    The United States may be on the brink of losing its global edge in science. Many American students are underprepared for and uninterested in the scientific and technical careers they may be asked to take on. Furthermore, these students, their teachers, and the broader public lack basic understandings of what science is and how it works, which may negatively impact their ability to make reasoned and informed decisions about science-related issues. We describe two unique and recently developed projects designed to help tackle these problems by improving public understanding of and interest in science. The Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science is a grassroots effort to lower the barriers between the scientific community and the public. It aims to inspire broad appreciation of science, inform the public about the nature and process of science, and make science accessible to everyone. Understanding Science is a web-based project that aims to improve teacher understanding of the nature of the scientific enterprise, to provide resources that encourage and enable kindergarten through undergraduate (K-16) teachers to reinforce the nature of science throughout their teaching, and to serve as a clear and accessible reference that accurately portrays the scientific endeavor. The botanical and broader scientific communities are invited to participate in these efforts.

  2. 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.…

  3. Air pollution and public health: emerging hazards and improved understanding of risk.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Frank J; Fussell, Julia C

    2015-08-01

    Despite past improvements in air quality, very large parts of the population in urban areas breathe air that does not meet European standards let alone the health-based World Health Organisation Air Quality Guidelines. Over the last 10 years, there has been a substantial increase in findings that particulate matter (PM) air pollution is not only exerting a greater impact on established health endpoints, but is also associated with a broader number of disease outcomes. Data strongly suggest that effects have no threshold within the studied range of ambient concentrations, can occur at levels close to PM2.5 background concentrations and that they follow a mostly linear concentration-response function. Having firmly established this significant public health problem, there has been an enormous effort to identify what it is in ambient PM that affects health and to understand the underlying biological basis of toxicity by identifying mechanistic pathways-information that in turn will inform policy makers how best to legislate for cleaner air. Another intervention in moving towards a healthier environment depends upon the achieving the right public attitude and behaviour by the use of optimal air pollution monitoring, forecasting and reporting that exploits increasingly sophisticated information systems. Improving air quality is a considerable but not an intractable challenge. Translating the correct scientific evidence into bold, realistic and effective policies undisputedly has the potential to reduce air pollution so that it no longer poses a damaging and costly toll on public health.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Understanding the Public Domain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russell, Carrie

    2003-01-01

    This overview of the public domain covers: defining the public domain; figuring out if a work is protected by copyright; being sure a work is in the public domain; asserting the copyright protection and term; the Creative Commons initiative; building the Information Commons; when permission is needed for using a public domain work; and special…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. Public understanding of climate change in the United States.

    PubMed

    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 review supports a constructivist account of human judgment. Public understanding is affected by the inherent difficulty of understanding climate change, the mismatch between people's usual modes of understanding and the task, and, particularly in the United States, a continuing societal struggle to shape the frames and mental models people use to understand the phenomena. We conclude by discussing ways in which psychology can help to improve public understanding of climate change and link a better understanding to action. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. 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

  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. Improving public education about stroke.

    PubMed

    Alberts, Mark J

    2012-09-01

    Stroke is a common and serious disease. Most studies have shown that basic public knowledge about what a stroke is, symptoms of a stroke, and the proper reaction to a stroke is quite deficient. The fact that a stroke affects cognitive, communicative, and motor functions may partially explain the poor reaction to acute stroke symptoms. Several educational studies, using diverse formats and messaging paradigms, have been shown to positively affect public knowledge of stroke symptoms. Such efforts have often used mass media public education campaigns with an emphasis on recognizing symptoms of an acute stroke. Some have been able to demonstrate an increase in the chance of patients (or by-standers) calling 911 and seeking emergency care. However, many programs were of brief duration, and their long-term benefits are uncertain. Continual educational efforts will be needed to improve stroke knowledge and increase the percentage of patients who seek emergency care.

  3. Understanding evidence-based public health policy.

    PubMed

    Brownson, Ross C; Chriqui, Jamie F; Stamatakis, Katherine A

    2009-09-01

    Public health policy has a profound impact on health status. Missing from the literature is a clear articulation of the definition of evidence-based policy and approaches to move the field forward. Policy-relevant evidence includes both quantitative (e.g., epidemiological) and qualitative information (e.g., narrative accounts). We describe 3 key domains of evidence-based policy: (1) process, to understand approaches to enhance the likelihood of policy adoption; (2) content, to identify specific policy elements that are likely to be effective; and (3) outcomes, to document the potential impact of policy. Actions to further evidence-based policy include preparing and communicating data more effectively, using existing analytic tools more effectively, conducting policy surveillance, and tracking outcomes with different types of evidence.

  4. 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.

  5. Public awareness, understanding & attitudes toward epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Gambhir, S K; Kumar, V; Singhi, P D; Goel, R C

    1995-07-01

    The public awareness, understanding and attitudes towards epilepsy were evaluated in a north Indian population in 1992 by personal interview method. The study revealed that 92 per cent of the respondents had read or heard about epilepsy. More than 55 per cent knew someone and had seen a case of seizure. Eighty five per cent of the respondents were not aware of the cause of epilepsy or had wrong beliefs. Eighteen and 15 per cent thought epilepsy to be a hereditary disorder and a form of insanity respectively. About 40 per cent of the respondents felt that children with epilepsy should not be sent to school and also objected to their children's contact with epileptics at school or at play. Two-thirds of the respondents objected to their children marrying a person who had ever had epilepsy. Twenty per cent were ignorant about the manifestation of epilepsy and an equal number were unable to recommend any therapy in case their relatives or friends had epilepsy. Fifty seven per cent did not know what kind of first aid should be given during the epileptic attack. Although the awareness of epilepsy among Indian people was comparable to that of individuals in Western countries, the attitudes of the Indians were much more negative. Better educated people belonging to higher occupational groups were less prejudiced against social contact and schooling of their children with epileptic children compared to low educational and occupational groups.

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

    2010-10-01

    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.

  10. Public understanding of solar radiation management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercer, A. M.; Keith, D. W.; Sharp, J. D.

    2011-10-01

    We report the results of the first large-scale international survey of public perception of geoengineering and solar radiation management (SRM). Our sample of 3105 individuals in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom was recruited by survey firms that administer internet surveys to nationally representative population samples. Measured familiarity was higher than expected, with 8% and 45% of the population correctly defining the terms geoengineering and climate engineering respectively. There was strong support for allowing the study of SRM. Support decreased and uncertainty rose as subjects were asked about their support for using SRM immediately, or to stop a climate emergency. Support for SRM is associated with optimism about scientific research, a valuing of SRM's benefits and a stronger belief that SRM is natural, while opposition is associated with an attitude that nature should not be manipulated in this way. The potential risks of SRM are important drivers of public perception with the most salient being damage to the ozone layer and unknown risks. SRM is a new technology and public opinions are just forming; thus all reported results are sensitive to changes in framing, future information on risks and benefits, and changes to context.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. Understanding Millennials to Improve Recruiting Efficiency

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-03-24

    ABSTRACT The Millennial generation , born between 1982 and 2003, has been influenced by numerous events in their developmental years such as the 9/11...characteristics of the Millennial generation and the interrelationship with other generations in an effort to improve U.S. Army recruiting efficiencies... Millennials . Recruiting is a “people” business and the more USAREC leaders and recruiters understand generational interrelationships, influences, and

  14. Understanding and managing organizational change: implications for public health management.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Jon M

    2010-01-01

    Managing organizational change has become a significant responsibility of managers. Managing the change process within public health organizations is important because appropriately and systematically managing change is linked to improved organizational performance. However, change is difficult and the change process poses formidable challenges for managers. Managers themselves face increased pressure to respond to environmental influences and provide the necessary leadership to their organizations in the change process. In fact, managing organizational change has become a key competency for healthcare managers. This article addresses the important topic of organizational change in public health organizations. It provides a conceptual foundation for understanding organizational change and its relationship to healthcare organizational performance, and then discusses the types and nature of change, using some examples and evidence from those organizations that have successfully managed change. A framework for guiding public health managers in the change management process is provided. The article concludes with suggested management competencies to establish a change-oriented organization with the culture and capacity for change.

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Improving student understanding of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2015-04-01

    Learning quantum mechanics is challenging for many students. We are investigating the difficulties that upper-level students have in learning quantum mechanics. To help improve student understanding of quantum concepts, we are developing quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs) and tools for peer-instruction. Many of the QuILTs employ computer simulations to help students visualize and develop better intuition about quantum phenomena. We will discuss the common students' difficulties and research-based tools we are developing to bridge the gap between quantitative and conceptual aspects of quantum mechanics and help students develop a solid grasp of quantum concepts. Support from the National Science Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Understanding the diversity of public interests in wildlife conservation.

    PubMed

    Teel, Tara L; Manfredo, Michael J

    2010-02-01

    North American state wildlife agencies are increasingly faced with the challenge of effectively representing a diverse public. With increasing social conflict over wildlife issues, the future of wildlife conservation hinges on preparedness of the profession to respond to this challenge. In the interest of finding ways to improve response, 19 agencies in the western U.S. joined forces to initiate an investigation that would provide a better understanding of the diversity of wildlife-related interests in the region. Specific objectives, accomplished through use of a mail survey administered in 2004, were to categorize people on the basis of their value orientations toward wildlife and explore how different groups were distributed across states and to examine differences on sociodemographic characteristics and attitudes toward wildlife-related topics among groups. The focus was on two orientations: domination (view of wildlife that prioritizes human well-being over wildlife and treats wildlife in utilitarian terms); and mutualism (view of wildlife as capable of relationships of trust with humans and defined by a desire for companionship with wildlife). Four types of people were identified on the basis of these orientations. Types differed in their geographic distribution and wildlife-related attitudes and behaviors, revealing how value orientations can form the foundation for conflict on wildlife issues. Our characterizations of stakeholder groups offer a framework that can be applied over time and across geographic scales to improve conservation planning efforts and inform broader thinking about the social aspects of wildlife conservation.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. User requirements and understanding of public health networks in England

    PubMed Central

    Fahey, D; Carson, E; Cramp, D; Muir, G

    2003-01-01

    Background: The movement of public health professionals from health authorities to primary care trusts has increased their isolation and dependence on public health networks for communication. Methods: A cross sectional survey of 60 public health professionals working in England was performed to determine their understanding of the term "public health network" and to explore the functions that they would like these networks to perform. It also assessed their attitudes towards a national network and towards individual, local, and national web sites to support these networks. Results: The most popular functions were the support of CPD/education, the identification of expertise and maximisation of scarce resources, information sharing, and efficient information/knowledge management. The local and national networks and their web sites should provide information on current projects of the network and searches to identify people, expertise, and reports. Conclusion: Public health professionals have a similar but broader understanding of the term "public health network" than that of the government with greater emphasis on sharing of information. The network is more likely to be successful if its priorities are maximising scarce resources, identification of expertise, CPD/education, and knowledge management. PMID:14652257

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. The current state of public understanding of nanotechnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waldron, Anna M.; Spencer, Douglas; Batt, Carl A.

    2006-10-01

    The growing importance of nanotechnology in industry and society has not been accompanied by a widespread understanding of the subject among the general public. Simple questions to initially probe the smallest thing that people can see and can think of reveals a divide in the understanding of the general public. A survey of 1500 individuals ranging in age from 6 to 74 has revealed a lack of knowledge of nanotechnology and especially a lack of understanding of the context of nanotechnology in the world that is too small to see. Survey findings are corroborated by in-depth interviews with 400 adults in studies of nanoscience literacy commisioned by University of California, Berkeley and Cornell in 2002 and 2004, respectively. In general, with the exception of 14-28 year olds, over 60% of respondents say they have never heard of nano or nanotechnology. The results suggest that the general public, especially middle-school children, has no firm foundation to understand nanotechnology and likely will continue to be equally impressed by credible scientific information as well as pure fictional accounts of nanotechnology.

  10. Public culture and public understanding of genetics: a focus group study.

    PubMed

    Bates, Benjamin R

    2005-01-01

    As the role of genetic science in everyday life has grown, policymakers have become concerned about Americans' understandings of this science. Much effort has been devoted to formal schooling, but less attention has been paid to the role of public culture in shaping public understanding of genetics. Research into public cultural messages about genetics has claimed that the public is likely to adopt problematic accounts, but few studies have explored the public's articulation of these messages. This study is based on 25 focus groups convened to explore the lay public's understanding of genetics. The study found that the public processed a greater variety of messages than assumed by previous researchers, including documentaries, non-science-fiction films, and popular television in addition to previous researchers' focus on science fiction and news media. The study also found that the public does not process the messages through the linear, transmission model assumed by previous research. The public processes messages about genetics complexly and critically. On the basis of these findings, the study suggests that researchers should include a greater variety of texts about genetics in their research and attend more fully to audience processing in addition to content analyses of these texts.

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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,…

  14. Health care quality improvement publication trends.

    PubMed

    Sun, Gordon H; MacEachern, Mark P; Perla, Rocco J; Gaines, Jean M; Davis, Matthew M; Shrank, William H

    2014-01-01

    To analyze the extent of academic interest in quality improvement (QI) initiatives in medical practice, annual publication trends for the most well-known QI methodologies being used in health care settings were analyzed. A total of 10 key medical- and business-oriented library databases were examined: PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ISI Web of Science, Scopus, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, ABI/INFORM, and Business Source Complete. A total of 13 057 articles were identified that discuss at least 1 of 10 well-known QI concepts used in health care contexts, 8645 (66.2%) of which were classified as original research. "Total quality management" was the only methodology to demonstrate a significant decline in publication over time. "Continuous quality improvement" was the most common topic of study across all publication years, whereas articles discussing Lean methodology demonstrated the largest growth in publication volume over the past 2 decades. Health care QI publication volume increased substantially beginning in 1991.

  15. 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.

  16. Improving semantic scene understanding using prior information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laddha, Ankit; Hebert, Martial

    2016-05-01

    Perception for ground robot mobility requires automatic generation of descriptions of the robot's surroundings from sensor input (cameras, LADARs, etc.). Effective techniques for scene understanding have been developed, but they are generally purely bottom-up in that they rely entirely on classifying features from the input data based on learned models. In fact, perception systems for ground robots have a lot of information at their disposal from knowledge about the domain and the task. For example, a robot in urban environments might have access to approximate maps that can guide the scene interpretation process. In this paper, we explore practical ways to combine such prior information with state of the art scene understanding approaches.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. Understanding the public's health problems: applications of symbolic interaction to public health.

    PubMed

    Maycock, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Public health has typically investigated health issues using methods from the positivistic paradigm. Yet these approaches, although they are able to quantify the problem, may not be able to explain the social reasons of why the problem exists or the impact on those affected. This article will provide a brief overview of a sociological theory that provides methods and a theoretical framework that has proven useful in understanding public health problems and developing interventions.

  1. 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

  2. Understanding pharmacokinetics to improve tuberculosis treatment outcome

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Jonathan; Heysell, Scott K

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Tuberculosis (TB) remains the leading cause of death from a curable infectious disease; drug-resistant TB threatens to dismantle all prior gains in global control. Suboptimal circulating anti-TB drug concentrations can lead to lack of cure and acquired drug resistance. Areas covered This review will introduce pharmacokinetic parameters for key anti-TB drugs, as well as the indications and limitations of measuring these parameters in clinical practice. Current and novel methodologies for delivering anti-TB pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic data are highlighted and gaps in operational research described. Expert opinion Individual pharmacokinetic variability is commonplace, underappreciated and difficult to predict without therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM). Pharmacokinetic thresholds associated with poor TB treatment outcome in drug-susceptible TB have recently been described and may now guide the application of TDM, but require validation in a variety of settings and comorbidities. Dried blood spots for TDM and prepackaged multidrug plates for minimum inhibitory concentration testing will overcome barriers of accessibility and represent areas for innovation. Operationalizing pharmacokinetics has the potential to improve TB outcomes in the most difficult-to-treat forms of the disease such as multidrug resistance. Clinical studies in these areas are eagerly anticipated and we expect will better define the rational introduction of novel therapeutics. PMID:24597717

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Climate Services to Improve Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Jancloes, Michel; Thomson, Madeleine; Costa, María Máñez; Hewitt, Chris; Corvalan, Carlos; Dinku, Tufa; Lowe, Rachel; Hayden, Mary

    2014-01-01

    A high level expert panel discussed how climate and health services could best collaborate to improve public health. This was on the agenda of the recent Third International Climate Services Conference, held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, 4–6 December 2013. Issues and challenges concerning a demand led approach to serve the health sector needs, were identified and analysed. Important recommendations emerged to ensure that innovative collaboration between climate and health services assist decision-making processes and the management of climate-sensitive health risk. Key recommendations included: a move from risk assessment towards risk management; the engagement of the public health community with both the climate sector and development sectors, whose decisions impact on health, particularly the most vulnerable; to increase operational research on the use of policy-relevant climate information to manage climate- sensitive health risks; and to develop in-country capacities to improve local knowledge (including collection of epidemiological, climate and socio-economic data), along with institutional interaction with policy makers. PMID:24776719

  7. Climate services to improve public health.

    PubMed

    Jancloes, Michel; Thomson, Madeleine; Costa, María Mánez; Hewitt, Chris; Corvalan, Carlos; Dinku, Tufa; Lowe, Rachel; Hayden, Mary

    2014-04-25

    A high level expert panel discussed how climate and health services could best collaborate to improve public health. This was on the agenda of the recent Third International Climate Services Conference, held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, 4-6 December 2013. Issues and challenges concerning a demand led approach to serve the health sector needs, were identified and analysed. Important recommendations emerged to ensure that innovative collaboration between climate and health services assist decision-making processes and the management of climate-sensitive health risk. Key recommendations included: a move from risk assessment towards risk management; the engagement of the public health community with both the climate sector and development sectors, whose decisions impact on health, particularly the most vulnerable; to increase operational research on the use of policy-relevant climate information to manage climate- sensitive health risks; and to develop in-country capacities to improve local knowledge (including collection of epidemiological, climate and socio-economic data), along with institutional interaction with policy makers.

  8. DSSTOX WEBSITE LAUNCH: IMPROVING PUBLIC ACCESS ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    DSSTox Website Launch: Improving Public Access to Databases for Building Structure-Toxicity Prediction ModelsAnn M. RichardUS Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC, USADistributed: Decentralized set of standardized, field-delimited databases, each separatelyauthored and maintained, that are able to accommodate diverse toxicity data content;Structure-Searchable: Standard format (SDF) structure-data files that can be readily imported into available chemical relational databases and structure-searched;Tox: Toxicity data as it exists in widely disparate forms in current public databases, spanning diverse toxicity endpoints, test systems, levels of biological content, degrees of summarization, and information content.INTRODUCTIONThe economic and social pressures to reduce the need for animal testing and to better anticipate the potential for human and eco-toxicity of environmental, industrial, or pharmaceutical chemicals are as pressing today as at any time prior. However, the goal of predicting chemical toxicity in its many manifestations, the `T' in 'ADMET' (adsorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination, toxicity), remains one of the most difficult and largely unmet challenges in a chemical screening paradigm [1]. It is widely acknowledged that the single greatest hurdle to improving structure-activity relationship (SAR) toxicity prediction capabilities, in both the pharmaceutical and environmental regulation arenas, is the lack of suffici

  9. Understanding the Organization of Public Health Delivery Systems: An Empirical Typology

    PubMed Central

    Mays, Glen P; Scutchfield, F Douglas; Bhandari, Michelyn W; Smith, Sharla A

    2010-01-01

    Context: Policy discussions about improving the U.S. health care system increasingly recognize the need to strengthen its capacities for delivering public health services. A better understanding of how public health delivery systems are organized across the United States is critical to improvement. To facilitate the development of such evidence, this article presents an empirical method of classifying and comparing public health delivery systems based on key elements of their organizational structure. Methods: This analysis uses data collected through a national longitudinal survey of local public health agencies serving communities with at least 100,000 residents. The survey measured the availability of twenty core public health activities in local communities and the types of organizations contributing to each activity. Cluster analysis differentiated local delivery systems based on the scope of activities delivered, the range of organizations contributing, and the distribution of effort within the system. Findings: Public health delivery systems varied widely in organizational structure, but the observed patterns of variation suggested that systems adhere to one of seven distinct configurations. Systems frequently migrated from one configuration to another over time, with an overall trend toward offering a broader scope of services and engaging a wider range of organizations. Conclusions: Public health delivery systems exhibit important structural differences that may influence their operations and outcomes. The typology developed through this analysis can facilitate comparative studies to identify which delivery system configurations perform best in which contexts. PMID:20377759

  10. Understanding human resource management practices in Botswana's public health sector.

    PubMed

    Seitio-Kgokgwe, Onalenna Stannie; Gauld, Robin; Hill, Philip C; Barnett, Pauline

    2016-11-21

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess the management of the public sector health workforce in Botswana. Using institutional frameworks it aims to document and analyse human resource management (HRM) practices, and make recommendations to improve employee and health system outcomes. Design/methodology/approach The paper draws from a large study that used a mixed methods approach to assess performance of Botswana's Ministry of Health (MOH). It uses data collected through document analysis and in-depth interviews of 54 key informants comprising policy makers, senior staff of the MOH and its stakeholder organizations. Findings Public health sector HRM in Botswana has experienced inadequate planning, poor deployment and underutilization of staff. Lack of comprehensive retention strategies and poor working conditions contributed to the failure to attract and retain skilled personnel. Relationships with both formal and informal environments affected HRM performance. Research limitations/implications While document review was a major source of data for this paper, the weaknesses in the human resource information system limited availability of data. Practical implications This paper presents an argument for the need for consideration of formal and informal environments in developing effective HRM strategies. Originality/value This research provides a rare system-wide approach to health HRM in a Sub-Saharan African country. It contributes to the literature and evidence needed to guide HRM policy decisions and practices.

  11. Memorandum of Understanding for Improving Environmental Management of Electronic Assets

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This is a memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Postal Service, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Interior and EPA to improve the environmental management of the government's electronic assets.

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Can an understanding of transactional analysis improve postgraduate clinical supervision?

    PubMed

    Sivan, Manoj; McKimm, Judy; Held, Sam

    2011-01-01

    Clinical supervision in postgraduate medical training is vital in producing competent and safe health-care practitioners. Effective communication between supervisors and trainees at an interpersonal and professional level determines the quality of the supervision process. Transactional analysis, a theory of personality, can be used to enhance understanding of interpersonal interactions and improve the outcomes of clinical training.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. 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

  2. Will NCLB Improve or Harm Public Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Borkowski, John W.; Sneed, Maree

    2006-01-01

    Drawing on their legal expertise and their experience working with public school districts, John W. Borkowski and Maree Sneed discuss the controversies surrounding the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). They acknowledge that its principal benefits lie in its recognition of the right of each child to learn and be assessed by…

  3. 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 training…

  4. 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…

  5. Understanding Public School Finance in Nebraska, 1971-1972.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hudson, C. Cale

    This booklet is concerned with the functioning of the State and local programs for financing public schools in Nebraska. Its purpose is to encourage more people to study the problem of educational finance both in practice and in theory. Discussion focuses on the School Foundation and Equalization Act of 1967. This legislation transferred part of…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 77 FR 6857 - Pipeline Safety: Notice of Public Meetings on Improving Pipeline Leak Detection System...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-09

    ... Improving Pipeline Leak Detection System Effectiveness and Understanding the Application of Automatic/Remote... of workshop. SUMMARY: The recent passage of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job.... EDT. The public meeting on Understanding the Application of Automatic and Remote Control Valves...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Understanding and Improving Knowledge Transactions in Command and Control

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-06-01

    6310 Greenwich Dr., Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92122 Fax: (858) 535-1665 ramoore@pacific-science.com hors: ald A. Moore1, Janel H. Schermerhorn ...Understanding and Improving K ald A. Moore, Janel H. Schermerhorn , Heath 6310 Greenwich Dr., Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92 Phone: (858) 535 , jscherm@pacific...Naval Research (ONR Introduction For example, sources must ions must be quickly and fully support als and teams produced and ent tasks and

  13. Understanding public resistance to messages about health disparities.

    PubMed

    Gollust, Sarah E; Cappella, Joseph N

    2014-04-01

    Advocates and policymakers strategically communicate about health disparities in an effort to raise public awareness, often by emphasizing the social and economic factors that influence these disparities. Previous research suggests that predisposing political orientation and values related to self-reliance and personal responsibility may produce resistance to such messages. In this study, the authors culled 4 messages about the causes of disparities in life expectancy from public discourse and randomly presented them to a nationally representative sample of 732 Americans. Three indicators of message resistance were measured: belief that messages are weak, elicitation of anger, and production of counterarguments. Expected political differences in message resistance were identified, with Republicans perceiving messages to be weaker, arousing less anger, and eliciting more counterarguing than for Democrats. Among 3 messages that described the social determinants of health disparities, a message that identified the role of personal choices (explicitly acknowledging personal responsibility) produced the least anger and counterarguing among Republicans. Political differences in anger arousal and counterarguing can be explained, in part, by predisposing values toward personal responsibility. These findings have relevance for policy advocates seeking to bridge public divides surrounding health disparities and for scholars advancing theories of reactance to policy-relevant health messaging.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Towards an understanding of British public attitudes concerning human cloning.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Richard; Barnett, Julie; Cooper, Helen; Coyle, Adrian; Moran-Ellis, Jo; Senior, Victoria; Walton, Chris

    2007-07-01

    The ability of scientists to apply cloning technology to humans has provoked public discussion and media coverage. The present paper reports on a series of studies examining public attitudes to human cloning in the UK, bringing together a range of quantitative and qualitative methods to address this question. These included a nationally representative survey, an experimental vignette study, focus groups and analyses of media coverage. Overall the research presents a complex picture of attitude to and constructions of human cloning. In all of the analyses, therapeutic cloning was viewed more favourably than reproductive cloning. However, while participants in the focus groups were generally negative about both forms of cloning, and this was also reflected in the media analyses, quantitative results showed more positive responses. In the quantitative research, therapeutic cloning was generally accepted when the benefits of such procedures were clear, and although reproductive cloning was less accepted there was still substantial support. Participants in the focus groups only differentiated between therapeutic and reproductive cloning after the issue of therapeutic cloning was explicitly raised; initially they saw cloning as being reproductive cloning and saw no real benefits. Attitudes were shown to be associated with underlying values associated with scientific progress rather than with age, gender or education, and although there were a few differences in the quantitative data based on religious affiliation, these tended to be small effects. Likewise in the focus groups there was little direct appeal to religion, but the main themes were 'interfering with nature' and the 'status of the embryo', with the latter being used more effectively to try to close down further discussion. In general there was a close correspondence between the media analysis and focus group responses, possibly demonstrating the importance of media as a resource, or that the media reflect

  18. Improving Accountability in Public Education. Policy Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stecher, Brian; Li, Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    This is one in a series of policy briefs on key education issues prepared by the RAND Corporation for the Obama administration. The accountability systems put in place by No Child Left Behind have not produced enough improvement to meet the goal of all students meeting proficiency standards by 2014. While the current accountability system has…

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. Pioneering Pedagogic Publications: Algorithms, Student Understanding, and Chemical Knowledge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suits, Jerry P.

    2001-08-01

    During the first ten years of J. Chem. Educ. (1924 to 1934), several pioneering chemical educators expressed the need for students to understand chemical knowledge rather than to use "algorithms" or to memorize factual material. Some of them expressed the pedagogic need for students to link the solving of quantitative problems to the corresponding underlying chemical principles. Overall, many of the articles written by these pioneering educators reveal a focus upon the fundamental pedagogic ideas in chemical education. Awareness of these "ancient ideas" could help modern educators sift through the more enriched/cluttered educational ideas currently being promoted. Some suggestions are made on how these relevant ideas could be integrated together.

  3. Understanding of the term "schizophrenia"by the British public

    PubMed Central

    LUTY, JASON; FEKADU, DANIEL; DHANDAYUDHAM, ARUN

    2006-01-01

    A postal survey of a representative sample of UK adults was conducted. Subjects were asked "What do you understand by the term 'schizophrenia'?".Four hundred four completed questionnaires were received (81% response rate). Forty-two percent of respondents mentionedat least one first rank symptom of schizophrenia or gave a description that reasonably approximated to any diagnostic feature as stated inICD-10. Forty percent mentioned "split" or "multiple" personality. Thirty-eight percent described auditory hallucinations or "hearing voices".Fifteen percent mentioned "delusions" or described passivity experiences. Only 6% of subjects mentioned violence in their descriptions. PMID:17139354

  4. Improving public health by tackling climate change.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Jenny

    2013-06-17

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Using Health Information Exchange to Improve Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Mostashari, Farzad; Hripcsak, George; Soulakis, Nicholas; Kuperman, Gilad

    2011-01-01

    Public health relies on data reported by health care partners, and information technology makes such reporting easier than ever. However, data are often structured according to a variety of different terminologies and formats, making data interfaces complex and costly. As one strategy to address these challenges, health information organizations (HIOs) have been established to allow secure, integrated sharing of clinical information among numerous stakeholders, including clinical partners and public health, through health information exchange (HIE). We give detailed descriptions of 11 typical cases in which HIOs can be used for public health purposes. We believe that HIOs, and HIE in general, can improve the efficiency and quality of public health reporting, facilitate public health investigation, improve emergency response, and enable public health to communicate information to the clinical community. PMID:21330598

  7. The Lay Public's Understanding and Perception of Dementia in a Developed Asian Nation

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Wai Jia; Hong, Song-Iee; Luo, Nan; Lo, Tong Jen; Yap, Philip

    2012-01-01

    Background Early detection of dementia aims to improve treatment outcomes. However, poor perception and understanding of dementia are significant barriers. We aim to investigate the public's perception of dementia and identify variables associated with the different profiles of public perception. Methods A custom-designed questionnaire was used to assess laypersons’ knowledge and perception of dementia during a health fair at a public hospital in Singapore, a developed Asian nation. Out of a sample of 370 subjects, 32 declined to participate (response rate = 91.4%). Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to identify meaningful subgroups of subjects from significant associations with multiple indicators of dementia awareness. Multinomial logistic regression was performed exploring variables associated with each of the subgroups derived from LCA. Results The majority of the study participants were female (66.9%), 65 years or older (71.1%), and ethnic Chinese (88.1%). LCA classified the study participants into 3 subgroups: Class 1 (good knowledge, good attitude), Class 2 (good knowledge, poor attitude), and Class 3 (poor knowledge, poor attitude), in proportions of 14.28, 63.83, and 21.88%, respectively. Compared to other classes, participants with good knowledge and good attitude towards dementia (Class 1) were more likely to know someone with dementia and understand the effects of the disease, be married, live in private housing, receive higher monthly income, and not profess belief in Buddhism, Taoism, or Hinduism. Conclusion Our results show that the public in Singapore may not be ready for screening initiatives and early dementia diagnosis. Education efforts should be targeted at lower socioeconomic groups, singles, and those of certain oriental religions. PMID:23139688

  8. Understanding nursing 'nous' in the context of service improvements.

    PubMed

    Price, Bob

    2013-07-01

    Nurse managers face the challenges of how best to improve healthcare services in ways that can be evaluated readily by patients and that engage nurses. They also need to demonstrate how staff resource has been successfully deployed. This article ventures that a better understanding of 'nous' - the organisational ability of nurses to combine skills to clear purpose and patient benefit - may assist nurse managers to achieve these aims. It explores what staff nous consists of and examines critically more traditional modes of thinking about staff as intellectual capital. The reader is shown how staff nous might feature in new patient evaluations of care, nursing staff appraisals and the design of care initiatives.

  9. 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…

  10. Understanding the public health impacts of farm vehicle public road crashes in North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Costello, T M; Schulman, M D; Luginbuhl, R C

    2003-02-01

    Discussions with groups of North Carolina farmers identified farm vehicle public road safety as their primary occupational health and safety concern. Findings of a mail survey of North Carolina growers participating in a North Carolina Department of Labor migrant housing inspection program indicated that over 97% of them felt less safe on North Carolina public roads now (1999) than five years prior (1995), and over 79% currently (1999) felt unsafe transporting farm vehicles on North Carolina public roads. Using both primary and secondary data, we explore the context of farm vehicle public road crashes, identify contributing individual and environmental risk factors, and estimate the public health cost. Recommendations and suggestions for future farm vehicle public road safety research and interventions are proposed.

  11. Improvements in Professional Development Program Participants' Understandings about Inclusive Teaching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metevier, A. J.; Hunter, L.; Goza, B. K.; Raschke, L. M.; Seagroves, S.

    2010-12-01

    A major emphasis of the Center for Adaptive Optics Professional Development Program (PDP) is training early-career scientists and engineers to teach more inclusively as well as more effectively. To this end, the PDP includes workshops on diversity and equity, and PDP participants are explicitly encouraged to weave inclusive instructional strategies into the inquiry laboratory activities they design and teach. In an initial effort to gauge the effectiveness of the PDP's diversity and equity training, we have analyzed 2008 and 2009 PDP participants' responses to a survey knowledge question that asks them to briefly describe how they would engage a diverse undergraduate student population through their teaching and research. Each participant answered the survey question before any PDP training, as well as after a series of intensive PDP workshops. We developed a rubric to score and analyze participants' pre- and post-workshop responses, and have found that their response scores improve significantly after PDP training. This indicates that PDP training does improve participants' understandings about how to teach inclusively. Furthermore, survey respondents who participated in the PDP in both 2008 and 2009 showed little decrease in response scores between years, but continued increases with continued training. In this paper, we detail our rubric development, survey response scoring, analysis, and results, as well as the implications our results have had for refining our goals for PDP participants and for further improving PDP workshops.

  12. From endocrine disruptors to nanomaterials: advancing our understanding of environmental health to protect public health.

    PubMed

    Birnbaum, Linda S; Jung, Paul

    2011-05-01

    Environmental health science is the study of the impact of the environment on human health. This paper introduces basic topics in environmental health, including clean air, clean water, and healthful food, as well as a range of current issues and controversies in environmental health. Conceptual shifts in modern toxicology have changed the field. There is a new understanding of the effects of exposure to chemicals at low doses, and in combination, and the impact on human growth and development. Other emerging topics include the role of epigenetics, or changes in genes and gene expression that can be brought about by chemical exposure; environmental justice; and potential effects of engineered nanomaterials and climate change. We review the important implications for public health policy and recommend a broad environmental health research strategy aimed at protecting and improving human health.

  13. 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.

  14. How community ecology can improve our understanding of cholera dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Constantin de Magny, Guillaume; Hasan, Nur A.; Roche, Benjamin

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the seasonal emergence and reemergence of cholera is challenging due to the complex dynamics of different protagonists. The abundance of Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera and a natural inhabitant of aquatic environments, fluctuates according to abiotic, and biotic factors. Among the biotic factors, the zooplankton community dynamics has been suggested to play a pivotal role in the survival, persistence, and natural competence of V. cholerae. However, factors regulating V. cholerae population structure and seasonal dynamics are still not fully understood. Investigation of the temporal shifts and variability in aquatic community composition in relation to the occurrence or abundance of V. cholerae appears very promising yet remained underexplored. Recent advances in metagenomics, facilitated by high-throughput ultra deep sequencing, have greatly improved our ability for a broader and deeper exploration of microbial communities including an understanding of community structure, function, as well as inter- and intra-specific competitions. Here, we discuss possible areas of research focusing how combination of community ecology and metagenomic approaches could be applied to study the cholera system. PMID:24765090

  15. 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.

  16. Combinatorial mutagenesis and selection to understand and improve yeast promoters.

    PubMed

    Berg, Laila; Strand, Trine Aakvik; Valla, Svein; Brautaset, Trygve

    2013-01-01

    Microbial promoters are important targets both for understanding the global gene expression and developing genetic tools for heterologous expression of proteins and complex biosynthetic pathways. Previously, we have developed and used combinatorial mutagenesis methods to analyse and improve bacterial expression systems. Here, we present for the first time an analogous strategy for yeast. Our model promoter is the strong and inducible P AOX1 promoter in methylotrophic Pichia pastoris. The Zeocin resistance gene was applied as a valuable reporter for mutant P AOX1 promoter activity, and we used an episomal plasmid vector to ensure a constant reporter gene dosage in the yeast host cells. This novel design enabled direct selection for colonies of recombinant cells with altered Zeocin tolerance levels originating solely from randomly introduced point mutations in the P AOX1 promoter DNA sequence. We demonstrate that this approach can be used to select for P AOX1 promoter variants with abolished glucose repression in large mutant libraries. We also selected P AOX1 promoter variants with elevated expression level under induced conditions. The properties of the selected P AOX1 promoter variants were confirmed by expressing luciferase as an alternative reporter gene. The tools developed here should be useful for effective screening, characterization, and improvement of any yeast promoters.

  17. [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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Influencing public policy to improve the lives of older Americans.

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

    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 Policy Fellows, the authors outline the formal and informal processes by which public policy is shaped in the U.S. Congress. Many who seek to influence public policy do so by telling legislators what they want. A less obvious path to policy influence is for gerontologists to offer their expertise to legislators and their staff. The authors provide specific recommendations for how gerontologists can establish productive and ongoing relationships with key legislative players. The authors also emphasize the importance of collaboration with advocacy groups and with local and state stakeholders to advance aging-related public policy to improve the lives of older Americans.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. “Social” Neuroscience: Leveraging Social Media to Increase Student Engagement and Public Understanding of Neuroscience

    PubMed Central

    Valentine, Alissa; Kurczek, Jake

    2016-01-01

    Neuroscience is young and still developing. It is quickly adapting to a number of emerging changes in science and education. Not only have neuroscientists been at the forefront of the open access publishing movement, but many prominent neuroscientists continue to push towards making science more accessible and understandable to the broader public. Social media is a global phenomenon that is changing the way that we talk about research and education. Researchers, students, and the public alike can leverage social media to find updates in research and higher education. Social media also provides pathways to connect with experts and non-experts in a way never been seen before. Two major trends are appearing in education and social media: 1) providing more engaging teaching activities, and 2) providing opportunities for community engagement using teaching activities that leverage social media. In this article, we describe a semester long teaching activity that challenged students to use social media in their learning process. We provide initial evaluation and feedback from the students on their social media experience in class, and suggestions for how to improve the project in future implementations. PMID:27980477

  5. "Social" Neuroscience: Leveraging Social Media to Increase Student Engagement and Public Understanding of Neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Valentine, Alissa; Kurczek, Jake

    2016-01-01

    Neuroscience is young and still developing. It is quickly adapting to a number of emerging changes in science and education. Not only have neuroscientists been at the forefront of the open access publishing movement, but many prominent neuroscientists continue to push towards making science more accessible and understandable to the broader public. Social media is a global phenomenon that is changing the way that we talk about research and education. Researchers, students, and the public alike can leverage social media to find updates in research and higher education. Social media also provides pathways to connect with experts and non-experts in a way never been seen before. Two major trends are appearing in education and social media: 1) providing more engaging teaching activities, and 2) providing opportunities for community engagement using teaching activities that leverage social media. In this article, we describe a semester long teaching activity that challenged students to use social media in their learning process. We provide initial evaluation and feedback from the students on their social media experience in class, and suggestions for how to improve the project in future implementations.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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,…

  10. 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…

  11. Improving Urban Corridor that Respect to Public Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahrah, W.; Rahmadhani, N.; Nasution, A. D.; Pane, I. F.

    2017-03-01

    The urban corridor is more than just a linear space to circulation. It is a place for community activities. Since the urban area in Indonesia functionates without guidelines, it is necessary to analyze how this space being used by the community. The objective of the research is to explore the problems in utilization of public space in Dr. Mansur corridor in Medan and to propose some recommendation to improve it. The survey was started by mapping the physical situation that based on urban design aspects and the activities occur. Based on the data, the study identified the problems of the public space utilization. Next, study selected several buildings that significant in generating public life. The study interviewed the building’s owners and users/customers to get their opinion and perception about the using of urban public space utilization in the corridor in relation to their private function. The study analyzed the problems and opportunity to redesign the buildings that respect to public space. Then, the design ideas were presented to the buildings owners to get their response. The result of the observation shows that the fundamental problem in the corridor is the intervention of the private interest to the street as public space. The study indicates that the majority of the buildings owner was not aware that their buildings had distracted the urban public space. However, they gave a positive respond to the design recommendation. The design offered the solution that provided individual needs without intervention to the public realm. The study can contribute to improving urban corridor by educating the community with architecture and urban design.

  12. 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

  13. Understanding and projecting sea level change: improvements and uncertainties (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Church, J. A.; Clark, P. U.; Cazenave, A. A.; Gregory, J. M.; Jevrejeva, S.; Merrifield, M. A.; Milne, G. A.; Nerem, R.; Payne, A. J.; Pfeffer, W. T.; Stammer, D.; Levermann, A.; Nunn, P.; Unnikrishnan, A. S.

    2013-12-01

    The rate of global mean sea level rise (GMSLR) has accelerated during the last two centuries, from a rate of order tenths of mm yr-1 during the late Holocene, to about 1.7 mm yr-1 since 1901. Ocean thermal expansion and glacier melting were the dominant contributors to 20th century GMSLR, with relatively small contributions from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Process-based models suggest that the larger rate of rise since 1990 results from increased radiative forcing (both natural and anthropogenic) and increased ice-sheet outflow, induced by warming of the immediately adjacent ocean. Confidence in projections of global mean sea level rise has increased since the AR4 because of improved physical process-based understanding of observed sea level change, especially in recent decades, and the inclusion of future rapid ice-sheet dynamical changes, for which a quantitative assessment could not be made on the basis of scientific knowledge available at the time of the AR4. By 2100, the rate of GMSLR for a scenario of high emissions (RCP8.5) could approach the average rates that occurred during the last deglaciation, whereas for a strong emissions mitigation scenario (RCP2.6) it could stabilise at rates similar to those of the early 21st century. In either case, GMSLR will continue for many subsequent centuries. Although there has been much recent progress, projections of ice-sheet change are still uncertain, especially beyond 2100. Future sea level change will not be globally uniform, but models still exhibit substantial disagreement in projections of ice mass loss and ocean dynamics, which are the main influences on the pattern. Uncertainty in projections of future storminess is a further obstacle to confident projection of changes in sea level extremes.

  14. Improving predictive certainty and system understanding with watershed hydrology models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelleher, C.; McGlynn, B. L.; Wagener, T.

    2015-12-01

    Modeling at the intersection of climate variability and hydrology is complicated by uncertainties that make predicting physical behavior a challenge. Environmental models used to simulate how climate will impact hydrology are typically complex, demand many spatial and temporal data inputs, contain numerous parameters, and can be computationally expensive. Distributed models in particular complicate the assessment of how uncertainty in the model framework, inputs, parameters, and observations impact predictive uncertainty. In addition, future climate perturbations may alter the magnitude of these uncertainties. Here, we focus on model parameters as a key source of uncertainty. Identifying those model parameters that most influence the predictions at a particular place can reduce a complex, multidimensional problem to a simpler form. We demonstrate how sensitivity analysis in the absence of observational streamflow can be used to identify sensitive model parameters by conditioning a model on climate data and a priori parameter ranges. We apply this approach to five headwater catchments in the Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest located in central Montana using the Distributed Hydrology-Soil-Vegetation Model. Across these five sub-catchments, climate clearly organizes parameter sensitivities. To further explore the relationship between parameter sensitivities and climate, we assess how parameter sensitivities change when meteorological forcing data is perturbed to reflect natural variability at the site. This general approach can support uncertainty reduction. However, parameter equifinality will still impact finer scale predictions of any environmental variable in space and time. As such, improving our certainty in environmental predictions should evaluate point predictions as well as simulations of internal catchment behavior, and must not only rely on our use of computational methods but on our basic understanding of system functioning.

  15. Guidelines for appraisal and publication of PDSA quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Speroff, Theodore; James, Brent C; Nelson, Eugene C; Headrick, Linda A; Brommels, Mats

    2004-01-01

    Plan-do-study-act (PDSA) quality improvement is the application of the scientific method to implement and test the effects of change ideas on the performance of the health care system. Users of quality improvement could benefit with markers to gauge the "best" science. Four core questions can determine the value of a quality improvement study: Is the quality improvement study pertinent and relevant? Are the results valid? Are appropriate criteria used to interpret the results? Will the study help you with your practice or organization of care? A set of guidelines is provided to help answer these questions. Similar guidelines exist for randomized clinical trials and clinical-epidemiologic observational studies. Analogous to these existing research guidelines, the PDSA quality improvement guidelines will provide researchers and reviewers with succinct standards of methodological rigor to assist in critical appraisal of quality improvement protocols and publications.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Improving Nutritional Health of the Public through Social Change: Finding Our Roles in Collective Action.

    PubMed

    Raine, Kim D

    2014-09-01

    Improving the nutritional health of the public continues to be a major challenge. Our mission of advancing health through food and nutrition has become increasingly complex, particularly as food environments shape the availability, affordability, and social acceptability of food and nutrition "choices". Promoting nutritional health requires that dietitians expand our knowledge in understanding the determinants of healthy eating and of social change strategies that advocates for and acts on improving food environments. While no single strategy can solve the challenges of public health nutrition, we can each identify unique strengths and opportunities. If we practice in complementary ways, using those strengths for collective action will make us stronger together toward social change supporting improved nutritional health of the public.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The component model of infrastructure: a practical approach to understanding public health program infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Lavinghouze, S René; Snyder, Kimberly; Rieker, Patricia P

    2014-08-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. Improving Midwifery Care in Ugandan Public Hospitals: The Midwives’ Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Nabirye, Rose C.; Beinempaka, Florence; Okene, Cindrella; Groves, Sara

    2016-01-01

    Background A serious shortage of nurses and midwives in public hospitals has been reported in Uganda. In addition, over 80% of the nurses and midwives working in public hospitals have been found to have job stress and only 17% to be satisfied on the job. Stress and lack of job satisfaction affect quality of nursing and midwifery care and puts patients’ lives at risk. This is coupled with rampant public outcry about the deteriorating nursing and midwifery care in Ugandan public hospitals. Objective To explore factors that result in poor quality of midwifery care and strategies to improve this care from the perspective of the midwives. Method It was a qualitative exploratory design. Participants were midwives and their supervisors working in four Regional Referral hospitals in Uganda. Data was collected by FGDs and KIIs. Content analysis was used to analyze the transcribed data from the voice recordings. Results Four major themes emerged from the study. They were organizational (poor work environment and lack of materials/equipment), professional (midwives’ attitudes, lack of supervision), public/consumer issues (interference) and policy issues (remuneration, promotion and retirement). Conclusions and implications for Practice Midwives love their work but they need support to provide quality care. Continuous neglect of midwives’ serious concerns will lead to more shortages as more dissatisfied midwives leave service. PMID:27738665

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. Science and Public Understanding: The Role of the Historian of Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watts, Ruth

    2017-01-01

    In this article, questions of public education in both environmental issues and science, more broadly, are examined in an effort to respond to Richard Aldrich's call for historians of education to use their skills and understanding both to inform the present and to shape a more enlightened future. In particular, the lives and work of three women…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Understanding Quality in Context: Child Care Centers, Communities, Markets, and Public Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rohacek, Monica; Adams, Gina C.; Kisker, Ellen E.

    2010-01-01

    Early care and education can prepare children for school, but while some preschool and child care programs do an excellent job, others are inadequate and some may even harm healthy development. This study focuses on child care center directors to better understand why there is so much variation, and how public initiatives can better help…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Partners for understanding pain: resources and toolkits to increase public awareness.

    PubMed

    Roland, Carl L

    2006-01-01

    This report describes the Partners for Understanding Pain (PUP), a consortium of 80 organizations spearheaded by the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) to create a greater understanding that pain is a serious public health issue. This report summarizes the accomplishments of PUP since it was created in 2002. This report describes a pain survey conducted with adult Americans that was commissioned by PUP, describes PUP's website contents, and describes the resources and toolkits available through PUP to help individuals who desire to do more to increase the publics' awareness about pain. PUP is dedicated to building the understanding and support that can help those who suffer from acute, chronic, and cancer pain lead better lives.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Improving travel projections for public transportation. Research report

    SciTech Connect

    Perkinson, D.G.; Keitgen, B.

    1995-08-01

    Public transportation use saves energy and reduces emissions by taking people out of single passenger automobiles and putting them into high occupancy, energy efficient transit vehicles. Furthermore, public transit ridership and vehicular trip estimates are the base information required for estimating energy consumption and air pollution. Trip generation models as developed and used within Texas predict the number of trips expected to occur in a typical 24-hour day. The need to estimate peak-period trips has generated innovative techniques for estimating peak period travel from the 24 hour trip tables. Improved methods of estimating the number of trips that will generated during the peak period will potentially improve the estimation of ridership on public transportation, as well as related energy and emission forecasts. This project produced a trip generation model for predicting peak-period trips based on the travel surveys conducted in Texas during 1990 and 1991 for Amarillo, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Brownsville, San Antonio, Sherman-Denison, and Tyler.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Adapting public policy theory for public health research: A framework to understand the development of national policies on global health.

    PubMed

    Jones, Catherine M; Clavier, Carole; Potvin, Louise

    2017-03-01

    National policies on global health appear as one way that actors from health, development and foreign affairs sectors in a country coordinate state action on global health. Next to a burgeoning literature in which international relations and global governance theories are employed to understand global health policy and global health diplomacy at the international level, little is known about policy processes for global health at the national scale. We propose a framework of the policy process to understand how such policies are developed, and we identify challenges for public health researchers integrating conceptual tools from political science. We developed the framework using a two-step process: 1) reviewing literature to establish criteria for selecting a theoretical framework fit for this purpose, and 2) adapting Real-Dato's synthesis framework to integrate a cognitive approach to public policy within a constructivist perspective. Our framework identifies multiple contexts as part of the policy process, focuses on situations where actors work together to make national policy on global health, considers these interactive situations as spaces for observing external influences on policy change and proposes policy design as the output of the process. We suggest that this framework makes three contributions to the conceptualisation of national policy on global health as a research object. First, it emphasizes collective action over decisions of individual policy actors. Second, it conceptualises the policy process as organised interactive spaces for collaboration rather than as stages of a policy cycle. Third, national decision-making spaces are opportunities for transferring ideas and knowledge from different sectors and settings, and represent opportunities to identify international influences on a country's global health policy. We discuss two sets of challenges for public health researchers using interdisciplinary approaches in policy research.

  6. Improved performance of polybenzoxazines through a mechanistic understanding of polymerization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yong-Xia

    A class of phenolic resins, polybenzoxazines, is described. Benzoxazine resins have a wide range of mechanical and physical properties that can be tailored to various needs. Good thermal, chemical, electrical, mechanical, and physical properties make polybenzoxazines attractive alternatives to existing materials. Effective initiators/catalysts aimed at lowering the polymerization temperature and reducing the product cycle time have been examined. The benzoxazine-initiator systems exhibit new polymerization mechanisms and kinetics, leading to polybenzoxazines with highly improved properties. By tailoring the benzoxazine chemistry and utilizing a new synthetic route, both hydrophilic and hydrophobic thermoplastic polybenzoxazines with high molecular weight are synthesized for the first time. A novel type of low cost yet high performance benzoxazine resins, mono-oxazine-based low viscosity benzoxazines, has been developed. Various characterization techniques including proton (1H) and carbon (13C) nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), pyrolytic gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), size exclusion chromatography (SEC), static light scattering (SLS), wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) have been used to determine the polymer structures and demonstrate their improved properties.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Understanding price elasticities to inform public health research and intervention studies: key issues.

    PubMed

    Nghiem, Nhung; Wilson, Nick; Genç, Murat; Blakely, Tony

    2013-11-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Understanding the role of opinion leaders in improving clinical effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Locock, L; Dopson, S; Chambers, D; Gabbay, J

    2001-09-01

    We present findings from evaluations of two government-funded initiatives exploring the transfer of research evidence into clinical practice--the PACE Programme (Promoting Action on Clinical Effectiveness), and the Welsh Clinical Effectiveness Initiative National Demonstration Projects. We situate the findings within the context of available research evidence from healthcare and other settings on the role of opinion leaders or product champions in innovation and change--evidence which leaves a number of problems and unanswered questions. A major concern is the difficulty of achieving a single replicable description of what opinion leaders are and what they do--subjective understandings of their role differ from one setting to another, and we identify a range of very different types of opinion leadership. What makes someone a credible and influential authority is derived not just from their own personality and skills and the dynamic of their relationship with other individuals, but also from other context-specific factors. We examine the question of expert versus peer opinion leaders, and the potential for these different categories to be more or less influential at different stages in the innovation process. An often neglected area is the impact of opinion leaders who are ambivalent or hostile to an innovation. Finally, we note that the interaction between individual opinion leaders and the collective process of negotiating a change and reorienting professional norms remains poorly understood. This raises a number of methodological concerns which need to be considered in further research in this area.

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

    PubMed

    Stahel, Philip F; Moore, Ernest E

    2014-09-26

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Improving animal and human health through understanding liver fluke immunology.

    PubMed

    Piedrafita, D; Spithill, T W; Smith, R E; Raadsma, H W

    2010-08-01

    Sheep, goats and cattle represent the most numerous and economically important agricultural species worldwide used as sources for milk, fibre and red meat. In addition, in the developing world, these species often represent the sole asset base for small-holder livestock farmers and cattle/buffaloes often provide the majority of draught power for crop production. Production losses caused by helminth diseases of these animals are a major factor in extending the cycle of poverty in developing countries and a major food security issue for developed economies. Fasciola spp. are one of the most important zoonotic diseases with a global economic impact in livestock production systems and a poorly defined but direct effect on human health. Improvements in human and animal health will require a concerted research effort into the development of new accurate and simple diagnostic tests and increased vaccine and drug development against Fasciola infections. Here, the use of definitive natural host breeds with contrasting resistance to Fasciola infections is discussed as a resource to contrast parasite-host interactions and identify parasite immune evasion strategies. Such studies are likely to boost the discovery of new vaccine, drug and diagnostic candidates and provide the foundation for future genetic selection of resistant animals.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Terrain Analysis for Human-Robot Interaction (TAH-RI): Enabling Terrain Understanding to Improve Tactical Behavior

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-04-01

    Contractor Report 2005-04 Terrain Analysis for Human-Robot Interaction (TAH-RI): Enabling Terrain Understanding to Improve Tactical Behavior Jim...Hicinbothom, Dawn Riddle, Ken Graves CHI Systems, Inc. Robin Murphy University of South Florida This report is published to meet legal and contractual...for the Behavioral and Social Sciences Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE 1. REPORT DATE (dd-mm-yy) 2

  19. Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buxkemper, Andra C.; Hartfiel, D. J.

    2003-01-01

    There is no common agreement on the meaning of the word "understand". However, there is agreement on what students should be able to do with material they understand. Bloom et al. discuss kinds of tasks a student should be able to do, provided that the student understands. In a similar way, Biggs and Collis provide a taxonomy intended to evaluate…

  20. 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

  1. The Promise and Limitations of Using Analogies to Improve Decision-Relevant Understanding of Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Stern, Paul C.; Maki, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    To make informed choices about how to address climate change, members of the public must develop ways to consider established facts of climate science and the uncertainties about its future trajectories, in addition to the risks attendant to various responses, including non-response, to climate change. One method suggested for educating the public about these issues is the use of simple mental models, or analogies comparing climate change to familiar domains such as medical decision making, disaster preparedness, or courtroom trials. Two studies were conducted using online participants in the U.S.A. to test the use of analogies to highlight seven key decision-relevant elements of climate change, including uncertainties about when and where serious damage may occur, its unprecedented and progressive nature, and tradeoffs in limiting climate change. An internal meta-analysis was then conducted to estimate overall effect sizes across the two studies. Analogies were not found to inform knowledge about climate literacy facts. However, results suggested that people found the medical analogy helpful and that it led people—especially political conservatives—to better recognize several decision-relevant attributes of climate change. These effects were weak, perhaps reflecting a well-documented and overwhelming effect of political ideology on climate change communication and education efforts in the U.S.A. The potential of analogies and similar education tools to improve understanding and communication in a polarized political environment are discussed. PMID:28135337

  2. The Promise and Limitations of Using Analogies to Improve Decision-Relevant Understanding of Climate Change.

    PubMed

    Raimi, Kaitlin T; Stern, Paul C; Maki, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    To make informed choices about how to address climate change, members of the public must develop ways to consider established facts of climate science and the uncertainties about its future trajectories, in addition to the risks attendant to various responses, including non-response, to climate change. One method suggested for educating the public about these issues is the use of simple mental models, or analogies comparing climate change to familiar domains such as medical decision making, disaster preparedness, or courtroom trials. Two studies were conducted using online participants in the U.S.A. to test the use of analogies to highlight seven key decision-relevant elements of climate change, including uncertainties about when and where serious damage may occur, its unprecedented and progressive nature, and tradeoffs in limiting climate change. An internal meta-analysis was then conducted to estimate overall effect sizes across the two studies. Analogies were not found to inform knowledge about climate literacy facts. However, results suggested that people found the medical analogy helpful and that it led people-especially political conservatives-to better recognize several decision-relevant attributes of climate change. These effects were weak, perhaps reflecting a well-documented and overwhelming effect of political ideology on climate change communication and education efforts in the U.S.A. The potential of analogies and similar education tools to improve understanding and communication in a polarized political environment are discussed.

  3. 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

  4. Using interactive family science shows to improve public knowledge on antibiotic resistance: does it work?

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Understanding The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Public Reporting Of Surgeon-Specific Outcome Data.

    PubMed

    Burns, Elaine M; Pettengell, Chris; Athanasiou, Thanos; Darzi, Ara

    2016-03-01

    Public reporting of outcome data is increasingly being used at the institutional and clinician levels and has become mandatory in some parts of the United States and the United Kingdom. The intended benefits are to drive quality improvement, demonstrate transparency, facilitate patient choice, and allow identification of poor performance. Public reporting of surgeon-specific mortality data, however, may have unintended consequences that include causing surgeons to become risk-averse, discouraging innovation, having an impact on training, and prompting "gaming" in health care. Given the small number of some surgical operations performed by individual surgeons, such data are unlikely to identify outliers or poor performers in a valid way. If metrics are deemed necessary and required to be reported publicly, they should be procedure specific; account for sample size; and focus not solely on mortality but also on other outcomes such as quality of life, patient satisfaction, and experience.

  6. Does public education improve rail-highway crossing safety?

    PubMed

    Savage, Ian

    2006-03-01

    Improvements in rail-highway grade crossing safety have resulted from engineering, law enforcement, and educating the public about the risks and the actions they should take. The primary form of the latter is a campaign called Operation Lifesaver which started in the 1970s. This paper uses a negative binomial regression to estimate whether variations in Operation Lifesaver activity across states and from year-to-year in individual states are related to the number of collisions and fatalities at crossings. Annual data on the experience in 46 states from 1996 to 2002 are used. The analysis finds that increasing the amount of educational activity will reduce the number of collisions with a point elasticity of -0.11, but the effect on the number of deaths cannot be concluded with statistical certainty.

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. Perspective: publication ethics and the emerging scientific workforce: understanding "plagiarism" in a global context.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    English has long been the dominant language of scientific publication, and it is rapidly approaching near-complete hegemony. The majority of the scientists publishing in English-language journals are not native English speakers, however. This imbalance has important implications for training concerning ethics and enforcement of publication standards, particularly with respect to plagiarism. The authors suggest that 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 nonnative speakers writing in English as well as to unfounded accusations of intentional scientific misconduct on the part of these authors. They propose that a rational and well-informed dialogue about this issue is needed among editors, educators, administrators, and both native-English-speaking and nonnative-English-speaking writers. They offer recommendations for creating environments in which such dialogue and training can occur.

  10. Transfer Entails Communication: The Public Understanding of (Social) Science as a Stage and a Play for Implementing Evidence-Based Prevention Knowledge and Programs.

    PubMed

    Bromme, Rainer; Beelmann, Andreas

    2016-07-30

    Many social science-based interventions entail the transfer of evidence-based knowledge to the "target population," because the acquisition and the acceptance of that knowledge are necessary for the intended improvement of behavior or development. Furthermore, the application of a certain prevention program is often legitimated by a reference to science-based reasons such as an evaluation according to scientific standards. Hence, any implementation of evidence-based knowledge and programs is embedded in the public understanding of (social) science. Based on recent research on such public understanding of science, we shall discuss transfer as a process of science communication.

  11. 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.

  12. The Cost of War on Public Health: An Exploratory Method for Understanding the Impact of Conflict on Public Health in Sri Lanka

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Purpose The direct impact of protracted conflict on population health and development is well understood. However, the extent of a war's impact on long-term health, and the opportunity costs, are less well understood. This research sought to overcome this gap by asking whether or not health outcomes in Sri Lanka would have been better in the absence of a 26-year war than they were in the presence of war. Methods A counterfactual model of national and district-level health outcomes was created for Sri Lanka for the period 1982 to 2002. At the national level, the model examined life expectancy, infant mortality rate (IMR), and maternal mortality ratios (MMR). At the district level, it looked at IMR and MMR. The model compared outcomes generated by the counterfactual model to actual obtained health outcomes. It looked at the rate of change and absolute values. Results The analysis demonstrated that war altered both rate of change and absolute health outcomes for the worse. The impact was most clearly evident at the district level. IMR was poorer than predicted in 10 districts; of these 8 were outside of the conflict zone. The MMR was worse than expected in 11 districts of which 9 were not in the conflict zone. Additionally, the rate of improvement in IMR slowed as a result of war in 16 districts whereas the rate of improvement in MMR slowed in 9. Conclusion This project showed that protracted conflict degraded the trajectory of public health in Sri Lanka and hurt population health outside of the conflict zone. It further provided a novel methodology with which to better understand the indirect impact of conflict on population health by comparing what is to what could have been achieved in the absence of war. In so doing, this research responded to two public health challenges by providing a tool through which to better understand the human and opportunity costs of war and by answering a call for new methodologies. PMID:28081118

  13. A systematic review of the public's knowledge and understanding of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Suzanne; Pierce, Maria; Werner, Perla; Darley, Andrew; Bobersky, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports findings from a systematic review of the literature on the general public's knowledge and understanding of dementia/Alzheimer's disease. The key purpose of the review was to evaluate existing literature with specific attention paid to conceptual and methodological issues and to key findings. Over a 20-year period, 40 published articles satisfied the inclusion criteria. Only 4 of these were qualitative and 5 were cross-national. The review revealed a lack of consistency across studies regarding how knowledge was operationalized, approaches to sampling, response rates, and data collection instruments used including validated scales. A consistent finding across the vast majority of studies was the only fair to moderate knowledge and understanding the general public had. The most common misconception was that dementia was a normal part of aging and there was a lack of clarity about at which point normal age-related memory loss problems become severe enough to indicate dementia. Knowledge of dementia was found to be particularly poor among racial and ethnic minority groups where several myths about causes of dementia were found. Findings point to the need for more educational and advocacy programmes on dementia to be developed particularly in low-income to middle-income countries.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sundling, Catherine

    2015-11-18

    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,

  17. Public Understanding and Attitudes towards Meat Chicken Production and Relations to Consumption

    PubMed Central

    Erian, Ihab; Phillips, Clive J. C.

    2017-01-01

    Simple Summary Public knowledge of meat chicken production and how it influences attitudes to birds’ welfare and consumer behaviour is poorly understood. We therefore conducted a survey of the public in SE Queensland, Australia, from which we determined that industry knowledge was limited. Where it existed, it related to an empathetic attitude towards chicken welfare and an increase in chicken consumption. This suggests that consumers who eat more chicken believe that they should understand the systems of production of the animals that they are consuming. Abstract Little is known about public knowledge of meat chicken production and how it influences attitudes to birds’ welfare and consumer behaviour. We interviewed 506 members of the public in SE Queensland; Australia; to determine how knowledge of meat chicken production and slaughter links to attitudes and consumption. Knowledge was assessed from 15 questions and low scores were supported by respondents’ self-assessed report of low knowledge levels and agreement that their knowledge was insufficient to form an opinion about which chicken products to purchase. Older respondents and single people without children were most knowledgeable. There was uncertainty about whether chicken welfare was adequate, particularly in those with little knowledge. There was also evidence that a lack of empathy towards chickens related to lack of knowledge, since those that thought it acceptable that some birds are inadequately stunned at slaughter had low knowledge scores. More knowledgeable respondents ate chicken more frequently and were less likely to buy products with accredited labelling. Approximately half of the respondents thought the welfare of the chicken was more important than the cost. It is concluded that the public’s knowledge has an important connection to their attitudes and consumption of chicken. PMID:28282911

  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. Education to Action: Improving Public Perception of Bats.

    PubMed

    Hoffmaster, Eric; Vonk, Jennifer; Mies, Rob

    2016-01-15

    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.

  20. Active and Focused Scientist Participation Improves Public Discourse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekwurzel, B.; Grifo, F.; Cole, N.; Halpern, M.; Rogers, E.

    2007-12-01

    Scientists are often dismayed at how the public discourse of controversial topics, such as global climate change, is often missing critical science developments. Active and focused scientist participation can help turn this trend around. Researchers who receive public funding for exploration into fundamental science have a wealth of information to share when their research touches upon topics that are relevant to the public. Taking the time to translate the top findings of your research into publicly accessible language is often a rewarding experience and can make all the difference. Scientists are viewed with trust by the public, the media, and policymakers. Case studies from the northeast United States and California will illustrate the best practices to enhance the active engagement of the scientific community and demonstrate how this can create change. The public discourse on climate change is moving rapidly forward and the consequences of scientists not participating will mount.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Review and analysis of quality improvement techniques in police departments: application for public health.

    PubMed

    Riley, William; Brewer, Russell

    2009-01-01

    This qualitative study reviews and analyzes quality improvement (QI) techniques in police departments as a background for assessing ways to introduce QI into public health departments. Police departments and public health departments have many elements in common. These findings provide some understanding of how public health departments can incorporate QI methods as well as learn about the potential barriers to implementing QI projects that are inherent in government agencies. The study consists of extensive interviews of informants from academic settings and police departments across the nation. The findings describe (1) the extent of QI diffusion into police departments, (2) barriers and enablers of QI diffusion in police departments, (3) a typology of QI diffusion, and (4) the metrics and incentives to promote QI in the absence of profit motives. Seven specific recommendations are made to promote the application and adoption of QI in public health: (1) implement QI as a comprehensive management approach, (2) top official involvement, (3) a broad focus on mission and vision, (4) lessons for overcoming barriers, (5) how to find resources, (6) how to integrate proven methods, and (7) how to build on existing capabilities.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  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…

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Improving the Use of Competencies in Public Health Education

    PubMed Central

    Walston, Stephen L.

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Improving Access to, Use of, and Outcomes from Public Health Programs: The Importance of Building and Maintaining Trust with Patients/Clients.

    PubMed

    Ward, Paul Russell

    2017-01-01

    The central argument in this paper is that "public trust" is critical for developing and maintaining the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities, and societies. I argue that public health practitioners and policy makers need to take "public trust" seriously if they intend to improve both the public's health and the engagement between members of the public and public health systems. Public health practitioners implement a range of services and interventions aimed at improving health but implicit a requirement for individuals to trust the practitioners and the services/interventions, before they engage with them. I then go on to provide an overview of the theory of trust within sociology and show why it is important to understand this theory in order to promote trust in public health services. I then draw on literature in three classic areas of public health-hospitals, cancer screening, and childhood immunization-to show why trust is vital in terms of understanding and potentially improving uptake of services. The case studies in this paper reveal that public health practitioners need to understand the centrality of building and maintaining trusting relationships with patients/clients because people who distrust public health services are less likely to use them, less likely to follow advice or recommendations, and more likely to have poorer health outcomes.

  16. Understanding public perception of the need for major change in Latin American healthcare systems.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Cuevas, Ricardo; Guanais, Frederico C; Doubova, Svetlana V; Pinzón, Leonardo; Tejerina, Luis; Pinto Masis, Diana; Rocha, Marcia; Harris, Donna O; Macinko, James

    2017-03-17

    The opinions and experiences of the public regarding health services are valuable insights into identifying opportunities to improve healthcare systems. We analyzed the 2012-2013 Public Opinion Health Policy Survey carried out in Brazil (n = 1486), Colombia (n = 1485), El Salvador (n = 1460), Jamaica (n = 1480), México (n = 1492) and Panama (n = 1475). In these countries between 82 and 96% of participants perceived that their health systems needed fundamental changes. The most frequent barrier to access to healthcare was lack of the primary medical home, difficulties in obtaining medical care during the weekends and financial barriers. Type of health insurance and challenges in obtaining medical care during the weekends were associated with an increased opinion for the need for fundamental changes in healthcare systems, whereas having a primary medical home showed a protective effect. Focusing on tackling organizational and financial barriers and ensuring access to a primary medical home should be placed on the agenda of Latin American countries.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Mundane science use in a practice theoretical perspective: Different understandings of the relations between citizen-consumers and public communication initiatives build on scientific claims.

    PubMed

    Halkier, Bente

    2015-08-13

    Public communication initiatives play a part in placing complicated scientific claims in citizen-consumers' everyday contexts. Lay reactions to scientific claims framed in public communication, and attempts to engage citizens, have been important subjects of discussion in the literatures of public understanding and public engagement with science. Many of the public communication initiatives, however, address lay people as consumers rather than citizens. This creates specific challenges for understanding public engagement with science and scientific citizenship. The article compares five different understandings of the relations between citizen-consumers and public issue communication involving science, where the first four types are widely represented in the Public Understanding of Science discussions. The fifth understanding is a practice theoretical perspective. The article suggests how the public understanding of and engagement in science literature can benefit from including a practice theoretical approach to research about mundane science use and public engagement.

  20. Deciphering the imperative: translating public health quality improvement into organizational performance management gains.

    PubMed

    Beitsch, Leslie M; Yeager, Valerie A; Moran, John

    2015-03-18

    With the launching of the national public health accreditation program under the auspices of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), health department momentum around quality improvement adoption has accelerated. Domain 9 of the PHAB standards (one of 12 domains) focuses on evaluation and improvement of performance and is acting as a strong driver for quality improvement and performance management implementation within health departments. Widespread adoption of quality improvement activities in public health trails that in other US sectors. Several performance management models have received broad acceptance, including models among government and nonprofits. A model specifically for public health has been developed and is presented herein. All models in current use reinforce customer focus; streamlined, value-added processes; and strategic alignment. All are structured to steer quality improvement efforts toward organizational priorities, ensuring that quality improvement complements performance management. High-performing health departments harness the synergy of quality improvement and performance management, providing powerful tools to achieve public health strategic imperatives.

  1. 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

  2. Trusted Sources: The Role Scientific Societies Can Play in Improving Public Opinions on Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McEntee, C.; Cairns, A.; Buhrman, J.

    2012-12-01

    Public acceptance of the scientific consensus regarding climate change has eroded and misinformation designed to confuse the public is rapidly proliferating. Those issues, combined with an increase of politically motivated attacks on climate scientists and their research, have led to a place where ideology can trump scientific consensus as the foundation for developing policy solutions. The scientific community has been, thus far, unprepared to respond effectively to these developments. However, as a scientific society whose members engage in climate science research, and one whose organizational mission and vision are centered on the concepts of science for the benefit of humanity and ensuring a sustainable future, the American Geophysical Union can, and should, play an important role in reversing this trend. To that end, in 2011, AGU convened a Leadership Summit on Climate Science Communication, in which presidents, executive directors, and senior public policy staff from 17 scientific organizations engaged with experts in the social sciences regarding effective communication of climate science and with practitioners from agriculture, energy, and the military. The discussions focused on three key issues: the environment of climate science communication; public understanding of climate change; and the perspectives of consumers of climate science-based information who work with specific audiences. Participants diagnosed previous challenges and failings, enumerated the key constituencies that need to be effectively engaged, and identified the critical role played by cultural cognition—the influence of group values, particularly around equality and authority, individualism, and community; and the perceptions of risk. Since that meeting, AGU has consistently worked to identify and explore ways that it, and its members, and improve the effectiveness of their communication with the public about climate change. This presentation will focus on the insights AGU has

  3. Education Improves Public Health and Promotes Health Equity

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Robert A.; Truman, Benedict I.

    2015-01-01

    This article describes a framework and empirical evidence to support the argument that educational programs and policies are crucial public health interventions. Concepts of education and health are developed and linked, and we review a wide range of empirical studies to clarify pathways of linkage and explore implications. Basic educational expertise and skills, including fundamental knowledge, reasoning ability, emotional self-regulation, and interactional abilities, are critical components of health. Moreover, education is a fundamental social determinant of health – an upstream cause of health. Programs that close gaps in educational outcomes between low-income or racial and ethnic minority populations and higher-income or majority populations are needed to promote health equity. Public health policy makers, health practitioners and educators, and departments of health and education can collaborate to implement educational programs and policies for which systematic evidence indicates clear public health benefits. PMID:25995305

  4. Education Improves Public Health and Promotes Health Equity.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Robert A; Truman, Benedict I

    2015-01-01

    This article describes a framework and empirical evidence to support the argument that educational programs and policies are crucial public health interventions. Concepts of education and health are developed and linked, and we review a wide range of empirical studies to clarify pathways of linkage and explore implications. Basic educational expertise and skills, including fundamental knowledge, reasoning ability, emotional self-regulation, and interactional abilities, are critical components of health. Moreover, education is a fundamental social determinant of health - an upstream cause of health. Programs that close gaps in educational outcomes between low-income or racial and ethnic minority populations and higher-income or majority populations are needed to promote health equity. Public health policy makers, health practitioners and educators, and departments of health and education can collaborate to implement educational programs and policies for which systematic evidence indicates clear public health benefits.

  5. Engaging the Public to Identify Opportunities to Improve Critical Care: A Qualitative Analysis of an Open Community Forum

    PubMed Central

    Potestio, Melissa L.; Boyd, Jamie M.; Bagshaw, Sean M.; Heyland, Daren; Oxland, Peter; Doig, Christopher J.; Zygun, Dave; Stelfox, Henry T.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To engage the public to understand how to improve the care of critically ill patients. Design A qualitative content analysis of an open community forum (Café Scientifique). Setting Public venue in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Participants Members of the general public including patients, families of patients, health care providers, and members of the community at large. Methods A panel of researchers, decision-makers, and a family member led a Café Scientifique, an informal dialogue between the populace and experts, over three-hours to engage the public to understand how to improve the care of critically ill patients. Conventional qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the data. The inductive analysis occurred in three phases: coding, categorizing, and developing themes. Results Thirty-eight members of the public (former ICU patients, family members of patients, providers, community members) attended. Participants focused the discussion and provided concrete suggestions for improvement around communication (family as surrogate voice, timing of conversations, decision tools) and provider well-being and engagement, as opposed to medical interventions in critical care. Conclusions Café participants believe patient and family centered care is important to ensure high-quality care in the ICU. A Café Scientifique is a valuable forum to engage the public to contribute to priority setting areas for research in critical care, as well as a platform to share lived experience. Research stakeholders including health care organizations, governments, and funding organizations should provide more opportunities for the public to engage in meaningful conversations about how to best improve healthcare. PMID:26580406

  6. Improving Access to, Use of, and Outcomes from Public Health Programs: The Importance of Building and Maintaining Trust with Patients/Clients

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Paul Russell

    2017-01-01

    The central argument in this paper is that “public trust” is critical for developing and maintaining the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities, and societies. I argue that public health practitioners and policy makers need to take “public trust” seriously if they intend to improve both the public’s health and the engagement between members of the public and public health systems. Public health practitioners implement a range of services and interventions aimed at improving health but implicit a requirement for individuals to trust the practitioners and the services/interventions, before they engage with them. I then go on to provide an overview of the theory of trust within sociology and show why it is important to understand this theory in order to promote trust in public health services. I then draw on literature in three classic areas of public health—hospitals, cancer screening, and childhood immunization—to show why trust is vital in terms of understanding and potentially improving uptake of services. The case studies in this paper reveal that public health practitioners need to understand the centrality of building and maintaining trusting relationships with patients/clients because people who distrust public health services are less likely to use them, less likely to follow advice or recommendations, and more likely to have poorer health outcomes. PMID:28337430

  7. '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.

  8. Improving Public School Performance through Vision-Based Leadership

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kantabutra, Sooksan

    2005-01-01

    While vision-based leadership, frequently referred to as transformational leadership in the education literature, is widely regarded as critical to successful organization transformation, little research has been conducted into the relationship between vision-based leadership and public school performance in Thailand. Derived from substantial…

  9. Improving Human Capital Practices in Indianapolis Public Schools. Executive Summary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New Teacher Project, 2009

    2009-01-01

    In the winter and spring of 2008-2009, The New Teacher Project (TNTP) partnered with the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and the Indianapolis Education Association (IEA), at the request of The Mind Trust to analyze district human capital policies and practices and make recommendations to increase the concentration of high-quality teachers in IPS…

  10. Public Safety Officers' Benefits Improvements Act of 2012

    THOMAS, 112th Congress

    Rep. Fitzpatrick, Michael G. [R-PA-8

    2012-02-14

    07/09/2012 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 441. (All Actions) Notes: For further action, see H.R.4310, which became Public Law 112-239 on 1/2/2013. Tracker: This bill has the status Passed HouseHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  11. Improving the Image of Local Studies Collections in Public Libraries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Leith

    2006-01-01

    Public and employer perceptions of staff abilities and qualifications deployed in local studies collections may affect their status and influence and not least the funding the local studies facility may receive. The need to promote the service is also prompted by the growing use of local studies collections and the increasing importance of such…

  12. 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/

  13. Understanding public responses to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents--driving factors, emerging themes and research gaps.

    PubMed

    Krieger, Kristian; Amlôt, Richard; Rogers, M Brooke

    2014-11-01

    This paper discusses the management of public responses to incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials (CBRN). Given the extraordinary technical and operational challenges of a response to a CBRN release including, but not limited to, hazard detection and identification, casualty decontamination and multi-agency co-ordination, it is not surprising that public psychological and behavioural responses to such incidents have received limited attention by scholars and practitioners alike. As a result, a lack of understanding about the role of the public in effective emergency response constitutes a major gap in research and practice. This limitation must be addressed as a CBRN release has the potential to have wide-reaching psychological and behavioural impacts which, in turn, impact upon public morbidity and mortality rates. This paper addresses a number of key issues: why public responses matter; how responses have been conceptualised by practitioners; what factors have been identified as influencing public responses to a CBRN release and similar extreme events, and what further analysis is needed in order to generate a better understanding of public responses to inform the management of public responses to a CBRN release.

  14. Improving high school physical science students' understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum: A modified diagram approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quebedeaux, James Edward

    The focus of this study was to identify major conceptual difficulties that selected public high school physical science students encounter in understanding a standard electromagnetic spectrum diagram. A research-driven, modified version of that standard diagram was used in this study to determine the value added to student understanding of electromagnetic waves. A content analysis was performed on electromagnetic spectrum diagrams found in US textbooks from the 1950s through the present. A class of public high school physical science students participated in a study consisting of four activities conducted during a three-week unit. Students were given a pre- and post-achievement test and a pre- and post-survey on the regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. At the conclusion of each activity, selected students were interviewed and each co-constructed a concept map with the researcher. The Electromagnetic Spectrum Literacy Rubric (ESLR) was designed and used to assess students' conceptual understanding periodically as they proceeded through the unit study. A mixed methods analysis was performed, employing both qualitative and quantitative data. A paired t-test determined that there was a statistically significant difference (p = 0.014) between the pre- and post-achievement test scores for the class of students participating in the unit study. Effect sizes also determined that students have difficulties with mathematical calculations and wave properties. These topics present conceptual challenges which must be overcome to understand and use an electromagnetic spectrum diagram effectively.

  15. What maintains the waters flowing in our rivers? - Rethinking hydrogeology to improve public policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasconcelos, Vitor Vieira

    2016-01-01

    This article discusses how new contributions from hydrogeological science in the 20th and 21st centuries have allowed for a better understanding of the processes that affect the maintenance of river flows. Moreover, the way in which this knowledge has been conveyed beyond academia and has been gradually incorporated into public policy for natural resource management is also discussed. This article explains the development of several approaches used to understand the relationships among the management of aquifers, vegetation and river flows, including water balance, aquifer recharge, the piston effect, seasonal effects, and safe and sustainable yields. Additionally, the current challenges regarding the modeling of hydrological processes that integrate groundwater and surface waters are discussed. Examples of studies applied in Brazil that demonstrate these processes and stimulate thought regarding water management strategies are presented. In light of the case studies, it is possible to propose different strategies, each adapted for specific hydrogeological context to maximize aquifer recharge or base flow maintenance. Based on these strategies, the role of infiltration ponds and other artificial recharge techniques is re-evaluated in the context of the mitigation of environmental impacts on the maintenance of river flows. Proposals for the improvement of public policies regarding the payment of related environmental services to stimulate investment in aquifer recharge and the maintenance of base flow, for which the goal is to attain win-win-win situations for the environment, farmers and water users, while preventing land speculation, are discussed. Lastly, a conceptual model for the dissemination of hydrogeological knowledge in public policies is provided, and its challenges and possibilities are discussed.

  16. The Effectiveness of Mexico's Faculty Improvement Program (Promep) in Public State Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guzmán-Acuña, Teresa de Jesús; Martínez-Arcos, Cruz Alberto

    2015-01-01

    This article evaluates the effectiveness of Promep, a faculty improvement program implemented by Mexico's Federal Department of Public Education (SEP) since 1996 to improve the academic qualifications, performance, and organization of faculty at the public higher education institutions. This evaluation examines the degree to which Promep has…

  17. Public Relations in Catholic Secondary Schools: Nearly 40 Years of Continuous Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, John T.

    2004-01-01

    This article traces the phenomenal improvement in public relations efforts over the past 40 years made by Catholic secondary schools. The improvements were brought about by crises, a theological paradigm shift, professional lay involvement, a growing awareness and appreciation of public relations, competition, and increasing financial need. The…

  18. Thinking beyond "the wheelchair to the car": RN-to-BSN student understanding of community and public health nursing.

    PubMed

    Northrup-Snyder, Kathlynn; Van Son, Catherine R; McDaniel, Cynthia

    2011-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the online discussions of postlicensure nursing students taking a community health course in an RN-to-BSN program. Final discussion forums asked students to share their perceptions and understandings of the public and community health nurses' role and practice after participating in a community health clinical course. Inductive content analysis was used to assess the narratives. Analysis of the discussions yielded two categories: (1) awareness by the RNs of their individual community and the context of the public and community health nursing role, and (2) increased understanding of the patients' experience with transitions between health care settings (home-hospital-home). This research suggests a need to assess practicing RNs' professional understanding and teaching of the public and community health nurses' role if they are to facilitate effective patient transitions home and into community-based settings.

  19. Evaluating the effectiveness of public meetings and workshops: A new approach for improving DOE public involvement

    SciTech Connect

    Young, C.; Williams, G.; Goldberg, M.

    1993-07-01

    Although public participation in the environmental cleanup process has been ongoing in the US Department of Energy (DOE) for some time, little if any evaluation of these efforts to include the public has taken place. This report contains the results of an evaluation of six regional workshops and meetings. These meetings and workshops focused on the implementation plan for the programmatic environmental impact statement on DOE`s environmental cleanup efforts. The formats of the workshops and meetings differed from typical public meetings by offering more opportunity for interaction between agency personnel and the public, using impartial facilitators, and including more elaborate promotional strategies than notification in the Federal Register. Questionnaires and focus groups were used to solicit participants` perspectives on the meetings.

  20. Disasters, the environment, and public health: improving our response.

    PubMed Central

    Logue, J N

    1996-01-01

    Natural and human-made disasters continue to adversely affect all areas of the world in both predictable and unpredictable ways. To highlight the importance of natural disasters, the United Nations declared the 1990s the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. This paper considers the public health response to disasters. It highlights environmental health issues and approaches since disasters are extreme environmental events, and it reviews developments relating to capacity building, training, and collaboration. Although progress is noted, a comprehensive federal or academic approach is not evident in the United States and the proper linkage to environmental health is lacking. With the International Decade now half over, public health professionals and others involved with disaster management should reflect on progress made to date and goals for the future. PMID:8806369

  1. Sharing Research Data to Improve Public Health: A Funder Perspective.

    PubMed

    Carr, David; Littler, Katherine

    2015-07-01

    Through the Public Health Research Data Forum, global health research funders are working together to increase the availability of public health and epidemiology research data in ways that are equitable, ethical, and efficient. The Wellcome Trust funded the research reported in this special edition as a first step toward building an evidence base on the perspectives of research stakeholders in low- and middle-income countries on the benefits and challenges of sharing health research data. We hope this work will make a key contribution to discussions aimed at creating policy frameworks for data access at local, national, and regional levels that are sensitive to different contexts and ensure the benefits to research and health are realized in an equitable manner.

  2. Understanding plant response to nitrogen limitation for the improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency.

    PubMed

    Kant, Surya; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2011-02-01

    Development of genetic varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential for sustainable agriculture. Generally, NUE can be divided into two parts. First, assimilation efficiency involves nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation and second utilization efficiency involves N remobilization. Understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes is crucial for the improvement of NUE in crop plants. One important approach is to develop an understanding of the plant response to different N regimes, especially to N limitation, using various methods including transcription profiling, analysing mutants defective in their normal response to N limitation, and studying plants that show better growth under N-limiting conditions. One can then attempt to improve NUE in crop plants using the knowledge gained from these studies. There are several potential genetic and molecular approaches for the improvement of crop NUE discussed in this review. Increased knowledge of how plants respond to different N levels as well as to other environmental conditions is required to achieve this.

  3. Public Diplomacy: How to Think About and Improve It

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-01-01

    6 4. References in Collected Works of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela ............. 12 vii Acknowledgments The...elaborate the constituency-adversary hypothesis in the following section, which highlights the case studies of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela...core Ameri- can values. Specifically, we examine the speeches and public writings of Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr., in his attempt to achieve basic civil

  4. Improving Public Diplomacy, the Frontline of Soft Power

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-05-01

    12 - CSIS Commission on Smart Power II. Public Diplomacy & U.S. Foreign Policy In Monty Python’s satirical film The Life of Brian, the character Reg...fluencies – particularly in Arabic and Chinese.124 The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in Arlington, Virginia ...Defense University’s Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia . He holds a BA in Government from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg

  5. Understanding what the public know and value about geoheritage sites in order to advance Earth science literacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vye, E. C.; Rose, W. I.

    2013-12-01

    With its impressive geology and rich cultural history, Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula is ideally suited for Earth science education and geotourism initiatives, such as a Geopark. Geologic events that have shaped this region can be interpreted in such a way as to engage learners, not only through an intellectual connection to Earth science subject matter, but also through an emotional connection via culture, history, and sense of place. The notion that landscape is special because it is the sum total of all the interacting earth systems, including people as part of the biosphere, can be used to drive these initiatives as they affect one personally. It is speculated that most people in the Keweenaw have a basic understanding of the local cultural history and some understanding of geology. Advanced awareness and understanding of the geological significance of the Keweenaw stands to greatly enrich our community's sense of place and desire to advance further education and geotourism initiatives. It is anticipated that these initiatives will ultimately lead to increased Earth science literacy and understanding and recognition of one's own environs. This will aid in the further development of publications, teaching media, trails info, on-site museums, etc. Although the community has embraced geo-outreach thus far, it is germane to know what people value, what they know of the geology and how they connect to place. Results from semi-structured interviews administered with the aim and focus of determining what places are special to people, why they are special and how they formed will be presented in this paper. The results from this research will be used to direct the creation and continued development of geologic interpretation of our region. It is hoped that this understanding will reveal common misconceptions that can be used to improve interpretive material that not only addresses misconceptions but also connects the immediate past with the deep geologic past of the

  6. 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

  7. New Mexico Public Education Department 2007-2008 School Improvement Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New Mexico Public Education Department, 2007

    2007-01-01

    Accountability for student learning is the key focus of New Mexico's system of school improvement. The Public Education Department's commitment to continuous improvement is evident in the steps taken to refine the 2007-2008 School Improvement Framework to reflect No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements. The School Improvement Framework was…

  8. Public Trauma after the Sewol Ferry Disaster: The Role of Social Media in Understanding the Public Mood

    PubMed Central

    Woo, Hyekyung; Cho, Youngtae; Shim, Eunyoung; Lee, Kihwang; Song, Gilyoung

    2015-01-01

    The Sewol ferry disaster severely shocked Korean society. The objective of this study was to explore how the public mood in Korea changed following the Sewol disaster using Twitter data. Data were collected from daily Twitter posts from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2013 and from 1 March 2014 to 30 June 2014 using natural language-processing and text-mining technologies. We investigated the emotional utterances in reaction to the disaster by analyzing the appearance of keywords, the human-made disaster-related keywords and suicide-related keywords. This disaster elicited immediate emotional reactions from the public, including anger directed at various social and political events occurring in the aftermath of the disaster. We also found that although the frequency of Twitter keywords fluctuated greatly during the month after the Sewol disaster, keywords associated with suicide were common in the general population. Policy makers should recognize that both those directly affected and the general public still suffers from the effects of this traumatic event and its aftermath. The mood changes experienced by the general population should be monitored after a disaster, and social media data can be useful for this purpose. PMID:26404349

  9. Public Trauma after the Sewol Ferry Disaster: The Role of Social Media in Understanding the Public Mood.

    PubMed

    Woo, Hyekyung; Cho, Youngtae; Shim, Eunyoung; Lee, Kihwang; Song, Gilyoung

    2015-09-03

    The Sewol ferry disaster severely shocked Korean society. The objective of this study was to explore how the public mood in Korea changed following the Sewol disaster using Twitter data. Data were collected from daily Twitter posts from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2013 and from 1 March 2014 to 30 June 2014 using natural language-processing and text-mining technologies. We investigated the emotional utterances in reaction to the disaster by analyzing the appearance of keywords, the human-made disaster-related keywords and suicide-related keywords. This disaster elicited immediate emotional reactions from the public, including anger directed at various social and political events occurring in the aftermath of the disaster. We also found that although the frequency of Twitter keywords fluctuated greatly during the month after the Sewol disaster, keywords associated with suicide were common in the general population. Policy makers should recognize that both those directly affected and the general public still suffers from the effects of this traumatic event and its aftermath. The mood changes experienced by the general population should be monitored after a disaster, and social media data can be useful for this purpose.

  10. Development and Evaluation of a Tutorial to Improve Students' Understanding of a Lock-in Amplifier

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

    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…

  11. Improving Economic Understanding of Students in Junior College Economic Principles Courses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barr, Saul Zusman; Carr, Glenna D.

    1980-01-01

    Describes a study comparing a conventional textbook/lecture teaching method and a teaching method based on current event readings with lectures and class discussions. The study sought to show whether improvement in students' understanding of economics was influenced by teaching method and selected characteristics of students and teachers. (AYC)

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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. ...

  15. 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…

  16. 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...

  17. Managing Resources and Relations in Higher Education Institutions: A Framework for Understanding Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ho, Sophia Shi-Huei; Peng, Michael Yao-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Changes in social systems demonstrate that various structural disadvantages have jointly led to increasing competition among higher education institutions (HEIs) in many countries, especially Taiwan. Institutional administrators must recognize the need to understand how to improve performance and consistently outperform other institutions.…

  18. 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.)…

  19. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Misra, Kaustav; Grimes, Paul W.; Rogers, Kevin E.

    2012-01-01

    Advocates for educational reform frequently call for policies to increase competition between schools because it is argued that market forces naturally lead to greater efficiencies, including improved student learning, when schools face competition. Researchers examining this issue are confronted with difficulties in defining reasonable measures…

  1. Research Publication as a Strategy to Improve International Academic Ranking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tie, Fatt Hee

    2012-01-01

    Many universities in Asia are now focused on enhancing their global academic competitiveness. Various strategies are implemented to restructure, reform and transform universities aimed at improving ranking in the global university league. One significant strategy is to encourage academicians to place priority on publishing in high-impact…

  2. Improving Students' English Speaking Proficiency in Saudi Public Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alharbi, Heba Awadh

    2015-01-01

    In English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts, the absence of authentic language learning situations outside the classroom presents a significant challenge to improving students' English communication skills. Specific obstacles in the learning environment can also result in students' limited use of English inside the classroom. These issues…

  3. Building outside the Box. Public-Private Partnership: A Strategy for Improved Public School Buildings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Twenty-First Century School Fund, Washington, DC.

    This publication describes the creation of a new school building for James F. Oyster Bilingual Elementary School in Washington, DC. Despite the success of its academic program, the school's 70-year-old building had become unsafe and unsuitable for teaching and learning and was threatened with closure in 1993 because of the district's fiscal…

  4. Understanding deficiencies of leadership in advancing health equity: a case of pit bulls, public health, and pimps.

    PubMed

    Clancy, Gerard P

    2015-04-01

    Market- and legislation-driven health reforms are being implemented across the United States. Within this time of great change for health care delivery systems and medical schools lie opportunities to address the country's long-standing health inequities by using community needs assessments, health information technologies, and new models for care and payment. In this Commentary, the author, a university regional campus leader, shares several difficult personal experiences to demonstrate that health equity work undertaken by academic institutions also requires institutional leaders to pay attention to and gain an understanding of issues that go beyond public health data. The author reflects on lessons learned and offers recommendations that may help academic health center and university leaders be more effective as they take on the complex tasks involved in improving health inequities. These include reflection on personal strengths and deficiencies, engagement with the community, recognition of the historical roots of health disparities, and the development of trusting relationships between the institution and the community.

  5. Realizing the promise of social psychology in improving public health.

    PubMed

    Klein, William M P; Shepperd, James A; Suls, Jerry; Rothman, Alexander J; Croyle, Robert T

    2015-02-01

    The theories, phenomena, empirical findings, and methodological approaches that characterize contemporary social psychology hold much promise for addressing enduring problems in public health. Indeed, social psychologists played a major role in the development of the discipline of health psychology during the 1970s and 1980s. The health domain allows for the testing, refinement, and application of many interesting and important research questions in social psychology, and offers the discipline a chance to enhance its reach and visibility. Nevertheless, in a review of recent articles in two major social-psychological journals (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology), we found that only 3.2% of 467 studies explored health-related topics. In this article, we identify opportunities for research at the interface of social psychology and health, delineate barriers, and offer strategies that can address these barriers as the discipline continues to evolve.

  6. Toward an Understanding of the Use of Academic Theories in Public Relations Practice.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cornelissen, Joep P.

    2000-01-01

    Discusses a focal issue in the public relations field: the way that practitioners use academic theories. Offers an exploration of the possible modes of use of academic or scientific theory in public relations practice. Notes that the premise of this model is that scientific knowledge is seldom used in an unaltered form in practice. Closes by…

  7. Understanding New Hybrid Professions: Bourdieu, "Illusio" and the Case of Public Service Interpreters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colley, Helen; Guéry, Frédérique

    2015-01-01

    Public spending reductions across the advanced capitalist world are creating new professions that have a "hybrid" status and/or role. However, research on professional learning has paid little attention to them. This qualitative study of one such profession, public service interpreting (PSI), addresses that lacuna. The paper focuses on…

  8. 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

    ... Bureau of Industry and Security Request for Public Comments Regarding Small and Medium Enterprises... publishing a notice of inquiry to solicit comments from the public regarding small and medium enterprises... such as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) regarding their experience with the Export...

  9. Understanding and Using the Relationships between Business and Professional Communication and Public Relations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Penrose, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Aspects of research and pedagogy from the public relations discipline can benefit the business and professional communication instructor seeking new dimensions for the business and professional communication classroom. Elements of public relations (PR) found in Association for Business Communication articles and journals may be incorporated in the…

  10. Misleading the Public Understanding of Assessment: Wilful or Wrongful Interpretation by Government and Media

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mansell, Warwick

    2013-01-01

    This paper considers the public debate surrounding assessment in English education and presents evidence of the misuse of public data from national tests. Statistics generated by pupil assessments in schools and colleges in England are argued to be subject to misinterpretation by the media and policy makers. The discourse tends either to be…

  11. Understanding Aging and Disability Perspectives on Home Care: Uncovering Facts and Values in Public-Policy Narratives and Discourse

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Phillip G.

    2007-01-01

    Every public-policy problem can be defined in terms of its empirical ("facts") and normative ("values") dimensions and the interrelationship between them. An understanding of the connection between facts and values at the foundation of the home care policy debate in the Canadian health-care system is developed through the…

  12. Engineers and Their Role in Public Policy: An Active Learning Experience for Enhancing the Understanding of the State

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Acevedo, Jorge; Barros, Ricardo; Ramirez, Catalina; Realpe, Natalia

    2009-01-01

    To achieve effective intervention of engineers in the public sector, engineers should develop skills to comprehend their ethical and professional responsibility, and they should gain the necessary education to understand the possible impact of engineering solutions in a global and social context. An active learning process has been conceived,…

  13. Tablets in trauma: using mobile computing platforms to improve patient understanding and experience.

    PubMed

    Furness, Nicholas D; Bradford, Oliver J; Paterson, Maurice P

    2013-03-01

    Tablets are becoming commonplace in the health care setting. Patients often request to view their radiographs after sustaining trauma. This can be challenging, especially if patients are immobile. The authors performed a prospective, questionnaire-based study to assess inpatient desire to view radiographs on tablets and whether viewing images affected patient-rated outcomes of understanding and satisfaction. Enabling trauma patients to view their images on a tablet is a worthwhile practice because it improves patient involvement in decision making, satisfaction, perceived understanding, and overall experience.

  14. Evaluation and improvement of air quality in school public elevator.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Ching-Shan; Huang, Da-Ji

    2014-05-01

    Public elevators are an essential requirement in modern high-rise buildings. However, the confined, crowded interior of an elevator provides an ideal breeding ground for all manners of biological aerosols. Consequently, when using an elevator at a university in Taiwan as the research target, this study performs an experimental investigation into the effectiveness of hand-sprayed gaseous chlorine dioxide as a disinfection agent. The air quality before and after disinfection is evaluated by measuring the bioaerosol concentrations of bacteria and fungi, respectively. The average background levels of bacteria and fungi before disinfection are found to be 635.7 ± 469.6 and 1296.8 ± 966.6 colony-forming unit (CFU)/m(3), respectively. Following disinfection, the bacteria and fungi concentrations reduced by an average of 35 and 25 %, respectively. The multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) results showed that the residual bacteria and fungi concentration levels were determined primarily by the number of individuals within the elevator and the elapsed time following disinfection. In general, the present results show that given a maximum of five individuals within the elevator, a disinfection schedule of once every 40 min is sufficient to reduce the bioaerosol concentrations of bacteria and fungi to the levels specified by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

  15. Manipulating risk communication: Value predispositions shape public understandings of invasive species science in Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Warner, Keith D; Kinslow, Frances

    2013-02-01

    Most invasive species control programs are routine, but a small number prompt public controversy. Local value predispositions shape lay perception of the relative risks of invasive species and efforts to control them. Because control efforts are generally led by government scientists, lay perceptions of invasive species science are colored by public judgment of government credibility. This article examines the proposed release of an insect for biological control of the invasive strawberry guava tree which threatens conservation of Hawaii's forests. A local activist manipulated regulatory risk communication, appealed to local values, and persuaded some local members of the public and elected officials to oppose the insect release. This case illustrates how, in the absence of effective public engagement processes, routine scientific risk communication can be confounded by divergent knowledge taxonomies and perceptions of government hegemony.

  16. "What We Breathe Impacts Our Health: Improving Understanding of the Link between Air Pollution and Health".

    PubMed

    West, J Jason; Cohen, Aaron; Dentener, Frank; Brunekreef, Bert; Zhu, Tong; Armstrong, Ben; Bell, Michelle L; Brauer, Michael; Carmichael, Gregory; Costa, Dan L; Dockery, Douglas W; Kleeman, Michael; Krzyzanowski, Michal; Künzli, Nino; Liousse, Catherine; Lung, Shih-Chun Candice; Martin, Randall V; Pöschl, Ulrich; Pope, C Arden; Roberts, James M; Russell, Armistead G; Wiedinmyer, Christine

    2016-05-17

    Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of millions of people each year around the world, and air quality problems are growing in many developing nations. While past policy efforts have succeeded in reducing particulate matter and trace gases in North America and Europe, adverse health effects are found at even these lower levels of air pollution. Future policy actions will benefit from improved understanding of the interactions and health effects of different chemical species and source categories. Achieving this new understanding requires air pollution scientists and engineers to work increasingly closely with health scientists. In particular, research is needed to better understand the chemical and physical properties of complex air pollutant mixtures, and to use new observations provided by satellites, advanced in situ measurement techniques, and distributed micro monitoring networks, coupled with models, to better characterize air pollution exposure for epidemiological and toxicological research, and to better quantify the effects of specific source sectors and mitigation strategies.

  17. Improving public addiction treatment through performance contracting: the Delaware experiment.

    PubMed

    McLellan, A Thomas; Kemp, Jack; Brooks, Adam; Carise, Deni

    2008-09-01

    In fiscal 2002, Delaware replaced traditional cost-reimbursement contracts with performance-based contracts for all outpatient addiction treatment programs. Incentives included 90% capacity utilization and active patient participation in treatment. One of the programs failed to meet requirements. Strategies adopted by successful programs included extended hours of operation, facility enhancements, salary incentives for counselors, and two evidence-based therapies (MI and CBT). Average capacity utilization from 2001 to 2006 went from 54% to 95%; and the average proportion of patients' meeting participation requirements went from 53% to 70%--with no notable changes in the patient population. We conclude that properly designed, program-based contract incentives are feasible to apply, welcomed by programs and may help set the financial conditions necessary to implement other evidence-based clinical efforts; toward the overall goal of improving addiction treatment.

  18. Insiders and incomers: how lay public health workers' knowledge might improve public health practice.

    PubMed

    Yoeli, Heather; Cattan, Mima

    2017-03-28

    Since 2005, health trainers and other lay public health workers (LPHWs) have been increasingly active in the UK. Although elsewhere in the world LPHWs are expected to come from the communities within which they work and know that their knowledge is valued, neither is the case for LPHWs in the UK. This study sought to discover the lay knowledge of health trainers and other LPHWs, aiming to ascertain how this knowledge might more effectively be utilised within UK public health services. This paper describes a participatory and ethnographic case study research project undertaken on an anonymised urban estate in North East England. Findings were generated by a range of means including by participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Seven LPHWs took part, as did 32 other community members. This study found that the lay health knowledge of an individual UK LPHW is determined primarily by his or her position within, or in relation to, the community within which he or she works. Insider LPHWs possess an embodied knowledge and incomer LPHWs possess an experiential knowledge which, although different from one another, are essentially interpersonal in nature. Lay health knowledge can take different forms, and different LPHWs can provide different forms of lay health knowledge. Public health structures and services in the UK should make better use of all forms of LPHW knowledge, and should seek from LPHWs training on how to engage the most 'hard-to-reach' or 'difficult-to-engage' groups. Services recruiting LPHWs should decide whether they are seeking embodied insider LPHW knowledge, experiential incomer LPHW knowledge or a mixture of both.

  19. Recent advances in improvement of forecast skill and understanding climate processes using AIRS Version-5 products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Susskind, Joel; Molnar, Gyula; Iredell, Lena; Rosenberg, Robert

    2012-10-01

    The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences (GES) Data and Information Services Center (DISC) generates products derived from AIRS/AMSU-A observations, starting from September 2002 when the AIRS instrument became stable, using the AIRS Science Team Version-5 retrieval algorithm. This paper shows results of some of our research using Version-5 products from the points of view of improving forecast skill as well as aiding in the understanding of climate processes.

  20. Learning from Consistently High Performing and Improving Schools for English Language Learners in Boston Public Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tung, Rosann; Diez, Virginia; Gagnon, Laurie; Uriarte, Miren; Stazesky, Pamela

    2011-01-01

    This study is part of a collaborative project entitled "Identifying Success in Schools and Programs for English Language Learners in Boston Public Schools". The companion to this report, entitled "Improving Educational Outcomes of English Language Learners in Schools and Programs in Boston Public Schools", provides a…

  1. A public health academic-practice partnership to develop capacity for exercise evaluation and improvement planning.

    PubMed

    Wright, Kate S; Thomas, Michael W; Durham, Dennis P; Jackson, Lillie M; Porth, Leslie L; Buxton, Mark

    2010-01-01

    In December 2006, Congress passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act to improve the nation's public health preparedness and response capabilities. It includes the role of Centers for Public Health Preparedness (CPHPs) to establish a competency-based core curriculum and perform evaluation of impact on newly developed materials. The Heartland Center for Public Health Preparedness (HCPHP) at the Saint Louis University School of Public Health is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national CPHP network and is engaged with state and regional partners in workforce development, preparedness planning, evaluation, and multi-year exercise and training cycles. This includes development, implementation, and evaluation of the HCPHP Exercise Evaluation Training Program to improve the competence and capacity for exercise evaluation and improvement planning. This program is designed to enhance quality improvement and performance measurement capabilities to identify increase of workforce competence over time (maturity).

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manabu, Sumida

    2004-01-01

    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…

  3. Medical genetics, public understanding and patient experiences: An exploratory qualitative study of recently pregnant women

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garman, Jamie L.

    The purpose of the study was to document how individuals' experiences and understanding of genetics concepts affects their medical experiences. Recently pregnant women were interviewed because they represent a population that needs to comprehend biological and genetic information to understand their health. Three women were designated as science experts (SE) defined as having extensive university level science education and three women were designated as science non-experts (SNE). In general, SEs described a more positive pregnancy experience. Both SEs and SNEs demonstrated a basic understanding of genetic concepts but varied in the application of concepts to personal medical issues. Participants' views and experiences of pre and postnatal tests were linked to their understanding of nature of science components such as recognition that tests have limitations. Results from this study indicate an incomplete understanding of the nature of science among participants may have led to unsatisfactory medical experiences.

  4. Understanding publication bias in reintroduction biology by assessing translocations of New Zealand's herpetofauna.

    PubMed

    Miller, Kimberly A; Bell, Trent P; Germano, Jennifer M

    2014-08-01

    The intentional translocation of animals is an important tool for species conservation and ecosystem restoration, but reported success rates are low, particularly for threatened and endangered species. Publication bias further distorts success rates because the results of successful translocations may be more likely to be published than failed translocations. We conducted the first comprehensive review of all published and unpublished translocations of herpetofauna in New Zealand to assess publication bias. Of 74 translocations of 29 species in 25 years, 35 have been reported in the published literature, and the outcomes of 12 have been published. Using a traditional definition of success, publication bias resulted in a gross overestimate of translocation success rates (41.7% and 8.1% for published and all translocations, respectively), but bias against failed translocations was minimal (8.3% and 6.8%, respectively). Publication bias against translocations with uncertain outcomes, the vast majority of projects, was also strong (50.0% and 85.1% for published and all translocations, respectively). Recent translocations were less likely to be published than older translocations. The reasons behind translocations were related to publication. A greater percentage of translocations for conservation and research were published (63.3% and 40.0%, respectively) than translocations for mitigation during land development (10.0%). Translocations conducted in collaboration with a university were more frequently published (82.7% and 24.4%, respectively). To account for some of this publication bias, we reassessed the outcome of each translocation using a standardized definition of success, which takes into consideration the species' life history and the time since release. Our standardized definition of translocation success provided a more accurate summary of success rates and allows for a more rigorous evaluation of the causes of translocation success and failure in large

  5. Understanding the complexity of biopsychosocial factors in the public health epidemic of overweight and obesity

    PubMed Central

    Rosenbaum, Diane L; White, Kamila S

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is a complex and multifaceted public health problem. This commentary reflects on a new theoretical model of obesity (i.e. Homeostatic Theory of Obesity proposed by Marks), and calls for additional research to examine biopsychosocial factors that may be of importance in developing interventions that promote long-term maintenance of weight loss and in developing obesity prevention programs. Furthermore, we discuss the role of socioeconomic factors in obesity and call for interdisciplinary efforts to address obesity risk factors in the interest of public health. PMID:28070393

  6. Knowledge is Power. A quality improvement project to increase patient understanding of their hospital stay

    PubMed Central

    Nicholson Thomas, Eleanor; Edwards, Lloyd; McArdle, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Patients frequently leave hospital uninformed about the details of their hospital stay with studies showing that only 59.9% of patients are able to accurately state their diagnosis and ongoing management after discharge. 1 2 This places patients at a higher risk of complications. Educating patients by providing them with accurate and understandable information enables them to take greater control, potentially reducing readmission rates, and unplanned visits to secondary services whilst providing safer care and improving patient satisfaction. 3 4 We wished to investigate whether through a simple intervention, we could improve the understanding and retention of key pieces of clinical information in those patients recently admitted to hospital. A leaflet was designed to trigger patients to ask questions about key aspects of their stay. This was then given to inpatients who were interviewed two weeks later using telephone follow up to assess their understanding of their hospital admission. Patients were asked about their diagnosis, new medications, likely complications, follow up arrangements and recommended points of contact in case of difficulty. Sequential modifications were made using PDSA cycles to maximise the impact and benefit of the process. Baseline data revealed that only 77% of patients could describe their diagnosis and only 27% of patients knew details about their new medications. After the leaflet intervention these figures improved to 100% and 71% respectively. Too often patients are unaware about what happens to them whilst in hospital and are discharged unsafely and dissatisfied as a result. A simple intervention such as a leaflet prompting patients to ask questions and take responsibility for their health can make a difference in potentially increasing patient understanding and thereby reducing risk. PMID:28321297

  7. Understanding How the "Open" of Open Source Software (OSS) Will Improve Global Health Security.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Erin; Blazes, David; Lewis, Sheri

    2016-01-01

    Improving global health security will require bold action in all corners of the world, particularly in developing settings, where poverty often contributes to an increase in emerging infectious diseases. In order to mitigate the impact of emerging pandemic threats, enhanced disease surveillance is needed to improve early detection and rapid response to outbreaks. However, the technology to facilitate this surveillance is often unattainable because of high costs, software and hardware maintenance needs, limited technical competence among public health officials, and internet connectivity challenges experienced in the field. One potential solution is to leverage open source software, a concept that is unfortunately often misunderstood. This article describes the principles and characteristics of open source software and how it may be applied to solve global health security challenges.

  8. Peer pressure and public reporting within healthcare setting: improving accountability and health care quality in hospitals.

    PubMed

    Specchia, Maria Lucia; Veneziano, Maria Assunta; Cadeddu, Chiara; Ferriero, Anna Maria; Capizzi, Silvio; Ricciardi, Walter

    2012-01-01

    In the last few years, the need of public reporting of health outcomes has acquired a great importance. The public release of performance results could be a tool for improving health care quality and many attempts have been made in order to introduce public reporting programs within the health care context at different levels. It would be necessary to promote the introduction of a standardized set of outcome and performance measures in order to improve quality of health care services and to make health care providers aware of the importance of transparency and accountability.

  9. Teacher Evaluation in Practice: Understanding Evaluator Reliability and Teacher Engagement in Chicago Public Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sporte, Susan E.; Jiang, Jennie Y.; Luppescu, Stuart

    2014-01-01

    Starting in 2012-13, researchers have worked in partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) to study implementation of Chicago's new teacher evaluation system: Recognizing Educators Advancing Chicago's Students (REACH). This paper presents findings as well as experiences from the collaboration with CPS and…

  10. Exploring an Undergraduate Public Health Learning Environment through the Teaching for Understanding (TfU) Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacLeod, Fiona

    2009-01-01

    Background: The BSc Public Health and Health Promotion at University College Cork (UCC) aims to produce graduates who are passionate about their discipline. Teachers need to communicate this "passion" to students, but it can be difficult to know whether this has been achieved. The TFU framework makes such an outcome explicit, through…

  11. Understanding an Emerging Field of Scholarship: Toward a Research Agenda for Engaged, Public Scholarship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giles, Dwight E., Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The theme of both "Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement" volume 12 issues 1 and 2 collectively, is "Faculty Motivation for Engagement in Public Scholarship." Herein Dwight Giles, Jr. touches upon each article in issue 2, specifically, noting the variability of the central terminology that is used across authors…

  12. Newspapers and Adult Understanding of Public Affairs: Two Longitudinal Community Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tichenor, P. J.; And Others

    Two longitudinal field studies of the process of information dissemination through newspapers were conducted on two different public affairs topics (regional planning and routing of a high voltage power line) in four communities to examine the role of newspapers in increasing levels of conflict and in creating greater levels of awareness and…

  13. Developing Students' Awareness of Public Understanding of Science: A Matter of Survival?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castanho, Miguel A. R. B.

    2005-01-01

    Biochemists and life scientists in general are now encountering a paradox regarding the public image of their work; society demands and encourages pursuit of more knowledge but at the same time is suspicious and fears the novelties it brings. At this historical moment, we are experiencing a delicate balance between the birth of a new era and a…

  14. Understanding Differences in the Choice of College Attended: The Role of State Public Policies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perna, Laura W.; Titus, Marvin A.

    2004-01-01

    This study uses multilevel modeling to examine, after taking student-level predictors of enrollment into account, the effects of state public policies on the type of institution high school graduates attend. Four types of state policies (direct appropriations, tuition, financial aid, and K-12 academic preparation) influence the type of college…

  15. Understanding the Different Faces of Partnering: A Typology of Public-Private Partnerships

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Joanna; Wohlstetter, Priscilla

    2006-01-01

    The popularity and prevalence of public-private partnerships for problem-solving has been well documented in prior research. While there is widespread agreement that all partnerships are not the same, the partnership hierarchies offered by past research assume that some alliances are somehow "better" than others. This article offers a new typology…

  16. Changing Understandings of "Public" and "Private" in Higher Education: The United Kingdom Case

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tight, Malcolm

    2006-01-01

    Where does higher education in the United Kingdom sit today in terms of the public-private distinction, and what does that distinction mean in the higher education context? This article considers these questions and related issues, noting how the particular example of the United Kingdom compares with other systems internationally. Following a…

  17. Understanding the Intentions of Accounting Students in China to Pursue Certified Public Accountant Designation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wen, Lei; Hao, Qian; Bu, Danlu

    2015-01-01

    Based on the theory of planned behavior [Ajzen, I. (1991). "The theory of planned behavior." "Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes," 50(2), 179-211], we examine the factors influencing the decisions of accounting students in China concerning the certified public accountant (CPA) designation. Surveying 288…

  18. The State of Public Opinion Research on Attitudes and Understanding of Science and Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Besley, John C.

    2013-01-01

    This article provides a critical and global overview of current research into public opinion about science and technology (S&T). Although several sets of high-quality data exist, there remains a lack of international coordination and irregular release of new data in forms that can be widely used. The article highlights a range of key…

  19. School Leadership for Public Value: Understanding Valuable Outcomes for Children, Families and Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mongon, Denis; Leadbeater, Charles

    2012-01-01

    "School Leadership for Public Value" is a timely contribution to the debate about the purpose and structure of schooling in England and internationally. It draws deeply upon the work of ten schools and describes how they created strong alliances with local communities. These alliances helped to raise the academic attainment of pupils and…

  20. Understanding the current status and exploring the potential for distance education in public health in India.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Kavya; George, Sunil; Zodpey, Sanjay

    2011-01-01

    Continuing education of health care providers plays an important role in producing a health work force that is efficient and effective. In India public health education has primarily relied on conventional methods of training. However, such methods have limitations in equipping the health workforce of a vast and varied country like India. This paper analyzes the current status of distance education in public health and lists the various courses that are presently available in India through the distance education mode. Presently 25 institutions in India are offering 69 courses in various domains of public health through distance education. The providers of these programs comprised both government and private educational institutions. This paper also points out the role and importance of various stakeholders in the design and delivery of distance education programs in public health and raises key areas that need attention in the governance of such programs. It urges the use of digital technology in the delivery of distance education programs and points out how distance education that is designed and delivered using the latest technology could address the current gap in training human resources for health in India.

  1. Understanding the Transition of Public Universities to Institutional Autonomy in Kazakhstan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sagintayeva, Aida; Kurakbayev, Kairat

    2015-01-01

    Although institutional autonomy has recently received significant attention from scholars and policy-makers in much of the world, few studies have been made of the universities in transition towards institutional autonomy in post-Soviet countries. Autonomy and its related concept of public accountability are relatively new phenomena in…

  2. Understanding Public Engagement in Water Conservation Behaviors and Knowledge of Water Policy: Promising Hints for Extension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Pei-wen; Lamm, Alexa J.

    2015-01-01

    Sustaining water resources is a primary issue facing Florida Extension. The study reported here identified how experience with water issues and familiarity with water policies affected individuals' engagement in water conservation behaviors. A public opinion survey was conducted online to capture Florida residents' responses. The findings…

  3. Understanding latent tuberculosis: the key to improved diagnostic and novel treatment strategies

    PubMed Central

    Esmail, Hanif; Barry, Clifton E; Wilkinson, Robert J

    2012-01-01

    Treatment of latent tuberculosis (LTBI) is a vital component of tuberculosis elimination but is not efficiently implemented with available diagnostics and therapeutics. The tuberculin skin test and interferon gamma release assays can inform that infection has occurred but do not prove that it persists. Treatment of LTBI with isoniazid targets actively replicating bacilli but not non-replicating populations, prolonging treatment duration. Developing more predictive diagnostic tests and treatments of shorter duration requires a greater understanding of the biology of latent tuberculosis, from both host and bacillary perspectives. In this article we discuss the basis of current diagnosis and treatment of LTBI and review recent developments in understanding the biology of latency that may enable future improved diagnostic and treatment strategies. PMID:22198298

  4. Nurses' understanding of standard precautions at a public hospital in Goiania - GO, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Melo, Dulcelene de Sousa; Silva e Souza, Adenícia Custódia; Tipple, Anaclara Ferreira Veiga; das Neves, Zilah Cândida Pereira; Pereira, Milca Severino

    2006-01-01

    Standard Precautions (SP) are effective strategies to prevent and control nosocomial infections. This study aimed to verify nurses' understanding about standard precaution measures. Data were collected through interviews, followed by content analysis in accordance with Bardin. Eighty-two nurses took part in this study, 75.6% of whom understand SP as protective measures: for professionals (11.0%); for both professionals and patients (52.4%); for patient care independently of the diagnosis (7.3%); for patients with diagnosed infection (9.8%). Other nurses indicated SP as human care (4.9%) and only as Individual Protection Equipment (IPE) (11.0%). Most participants' understanding points to favorable cognitive adaptation to the daily implementation of SP. However, reductionist and even mistaken perceptions about their range persist, which makes the social function of these measures vulnerable.

  5. Public understanding of cyclone warning in India: Can wind be predicted?

    PubMed

    Dash, Biswanath

    2015-11-01

    In spite of meteorological warning, many human lives are lost every year to cyclone mainly because vulnerable populations were not evacuated on time to a safe shelter as per recommendation. It raises several questions, most prominently what explains people's behaviour in the face of such danger from a cyclonic storm? How do people view meteorological advisories issued for cyclone and what role they play in defining the threat? What shapes public response during such situation? This article based on an ethnographic study carried out in coastal state of Odisha, India, argues that local public recognising inherent limitations of meteorological warning, fall back on their own system of observation and forecasting. Not only are the contents of cyclone warning understood, its limitations are accommodated and explained.

  6. Increasing public understanding of transgenic crops through the World Wide Web.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Patrick F; Namuth, Deana M; Harrington, Judy; Ward, Sarah M; Lee, Donald J; Hain, Patricia

    2002-07-01

    Transgenic crops among the most controversial "science and society" issues of recent years. Because of the complex techniques involved in creating these crops and the polarized debate over their risks and beliefs, a critical need has arisen for accessible and balanced information on this technology. World Wide Web sites offer several advantages for disseminating information on a fast-changing technical topic, including their global accessibility; and their ability to update information frequently, incorporate multimedia formats, and link to networks of other sites. An alliance between two complementary web sites at Colorado State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln takes advantage of the web environment to help fill the need for public information on crop genetic engineering. This article describes the objectives and features of each site. Viewership data and other feedback have shown these web sites to be effective means of reaching public audiences on a complex scientific topic.

  7. 38 CFR 3.714 - Improved pension elections-public assistance beneficiaries.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... disaffirm a previously made election of improved pension within the time limits set forth in paragraph (e... deemed period of entitlement to public assistance. (e) Notice of right to make informed election or... disaffirm and election of improved pension within the 90-day period described in paragraph (e)(4)(i) of...

  8. 78 FR 68782 - Public Meeting on the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Proposed Rule

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-15

    ... Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. It is issued under Sections... Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Proposed Rule AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health... attend an informal public meeting on the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses...

  9. Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-377)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    US Congress, 2011

    2011-01-01

    The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-377) was put in place to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve educational assistance for veterans who served in the Armed Forces after September 11, 2001, and for other purposes. The table of contents for this Act is as follows: (1) Sec. 1. Short…

  10. Remote field trips and on-line exhibitions: public understanding of research projects at the Exploratorium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semper, R.; Hawkins, I.

    2003-04-01

    Science museums and science centers provide an opportunity for students and members of the general public to explore the world of science and technology through exhibits, objects and public programs. But it is often difficult to present the flavor and atmosphere of current scientific exploration in a museum setting. Recent advances in technology have facilitated the development of remote field trips to places of science creation and online exhibitions using the actual data of science research for both an on site and on line audiences. Over the past five years the Exploratorium has explored using its museum design sensibilities in combination with the Internet to present current scientific research to a broad public and school audience. Live @ the Exploratorium combines remote production from interesting scientific locations with a live studio audience on the museum’s exhibit floor to create Webcasts and Websites which provide an on-line audience with a unique fieldtrip experience. This program has visited research laboratories in Antarctica, field sites along the San Andrea Fault in California, and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore that operates the Hubble Space Telescope. The Research Explorer project uses museum exhibit interpretive skills to create an on-line exhibition on current research data in global climate change or solar activity by providing a window onto the actual dynamic research activity available on the Web. In both of these projects the museum makes use of its content, pedagogy and design capabilities to act as a mediator between the world of science and the world of the public.

  11. Health human resources and public-private partnerships: understanding their contributions to Canada's transforming healthcare environment.

    PubMed

    de Mora, Joseph A

    2008-01-01

    This article sets out some of the main elements that characterize Canada's transforming healthcare environment and that largely form the raison d'être for new approaches to health human resources and for the emergence of public-private partnerships. It then presents core findings from a meeting of healthcare CEOs held in Banff as well as the author's views based on his experiences as president and CEO of Kingston General Hospital.

  12. A Cognitive Framework for Understanding and Improving Interference Resolution in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Jyoti; Anguera, Joaquin A.; Ziegler, David A.; Gazzaley, Adam

    2014-01-01

    All of us are familiar with the negative impact of interference on achieving our task goals. We are referring to interference by information, which either impinges on our senses from an external environmental source or is internally generated by our thoughts. Informed by more than a decade of research on the cognitive and neural processing of interference, we have developed a framework for understanding how interference impacts our neural systems and especially how it is regulated and suppressed during efficient on-task performance. Importantly, externally and internally generated interferences have distinct neural signatures, and further, distinct neural processing emerges depending on whether individuals must ignore and suppress the interference, as for distractions, or engage with them in a secondary task, as during multitasking. Here, we elaborate on this cognitive framework and how it changes throughout the human lifespan, focusing mostly on research evidence from younger adults and comparing these findings to data from older adults, children, and cognitively impaired populations. With insights gleaned from our growing understanding, we then describe three novel translational efforts in our lab directed at improving distinct aspects of interference resolution using cognitive training. Critically, these training approaches were specifically developed to target improved interference resolution based on neuroplasticity principles and have shown much success in randomized controlled first version evaluations in healthy aging. Our results show not only on-task training improvements but also robust generalization of benefit to other cognitive control abilities. This research showcases how an in-depth understanding of neural mechanisms can then inform the development of effective deficit-targeted interventions, which can in turn benefit both healthy and cognitively impaired populations. PMID:24309262

  13. Using public health data systems to understand and eliminate cancer disparities.

    PubMed

    Koh, Howard K; Judge, Christine M; Ferrer, Barbara; Gershman, Susan T

    2005-02-01

    Identifying and eliminating social disparities in cancer depend upon the availability and ready use of public health surveillance data at the national, state and local levels. As an example of advancing a statewide research agenda in cancer disparities, we present descriptive statistics from major public health surveillance data systems in Massachusetts. Disparities highlighted include higher breast cancer mortality rates among African-American women than women of other racial groups, lower rates of colorectal and cervical cancer screening among Asian-American residents, and striking gradients in cancer risk factor prevalence and screening by income and education. Challenges in utilizing public health surveillance data include lack of information in many domains of social inequity beyond race/ethnicity, uneven quality, and lack of stable, reportable data for smaller populations. Opportunities to maximize the usefulness of cancer registry data include application of geographic information systems and linkage with other data systems tracking information on health services outcomes and clinical trial participation. Analyses of surveillance data can spark advances not only in community-based participatory research but also in programs and policies that may ultimately eliminate disparities along the cancer continuum.

  14. Navigating a sea of values: Understanding public attitudes toward the ocean and ocean energy resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lilley, Jonathan Charles

    In examining ocean values and beliefs, this study investigates the moral and ethical aspects of the relationships that exist between humans and the marine environment. In short, this dissertation explores what the American public thinks of the ocean. The study places a specific focus upon attitudes to ocean energy development. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, this research: elicits mental models that exist in society regarding the ocean; unearths what philosophies underpin people's attitudes toward the ocean and offshore energy development; assesses whether these views have any bearing on pro-environmental behavior; and gauges support for offshore drilling and offshore wind development. Despite the fact that the ocean is frequently ranked as a second-tier environmental issue, Americans are concerned about the state of the marine environment. Additionally, the data show that lack of knowledge, rather than apathy, prevents people from undertaking pro-environmental action. With regard to philosophical beliefs, Americans hold slightly more nonanthropocentric than anthropocentric views toward the environment. Neither anthropocentrism nor nonanthropocentrism has any real impact on pro-environmental behavior, although nonanthropocentric attitudes reduce support for offshore wind. This research also uncovers two gaps between scientific and public perceptions of offshore wind power with respect to: 1) overall environmental effects; and 2) the size of the resource. Providing better information to the public in the first area may lead to a shift toward offshore wind support among opponents with nonanthropocentric attitudes, and in both areas, is likely to increase offshore wind support.

  15. A Bayesian additive model for understanding public transport usage in special events.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Filipe; Borysov, Stanislav; Ribeiro, Bernardete; Pereira, Francisco

    2016-12-02

    Public special events, like sports games, concerts and festivals are well known to create disruptions in transportation systems, often catching the operators by surprise. Although these are usually planned well in advance, their impact is difficult to predict, even when organisers and transportation operators coordinate. The problem highly increases when several events happen concurrently. To solve these problems, costly processes, heavily reliant on manual search and personal experience, are usual practice in large cities like Singapore, London or Tokyo. This paper presents a Bayesian additive model with Gaussian process components that combines smart card records from public transport with context information about events that is continuously mined from the Web. We develop an efficient approximate inference algorithm using expectation propagation, which allows us to predict the total number of public transportation trips to the special event areas, thereby contributing to a more adaptive transportation system. Furthermore, for multiple concurrent event scenarios, the proposed algorithm is able to disaggregate gross trip counts into their most likely components related to specific events and routine behavior. Using real data from Singapore, we show that the presented model outperforms the best baseline model by up to 26% in R2 and also has explanatory power for its individual components.

  16. Understanding public elderly care policy in Norway: A narrative analysis of governmental White papers.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Frode F

    2015-08-01

    How the general public in Norway conceives being an older adult and the meaning of chronological age has changed over the last few decades. As narratives of aging may be identified in the Norwegian mass media and in the population at large, dominant narratives may also be identified in policy documents, such as government health policy papers. This article explores a narrative analytical framework based on stories, subtexts, and counterstories; it argues that such narratives are characterized as much by what is unsaid as by what is said, and as much by choice of words and word combinations as by explicit messages. Culture strongly influences the conception of a likely future (what will be) and an envisioned future (what ought to be) regarding aging and geriatric care in Norway, as expressed in the public policy papers. The public policy story is discussed as both a story continuously developing, where later health policy papers relate to and comment on earlier documents, and as a story characterized by a measure of cultural incoherence. Some recent government documents dealing with professional geriatric care will serve as material for a narrative analysis.

  17. Public Understanding and Attitudes towards Meat Chicken Production and Relations to Consumption.

    PubMed

    Erian, Ihab; Phillips, Clive J C

    2017-03-09

    Little is known about public knowledge of meat chicken production and how it influences attitudes to birds' welfare and consumer behaviour. We interviewed 506 members of the public in SE Queensland; Australia; to determine how knowledge of meat chicken production and slaughter links to attitudes and consumption. Knowledge was assessed from 15 questions and low scores were supported by respondents' self-assessed report of low knowledge levels and agreement that their knowledge was insufficient to form an opinion about which chicken products to purchase. Older respondents and single people without children were most knowledgeable. There was uncertainty about whether chicken welfare was adequate, particularly in those with little knowledge. There was also evidence that a lack of empathy towards chickens related to lack of knowledge, since those that thought it acceptable that some birds are inadequately stunned at slaughter had low knowledge scores. More knowledgeable respondents ate chicken more frequently and were less likely to buy products with accredited labelling. Approximately half of the respondents thought the welfare of the chicken was more important than the cost. It is concluded that the public's knowledge has an important connection to their attitudes and consumption of chicken.

  18. Understanding the advances in biology of orthodontic tooth movement for improved ortho-perio interdisciplinary approach

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Anand K.; Shetty, Adarsh S.; Setty, Swati; Thakur, Srinath

    2013-01-01

    This article provides an insight on detailed current advances in molecular understandings of periodontal ligament cells and the influence of orthodontic force on them in the light of recent advances in molecular and genetic sciences. It sequentially unfolds the cellular events beginning from the mechanical force initiated events of cellular responses to bone remodeling. It also highlights the risks and limitations of orthodontic treatment in certain periodontal conditions, the important areas of team work, orthodontic expectations from periodontal treatment and the possibility of much more future combined research to improve the best possible periodontal health and esthetic outcome of the patient. PMID:24049330

  19. Understanding the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition to improve ultrasound training for obstetrics and gynaecology trainees.

    PubMed

    Field, Alexander

    2014-05-01

    There have been significant problems in ultrasound training since the introduction of the new postgraduate curriculum for obstetrics and gynaecology. It is therefore important to understand how the skill of ultrasound is acquired in order to be able to improve the training program. Here, the potential application of the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition has been analysed to map the progression from novice to master and the progressions between each stage analysed. Although the Dreyfus model is not a perfect match for ultrasound scanning, it provides us with a theoretical framework on which to underpin educational practice in this field.

  20. Illustrative Memorandum of Understanding: Between a Public Institution or System and an Affiliated Foundation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, 2014

    2014-01-01

    A decade ago, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), working with a national task force, developed an illustrative memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was widely promulgated and served as a model for agreements at many institutions and systems. This…

  1. Toward an Understanding of the Epistemic Values of Biological Scientists as Expressed in Scholarly Publication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunn, Kathel

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation develops a deeper understanding of the epistemic values of scientists, specifically exploring the proposed values of community, collaboration, connectivity and credit as part of the scholarly communication system. These values are the essence of scientists actively engaged in conducting science and in communicating their work to…

  2. The CONVEX project - Using Observational Evidence and Process Understanding to Improve Predictions of Extreme Rainfall Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, Hayley; Kendon, Elizabeth; Blenkinsop, Stephen; Chan, Steven; Ferro, Christopher; Roberts, Nigel; Stephenson, David; Jones, Richard; Sessford, Pat

    2013-04-01

    During the last decade, widespread major flood events in the UK and across the rest of Europe have focussed attention on perceived increases in rainfall intensities. Whilst Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are able to simulate the magnitude and spatial pattern of observed daily extreme rainfall events more reliably than Global Circulation Models (GCMs), they still underestimate extreme rainfall in relation to observations. Particularly during the summer a large proportion of the precipitation comes from convective storms that are typically too small to be explicitly represented by climate models. Instead, convection parameterisation schemes are necessary to represent the larger-scale effect of unresolved convective cells. Given the deficiencies in the simulation of extreme rainfall by climate models, even in the current generation of high-resolution RCMs, the CONVEX project (CONVective EXtremes) argues that an integrated approach is needed that brings together observations, basic understanding and models. This should go hand in hand with a change from a focus on traditional validation exercises (comparing modelled and observed extremes) to an understanding and quantification of the causes of model deficiencies in the simulation of extreme rainfall processes on different spatial and temporal scales. It is particularly true for localised intense summer convection. CONVEX therefore aims to contribute to the goals of enabling society to respond to global climate change and predicting the regional and local impacts of environmental change. In addition to an improved understanding of the spatial-temporal characteristics of extreme rainfall processes (principally in the UK) the project is also assessing the influence of model parameterisations and resolution on the simulation of extreme rainfall events and processes. This includes the running of new RCM simulations undertaken by the UK Meteorological Office at 50km and 12km resolutions (parameterised convection) and

  3. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement.

    PubMed

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement.

  4. Annotated Bibliography: Understanding Ambulatory Care Practices in the Context of Patient Safety and Quality Improvement.

    PubMed

    Montano, Maria F; Mehdi, Harshal; Nash, David B

    2016-11-01

    The ambulatory care setting is an increasingly important component of the patient safety conversation. Inpatient safety is the primary focus of the vast majority of safety research and interventions, but the ambulatory setting is actually where most medical care is administered. Recent attention has shifted toward examining ambulatory care in order to implement better health care quality and safety practices. This annotated bibliography was created to analyze and augment the current literature on ambulatory care practices with regard to patient safety and quality improvement. By providing a thorough examination of current practices, potential improvement strategies in ambulatory care health care settings can be suggested. A better understanding of the myriad factors that influence delivery of patient care will catalyze future health care system development and implementation in the ambulatory setting.

  5. The National Kidney Disease Education Program: improving understanding, detection, and management of CKD.

    PubMed

    Narva, Andrew S; Briggs, Michael

    2009-03-01

    The National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP), an initiative of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, works to reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its complications. Established in 2000, the NKDEP initially focused on increasing awareness in at-risk populations and helping the laboratory community recalibrate serum creatinine measurement methods and begin using a revised equation to estimate glomerular filtration rate. Expanding its focus in recent years, the NKDEP now works to improve provider practices by collaborating with health systems, community health centers, and professional associations to encourage testing and treatment of patients. Among its top priorities is to develop such resources as clinical encounter tools, patient education aids, and training programs that help primary care professionals better identify and care for patients with CKD. Other priorities include improving the coordination of federal responses to CKD and addressing the standardization of measurement and reporting of urine albumin. Improving CKD detection and management is an important challenge. To succeed, the NKDEP must work in close partnership with the renal community, public health agencies, professional associations, and voluntary organizations that serve at-risk and patient communities.

  6. Learning from Our Evolving Understanding of Biophysical Interactions to Improve River Restoration Practice.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sear, D. A.

    2014-12-01

    Restoration of riverine habitats has largely proceeded on the assumption that by improving physical habitat, and more latterly processes, biophysical interactions will reassemble to a state similar to that prior to the disturbance event. Whilst there had been little monitoring to support this view, there is increasing evidence that the complexity of ecological systems demands a greater understanding of these biophysical interactions before we can state that a restoration has succeeded. In this paper I will draw on two examples to demonstrate the importance of understanding the spatial as well as the temporal scale of biophysical interactions. In the first example, field and modelling was used to demonstrate how different location of large wood and forest restoration can result in different hydrological outcomes. Similarly, as the forest matures it is possible to see change in restoration outcomes, extending beyond the lifetime of the project. In the second example I demonstrate how climate and land use drive the biophysical interactions within spawning salmonid habitats, research that questions accepted models used in the restoration of salmonid spawning habitat. Finally the paper reflects on the problems of restoring complex ecosystems; and points towards the need for improvements in how we research and communicate with stakeholders who ultimately live by the streams we restore.

  7. Development and evaluation of a tutorial to improve students' understanding of a lock-in amplifier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

    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 provides guidance and strives to help 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 with lock-in amplifiers and the development and evaluation of the research-based tutorial to help students develop a functional understanding of this device are discussed.

  8. Making the Case for Laws That Improve Health: A Framework for Public Health Law Research

    PubMed Central

    Burris, Scott; Wagenaar, Alexander C; Swanson, Jeffrey; Ibrahim, Jennifer K; Wood, Jennifer; Mello, Michelle M

    2010-01-01

    Context: Public health law has received considerable attention in recent years and has become an essential field in public health. Public health law research, however, has received less attention. Methods: Expert commentary. Findings: This article explores public health law research, defined as the scientific study of the relation of law and legal practices to population health. The article offers a logic model of public health law research and a typology of approaches to studying the effects of law on public health. Research on the content and prevalence of public health laws, processes of adopting and implementing laws, and the extent to which and mechanisms through which law affects health outcomes can use methods drawn from epidemiology, economics, sociology, and other disciplines. The maturation of public health law research as a field depends on methodological rigor, adequate research funding, access to appropriate data sources, and policymakers’ use of research findings. Conclusions: Public health law research is a young field but holds great promise for supporting evidence-based policymaking that will improve population health. PMID:20579282

  9. Improving the Quality of Early Childhood Education in Chile: Tensions between Public Policy and Teacher Discourses over the Schoolarisation of Early Childhood Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pardo, Marcela; Woodrow, Christine

    2014-01-01

    This article problematises emerging tensions in Chile, in relation to the discourses of early childhood teachers and public policies aimed at improving the quality of early childhood education. The aim of the analysis is to contribute to developing more nuanced understandings of these tensions, through the analytical lenses provided by the…

  10. Understanding public perceptions of benefits and risks of childhood vaccinations in the United States.

    PubMed

    Song, Geoboo

    2014-03-01

    In the face of a growing public health concern accompanying the reemerging threat of preventable diseases, this research seeks mainly to explain variations in the perceived benefits and risks of vaccinations among the general public in the United States. As Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky's grid-group cultural theory of risk perception claims, the analytical results based upon original data from a nationwide Internet survey of 1,213 American adults conducted in 2010 suggest that individuals' cultural predispositions contribute to the formation of their perceptions pertaining to vaccine benefits and risks at both societal and individual levels, in conjunction with other factors suggested by previous risk perception literature, such as perceived prevalence of diseases, trust, knowledge level, and demographic characteristics. Those with a strong hierarch orientation tend to envision greater benefits and lesser risks and conceive of a relatively high ratio of benefit to risk when compared to other cultural types. By contrast, those with a strong fatalist tendency are inclined to emphasize risks and downplay benefits while conceiving of a low vaccination benefit-risk ratio. Situated between hierarchs and fatalists, strong egalitarians are prone to perceive greater benefits, smaller risks, and a more positive benefit-risk ratio than strong individualists.

  11. 'Fracking' Controversy and Communication: Using National Survey Data to Understand Public Perceptions of Hydraulic Fracturing (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boudet, H. S.

    2013-12-01

    The recent push to develop unconventional sources of oil and gas both in the U.S. and abroad via hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') has generated a great deal of controversy. Effectively engaging stakeholders and setting appropriate policies requires insights into current public perceptions of this issue. Using a nationally representative U.S. sample (N=1,061), we examine public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing including: 'top of mind' associations; familiarity with the issue; levels of support/opposition; and predictors of such judgments. Similar to findings on other emerging technologies, our results suggest limited familiarity with the process and its potential impacts and considerable uncertainty about whether to support it. Multiple regression analysis (r2 = 0.49) finds that women, those holding egalitarian worldviews, those who read newspapers more than once a week, those more familiar with hydraulic fracturing, and those who associate the process with environmental impacts are more likely to oppose fracking. In contrast, people more likely to support fracking tend to be older, hold a bachelor's degree or higher, politically conservative, watch TV news more than once a week, and associate the process with positive economic or energy supply outcomes. Based on these findings, we discuss recommendations for future research, risk communication, and energy policy.

  12. Understanding public perceptions of risk regarding outdoor pet cats to inform conservation action.

    PubMed

    Gramza, Ashley; Teel, Tara; VandeWoude, Susan; Crooks, Kevin

    2016-04-01

    Free-ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) incur and impose risks on ecosystems and represent a complex issue of critical importance to biodiversity conservation and cat and human health globally. Prior social science research on this topic is limited and has emphasized feral cats even though owned cats often comprise a large proportion of the outdoor cat population, particularly in urban areas. To address this gap, we examined public risk perceptions and attitudes toward outdoor pet cats across varying levels of urbanization, including along the wildland-urban interface, in Colorado (U.S.A.), through a mail survey of 1397 residents. Residents did not view all types of risks uniformly. They viewed risks of cat predation on wildlife and carnivore predation on cats as more likely than disease-related risks. Additionally, risk perceptions were related to attitudes, prior experiences with cats and cat-wildlife interactions, and cat-owner behavior. Our findings suggest that changes in risk perceptions may result in behavior change. Therefore, knowledge of cat-related risk perceptions and attitudes could be used to develop communication programs aimed at promoting risk-aversive behaviors among cat owners and cat-management strategies that are acceptable to the public and that directly advance the conservation of native species.

  13. Measuring the level of public understanding of total solar eclipse from the mass media: Palembang as sample

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purwati, F. G.; Ekawanti, N.; Luthfiandari; Premadi, P. W.

    2016-11-01

    The Total Solar Eclipse (TSE) on the 9th March 2016 received a huge attention from the mass media. Some of them intensively write articles about it even months before the TSE day. As we know media plays strategic role not only in raising public awareness but also interest. The aim of this project is to study the relation between the number of accesses to the media information and how well public learned the information delivered by the media. We prepared questionnaire consisting of seven semi-multiple choices on how public got information about TSE. We gave them choices of what they had heard to measure their basic understanding of TSE. Furthermore we add two “wrong” choices in the last questions to identify less serious respondents. We analyze 60 respondents of Palembang who visited Ampera bridge area. Our result shows no correlation between the number of information access and the level of understanding about TSE. We also found that local media did not provide the scientific content of TSE as well as the national media.

  14. Ecosystem function in waste stabilisation ponds: Improving water quality through a better understanding of biophysical coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghadouani, Anas; Reichwaldt, Elke S.; Coggins, Liah X.; Ivey, Gregory N.; Ghisalberti, Marco; Zhou, Wenxu; Laurion, Isabelle; Chua, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Wastewater stabilisation ponds (WSPs) are highly productive systems designed to treat wastewater using only natural biological and chemical processes. Phytoplankton, microbial communities and hydraulics play important roles for ecosystem functionality of these pond systems. Although WSPs have been used for many decades, they are still considered as 'black box' systems as very little is known about the fundamental ecological processes which occur within them. However, a better understanding of how these highly productive ecosystems function is particularly important for hydrological processes, as treated wastewater is commonly discharged into streams, rivers, and oceans, and subject to strict water quality guidelines. WSPs are known to operate at different levels of efficiency, and treatment efficiency of WSPs is dependent on physical (flow characteristics and sludge accumulation and distribution) and biological (microbial and phytoplankton communities) characteristics. Thus, it is important to gain a better understanding of the role and influence of pond hydraulics and vital microbial communities on pond performance and WSP functional stability. The main aim of this study is to investigate the processes leading to differences in treatment performance of WSPs. This study uses a novel and innovative approach to understand these factors by combining flow cytometry and metabolomics to investigate various biochemical characteristics, including the metabolite composition and microbial community within WSPs. The results of these analyses will then be combined with results from the characterisation of pond hydrodynamics and hydraulic performance, which will be performed using advanced hydrodynamic modelling and advanced sludge profiling technology. By understanding how hydrodynamic and biological processes influence each other and ecosystem function and stability in WSPs, we will be able to propose ways to improve the quality of the treatment using natural processes, with

  15. Implications of public understanding of avian influenza for fostering effective risk communication.

    PubMed

    Elledge, Brenda L; Brand, Michael; Regens, James L; Boatright, Daniel T

    2008-10-01

    Avian influenza has three of the four properties necessary to cause a pandemic. However, are we as individuals and communities prepared for a pandemic flu in the United States? To help answer this question, 12 focus groups (N = 60) were conducted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to determine the level of awareness of avian and pandemic flu for the county health department to develop effective communication messages. The overall findings indicate that the general Tulsa public lacks information about avian influenza or pandemics, does not believe a pandemic will occur, and believes if one does occur the government will take care of it. Finally, the groups agreed that education would be the key to preventing widespread panic if a pandemic occurred. Five themes emerged: confusion about terminology, seriousness of avian influenza, disaster fatigue, appropriate precautions, and credibility of health information. Each should be considered in developing effective risk communication messages.

  16. Understanding and Improving CRM and GCM Simulations of Cloud Systems with ARM Observations

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Xiaoqing

    2014-02-25

    The works supported by this ASR project lay the solid foundation for improving the parameterization of convection and clouds in the NCAR CCSM and the climate simulations. We have made a significant use of CRM simulations and ARM observations to produce thermodynamically and dynamically consistent multi-year cloud and radiative properties; improve the GCM simulations of convection, clouds and radiative heating rate and fluxes using the ARM observations and CRM simulations; and understand the seasonal and annual variation of cloud systems and their impacts on climate mean state and variability. We conducted multi-year simulations over the ARM SGP site using the CRM with multi-year ARM forcing data. The statistics of cloud and radiative properties from the long-term CRM simulations were compared and validated with the ARM measurements and value added products (VAP). We evaluated the multi-year climate simulations produced by the GCM with the modified convection scheme. We used multi-year ARM observations and CRM simulations to validate and further improve the trigger condition and revised closure assumption in NCAR GCM simulations that demonstrate the improvement of climate mean state and variability. We combined the improved convection scheme with the mosaic treatment of subgrid cloud distributions in the radiation scheme of the GCM. The mosaic treatment of cloud distributions has been implemented in the GCM with the original convection scheme and enables the use of more realistic cloud amounts as well as cloud water contents in producing net radiative fluxes closer to observations. A physics-based latent heat (LH) retrieval algorithm was developed by parameterizing the physical linkages of observed hydrometeor profiles of cloud and precipitation to the major processes related to the phase change of atmospheric water.

  17. Understanding and Improving the Quality of Inter-Layer Interfaces in FDM 3-D Printing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duranty, Edward; Spradlin, Brandon; Stark, Madeline; Dadmun, Mark

    We have studied the effect of thermal history and material diffusion on inter-filament bonding in FDM 3D printed parts and developed methods to improve interlayer adhesion in 3D printed samples. The available thermal energy during the FDM print environment was determined quantitatively by tracking the temperature of the bottom most printed layer using a thermocouple attached to the print bed. The role of the thermal history of the filaments during the deposition process on the quality of inter-layer bonding in an FDM ABS part was monitored using a T-peel test and an innovative sample design. Additionally, the interfacial adhesion between 3D printed layers was improved by the addition of a chemical cross-linking agent 4,4 '-diaminodiphenylmethane (DADPM). These studies have increased our understanding of the importance of the complex thermal history of a filament in the 3D printing process and its impact on the interfaces that form during the fused deposition modeling print process. Furthermore, the chemical crosslinking process demonstrates a potential method to covalently link layers in FDM printed parts, improving the bulk strength of the part. The insight provided in this work may aid in the development of techniques that can produce FDM parts that could be used as replacement parts in structural applications, or as completely standalone products.

  18. Understanding and improving lithium ion batteries through mathematical modeling and experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deshpande, Rutooj D.

    There is an intense, worldwide effort to develop durable lithium ion batteries with high energy and power densities for a wide range of applications, including electric and hybrid electric vehicles. For improvement of battery technology understanding the capacity fading mechanism in batteries is of utmost importance. Novel electrode material and improved electrode designs are needed for high energy- high power batteries with less capacity fading. Furthermore, for applications such as automotive applications, precise cycle-life prediction of batteries is necessary. One of the critical challenges in advancing lithium ion battery technologies is fracture and decrepitation of the electrodes as a result of lithium diffusion during charging and discharging operations. When lithium is inserted in either the positive or negative electrode, there is a volume change associated with insertion or de-insertion. Diffusion-induced stresses (DISs) can therefore cause the nucleation and growth of cracks, leading to mechanical degradation of the batteries. With different mathematical models we studied the behavior of diffusion induces stresses and effects of electrode shape, size, concentration dependent material properties, pre-existing cracks, phase transformations, operating conditions etc. on the diffusion induced stresses. Thus we develop tools to guide the design of the electrode material with better mechanical stability for durable batteries. Along with mechanical degradation, chemical degradation of batteries also plays an important role in deciding battery cycle life. The instability of commonly employed electrolytes results in solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) formation. Although SEI formation contributes to irreversible capacity loss, the SEI layer is necessary, as it passivates the electrode-electrolyte interface from further solvent decomposition. SEI layer and diffusion induced stresses are inter-dependent and affect each-other. We study coupled chemical

  19. Achieving Healthy School Siting and Planning Policies: Understanding Shared Concerns of Environmental Planners, Public Health Professionals, and Educators

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Alison

    2013-01-01

    Policy decisions regarding the quality of the physical school environment—both, school siting and school facility planning policies—are often considered through the lens of environmental planning, public health, or education policy, but rarely through all three. Environmental planners consider environmental justice issues on a local level and/or consider the regional impact of a school. Public health professionals focus on toxic exposures and populations particularly vulnerable to negative health outcomes. Educators and education policymakers emphasize investing in human capital of both students and staff. By understanding these respective angles and combining these efforts around the common goals of achieving adequacy and excellence, we can work towards a regulatory system for school facilities that recognizes children as a uniquely vulnerable population and seeks to create healthier school environments in which children can learn and adults can work. PMID:20359991

  20. A surfeit of science: The "CSI effect" and the media appropriation of the public understanding of science.

    PubMed

    Cole, Simon A

    2015-02-01

    Over the past decade, popular media has promulgated claims that the television program CSI and its spinoffs and imitators have had a pernicious effect on the public understanding of forensic science, the so-called "CSI effect." This paper analyzes those media claims by documenting the ways in which the media claims that CSI "distorts" an imagined "reality." It shows that the media appropriated the analytic stance usually adopted by science advocates, portraying the CSI effect as a social problem in science communication. This appropriation was idiosyncratic in that it posited, as a social problem, a "surfeit" of knowledge and positive imagery about science, rather than the more familiar "deficits." In addition, the media simultaneously appropriated both "traditional" and "critical" PUS discourses. Despite this apparent contradiction, the paper concludes that, in both discourses, the media and its expert informants insist upon their hegemony over "the public" to articulate the "reality" of forensic science.

  1. Achieving healthy school siting and planning policies: understanding shared concerns of environmental planners, public health professionals, and educators.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Alison

    2010-01-01

    Policy decisions regarding the quality of the physical school environment-both, school siting and school facility planning policies-are often considered through the lens of environmental planning, public health, or education policy, but rarely through all three. Environmental planners consider environmental justice issues on a local level and/or consider the regional impact of a school. Public health professionals focus on toxic exposures and populations particularly vulnerable to negative health outcomes. Educators and education policymakers emphasize investing in human capital of both students and staff. By understanding these respective angles and combining these efforts around the common goals of achieving adequacy and excellence, we can work toward a regulatory system for school facilities that recognizes children as a uniquely vulnerable population and seeks to create healthier school environments in which children can learn and adults can work.

  2. Towards medicines regulatory authorities' quality performance improvement: value for public health.

    PubMed

    Pejović, Gordana; Filipović, Jovan; Tasić, Ljiljana; Marinković, Valentina

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to explore the possibility of implementing total quality management (TQM) principles in national medicines regulatory authorities in Europe to achieve all public health objectives. Bearing in mind that medicines regulation is a governmental function that serves societal objectives to protect and promote public health, measuring the effective achievement of quality objectives related to public health is of utmost importance. A generic TQM model for meeting public health objectives was developed and was tested on 10 European national medicines regulatory authorities with different regulatory performances. Participating national medicines regulatory authorities recognised all TQM factors of the proposed model in implemented systems with different degrees of understanding. An analysis of responses was performed within the framework of two established criteria-the regulatory authority's category and size. The value of the paper is twofold. First, the new generic TQM model proposes to integrate four public health objectives with six TQM factors. Second, national medicines regulatory authorities were analysed as public organisations and health authorities to develop a proper tool for assessing their regulatory performance. The paper emphasises the importance of designing an adequate approach to performance measurement of quality management systems in medicines regulatory authorities that will support their public service missions.

  3. Improving access to and provision of public health education and training in the UK.

    PubMed

    Pilkington, Paul

    2008-10-01

    This paper examines some of the challenges facing public health education and training in the UK, especially those relating to the wider workforce. It identifies key drivers for the need to improve access to and provision of public health education and training, such as the establishment of the Voluntary Register for Public Health Specialists and the launch of the Public Health Skills and Career Framework. The paper also touches briefly on developments in public health education and training in the USA, noting where lessons could be learnt by both countries. The paper notes how the traditional approach of structured training, while still valuable for those wishing to work at the specialist level, needs to be combined with an approach that enables other workers to achieve competence in public health. This challenge is being met, in part, through provision of online resources and teaching, and the development of Teaching Public Health Networks. The challenges facing the UK are similar to those facing the public health sector in the USA. As such, the two countries can learn from one another in order to address this important workforce development issue.

  4. Publications

    Cancer.gov

    Information about NCI publications including PDQ cancer information for patients and health professionals, patient-education publications, fact sheets, dictionaries, NCI blogs and newsletters and major reports.

  5. Physicians in the substance abuse treatment workforce: understanding their employment within publicly funded treatment organizations.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, Hannah K; Oser, Carrie B; Abraham, Amanda J; Roman, Paul M

    2012-09-01

    The employment of physicians by substance abuse treatment organizations is understudied, despite physicians' importance in implementing pharmacotherapy and integrating treatment into the broader system of medical care. Drawing on data collected from 249 publicly funded treatment organizations, this study examined organizational and environmental factors associated with the employment of physicians in these settings. A negative binomial regression model indicated that greater numbers of physicians were employed when organizations offered detoxification services, were embedded in health care settings, and were larger in size. Funding barriers, including the costs of physicians and inadequate reimbursement by funders, were negatively associated with physician employment. Programs unaware that they could use state contract funding to pay for medical staff employed fewer numbers of physicians than programs aware of this type of state policy. Attempts to increase physician employment in substance abuse treatment may require attention to both organizational and environmental factors rather than simply trying to attract individuals to the field. Increasing physician employment may be challenging in the current economic climate.

  6. Understanding public drug procurement in India: a comparative qualitative study of five Indian states

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Prabal Vikram; Tatambhotla, Anand; Kalvakuntla, Rohini; Chokshi, Maulik

    2013-01-01

    Objective To perform an initial qualitative comparison of the different procurement models in India to frame questions for future research in this area; to capture the finer differences between the state models through 53 process and price parameters to determine their functional efficiencies. Design Qualitative analysis is performed for the study. Five states: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, Punjab and Maharashtra were chosen to ensure heterogeneity in a number of factors such as procurement type (centralised, decentralised or mixed); autonomy of the procurement organisation; state of public health infrastructure; geography and availability of data through Right to Information Act (RTI). Data on procurement processes were collected through key informant analysis by way of semistructured interviews with leadership teams of procuring organisations. These process data were validated through interviews with field staff (stakeholders of district hospitals, taluk hospitals, community health centres and primary health centres) in each state. A total of 30 actors were interviewed in all five states. The data collected are analysed against 52 process and price parameters to determine the functional efficiency of the model. Results The analysis indicated that autonomous procurement organisations were more efficient in relation to payments to suppliers, had relatively lower drug procurement prices and managed their inventory more scientifically. Conclusions The authors highlight critical success factors that significantly influence the outcome of any procurement model. In a way, this study raises more questions and seeks the need for further research in this arena to aid policy makers. PMID:23388196

  7. The CONVEX project - Using Observational Evidence and Process Understanding to Improve Projections of Extreme Rainfall Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blenkinsop, Stephen; Fowler, Hayley; Kendon, Elizabeth; Chan, Steven; Ferro, Chris; Roberts, Nigel; Sessford, Pat

    2014-05-01

    During the last decade, widespread major flood events in the UK and across Europe have focussed attention on perceived increases in rainfall intensities. Whilst Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are able to simulate the magnitude and spatial pattern of observed daily extreme rainfall events more reliably than Global Circulation Models (GCMs), they still underestimate extreme rainfall in relation to observations and do not capture the properties of sub-daily events that may lead to flooding in urban areas. In the UK and Europe, particularly during the summer, a large proportion of precipitation comes from convective storms that are typically too small to be explicitly represented by climate models. Instead, convection parameterisation schemes are necessary to represent the larger-scale effect of unresolved convective cells. The CONVEX project (CONVective EXtremes) argues that an integrated approach is needed to provide improvements in estimates of change in extreme rainfall, particularly for summer convective events. As usable predictions require the synthesis of observations, understanding of atmospheric processes and models, a change in focus from traditional validation exercises (comparing modelled and observed extremes) to an understanding and quantification of the causes for model deficiencies in the simulation of extreme rainfall processes on different spatial and temporal scales is needed. By adopting this new focus CONVEX aims to contribute to the goals of enabling society to respond to global climate change and predicting the regional and local impacts of environmental change on timescales from days to decades. In addition to an improved understanding of the spatial-temporal characteristics of extreme rainfall processes (principally in the UK) the project is also assessing the influence of model parameterisations and resolution on the simulation of extreme rainfall events and processes. Under the project the UK Meteorological Office has run new RCM simulations

  8. Understanding and Improving High-Temperature Structural Properties of Metal-Silicide Intermetallics

    SciTech Connect

    Bruce S. Kang

    2005-10-10

    The objective of this project was to understand and improve high-temperature structural properties of metal-silicide intermetallic alloys. Through research collaboration between the research team at West Virginia University (WVU) and Dr. J.H. Schneibel at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), molybdenum silicide alloys were developed at ORNL and evaluated at WVU through atomistic modeling analyses, thermo-mechanical tests, and metallurgical studies. In this study, molybdenum-based alloys were ductilized by dispersing MgAl2O4 or MgO spinel particles. The addition of spinel particles is hypothesized to getter impurities such as oxygen and nitrogen from the alloy matrix with the result of ductility improvement. The introduction of fine dispersions has also been postulated to improve ductility by acting as a dislocation source or reducing dislocation pile-ups at grain boundaries. The spinel particles, on the other hand, can also act as local notches or crack initiation sites, which is detrimental to the alloy mechanical properties. Optimization of material processing condition is important to develop the desirable molybdenum alloys with sufficient room-temperature ductility. Atomistic analyses were conducted to further understand the mechanism of ductility improvement of the molybdenum alloys and the results showed that trace amount of residual oxygen may be responsible for the brittle behavior of the as-cast Mo alloys. For the alloys studied, uniaxial tensile tests were conducted at different loading rates, and at room and elevated temperatures. Thermal cycling effect on the mechanical properties was also studied. Tensile tests for specimens subjected to either ten or twenty thermal cycles were conducted. For each test, a follow-up detailed fractography and microstructural analysis were carried out. The test results were correlated to the size, density, distribution of the spinel particles and processing time. Thermal expansion tests were carried out using thermo

  9. Improved understanding of geologic CO{sub 2} storage processes requires risk-driven field experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Oldenburg, C.M.

    2011-06-01

    The need for risk-driven field experiments for CO{sub 2} geologic storage processes to complement ongoing pilot-scale demonstrations is discussed. These risk-driven field experiments would be aimed at understanding the circumstances under which things can go wrong with a CO{sub 2} capture and storage (CCS) project and cause it to fail, as distinguished from accomplishing this end using demonstration and industrial scale sites. Such risk-driven tests would complement risk-assessment efforts that have already been carried out by providing opportunities to validate risk models. In addition to experimenting with high-risk scenarios, these controlled field experiments could help validate monitoring approaches to improve performance assessment and guide development of mitigation strategies.

  10. Understanding the influence of educational attainment on kidney health and opportunities for improved care.

    PubMed

    Green, Jamie A; Cavanaugh, Kerri L

    2015-01-01

    Educational attainment is an important but often overlooked contributor to health outcomes in patients with kidney disease. Those with lower levels of education have an increased risk of ESRD, complications of peritoneal dialysis, worse transplant outcomes, and mortality. Mediators of these associations are poorly understood but involve a complex interplay between health knowledge, behaviors, and socioeconomic and psychosocial factors. Interventions targeting these aspects of care have the potential to reduce disparities related to educational attainment; however, few programs have been described that specifically address this issue. Future research efforts should not only systematically assess level of educational attainment but also report the differential impact of interventions across educational strata. In addition, routine measurement of health literacy may be useful to identify high-risk patients independent of years of schooling. A better understanding of the influence of educational attainment on kidney health provides an opportunity to improve the care and outcomes of vulnerable patients with kidney disease.

  11. Sexual dimorphism in immunity: improving our understanding of vaccine immune responses in men.

    PubMed

    Furman, David

    2015-03-01

    Weaker immune responses are often observed in males compared to females. Since female hormones have proinflammatory properties and androgens have potent immunomodulatory effects, this sexual dimorphism in the immune response seems to be hormone dependent. Despite our current knowledge about the effect of sex hormones on immune cells, definition of the factors driving the sex differences in immunoclinical outcomes, such as the diminished response to infection and vaccination observed in men or the higher rates of autoimmunity observed in females, remains elusive. Recently, systems approaches to immune function have started to suggest a way toward establishing this connection. Such studies promise to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the sexual dimorphism observed in the human immune system.

  12. Animal virus discovery: improving animal health, understanding zoonoses, and opportunities for vaccine development

    PubMed Central

    Delwart, Eric

    2012-01-01

    The characterization of viral genomes has accelerated due to improvement in DNA sequencing technology. Sources of animal samples and molecular methods for the identification of novel viral pathogens and steps to determine their pathogenicity are listed. The difficulties for predicting future cross-species transmissions are highlighted by the wide diversity of known viral zoonoses. Recent surveys of viruses in wild and domesticated animals have characterized numerous viruses including some closely related to those infecting humans. The detection of multiple genetic lineages within viral families infecting a single host species, phylogenetically interspersed with viruses found in other host species, reflects frequent past cross-species transmissions. Numerous opportunities for the generation of novel vaccines will arise from a better understanding of animal viromes. PMID:22463981

  13. Leveraging Conceptual Frameworks to Improve Students' Mental Organization of Astronomy Understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.; Lee, K. M.

    2006-06-01

    Many different types of schematic diagrams are useful in helping students organize and internalize their developing understanding in introductory astronomy courses. These include Venn Diagrams, Flowcharts, Concept Maps, among others, which illustrate the relationships between astronomical objects and dynamic concepts. These conceptual framework diagrams have been incorporated into the NSF-funded ClassAction project. ClassAction is a collection of electronic materials designed to enhance the metacognitive skills of college and university introductory astronomy survey students by promoting interactive engagement and providing rapid feedback in a highly visual setting. The main effort is targeted at creating dynamic think-pair-share questions supported by simulations, animations, and visualizations to be projected in the lecture classroom. The infrastructure allows instructors to recast these questions into alternative forms based on their own pedagogical preferences and feedback from the class. The recourses can be easily selected from a FLASH computer database and are accompanied by outlines, graphics, and numerous simulations which the instructor can use to provide student feedback and, when necessary, remediation. ClassAction materials are publicly available online at URL: http://astro.unl.edu and is funded by NSF Grant #0404988.

  14. Public health training center evaluation: a framework for using logic models to improve practice and educate the public health workforce.

    PubMed

    Freedman, Ariela M; Simmons, Sheena; Lloyd, Laura M; Redd, Tara R; Alperin, Melissa Moose; Salek, Sahar S; Swier, Lori; Miner, Kathleen R

    2014-03-01

    The nation's 37 public health training centers (PHTCs) provide competency-based trainings and practice-based opportunities to advance the current and future public health workforces. The Emory PHTC, based in Atlanta, Georgia, has developed a comprehensive evaluation plan to address the many evaluation-related questions that must be answered to inform decisions that improve practice. This plan, based on the center's logic model, includes formative assessment, outcome evaluation, process evaluation, and programmatic evaluation. Rigorous evaluation has been used to (a) assess what is working, what is not working, and why; (b) guide decision making about program improvement; and (c) ensure efficient use of resources, such as time and money. This article describes how the Emory PHTC uses its logic model to guide development of a comprehensive evaluation plan and to create specific data collection tools. It also explains the process used to analyze data and make decisions to maximize effectiveness and ensure the best use of resources. Simply conducting trainings and providing opportunities for real-world application are not enough; it is critical to assess whether or not these educational opportunities are, in fact, educating.

  15. An improved conceptual understanding of snowmelt and groundwater dynamics in the semi-arid Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sproles, Eric; Hevia, Andres; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe

    2016-04-01

    The contribution of snowmelt to groundwater has long been recognized as an important component of the hydrological cycle in semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°S). Despite its importance as a water resource, this transition to groundwater remains poorly understood. Climatically, the High Cordillera in northern central Chile receives approximately 10 times as much annual precipitation as the valley bottoms, falling almost exclusively as snow above 3500 m during the winter months. Geologically, the High Cordillera is characterized by steep topography and a highly dissected landscape underlain by bedrock. Groundwater stores in the mountain headwaters are assumed to be constrained to the valley bottoms. The current working hypothesis of watershed processes in the High Cordillera describes fluxes of spring melt moving through the hillslope via local flowpaths to valley aquifers that recharge streams throughout the headwater reaches. Previous studies in the region indicate Pre-Cordilleran aquifers, located in lower elevation dry ephemeral valleys, are hydrologically disconnected from the High Cordillera. These watersheds have no seasonal snowpack, and recharge occurs primarily during infrequent rain events. These isolated Pre-Cordilleran aquifers serve as an important water resource for rural residents and infrastructure. We present stable isotope, geochemical, and groundwater level data from the wet El Niño winter of 2015 that suggests a topographically disconnected aquifer in the Pre-Cordillera received considerable recharge from High Cordillera snowmelt. These novel findings are indicative of deep groundwater flow paths between the Pre- and High Cordillera during the wet winter and spring of 2015, and improve the conceptual understanding of hydrological processes in the region. Additionally, these results will directly benefit groundwater management in the Pre-Cordillera and better inform modeling efforts in the High Cordillera. While this study is limited to

  16. Active learning to understand infectious disease models and improve policy making.

    PubMed

    Willem, Lander; Stijven, Sean; Vladislavleva, Ekaterina; Broeckhove, Jan; Beutels, Philippe; Hens, Niel

    2014-04-01

    Modeling plays a major role in policy making, especially for infectious disease interventions but such models can be complex and computationally intensive. A more systematic exploration is needed to gain a thorough systems understanding. We present an active learning approach based on machine learning techniques as iterative surrogate modeling and model-guided experimentation to systematically analyze both common and edge manifestations of complex model runs. Symbolic regression is used for nonlinear response surface modeling with automatic feature selection. First, we illustrate our approach using an individual-based model for influenza vaccination. After optimizing the parameter space, we observe an inverse relationship between vaccination coverage and cumulative attack rate reinforced by herd immunity. Second, we demonstrate the use of surrogate modeling techniques on input-response data from a deterministic dynamic model, which was designed to explore the cost-effectiveness of varicella-zoster virus vaccination. We use symbolic regression to handle high dimensionality and correlated inputs and to identify the most influential variables. Provided insight is used to focus research, reduce dimensionality and decrease decision uncertainty. We conclude that active learning is needed to fully understand complex systems behavior. Surrogate models can be readily explored at no computational expense, and can also be used as emulator to improve rapid policy making in various settings.

  17. How does sport psychology actually improve athletic performance? A framework to facilitate athletes' and coaches' understanding.

    PubMed

    Gee, Chris J

    2010-09-01

    The popularity of sport psychology, both as an academic discipline and an applied practice, has grown substantially over the past two decades. Few within the realm of competitive athletics would argue with the importance of being mentally prepared prior to an athletic competition as well as the need to maintain that particular mindset during a competitive contest. Nevertheless, recent research has shown that many athletes, coaches, and sporting administrators are still quite reluctant to seek out the services of a qualified sport psychologist, even if they believe it could help. One of the primary reasons for this hesitation appears to be a lack of understanding about the process and the mechanisms by which these mental skills affect performance. Unlike the "harder sciences" of sport physiology and biochemistry where athletes can see the tangible results in themselves or other athletes (e.g., he or she lifted weights, developed larger muscles, and is now stronger/faster as a result), the unfamiliar and often esoteric nature of sport psychology appears to be impeding a large number of athletes from soliciting these important services. As such, the purpose of this article is to provide the reader with a simple framework depicting how mental skills training translates into improved within-competition performance. This framework is intended to help bridge the general "understanding gap" that is currently being reported by a large number of athletes and coaches, while also helping sport psychology practitioners sell their valuable services to individual athletes and teams.

  18. Active Learning to Understand Infectious Disease Models and Improve Policy Making

    PubMed Central

    Vladislavleva, Ekaterina; Broeckhove, Jan; Beutels, Philippe; Hens, Niel

    2014-01-01

    Modeling plays a major role in policy making, especially for infectious disease interventions but such models can be complex and computationally intensive. A more systematic exploration is needed to gain a thorough systems understanding. We present an active learning approach based on machine learning techniques as iterative surrogate modeling and model-guided experimentation to systematically analyze both common and edge manifestations of complex model runs. Symbolic regression is used for nonlinear response surface modeling with automatic feature selection. First, we illustrate our approach using an individual-based model for influenza vaccination. After optimizing the parameter space, we observe an inverse relationship between vaccination coverage and cumulative attack rate reinforced by herd immunity. Second, we demonstrate the use of surrogate modeling techniques on input-response data from a deterministic dynamic model, which was designed to explore the cost-effectiveness of varicella-zoster virus vaccination. We use symbolic regression to handle high dimensionality and correlated inputs and to identify the most influential variables. Provided insight is used to focus research, reduce dimensionality and decrease decision uncertainty. We conclude that active learning is needed to fully understand complex systems behavior. Surrogate models can be readily explored at no computational expense, and can also be used as emulator to improve rapid policy making in various settings. PMID:24743387

  19. Improving conservation outcomes with a new paradigm for understanding species’ fundamental and realized adaptive capacity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik; O’Leary, John; Mengelt, Claudia; West, Jordan M.; Julius, Susan; Green, Nancy; Magness, Dawn; Petes, Laura E.; Stein, Bruce A.; Nicotra, Adrienne B; Hellmann, Jessica J; Robertson, Amanda L; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Rosenberg, Andrew A.; Babij, Eleanora; Brennan, Jean; Schuurman, Gregor W; Hofmann, Gretchen E

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, many species are responding to ongoing climate change with shifts in distribution, abundance, phenology, or behavior. Consequently, natural-resource managers face increasingly urgent conservation questions related to biodiversity loss, expansion of invasive species, and deteriorating ecosystem services. We argue that our ability to address these questions is hampered by the lack of explicit consideration of species’ adaptive capacity (AC). AC is the ability of a species or population to cope with climatic changes and is characterized by three fundamental components: phenotypic plasticity, dispersal ability, and genetic diversity. However, few studies simultaneously address all elements; often, AC is confused with sensitivity or omitted altogether from climate-change vulnerability assessments. Improved understanding, consistent definition, and comprehensive evaluations of AC are needed. Using classic ecological-niche theory as an analogy, we propose a new paradigm that considers fundamental and realized AC: the former reflects aspects inherent to species, whereas the latter denotes how extrinsic factors constrain AC to what is actually expressed or observed. Through this conceptualization, we identify ecological attributes contributing to AC, outline areas of research necessary to advance understanding of AC, and provide examples demonstrating how the inclusion of AC can better inform conservation and natural-resource management.

  20. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of below-ground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes.

    PubMed

    McCormack, M Luke; Dickie, Ian A; Eissenstat, David M; Fahey, Timothy J; Fernandez, Christopher W; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Heljä-Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A; Iversen, Colleen M; Jackson, Robert B; Leppälammi-Kujansuu, Jaana; Norby, Richard J; Phillips, Richard P; Pregitzer, Kurt S; Pritchard, Seth G; Rewald, Boris; Zadworny, Marcin

    2015-08-01

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain because of the challenges of consistently measuring and interpreting fine-root systems. Traditionally, fine roots have been defined as all roots ≤ 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. Here, we demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, fine roots are either separated into individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine-root pool. Using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally - a c. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. Future work developing tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi into fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand below-ground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.

  1. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of belowground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes

    SciTech Connect

    McCormack, M. Luke; Dickie, Ian A.; Eissenstat, David M.; Fahey, Timothy J.; Fernandez, Christopher W.; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Helja -Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Jackson, Robert B.; Leppälammi-Kujansuu, Jaana; Norby, Richard J.; Phillips, Richard P.; Pregitzer, Kurt S.; Pritchard, Seth G.; Rewald, Boris; Zadworny, Marcin

    2015-03-10

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain due to challenges in consistent measurement and interpretation of fine-root systems. We define fine roots as all roots less than or equal to 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. We demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, fine roots are separated into either individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine root pool. Furthermore, using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally a ca. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. In the future we hope to develop tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi in fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand belowground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.

  2. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of belowground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes

    DOE PAGES

    McCormack, M. Luke; Dickie, Ian A.; Eissenstat, David M.; ...

    2015-03-10

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain due to challenges in consistent measurement and interpretation of fine-root systems. We define fine roots as all roots less than or equal to 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. We demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, finemore » roots are separated into either individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine root pool. Furthermore, using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally a ca. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. In the future we hope to develop tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi in fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand belowground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.« less

  3. Using Computer-Based Visualization Strategies to Improve Students' Understanding of Molecular Polarity and Miscibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanger, Michael J.; Badger, Steven M., II

    2001-10-01

    This study reports how instruction including visualization strategies associated with computer animations and electron density plots affected students' conceptual understanding of two chemistry topics. Two sets of students responded to several conceptual questions about molecular polarities and miscibilities and these responses were compared. One group received instruction including the use of wooden model kits and physical demonstrations; the other received similar instruction with the additional use of computer animations and electron-density plots. Students who viewed electron-density plots were more likely to identify symmetric molecules with polar bonds as being nonpolar and provided more complete descriptions of how soap molecules help remove grease from an object. Students who viewed computer animations and electron density plots were also more likely to explain that the intermolecular attractions among water molecules are responsible for the immiscibility of oil and water, and were more likely to recognize that water molecules are attracted to each other and to sodium and chloride ions but are not strongly attracted to hydrogen molecules. Although other studies have shown that computer animations can improve students' conceptual understanding of chemistry, this is the first to demonstrate that electron-density plots mapped with electrostatic potentials can also be an effective visualization strategy.

  4. Identifying continuous quality improvement publications: what makes an improvement intervention ‘CQI’?

    PubMed Central

    Hempel, Susanne; Lim, Yee-Wei; Danz, Marjorie S; Foy, Robbie; Suttorp, Marika J; Shekelle, Paul G; Rubenstein, Lisa V

    2011-01-01

    Background The term continuous quality improvement (CQI) is often used to refer to a method for improving care, but no consensus statement exists on the definition of CQI. Evidence reviews are critical for advancing science, and depend on reliable definitions for article selection. Methods As a preliminary step towards improving CQI evidence reviews, this study aimed to use expert panel methods to identify key CQI definitional features and develop and test a screening instrument for reliably identifying articles with the key features. We used a previously published method to identify 106 articles meeting the general definition of a quality improvement intervention (QII) from 9427 electronically identified articles from PubMed. Two raters then applied a six-item CQI screen to the 106 articles. Results Per cent agreement ranged from 55.7% to 75.5% for the six items, and reviewer-adjusted intra-class correlation ranged from 0.43 to 0.62. ‘Feedback of systematically collected data’ was the most common feature (64%), followed by being at least ‘somewhat’ adapted to local conditions (61%), feedback at meetings involving participant leaders (46%), using an iterative development process (40%), being at least ‘somewhat’ data driven (34%), and using a recognised change method (28%). All six features were present in 14.2% of QII articles. Conclusions We conclude that CQI features can be extracted from QII articles with reasonable reliability, but only a small proportion of QII articles include all features. Further consensus development is needed to support meaningful use of the term CQI for scientific communication. PMID:21727199

  5. Biologising parenting: neuroscience discourse, English social and public health policy and understandings of the child

    PubMed Central

    Lowe, Pam; Lee, Ellie; Macvarish, Jan

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, claims about children's developing brains have become central to the formation of child health and welfare policies in England. While these policies assert that they are based on neuro-scientific discoveries, their relationship to neuroscience itself has been debated. However, what is clear is that they portray a particular understanding of children and childhood, one that is marked by a lack of acknowledgment of child personhood. Using an analysis of key government-commissioned reports and additional advocacy documents, this article illustrates the ways that the mind of the child is reduced to the brain, and this brain comes to represent the child. It is argued that a highly reductionist and limiting construction of the child is produced, alongside the idea that parenting is the main factor in child development. It is concluded that this focus on children's brains, with its accompanying deterministic perspective on parenting, overlooks children's embodied lives and this has implications for the design of children's health and welfare services. PMID:25683275

  6. Identifying quality improvement intervention publications - A comparison of electronic search strategies

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The evidence base for quality improvement (QI) interventions is expanding rapidly. The diversity of the initiatives and the inconsistency in labeling these as QI interventions makes it challenging for researchers, policymakers, and QI practitioners to access the literature systematically and to identify relevant publications. Methods We evaluated search strategies developed for MEDLINE (Ovid) and PubMed based on free text words, Medical subject headings (MeSH), QI intervention components, continuous quality improvement (CQI) methods, and combinations of the strategies. Three sets of pertinent QI intervention publications were used for validation. Two independent expert reviewers screened publications for relevance. We compared the yield, recall rate, and precision of the search strategies for the identification of QI publications and for a subset of empirical studies on effects of QI interventions. Results The search yields ranged from 2,221 to 216,167 publications. Mean recall rates for reference publications ranged from 5% to 53% for strategies with yields of 50,000 publications or fewer. The 'best case' strategy, a simple text word search with high face validity ('quality' AND 'improv*' AND 'intervention*') identified 44%, 24%, and 62% of influential intervention articles selected by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) experts, a set of exemplar articles provided by members of the Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE) group, and a sample from the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care Group (EPOC) register of studies, respectively. We applied the search strategy to a PubMed search for articles published in 10 pertinent journals in a three-year period which retrieved 183 publications. Among these, 67% were deemed relevant to QI by at least one of two independent raters. Forty percent were classified as empirical studies reporting on a QI intervention. Conclusions The presented search terms and

  7. Bovine brucellosis in wildlife: using adaptive management to improve understanding, technology and suppression.

    PubMed

    White, P J; Treanor, J J; Geremia, C; Wallen, R L; Blanton, D W; Hallac, D E

    2013-04-01

    Eradication of brucellosis from bison (Bison bison) and elk (Cervus elaphus) populations in the Greater Yellowstone Area is not possible with current technology. There are considerable uncertainties regarding the effectiveness of management techniques and unintended effects on wildlife behaviour and demography. However, adaptive management provides a framework for learning about the disease, improving suppression techniques, and lowering brucellosis transmission among wildlife and to cattle. Since it takes approximately three years after birth for female bison to become reproductively active and contribute to brucellosis transmission, there is an opportunity to implement actions such as vaccination and the selective removal of infectious bison based on age and assay results to reduce the potential for transmission. Older adult bison that have been exposed to the bacteria, but recovered from acute infection, could be retained in the population to provide some immunity (resistance) against future transmission. Through careful predictions, research, and monitoring, our understanding and technology will be improved and management actions can be adjusted to better achieve desired outcomes.

  8. Understanding and improving the one and three times GDP per capita cost-effectiveness thresholds.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Lisa A; Hammitt, James K; Chang, Angela Y; Resch, Stephen

    2017-02-01

    Researchers and policymakers have long been interested in developing simple decision rules to aid in determining whether an intervention is, or is not, cost-effective. In global health, interventions that impose costs per disability-adjusted life year averted less than three and one times gross domestic product per capita are often considered cost-effective and very cost-effective, respectively. This article explores the conceptual foundation and derivation of these thresholds. Its goal is to promote understanding of how these thresholds were derived and their implications, as well as to suggest options for improvement. These thresholds are intended to reflect the monetary value of the benefits to affected individuals, based on their preferences for spending on health vs spending on other goods and services. However, the current values were not rigorously derived, which means that their application may lead to inappropriate conclusions regarding which interventions should be adopted as well as misallocation of resources across health and other investments. Improving the basis for these cost-effectiveness thresholds is of particular importance in low- and middle-income countries, given the limited resources available and the significant needs of their populations.

  9. Progress in Understanding Degradation Mechanisms and Improving Stability in Organic Photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Mateker, William R; McGehee, Michael D

    2017-03-01

    Understanding the degradation mechanisms of organic photovoltaics is particularly important, as they tend to degrade faster than their inorganic counterparts, such as silicon and cadmium telluride. An overview is provided here of the main degradation mechanisms that researchers have identified so far that cause extrinsic degradation from oxygen and water, intrinsic degradation in the dark, and photo-induced burn-in. In addition, it provides methods for researchers to identify these mechanisms in new materials and device structures to screen them more quickly for promising long-term performance. These general strategies will likely be helpful in other photovoltaic technologies that suffer from insufficient stability, such as perovskite solar cells. Finally, the most promising lifetime results are highlighted and recommendations to improve long-term performance are made. To prevent degradation from oxygen and water for sufficiently long time periods, OPVs will likely need to be encapsulated by barrier materials with lower permeation rates of oxygen and water than typical flexible substrate materials. To improve stability at operating temperatures, materials will likely require glass transition temperatures above 100 °C. Methods to prevent photo-induced burn-in are least understood, but recent research indicates that using pure materials with dense and ordered film morphologies can reduce the burn-in effect.

  10. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: Functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement

    PubMed Central

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-01-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. PMID:24092674

  11. Public involvement in suicide prevention: understanding and strengthening lay responses to distress

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Christabel; Owen, Gareth; Lambert, Helen; Donovan, Jenny; Belam, Judith; Rapport, Frances; Lloyd, Keith

    2009-01-01

    Background The slogan "Suicide prevention is everyone's business" has been used in a number of campaigns worldwide in recent years, but most research into suicide prevention has focused on the role of medical professionals in identifying and managing risk. Little consideration has been given to the role that lay people can play in suicide prevention, or to the resources they need in order to do so. The majority of people who take their own lives are not under the care of specialist mental health services, and around half have not had recent contact with their general practitioner. These individuals are not known to be 'at risk' and there is little or no opportunity for clinical intervention. Family members and friends may be the only ones to know that a person is troubled or distressed, and their capacity to recognise, assess and respond to that distress is therefore vitally important. This study aims to discover what the suicidal process looks like from the point of view of relatives and friends and to gain insight into the complex and difficult judgements that people have to make when trying to support a distressed individual. Methods/Design The study uses qualitative methods to build up a detailed picture of 15–20 completed suicides, aged 18–34. Data are gathered by means of in-depth interviews with relatives, friends and others who knew the deceased well. In each case, as many informants as possible are sought using a purposive snowballing technique. Interviews focus on the family and social network of the deceased, the ways in which relatives and friends interpreted and responded to his/her distress, the potential for intervention that may have existed within the lay network and the knowledge, skills and other resources that would have helped members to support the distressed individual more effectively. Discussion The study will inform interventions to promote public mental health awareness and will provide a basis on which to develop community

  12. Multicriteria analysis of environmental quality in Taipei: public preferences and improvement strategies.

    PubMed

    Tzeng, Gwo-Hshiung; Tsaur, Sheng-Hshiung; Laiw, Yiou-Dong; Opricovic, Serafim

    2002-06-01

    The public preferences for environmental quality should be a primary consideration of planners and decision-makers in environmental systems planning. In the first stage of multicriteria analysis, a multi-attribute evaluation model for determining public preferences is formulated. The environmental indices are defined for a comparison of environmental quality in different metropolitan districts. The public preferences of the environmental quality in Taipei are obtained using the weighted average rating method. The results indicate air quality and noise pollution as main public concern. In the second stage of multicriteria analysis, strategies are proposed to improve the air quality, and criteria are established. The experts evaluated all alternative strategies according to the criteria. The alternatives are ranked applying the compromise ranking method.

  13. Public-private integrated partnerships demonstrate the potential to improve health care access, quality, and efficiency.

    PubMed

    Sekhri, Neelam; Feachem, Richard; Ni, Angela

    2011-08-01

    Around the world, publicly owned and run health services face challenges. In poor countries in particular, health services are characterized by such problems as inadequate infrastructure and equipment, frequent shortages of medicines and supplies, and low quality of care. Increasingly, both developed- and developing-country governments are embracing public-private partnerships to harness private financing and expertise to achieve public policy goals. An innovative form of these partnerships is the public-private integrated partnership, which goes a step further than more common hospital building and maintenance arrangements, by combining infrastructure renewal with delivery of clinical services. We describe the benefits and risks inherent in such integrated partnerships and present three case studies that demonstrate innovative design. We conclude that these partnerships have the potential to improve access, quality, and efficiency in health care. More such partnerships should be launched and rigorously evaluated, and their lessons should be widely shared to guide policy makers in the effective use of this model.

  14. Student Feedback Sensitivity and the Efficacy of Feedback Interventions in Public Speaking Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Camille; King, Paul

    2004-01-01

    Although feedback from teachers to students occupies a central role in learning and instruction, the manner in which feedback functions in performance improvement remains unclear. The current study examined how students' sensitivity to feedback and variations in the wording of feedback messages impacted public speaking performance. Results…

  15. IMPROVING INSTRUCTION IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS THROUGH TITLE III OF THE NDEA.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    GAARDER, A. BRUCE

    THIS REPORT COVERS THE ACTIVITIES WHICH OCCURRED DURING FISCAL YEAR 1964, UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF TITLE III OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE EDUCATION ACT. IT REPORTS THE MAJOR FEDERAL-STATE-LOCAL JOINT EFFORTS TO IMPROVE INSTRUCTION IN THE PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP AT THE STATE LEVEL AND THE…

  16. How Can Community Colleges Work with the Media to Improve Their Public Image?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gehrung, Fred; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Essays by four public relations specialists--Fred Gehrung, Jane Johnson, and D. Richard Petrizzo and Marlene Stubler--discuss how community colleges can increase their coverage in the media. Suggests ways of improving relations with the press and bringing newsworthy stories to the media's attention. (DMM)

  17. Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Council on Teacher Quality, 2012

    2012-01-01

    In partnership with the Urban League of Greater Miami, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released "Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in Miami," an in-depth study of the work rules Miami-Dade teachers. This look at the state of teacher policies in Miami-Dade County Public Schools explores the…

  18. DSSTOX WEBSITE LAUNCH: IMPROVING PUBLIC ACCESS TO DATABASES FOR BUILDING STRUCTURE-TOXICITY PREDICTION MODELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    DSSTox Website Launch: Improving Public Access to Databases for Building Structure-Toxicity Prediction Models
    Ann M. Richard
    US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

    Distributed: Decentralized set of standardized, field-delimited databases,...

  19. STANDARDIZATION AND STRUCTURAL ANNOTATION OF PUBLIC TOXICITY DATABASES: IMPROVING SAR CAPABILITIES AND LINKAGE TO 'OMICS DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Standardization and structural annotation of public toxicity databases: Improving SAR capabilities and linkage to 'omics data
    Ann M. Richard', ClarLynda Williams', Jamie Burch2
    'Nat Health & Environ Res Lab, US EPA, RTP, NC 27711; 2EPA/NC Central Univ Student COOP Trainee<...

  20. What does "a gene for heart disease" mean? A focus group study of public understandings of genetic risk factors.

    PubMed

    Bates, Benjamin R; Templeton, Alan; Achter, Paul J; Harris, Tina M; Condit, Celeste M

    2003-06-01

    There is growing concern in the medical community about potential genetic determinism in the patient population. Limited information about the public understanding of genetic factors in disease formation is available. To access public perceptions of potentially deterministic phrasing of genetic risk factors, we sought to establish interpretations of the phrase, "a gene for heart disease." Focus groups in urban, suburban, and rural communities were conducted from July through October, 2001 in Georgia. A total of 108 participants were recruited. Participants were recruited to balance sex and racial representation. We used three outcome measures for participants understandings of the phrase: (1) participants' statements of the meaning of the phrase; (2) the level of determinism assigned to genetic factors by participants; and (3) participant reports of the health consequences of having "a gene for heart disease." Participants did not report a single interpretation of the phrase. There were dominant participant interpretations under each outcome measure: (1) "a gene for heart disease" was interpreted as meaning genetic and environmental factors both played roles in disease formation; (2) genetic predisposition was perceived as heightened, not absolute, risk; (3) the perceived health impact was a greater risk of becoming sick. Minority interpretations were found under each measure. Overall, naming "a gene for heart disease" does not appear to have a deterministic impact on a plurality of participants' perceptions of risks associated with genetic factors. Genetic fatalism in patient populations may be confined to a sizable minority. Important considerations for provider intervention and patient education are indicated.

  1. Human exposure monitoring and evaluation in the Arctic: the importance of understanding exposures to the development of public health policy.

    PubMed

    Suk, William A; Avakian, Maureen D; Carpenter, David; Groopman, John D; Scammell, Madeleine; Wild, Christopher P

    2004-02-01

    Arctic indigenous peoples face significant challenges resulting from the contamination of Arctic air, water, and soil by persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, and radionuclides. International cooperative efforts among governments and research institutions are under way to collect the information needed by environmental health scientists and public health officials to address environmental contamination in the Arctic. However, the climatic, political, and cultural conditions of the land and its native populations combine to present a unique set of scientific and logistic challenges to addressing this important public health issue. Public health officials have the responsibility to respect the cultural traditions of indigenous communities, while simultaneously designing strategies that will reduce their exposure to environmental contaminants and rates of disease and dysfunction. Researchers can better understand the link between environmental exposures and disease through monitoring programs for both the subsistence diets and health status of the indigenous populations. We suggest that the incorporation of community-based participatory research methods into programs designed to assess biomarkers of contaminant exposure in children and adults may be a valuable addition to ongoing and newly developed research programs. This approach could serve as a model for international environmental health initiatives, because it involves the participation of the local communities and seeks to builds trust between all stakeholders.

  2. Human exposure monitoring and evaluation in the Arctic: the importance of understanding exposures to the development of public health policy.

    PubMed Central

    Suk, William A; Avakian, Maureen D; Carpenter, David; Groopman, John D; Scammell, Madeleine; Wild, Christopher P

    2004-01-01

    Arctic indigenous peoples face significant challenges resulting from the contamination of Arctic air, water, and soil by persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, and radionuclides. International cooperative efforts among governments and research institutions are under way to collect the information needed by environmental health scientists and public health officials to address environmental contamination in the Arctic. However, the climatic, political, and cultural conditions of the land and its native populations combine to present a unique set of scientific and logistic challenges to addressing this important public health issue. Public health officials have the responsibility to respect the cultural traditions of indigenous communities, while simultaneously designing strategies that will reduce their exposure to environmental contaminants and rates of disease and dysfunction. Researchers can better understand the link between environmental exposures and disease through monitoring programs for both the subsistence diets and health status of the indigenous populations. We suggest that the incorporation of community-based participatory research methods into programs designed to assess biomarkers of contaminant exposure in children and adults may be a valuable addition to ongoing and newly developed research programs. This approach could serve as a model for international environmental health initiatives, because it involves the participation of the local communities and seeks to builds trust between all stakeholders. PMID:14757538

  3. "Know What to Do If You Encounter a Flash Flood": Mental Models Analysis for Improving Flash Flood Risk Communication and Public Decision Making.

    PubMed

    Lazrus, Heather; Morss, Rebecca E; Demuth, Julie L; Lazo, Jeffrey K; Bostrom, Ann

    2016-02-01

    Understanding how people view flash flood risks can help improve risk communication, ultimately improving outcomes. This article analyzes data from 26 mental models interviews about flash floods with members of the public in Boulder, Colorado, to understand their perspectives on flash flood risks and mitigation. The analysis includes a comparison between public and professional perspectives by referencing a companion mental models study of Boulder-area professionals. A mental models approach can help to diagnose what people already know about flash flood risks and responses, as well as any critical gaps in their knowledge that might be addressed through improved risk communication. A few public interviewees mentioned most of the key concepts discussed by professionals as important for flash flood warning decision making. However, most interviewees exhibited some incomplete understandings and misconceptions about aspects of flash flood development and exposure, effects, or mitigation that may lead to ineffective warning decisions when a flash flood threatens. These include important misunderstandings about the rapid evolution of flash floods, the speed of water in flash floods, the locations and times that pose the greatest flash flood risk in Boulder, the value of situational awareness and environmental cues, and the most appropriate responses when a flash flood threatens. The findings point to recommendations for ways to improve risk communication, over the long term and when an event threatens, to help people quickly recognize and understand threats, obtain needed information, and make informed decisions in complex, rapidly evolving extreme weather events such as flash floods.

  4. Surveillance should be strengthened to improve epidemiological understandings of mosquito-borne Barmah Forest virus infection

    PubMed Central

    Eastwood, Keith; Webb, Cameron; Durrheim, David

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Barmah Forest virus (BFV) is a mosquito-borne virus causing epidemic polyarthritis in Australia. This study used case follow-up of cases from the surveillance system to demonstrate that routinely collected BFV notification data were an unreliable indicator of the true location of exposure. Methods BFV notifications from June 2001 to May 2011 were extracted from the New South Wales (NSW) Notifiable Conditions Information Management System to study case distribution. Disease cluster analysis was performed using spatial scan statistics. Exposure history data were collected from cases notified in 2010 and 2011 to accurately determine travel to high-risk areas. Results Cluster analysis using address data identified an area of increased BFV disease incidence in the mid-north coast of NSW contiguous with estuarine wetlands. When travel to this area was investigated, 96.7% (29/30) cases reported having visited coastal regions within four weeks of developing symptoms. Discussion Along the central NSW coastline, extensive wetlands occur in close proximity to populated areas. These wetlands provide ideal breeding habitats for a range of mosquito species implicated in the transmission of BFV. This is the first study to fully assess case exposure with findings suggesting that sporadic cases of BFV in people living further away from the coast do not reflect alternative exposure sites but are likely to result from travel to coastal regions. Spatial analysis by case address alone may lead to inaccurate understandings of the true distribution of arboviral diseases. Subsequently, this information has important implications for the collection of mosquito-borne disease surveillance information and public health response strategies. PMID:23908926

  5. Evaluating, understanding and improving the quality of clinical placements for undergraduate nurses: A practice development approach.

    PubMed

    Courtney-Pratt, Helen; Ford, Karen; Marlow, Annette

    2015-11-01

    Supervision and support is central to sustainability of clinical placement experiences of undergraduate nurses, but open to influences that impact nurses' capacity to undertake the role. Whilst supervision of learners is integral to the role of health care professionals, the primary responsibility is to deliver safe and effective care. Supervision of learners in practice is impacted by low levels of organisational support, variable individual preparedness, and lack of feedback and recognition for the role from education and industry partners. Over a period of five years the Quality Clinical Placement Evaluation research team, consisting of a partnership between health care and tertiary sectors have developed, and utilised a practice development approach to understand and support the quality of clinical placement for undergraduates and supervising ward nurses involved in Tasmanian clinical placement programs. Importantly, the approach evolved over time to be a flexible three step program supporting the translation of findings to practice, comprised of an education session related to supervision support; survey distribution to undergraduates and supervising ward nurses following clinical placement; and workshops where stakeholders come together to consider findings of the survey, their experience and the local context, with resultant actions for change. This paper reports on findings from the program after successful implementation in urban tertiary hospitals as it was implemented in non-traditional clinical placement settings, including community, aged care and rural settings. Feedback from clinicians identifies the utility of the three step program across these settings. The unique partnerships and approach to evaluating, understanding and improving quality of clinical placements has potential for transferability to other areas, with the value of findings established for all stakeholders.

  6. Toward an improved understanding of the role of transpiration in critical zone dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitra, B.; Papuga, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important component of the total water balance across any ecosystem. In subalpine mixed-conifer ecosystems, transpiration (T) often dominates the total water flux and therefore improved understanding of T is critical for accurate assessment of catchment water balance and for understanding of the processes that governs the complex dynamics across critical zone (CZ). The interaction between T and plant vegetation not only modulates soil water balance but also influences water transit time and hydrochemical flux - key factors in our understanding of how the CZ evolves and responds. Unlike an eddy covariance system which provides only an integrated ET flux from an ecosystem, a sap flow system can provide an estimate of the T flux from the ecosystem. By isolating T, the ecohydrological drivers of this major water loss from the CZ can be identified. Still, the species composition of mixed-conifer ecosystems vary and the drivers of T associated with each species are expected to be different. Therefore, accurate quantification of T from a mixed-conifer requires knowledge of the unique transpiration dynamics of each of the tree species. Here, we installed a sap flow system within two mixed-conifer study sites of the Jemez River Basin - Santa Catalina Mountains Critical Zone Observatory (JRB - SCM CZO). At both sites, we identified the dominant tree species and installed sap flow sensors on healthy representatives for each of those species. At the JRB CZO site, sap sensors were installed in fir (4) and spruce (4) trees; at the SCM CZO site, sap sensors were installed at white fir (4) and maple (4) and one dead tree. Meteorological data as well as soil temperature (Ts) and soil moisture (θ) at multiple depths were also collected from each of the two sites. Preliminary analysis of two years of sap flux rate at JRB - SCM CZO shows that the environmental drivers of fir, spruce, and maple are different and also vary throughout the year. For JRB fir

  7. Development and Evaluation of an Intervention to Improve Further Education Students' Understanding of Higher Education Assessment Criteria: Three Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jessen, Anna; Elander, James

    2009-01-01

    This paper reports three studies about preparing Further Education (FE) students for the transition to Higher Education (HE) by improving their understanding of HE assessment criteria. In study 1, students and tutors in both FE and HE were interviewed for a qualitative analysis of their understandings and expectations about assessment criteria. In…

  8. Use of the Vocera Communications Badge Improves Public Safety Response Times

    PubMed Central

    Joslin, Jeremy D.; Goldberger, David; Johnson, Loretta; Waltz, D. Paul

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. Violence in the Emergency Department (ED) has been a long-standing issue complicated by deficiencies in staff training, ease of weapons access, and response availability of public safety officers. The Vocera Badge is being used by our staff to request public safety assistance in lieu of a formal phone call to the University Police Communications Center. We sought to learn if use of this technology improved officer response times to the ED. Methods. Mean response times were reviewed and descriptive statistics analyzed to determine if the use of the Vocera Badge improved public safety officer response times to the ED. Results. Average response times improved from an average of 3.2 minutes (SD = 0.456) in the 6 months before the use of the communication badges to an average of 1.02 minutes (SD = 0.319) in the 6 months after use began. Conclusions. The use of the Vocera Badge seemed to decrease response times of public safety officers to our ED compared with the traditional method of calling a dispatch center to request assistance. PMID:27127654

  9. Location-allocation and accessibility models for improving the spatial planning of public health services.

    PubMed

    Polo, Gina; Acosta, C Mera; Ferreira, Fernando; Dias, Ricardo Augusto

    2015-01-01

    This study integrated accessibility and location-allocation models in geographic information systems as a proposed strategy to improve the spatial planning of public health services. To estimate the spatial accessibility, we modified the two-step floating catchment area (2SFCA) model with a different impedance function, a Gaussian weight for competition among service sites, a friction coefficient, distances along a street network based on the Dijkstra's algorithm and by performing a vectorial analysis. To check the accuracy of the strategy, we used the data from the public sterilization program for the dogs and cats of Bogot´a, Colombia. Since the proposed strategy is independent of the service, it could also be applied to any other public intervention when the capacity of the service is known. The results of the accessibility model were consistent with the sterilization program data, revealing that the western, central and northern zones are the most isolated areas under the sterilization program. Spatial accessibility improvement was sought by relocating the sterilization sites using the maximum coverage with finite demand and the p-median models. The relocation proposed by the maximum coverage model more effectively maximized the spatial accessibility to the sterilization service given the non-uniform distribution of the populations of dogs and cats throughout the city. The implementation of the proposed strategy would provide direct benefits by improving the effectiveness of different public health interventions and the use of financial and human resources.

  10. Understanding Variability in Beach Slope to Improve Forecasts of Storm-induced Water Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doran, K. S.; Stockdon, H. F.; Long, J.

    2014-12-01

    The National Assessment of Hurricane-Induced Coastal Erosion Hazards combines measurements of beach morphology with storm hydrodynamics to produce forecasts of coastal change during storms for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastlines of the United States. Wave-induced water levels are estimated using modeled offshore wave height and period and measured beach slope (from dune toe to shoreline) through the empirical parameterization of Stockdon et al. (2006). Spatial and temporal variability in beach slope leads to corresponding variability in predicted wave setup and swash. Seasonal and storm-induced changes in beach slope can lead to differences on the order of a meter in wave runup elevation, making accurate specification of this parameter essential to skillful forecasts of coastal change. Spatial variation in beach slope is accounted for through alongshore averaging, but temporal variability in beach slope is not included in the final computation of the likelihood of coastal change. Additionally, input morphology may be years old and potentially very different than the conditions present during forecast storm. In order to improve our forecasts of hurricane-induced coastal erosion hazards, the temporal variability of beach slope must be included in the final uncertainty of modeled wave-induced water levels. Frequently collected field measurements of lidar-based beach morphology are examined for study sites in Duck, North Carolina, Treasure Island, Florida, Assateague Island, Virginia, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with some records extending over a period of 15 years. Understanding the variability of slopes at these sites will help provide estimates of associated water level uncertainty which can then be applied to other areas where lidar observations are infrequent, and improve the overall skill of future forecasts of storm-induced coastal change. Stockdon, H. F., Holman, R. A., Howd, P. A., and Sallenger Jr, A. H. (2006). Empirical parameterization of setup

  11. Assign a Writing Task to Improve Student Engagement at Public Lectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.

    2006-02-01

    Did you see the news? A famous scientist is going to be visiting a museum nearby and is giving a public lecture. You'll probably think to yourself, "Wow, this is a unique opportunity I want my students to experience!" But, as a new teacher, you might be totally surprised just how little students sometimes seem to gain from attending even the most entertaining public lecture. It seems to me that if we are knowledgeable about the processes of effective teaching and learning, we might be able to improve the chances that students will have a positive and perhaps life-guiding experience.

  12. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies: 1993. [Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the National Public Policy Education Committee (43rd, Clearwater Beach, Florida, September 12-15, 1993).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    The annual conference of the National Public Policy Education Committee (NPPEC) is held to improve the policy education efforts of extension workers responsible for public affairs programs. This publication contains 26 conference papers: "Rural America and the Information Revolution: An Exploration of Possibilities and Potentialities"…

  13. Improvements to the Interpretation and Understanding of SXR Tomography Measurements on MST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanmeter, Patrick; Franz, Paolo; Reusch, Lisa; Goetz, John; den Hartog, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    The soft x-ray (SXR) tomography system on MST uses four cameras in a double foil configuration to determine the emissivity and temperature structures of the plasma. The emissivity is due to a combination of bremsstrahlung, recombination, and line radiation due to impurities in the plasma. At higher energies recombination steps and line radiation are no longer present and can therefore be removed using thick filters. However, this limits the range of measurements to high temperature, high performance plasmas. Recent analysis focuses on including these additional sources of radiation in order to extend the effective range of SXR measurements and to explore the agreement of SXR measurements with other diagnostics like the external magnetic sensing coils. The SXR emissivity structure should directly correspond to the structure of the magnetic field; however, there is a discrepancy between the phase of the emissivity reconstructions and magnetic field reconstructions when using a cylindrical approximation to interpret the magnetic signals. This discrepancy was measured for each SXR camera viewing angle and for two distinct plasma conditions, with results supporting the interpretation that it emerges from physical effects of the toroidal geometry. Improving the understanding of these toroidal effects and the effects of radiation from impurity ions will aid in the interpretation of all SXR measurements. Supported by the US DOE.

  14. A belowground perspective on the drought sensitivity of forests: Towards improved understanding and simulation

    DOE PAGES

    Phillips, Richard P.; Ibanez, Ines; D’Orangeville, Loic; ...

    2016-09-13

    Predicted increases in the frequency and intensity of droughts across the temperate biome have highlighted the need to examine the extent to which forests may differ in their sensitivity to water stress. At present, a rich body of literature exists on how leaf- and stem-level physiology influence tree drought responses; however, less is known regarding the dynamic interactions that occur below ground between roots and soil physical and biological factors. Hence, there is a need to better understand how and why processes occurring below ground influence forest sensitivity to drought. Here, we review what is known about tree species’ belowmore » ground strategies for dealing with drought, and how physical and biological characteristics of soils interact with rooting strategies to influence forest sensitivity to drought. Then, we highlight how a below ground perspective of drought can be used in models to reduce uncertainty in predicting the ecosystem consequences of droughts in forests. Lastly, we describe the challenges and opportunities associated with managing forests under conditions of increasing drought frequency and intensity, and explain how a below ground perspective on drought may facilitate improved forest management.« less

  15. A belowground perspective on the drought sensitivity of forests: Towards improved understanding and simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, Richard P.; Ibanez, Ines; D’Orangeville, Loic; Hanson, Paul J.; Ryan, Michael G.; McDowell, Nathan G.

    2016-09-13

    Predicted increases in the frequency and intensity of droughts across the temperate biome have highlighted the need to examine the extent to which forests may differ in their sensitivity to water stress. At present, a rich body of literature exists on how leaf- and stem-level physiology influence tree drought responses; however, less is known regarding the dynamic interactions that occur below ground between roots and soil physical and biological factors. Hence, there is a need to better understand how and why processes occurring below ground influence forest sensitivity to drought. Here, we review what is known about tree species’ below ground strategies for dealing with drought, and how physical and biological characteristics of soils interact with rooting strategies to influence forest sensitivity to drought. Then, we highlight how a below ground perspective of drought can be used in models to reduce uncertainty in predicting the ecosystem consequences of droughts in forests. Lastly, we describe the challenges and opportunities associated with managing forests under conditions of increasing drought frequency and intensity, and explain how a below ground perspective on drought may facilitate improved forest management.

  16. Long-range correlations improve understanding of the influence of network structure on contact dynamics.

    PubMed

    Peyrard, N; Dieckmann, U; Franc, A

    2008-05-01

    Models of infectious diseases are characterized by a phase transition between extinction and persistence. A challenge in contemporary epidemiology is to understand how the geometry of a host's interaction network influences disease dynamics close to the critical point of such a transition. Here we address this challenge with the help of moment closures. Traditional moment closures, however, do not provide satisfactory predictions close to such critical points. We therefore introduce a new method for incorporating longer-range correlations into existing closures. Our method is technically simple, remains computationally tractable and significantly improves the approximation's performance. Our extended closures thus provide an innovative tool for quantifying the influence of interaction networks on spatially or socially structured disease dynamics. In particular, we examine the effects of a network's clustering coefficient, as well as of new geometrical measures, such as a network's square clustering coefficients. We compare the relative performance of different closures from the literature, with or without our long-range extension. In this way, we demonstrate that the normalized version of the Bethe approximation-extended to incorporate long-range correlations according to our method-is an especially good candidate for studying influences of network structure. Our numerical results highlight the importance of the clustering coefficient and the square clustering coefficient for predicting disease dynamics at low and intermediate values of transmission rate, and demonstrate the significance of path redundancy for disease persistence.

  17. Improved understanding and control of magnesium-doped gallium nitride by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnham, Shawn D.

    By an improved understanding of Mg-doped GaN through an exhaustive review of current limitations, increased control over the material was achieved by addressing several of these issues. To address the issues of the memory effect, low sticking coefficient and high vapor pressure of Mg, a new Mg dopant source was implemented, characterized and modeled for p-type doping of GaN. The device enhanced the sticking coefficient of Mg by energizing the outgoing Mg flux, and also allowed the first reported demonstration of an abrupt junction between two non-zero Mg concentrations and a graded Mg-doped GaN film. The significant compensation of Mg acceptors at high dopant concentrations was used advantageously to develop a new ex situ resistivity analysis technique using the energy distributions of SIMS to characterize doping of buried layers. The new technique was used to identify the barrier between conductive and resistive Mg doping for increased Mg concentration, which was then used to optimize Mg-doped GaN. Because Mg doping exhibits a dependence upon the growth regime, a new growth and regime characterization technique was developed using specific RHEED intensity responses to repeat growth conditions. During the development of this technique, a new surface kinetics growth model for III-nitrides was discovered based on DMS observations, which suggests preferential buildup of the metal bilayer before growth begins with an unfamiliar cation-anion exchange process initially upon metal shutter opening. Using the new RHEED growth and regime characterization technique, a new growth technique called metal modulated epitaxy (MME) was developed to increase repeatability, uniformity and smoothness. The MME technique was enhanced with a closed-loop control using real-time feedback from RHEED transients to control shutter transitions. This enhancement, called "smart shuttering," led to improved growth rate and further improvement of surface roughness and grain size, which were

  18. Using public policy to improve outcomes for asthmatic children in schools.

    PubMed

    Lynn, Jewlya; Oppenheimer, Sophie; Zimmer, Lorena

    2014-12-01

    School-based services to improve asthma management need to be accompanied by public policies that can help sustain services, scale effective interventions, create greater equity across schools, and improve outcomes for children. Several national organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have recommended specific public policies the adoption of which in school settings can improve asthma outcomes for children. Although many states and school districts have adopted some of these policies, adoption is not universal, and implementation is not always successful, leaving inequities in children's access to asthma services and supports. These issues can be addressed by changing public policy. Policy change is a complex process, but it is one that will benefit from greater involvement by asthma experts, including the researchers who generate the knowledge base on what services, supports, and policies have the best outcomes for children. Asthma experts can participate in the policy process by helping to build awareness of the need for school-based asthma policy, estimating the costs associated with policy options and with inaction, advocating for the selection of specific policies, assisting in implementation (including providing feedback), conducting the research that can evaluate the effectiveness of implementation, and ultimately providing information back into the policy process to allow for improvements to the policies.

  19. Polymer Solar Cells: Understanding Solvent Interactions and Morphology, and Strategies for Efficiency Improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Lilian

    Organic solar cells have the potential to be unrivaled in terms of processing cost, speed, and simplicity. The simplest of such devices consists of a single bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) active layer, in which the electron donor (conjugated polymer) and electron acceptor (fullerene) are deposited from a common solvent. The performance of BHJ solar cells is strongly correlated with the nanoscale structure of the active layer. Various processing techniques have been explored to improve the nanoscale morphology of the BHJ layer, e.g. by varying the casting solvent, thermal annealing, solvent annealing, and solvent additives. An understanding of the role of residual solvent in the BHJ layer is imperative in order to develop strategies for morphology stabilization and preserve the longevity of the device. This work highlights the effect of residual solvents on acceptor, (6,6)-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) diffusion and ultimately the stability of the morphology. We first show that solvent is retained within the BHJ film despite prolonged heat treatment, leading to extensive phase separation between poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and PCBM. We then show that the addition of a small volume fraction of nitrobenzene to the casting solution inhibits the diffusion of PCBM in the film and improves the fill factor of the BHJ device without further tempering. Other commonly used additives for morphology improvement were also investigated, i.e. 1,8-diiodooctane and 1-chloronaphthalene. We show that the choice of solvent additives has direct implications on morphological evolution, i.e. P3HT:PCBM BHJ films processed with a small amount of 1,8-diiodooctane or 1-chloronaphthalene have more crystalline PCBM domains compared to crystalline P3HT domains, while the opposite is true for films cast with nitrobenzene additive and films cast purely from chlorobenzene. The BHJ film cross-links when annealed at 300°C in the presence of 1,8-diiodooctane. Cross-linking is found to

  20. Nacherzeugung, Nachverstehen: A phenomenological perspective on how public understanding of science changes by engaging with online media.

    PubMed

    Roth, Wolff-Michael; Friesen, Norm

    2014-10-01

    It is widely acknowledged in science education that everyday understandings and evidence are generally inconsistent with the scientific view of the matter: "heartache" has little to do with matters cardiopulmonary, and a rising or setting sun actually reflects the movements of the earth. How then does a member of the general public, which in many areas of science is characterized as "illiterate" and "non-scientific," come to regard something scientifically? Moreover, how do traditional unscientific (e.g., Ptolemaic) views continue their lives, even many centuries after scientists have overthrown them in what are termed scientific (e.g., Copernican) revolutions? In this study, we develop a phenomenological perspective, using Edmund Husserl's categories of Nacherzeugung and Nachverstehen, which provide descriptive explanations for our observations. These observations are contextualized in a case study using online video and historical materials concerning the motions of the heart and blood to exemplify our explanations.

  1. Understanding Teacher Effectiveness: Significant State Data Capacity Is Required to Measure and Improve Teacher Effectiveness. Data for Action 2012

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2012

    2012-01-01

    States are increasingly focused on understanding and improving teacher effectiveness. There are several funding opportunities that incentivize states to use data to inform measurements of teacher effectiveness. Local, state, and federal efforts support using data to improve teacher preparation programs. Preparation programs seek "access to data…

  2. Blogging the Stories of Citizen Science to Inspire Participation, Build Community, and Increase Public Understanding of Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardiner, L. S.; Cavalier, D.; Ohab, J.; Taylor, L.

    2011-12-01

    Sharing citizen science projects and the experiences that people have with science through blogs provides avenues to foster public understanding of science and showcase ways that people can get involved. Blogs, combined with other social media such as Twitter and Facebook, make science social - adding a human element to the process of scientific discovery. We have been sharing stories of citizen science through two blogs. Intended for a general public audience. The Science for Citizens blog (http://scienceforcitizens.net/blog/) was started in 2010 and links blog posts to a growing network of citizen science projects. Citizen Science Buzz (http://www.talkingscience.org/category/citizen-science-buzz/) was started in 2011 on the TalkingScience blog network, a project of the Science Friday Initiative. Both blogs aim to increase the exposure of citizen science projects, inspire people to do citizen science, and connect people with projects that interest them. The timeliness of blogs also provides a good platform for sharing information about one-time citizen science events and short-lived projects. Utilizing Facebook and Twitter increases traffic to blog posts about citizen science events in a timely manner and can help build community around events. Additionally, the timeliness of blogs provides the opportunity to connect citizen science and current events, helping to form geoscience teachable moments out of recent news. For example, highlighting citizen scientists near Birmingham, Alabama who collect weather data after the April 2011 tornado outbreak ravaged that area offers a positive note on how people are volunteering their time to help us all better understand the planet despite a catastrophic event.

  3. Heliophysics 2009 Roadmap and Global Change: Possibilities for Improved Understanding of the Connection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spann, Jim

    2010-01-01

    Heliophysics is the science that includes all aspects of the research needed to understand the Sun and its effects on the Earth and the solar system. Six science targets: 1. Origins of Near-Earth Plasma - to understand the origin and transport of terrestrial plasma from its source to the magnetosphere and solar wind. 2. Solar Energetic Particle Acceleration and Transport - to understand how and where solar eruptions accelerate energetic particles that reach Earth. 3. Ion-Neutral Coupling in the Atmosphere - to understand how neutral winds control ionospheric variability. 4. Climate Impacts of Space Radiation - to understand our atmosphere s response to auroral, radiation belt, and solar energetic particles, and the associated effects on nitric oxide (NO) and ozone. 5. Dynamic Geospace Coupling - to understand how magnetospheric dynamics provides energy into the coupled ionosphere-magnetosphere system. 6. Heliospheric Magnetics - to understand the flow and dynamics of transient magnetic structures form the solar interior to Earth.

  4. Understanding and improving the mechanical stability of semiconducting polymers for flexible and stretchable electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Printz, Adam David

    Polymeric semiconductors offer the promise of low-cost, printable, and mechanically robust electronic devices for use in outdoor, portable, and wearable applications such as organic photovoltaics, biosensors, and electronic skins. However, many organic semiconductors are unable to accommodate the mechanical stresses these applications require, and it is therefore important to understand the factors and parameters that govern the mechanical stability of these materials. Chapter 1 provides a gentle introduction to the electronic and mechanical properties relevant to flexible and stretchable organic semiconductor devices. The idea of inherent competition between electronic performance and mechanical robustness is explored. Chapter 2 investigates the inherent competition between good electronic performance and mechanical robustness in poly(3-alkylthiophene)s. A key finding is a critical alkyl side-chain length that allows for good electronic performance and mechanical compliance. Chapter 3 and Appendix A are further studies on the properties of poly(3-alkylthiophene)s with side-chains close to the critical length to gain better understanding of the transition from good electronic properties and poor mechanical properties to poor electronic properties and good mechanical properties. Chapter 4 and Appendix B detail the effects on mechanical and electronic properties of statistical incorporation of unlike monomer into a low-bandgap polymer backbone in an effort to disrupt aggregation and improve mechanical compliance. Chapter 5 explores how the extent of molecular mixing of polythiophenes and fullerenes---materials common in organic photovoltaics---affects their mechanical properties. Chapter 6 describes the invention of a new technique to determine the yield point of thin films. A dependence on the alkyl-side chain length is observed, as well as a critical film thickness below which the yield point increases substantially. In Chapter 7, the weakly interacting H

  5. Periglacial process research for improved understanding of climate change in periglacial environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hvidtfeldt Christiansen, Hanne

    2010-05-01

    Periglacial landscapes extend widely outside the glaciated areas and the areas underlain by permafrost and with seasonal frost. Yet recently significant attention has in cryosphere research, related to periglacial geomorphology, been given to a direct climate permafrost relationship. The focus is on the permafrost thermal state including the thickness of the active layer, and often simplifying how these two key conditions are directly climatically controlled. There has been less focus on the understanding and quantification of the different periglacial processes, which largely control the consequences of changing climatic conditions on the permafrost and on seasonal frost all over the periglacial environments. It is the complex relationship between climate, micro-climate and local geomorphological, geological and ecological conditions, which controls periglacial processes. In several cases local erosion or deposition will affect the rates of landform change significantly more than any climate change. Thus detailed periglacial process studies will sophisticate the predictions of how periglacial landscapes can be expected to respond to climatic changes, and be built into Earth System Modelling. Particularly combining direct field observations and measurements with remote sensing and geochronological studies of periglacial landforms, enables a significantly improved understanding of periglacial process rates. An overview of the state of research in key periglacial processes are given focusing on ice-wedges and solifluction landforms, and seasonal ground thermal dynamics, all with examples from the high Arctic in Svalbard. Thermal contraction cracking and its seasonal meteorological control is presented, and potential thermal erosion of ice-wedges leading to development of thermokarst is discussed. Local and meteorological controls on solifluction rates are presented and their climatic control indicated. Seasonal ground thermal processes and their dependence on local

  6. Publication rates from the All India Ophthalmic Conference 2010 compared to 2000: Are we improving?

    PubMed Central

    Kumaragurupari, R; Sengupta, Sabyasachi; Bhandari, Sahil

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: To determine the publication rates of free papers and posters presented at the All India Ophthalmic Conference (AIOC) 2010 in peer-reviewed journals up to December 2015 and compare this with publication rates from AIOC2000 published previously. Methods: A thorough literature search was conducted using PubMed, Google Scholar, and the general Google search engine by two independent investigators. The title of the paper, keywords and author names were used to “match” the AIOC free-paper with the published paper. In addition, the “purpose,” “methods,” and “outcome measures” between the two were studied to determine the “match.” Results: A total of 58 out of 394 free-papers (14.7%) from AIOC2010 were published till December 2015 compared to 16.5% from AIOC2000. Out of these, 52 (90%) were published in PubMed indexed journals. Maximum publications were seen in pediatric ophthalmology (50%) followed by glaucoma (24.4%) and cornea (23.8%). Fifteen out of 272 posters (5.5%) were published; orbit/oculoplastics had the highest poster publications (13%). Excluding papers in nonindexed journals and those by authors with international affiliations, the publication rate was approximately 12%. Conclusion: The publication rate of free papers from AIOC2010 has marginally reduced compared to AIOC2000. Various causes for this such as lack of adequate training, motivation, and lack of incentives for research in the Indian scenario have been explored, and measures to improve this paradigm have been discussed. It will be prudent to repeat this exercise every decade to compare publication rates between periodic AIOC, stimulate young minds for quality research and educate policy makers toward the need for developing dedicated research departments across the country. PMID:27905332

  7. [Improving prevention: Integrative model and recommendations intended for public health professionals].

    PubMed

    Broc, G; Edjolo, A

    2017-04-01

    Public health policies aim to diminish people's exposure to negative factors, behaviors or determinants of health. Despite awareness-raising campaigns, health recommendations are still not sufficiently followed. First, the article wondered the reasons behind this observation. In order to do this, we present a theoretical model incorporating: (a) the motivational theories of communication processing; (b) the theories of motivation and volition; (c) self-regulation and self-determination theories. In a second part, the paper describes five principles for improving communication.

  8. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant–Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism

    PubMed Central

    Thijs, Sofie; Sillen, Wouter; Rineau, Francois; Weyens, Nele; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2016-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant–microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together) are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates) over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP) microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant–microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies. PMID:27014254

  9. The Geophysical Kitchen Sink Approach to Improving our Understanding of Volcano-Tectonic Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    George, Ophelia A.

    A multi-prong approach was taken in this dissertation to understand volcanic processes from both a long-term and more immediate hazard perspective. In the long-term, magma sources within the crust may produce measurable surficial response and long-wavelength gravity anomalies that provide information about the extent and depth of this magma. Long-term volcanic hazard forecasting is also improved by developing as complete a record as possible of past events. In the short-term, a long-standing question has been on the casting of precursory volcanic activity in terms of future volcanic hazards. Three studies are presented in this dissertation to address these issues. Inversion of high-resolution ground magnetic data in Amargosa Valley, NV indicates that anomaly B could be generated by a buried shield volcano. This new information changes the event count in this region which in turn affects the overall volcanic hazard estimation. Through the use of Finite Element Models (FEM) an in-depth characterization of the surficial response to magma underplating is provided for the Tohoku Volcanic Arc, Japan. These models indicate that surficial uplift was dominantly driven by mid-crustal intrusions and the magnitude and wavelength of this uplift was mainly controlled by the elastic layer thickness. In Dominica, seismic data were used as weights in spatial intensity maps to generate dynamic volcanic hazard maps influenced by changes in seismicity. These maps show an increasing trend in the north that may be indicative of an increase in earthquake and volcanic hazards.

  10. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant-Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism.

    PubMed

    Thijs, Sofie; Sillen, Wouter; Rineau, Francois; Weyens, Nele; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2016-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant-microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together) are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates) over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP) microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant-microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies.

  11. Using relationship styles based on attachment theory to improve understanding of specialty choice in medicine

    PubMed Central

    Ciechanowski, Paul S; Worley, Linda LM; Russo, Joan E; Katon, Wayne J

    2006-01-01

    Background Patient-provider relationships in primary care are characterized by greater continuity and depth than in non-primary care specialties. We hypothesized that relationship styles of medical students based on attachment theory are associated with specialty choice factors and that such factors will mediate the association between relationship style and ultimately matching in a primary care specialty. Methods We determined the relationship styles, demographic characteristics and resident specialty match of 106 fourth-year medical students. We assessed the associations between 1) relationship style and specialty choice factors; 2) specialty choice factors and specialty match, and 3) relationship style and specialty match. We also conducted mediation analyses to determine if factors examined in a specialty choice questionnaire mediate the association between relationship style and ultimately matching in a primary care specialty. Results Prevalence of attachment styles was similar to that found in the general population and other medical school settings with 59% of students rating themselves as having a secure relationship style. Patient centeredness was directly associated, and career rewards inversely associated with matching in a primary care specialty. Students with a self-reliant relationship style were significantly more likely to match in a non-primary care specialty as compared to students with secure relationship style (OR = 5.3, 95% CI 1.8, 15.6). There was full mediation of the association between relationship style and specialty match by the specialty choice factor characterized by patient centeredness. Conclusion Assessing relationship styles based on attachment theory may be a potentially useful way to improve understanding and counsel medical students about specialty choice. PMID:16405723

  12. Food and eating as social practice--understanding eating patterns as social phenomena and implications for public health.

    PubMed

    Delormier, Treena; Frohlich, Katherine L; Potvin, Louise

    2009-03-01

    Globally, public health agencies recognise obesity trends among populations as a priority. Explanations for population obesity patterns are linked to obesogenic environments and societal trends which encourage patterns of overeating and little physical activity. However, obesity prevention and nutrition intervention focus predominantly on changing individual level eating behaviours. Disappointingly, behaviour-based nutrition education approaches to changing population eating patterns have met with limited success. Sociological perspectives propose that underlying social relations can help explain collective food and eating patterns, and suggest an analysis of the sociocultural context for understanding population eating patterns. We propose a theoretical framework for the examination of eating patterns as social phenomena. Giddens' structuration theory, in particular his concept of social practices understood as an interplay of 'agency' and 'social structure' (rules and resources), is used to study food choice patterns. We discuss the application of these concepts for understanding routine food choice practices of families, elaborating how rules and resources configure the enabling or constraining conditions under which actors make food choices. The framework assists in characterising how social structural properties are integral to food choice practices, and could direct attention to these when considering nutrition interventions aimed at changing population eating patterns.

  13. Enhancing Public Participation to Improve Natural Resources Science and its Use in Decision Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glynn, P. D.; Shapiro, C. D.; Liu, S. B.

    2015-12-01

    The need for broader understanding and involvement in science coupled with social technology advances enabling crowdsourcing and citizen science have created greater opportunities for public participation in the gathering, interpretation, and use of geospatial information. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is developing guidance for USGS scientists, partners, and interested members of the public on when and how public participation can most effectively be used in the conduct of scientific activities. Public participation can provide important perspectives and knowledge that cannot be obtained through traditional scientific methods alone. Citizen engagement can also provide increased efficiencies to USGS science and additional benefits to society including enhanced understanding, appreciation, and interest in geospatial information and its use in decision making.The USGS guidance addresses several fundamental issues by:1. Developing an operational definition of citizen or participatory science.2. Identifying the circumstances under which citizen science is appropriate for use and when its use is not recommended. 3. Describing structured processes for effective use of citizen science. 4. Defining the successful application of citizen science and identifying useful success metrics.The guidance is coordinated by the USGS Science and Decisions Center and developed by a multidisciplinary team of USGS scientists and managers. External perspectives will also be incorporated, as appropriate to align with other efforts such as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Toolkit for the Federal government. The guidance will include the development of an economic framework to assess the benefits and costs of geospatial information developed through participatory processes. This economic framework considers tradeoffs between obtaining additional perspectives through enhanced participation with costs associated from obtaining

  14. Improved time to publication in Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouw, Joost; Ghan, Steven; Pryor, Sara; Rudich, Yinon; Zhang, Renyi

    2012-07-01

    Timely publication of manuscripts is important to authors and readers. AGU has significantly accelerated both the review and production processes for the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres (JGR-Atmospheres). Via a number of mechanisms (e.g., shortening the time allotted for reviewer selection, manuscript reviews, and revisions), the mean time to first decision has been decreased from 98 days in 2007 to 50 days in 2011, and the mean time to final decision has been decreased from 132 days in 2007 to 71 days in 2011. By implementing a new content management system, adjusting the workflow for improved efficiency, requesting authors to proofread their manuscripts quicker, and improving monitoring and follow-up to author and vendor queries, the mean production time from manuscript acceptance to publication has been decreased from 128 days in 2010 to only 56 days in 2012. Thus, in the past few years the mean time to publication of JGR-Atmospheres has been cut in half. These milestones have been achieved with no loss of quality of presentation or content. In addition, online posting of "papers in press" on JGR-Atmosphere's home page typically occurs within a few days after acceptance. JGR-Atmospheres editors thank manuscript reviewers, authors, and AGU staff who have greatly contributed to the more timely review and publication processes. This information will be updated periodically on the JGR-Atmospheres home page. A chart showing the average time from acceptance to publication for all of AGU's journals is available at http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/31May2012_Timeliness_Chart.pdf.

  15. Improved time to publication in Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Gouw, Joost; Ghan, Steven; Pryor, Sara; Rudich, Yinon; Zhang, Renyi

    2012-07-01

    Timely publication of manuscripts is important to authors and readers. AGU has significantly accelerated both the review and production processes for the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres (JGR-Atmospheres). Via a number of mechanisms (e.g., shortening the time allotted for reviewer selection, manuscript reviews, and revisions), the mean time to first decision has been decreased from 98 days in 2007 to 50 days in 2011, and the mean time to final decision has been decreased from 132 days in 2007 to 71 days in 2011. By implementing a new content management system, adjusting the workflow for improved efficiency, requesting authors to proofread their manuscripts quicker, and improving monitoring and follow-up to author and vendor queries, the mean production time from manuscript acceptance to publication has been decreased from 128 days in 2010 to only 56 days in 2012. Thus, in the past few years the mean time to publication of JGR-Atmospheres has been cut in half. These milestones have been achieved with no loss of quality of presentation or content. In addition, online posting of “papers in press” on JGR-Atmosphere's home page typically occurs within a few days after acceptance. JGR-Atmospheres editors thank manuscript reviewers, authors, and AGU staff who have greatly contributed to the more timely review and publication processes. This information will be updated periodically on the JGR-Atmospheres home page. A chart showing the average time from acceptance to publication for all of AGU's journals is available at http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/31May2012_Timeliness_Chart.pdf.

  16. Improving Students' Understanding of Waves by Plotting a Displacement-Time Graph in Class

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wei, Yajun

    2012-01-01

    The topic of waves is one that many high school physics students find difficult to understand. This is especially true when using some A-level textbooks used in the U.K., where the concept of waves is introduced prior to the concept of simple harmonic oscillations. One of the challenges my students encounter is understanding the difference between…

  17. Improving Students' Understanding of, and Ability to Identify Independent and Dependent Variables

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aldrich, Rosalie S.

    2015-01-01

    Students need to have a basic understanding of research methods before obtaining a communication degree in order to become an intelligent consumer of research--someone who is able to read, understand, explain, and critically evaluate communication and other research reported in scholarly journals as well as in the popular press. These skills are…

  18. Toward a Research Agenda for Understanding and Improving the Use of Research Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Steven R.; Leffler, James C.; Hansen, Barbara A.

    2009-01-01

    Many researchers and research funders want their work to be influential in educational policy and practice, but there is little systematic understanding of how policymakers and practitioners use research evidence, much less how they acquire or interpret it. By understanding what does shape policymakers' and practitioners' decision making and the…

  19. Improvements in Understanding Exposure and Toxicity Issues Associated with RDX: Recent Updates

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-05-01

    testing activities will be adversely affected, adversely affecting military readiness.  If these values are artificially low, significant resources...results for:  Ames assays (bacterial mutagenicity)  Mammalian in vitro assays (mouse lymphoma & CHO)  Mammalian in vivo assays (mouse micronucleus ...reduction of uncertainty:  Understanding target of toxicity.  Understanding absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and mechanism in test animals

  20. Harnessing and blending the power of two research networks to improve prevention science and public health practice

    PubMed Central

    Vanderpool, Robin C.; Brownson, Ross C.; Mays, Glen P.; Crosby, Richard A.; Wyatt, Stephen W.

    2015-01-01

    Strategic collaborations are essential in moving public health research and practice forward1, particularly in light of escalating fiscal and environmental challenges facing the public health community. This commentary provides background and context for an emerging partnership between two national networks, Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) and Public Health Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs), to impact public health practice. Supported by CDC, PRCs are celebrating over 25 years of transdisciplinary applied prevention research grounded in community and stakeholder engagement. Public Health PBRNs, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, conduct innovative public health services and systems research with public health agencies and community partners to improve public health decision-making. By utilizing each of the networks’ respective strengths and resources, collaborative ventures between PRCs and Public Health PBRNs can enhance the translation of applied prevention research to evidence-based practice and empirically investigate novel public health practices developed in the field. Three current PRC-Public Health PBRNs projects are highlighted and future research directions are discussed. Improving the interconnectedness of prevention research and public health practice is essential to improve the health of the Nation. PMID:24237918

  1. Improved understanding of Diatom stratigraphy in a varved sediment through lake monitoring and sediment trap data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maier, Dominique Beatrice; Bigler, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Biological remains in lake sediments reflect past conditions in the lake itself and within its catchment. However, it is difficult to disentangle to which extent the environmental drivers are natural (e.g. population dynamics, climate) or human-induced (e.g. agriculture, forestry). Therefore, comprehensive lake monitoring is crucial to understand taphonomy and sediment formation, and enhances the value of the paleolimnological archive. In this study, we analyze survey data of a varved lake in northern Sweden (Nylandssjön, Nordingrå) with special focus on the diatom record. Different monitoring components are combined, i.e. (1) bi-weekly data of chemical parameters (chlorophyll a, nutrients) covering the period from 2012 to 2015, (2) physical parameters (temperature, oxygen, ice-cover) covering the period from 2000-2015, (3) high-resolution data from a sequential sediment trap covering the period from 2000-2015 and (4) annually resolved diatom data from the sediment varves. Early and intense spring mixing in 2012 translates into a short but vertically pervasive chlorophyll a band which is simultaneously recorded in the sequential trap with a high diatom peak (500 000 valves cm2 d-1). The years 2013 and 2014 show higher chlorophyll a concentrations in the water column, but diatoms do not form a peak flux (>100 000 diatoms cm2 d-1) at any time in the sediment trap, probably due to stratification patterns. The trap record from 2012 indicates a spring bloom dominating the sediment signal, but this is not repeated in 2013 and 2014. Future analyses will be directed towards linking the monitored in-lake processes to annually or even seasonally resolved environmental characteristics. The multiplicity of potential ecological and environmental drivers led us to reverse our analytical view by starting with the diatom stratigraphy in the varved sediment, continuing through the data from sediment trap and water column into the lake catchment to identify deviations (timing

  2. Ethics in public health research: a research protocol to evaluate the effectiveness of public-private partnerships as a means to improve health and welfare systems worldwide.

    PubMed

    Barr, Donald A

    2007-01-01

    Public-private partnerships have become a common approach to health care problems worldwide. Many public-private partnerships were created during the late 1990s, but most were focused on specific diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Recently there has been enthusiasm for using public-private partnerships to improve the delivery of health and welfare services for a wider range of health problems, especially in developing countries. The success of public-private partnerships in this context appears to be mixed, and few data are available to evaluate their effectiveness. This analysis provides an overview of the history of health-related public-private partnerships during the past 20 years and describes a research protocol commissioned by the World Health Organization to evaluate the effectiveness of public-private partnerships in a research context.

  3. An Intelligent System Proposal for Improving the Safety and Accessibility of Public Transit by Highway

    PubMed Central

    García, Carmelo R.; Quesada-Arencibia, Alexis; Cristóbal, Teresa; Padrón, Gabino; Pérez, Ricardo; Alayón, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    The development of public transit systems that are accessible and safe for everyone, including people with special needs, is an objective that is justified from the civic and economic points of view. Unfortunately, public transit services are conceived for people who do not have reduced physical or cognitive abilities. In this paper, we present an intelligent public transit system by highway with the goal of facilitating access and improving the safety of public transit for persons with special needs. The system is deployed using components that are commonly available in transport infrastructure, e.g., sensors, mobile communications systems, and positioning systems. In addition, the system can operate in non-urban transport contexts, e.g., isolated rural areas, where the availability of basic infrastructure, such as electricity and communications infrastructures, is not always guaranteed. To construct the system, the principles and techniques of Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence have been employed. To illustrate the utility of the system, two cases of services rendered by the system are described: the first case involves a surveillance system to guarantee accessibility at bus stops; the second case involves a route assistant for blind people. PMID:26295234

  4. An Intelligent System Proposal for Improving the Safety and Accessibility of Public Transit by Highway.

    PubMed

    García, Carmelo R; Quesada-Arencibia, Alexis; Cristóbal, Teresa; Padrón, Gabino; Pérez, Ricardo; Alayón, Francisco

    2015-08-18

    The development of public transit systems that are accessible and safe for everyone, including people with special needs, is an objective that is justified from the civic and economic points of view. Unfortunately, public transit services are conceived for people who do not have reduced physical or cognitive abilities. In this paper, we present an intelligent public transit system by highway with the goal of facilitating access and improving the safety of public transit for persons with special needs. The system is deployed using components that are commonly available in transport infrastructure, e.g., sensors, mobile communications systems, and positioning systems. In addition, the system can operate in non-urban transport contexts, e.g., isolated rural areas, where the availability of basic infrastructure, such as electricity and communications infrastructures, is not always guaranteed. To construct the system, the principles and techniques of Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence have been employed. To illustrate the utility of the system, two cases of services rendered by the system are described: the first case involves a surveillance system to guarantee accessibility at bus stops; the second case involves a route assistant for blind people.

  5. Blending forest fire smoke forecasts with observed data can improve their utility for public health applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuchi, Weiran; Yao, Jiayun; McLean, Kathleen E.; Stull, Roland; Pavlovic, Radenko; Davignon, Didier; Moran, Michael D.; Henderson, Sarah B.

    2016-11-01

    Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) generated by forest fires has been associated with a wide range of adverse health outcomes, including exacerbation of respiratory diseases and increased risk of mortality. Due to the unpredictable nature of forest fires, it is challenging for public health authorities to reliably evaluate the magnitude and duration of potential exposures before they occur. Smoke forecasting tools are a promising development from the public health perspective, but their widespread adoption is limited by their inherent uncertainties. Observed measurements from air quality monitoring networks and remote sensing platforms are more reliable, but they are inherently retrospective. It would be ideal to reduce the uncertainty in smoke forecasts by integrating any available observations. This study takes spatially resolved PM2.5 estimates from an empirical model that integrates air quality measurements with satellite data, and averages them with PM2.5 predictions from two smoke forecasting systems. Two different indicators of population respiratory health are then used to evaluate whether the blending improved the utility of the smoke forecasts. Among a total of six models, including two single forecasts and four blended forecasts, the blended estimates always performed better than the forecast values alone. Integrating measured observations into smoke forecasts could improve public health preparedness for smoke events, which are becoming more frequent and intense as the climate changes.

  6. Joint editorial - Fostering innovation and improving impact assessment for journal publications in hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koutsoyiannis, Demetris; Blöschl, Günter; Bárdossy, András; Cudennec, Christophe; Hughes, Denis; Montanari, Alberto; Neuweiler, Insa; Savenije, Hubert

    2016-06-01

    Editors from several journals in the field of hydrology met during the Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences-IAHS (within the Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics-IUGG) in Prague in June 2015. This event was a follow-up of a similar meeting in July 2013 in Gothenburg (as reported by Blöschl et al. (2014)). In these meetings the group of editors reviewed the current status of the journals and the publication process, and shared thoughts on future strategies. Journals were represented in the meeting through their editors, as shown in the list of authors. The main points on fostering innovation and improving impact assessment in journal publications in hydrology are communicated in this joint editorial published in journals that participated in the meeting.

  7. Joint editorial: Fostering innovation and improving impact assessment for journal publications in hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koutsoyiannis, Demetris; Blöschl, Günter; Bárdossy, András.; Cudennec, Christophe; Hughes, Denis; Montanari, Alberto; Neuweiler, Insa; Savenije, Hubert

    2016-04-01

    Editors of several journals in the field of hydrology met during the Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences—IAHS (within the Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics—IUGG) in Prague in June 2015. This event was a follow-up of a similar meeting held in July 2013 in Gothenburg (as reported by Blöschl et al. [2014]). These meetings enable the group of editors to review the current status of the journals and the publication process, and share thoughts on future strategies. Journals were represented in the 2015 meeting through their editors, as shown in the list of authors. The main points on fostering innovation and improving impact assessment in journal publications in hydrology are communicated in this joint editorial published in the above journals.

  8. Logistics modelling: improving resource management and public information strategies in Florida.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Daniel M; Van Groningen, Chuck; Craig, Brian

    2011-10-01

    One of the most time-sensitive and logistically-challenging emergency response operations today is to provide mass prophylaxis to every man, woman and child in a community within 48 hours of a bioterrorism attack. To meet this challenge, federal, state and local public health departments in the USA have joined forces to develop, test and execute large-scale bioterrorism response plans. This preparedness and response effort is funded through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Cities Readiness Initiative, a programme dedicated to providing oral antibiotics to an entire population within 48 hours of a weaponised inhalation anthrax attack. This paper will demonstrate how the State of Florida used a logistics modelling tool to improve its CRI mass prophylaxis plans. Special focus will be on how logistics modelling strengthened Florida's resource management policies and validated its public information strategies.

  9. Use of Lean Response to Improve Pandemic Influenza Surge in Public Health Laboratories

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Yin; Prystajecky, Natalie; Petric, Martin; Mak, Annie; Abbott, Brendan; Paris, Benjamin; Decker, K.C.; Pittenger, Lauren; Guercio, Steven; Stott, Jeff; Miller, Joseph D.

    2012-01-01

    A novel influenza A (H1N1) virus detected in April 2009 rapidly spread around the world. North American provincial and state laboratories have well-defined roles and responsibilities, including providing accurate, timely test results for patients and information for regional public health and other decision makers. We used the multidisciplinary response and rapid implementation of process changes based on Lean methods at the provincial public health laboratory in British Columbia, Canada, to improve laboratory surge capacity in the 2009 influenza pandemic. Observed and computer simulating evaluation results from rapid processes changes showed that use of Lean tools successfully expanded surge capacity, which enabled response to the 10-fold increase in testing demands. PMID:22257385

  10. Accelerating the development of improved analgesic treatments: the ACTION public-private partnership.

    PubMed

    Dworkin, Robert H; Turk, Dennis C

    2011-07-01

    There has been considerable progress identifying pathophysiologic mechanisms of neuropathic pain, but analgesic medications with improved efficacy, safety, and tolerability still represent an unmet public health need. Numerous treatments examined in recent randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have failed to show efficacy for neuropathic pain, including treatments that had previously demonstrated efficacy. This suggests that at least some negative results reflect limited assay sensitivity of RCTs to distinguish efficacious treatments from placebo. Patient characteristics, clinical trial research designs and methods, outcome measures, approaches to data analysis, and statistical power may all play a role in accounting for difficulties in demonstrating the benefits of efficacious analgesic treatments vs placebo. The identification of specific clinical trial characteristics associated with assay sensitivity in existing data has the potential to provide an evidence-based approach to the design of analgesic clinical trials. The US Food and Drug Administration recently launched the Analgesic Clinical Trial Innovations, Opportunities, and Networks (ACTION) public-private partnership, which is designed to facilitate the discovery and development of analgesics with improved efficacy, safety, and tolerability for acute and chronic pain conditions. ACTION will establish a collaborative effort to prioritize research objectives, develop a standardized analgesic database platform, and conduct methodologically focused studies to increase the assay sensitivity and efficiency of analgesic clinical trials. The results of these activities have the potential to inform and accelerate the development of improved pain management interventions of all types, not just pharmacologic treatments.

  11. Understanding Evidence-Based Improvement in Higher Education: The Case of Student Engagement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCormick, Alexander C.; Kinzie, Jillian; Korkmaz, Ali

    2011-01-01

    This paper uses time series data from a widely used assessment to identify colleges and universities that demonstrate positive trends on a range of educational effectiveness measures, describe observed patterns of improvement, and examine informants' accounts of factors that contributed to the improvements. This study informs broad questions about…

  12. Harnessing quantitative genetics and genomics for understanding and improving complex traits in crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Classical quantitative genetics aids crop improvement by providing the means to estimate heritability, genetic correlations, and predicted responses to various selection schemes. Genomics has the potential to aid quantitative genetics and applied crop improvement programs via large-scale, high-thro...

  13. Efficacy of monitoring and empirical predictive modeling at improving public health protection at Chicago beaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nevers, Meredith B.; Whitman, Richard L.

    2011-01-01

    Efforts to improve public health protection in recreational swimming waters have focused on obtaining real-time estimates of water quality. Current monitoring techniques rely on the time-intensive culturing of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) from water samples, but rapidly changing FIB concentrations result in management errors that lead to the public being exposed to high FIB concentrations (type II error) or beaches being closed despite acceptable water quality (type I error). Empirical predictive models may provide a rapid solution, but their effectiveness at improving health protection has not been adequately assessed. We sought to determine if emerging monitoring approaches could effectively reduce risk of illness exposure by minimizing management errors. We examined four monitoring approaches (inactive, current protocol, a single predictive model for all beaches, and individual models for each beach) with increasing refinement at 14 Chicago beaches using historical monitoring and hydrometeorological data and compared management outcomes using different standards for decision-making. Predictability (R2) of FIB concentration improved with model refinement at all beaches but one. Predictive models did not always reduce the number of management errors and therefore the overall illness burden. Use of a Chicago-specific single-sample standard-rather than the default 235 E. coli CFU/100 ml widely used-together with predictive modeling resulted in the greatest number of open beach days without any increase in public health risk. These results emphasize that emerging monitoring approaches such as empirical models are not equally applicable at all beaches, and combining monitoring approaches may expand beach access.

  14. Efficacy of monitoring and empirical predictive modeling at improving public health protection at Chicago beaches.

    PubMed

    Nevers, Meredith B; Whitman, Richard L

    2011-02-01

    Efforts to improve public health protection in recreational swimming waters have focused on obtaining real-time estimates of water quality. Current monitoring techniques rely on the time-intensive culturing of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) from water samples, but rapidly changing FIB concentrations result in management errors that lead to the public being exposed to high FIB concentrations (type II error) or beaches being closed despite acceptable water quality (type I error). Empirical predictive models may provide a rapid solution, but their effectiveness at improving health protection has not been adequately assessed. We sought to determine if emerging monitoring approaches could effectively reduce risk of illness exposure by minimizing management errors. We examined four monitoring approaches (inactive, current protocol, a single predictive model for all beaches, and individual models for each beach) with increasing refinement at 14 Chicago beaches using historical monitoring and hydrometeorological data and compared management outcomes using different standards for decision-making. Predictability (R(2)) of FIB concentration improved with model refinement at all beaches but one. Predictive models did not always reduce the number of management errors and therefore the overall illness burden. Use of a Chicago-specific single-sample standard-rather than the default 235 E. coli CFU/100 ml widely used-together with predictive modeling resulted in the greatest number of open beach days without any increase in public health risk. These results emphasize that emerging monitoring approaches such as empirical models are not equally applicable at all beaches, and combining monitoring approaches may expand beach access.

  15. Improving students' understanding of carbohydrate metabolism in first-year biochemistry at tertiary level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Trevor; Grayson, Diane

    1994-12-01

    Many introductory biochemistry students have problems understanding metabolism and acquiring the skills necessary to study metabolic pathways. In this paper we suggest that this may be largely due to the use of a traditional teaching approach which emphasises memorisation rather than understanding. We present an alternative approach to teaching carbohydrate metabolism which is designed to promote understanding of pathways. The approach also enables regular monitoring of, and reflection on, student progress and the identification of student reasoning and conceptual difficulties through the use of specially designed problems. Preliminary results are presented giving examples of specific student difficulties and the extent to which they were addressed by the alternative instructional approach. A qualitative evaluation of the approach is also presented.

  16. Contributions to Public Understanding of Science by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (I): Programs and Workshops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Passow, M. J.; Turrin, M.; Kenna, T. C.; Newton, R.; Buckley, B.

    2009-12-01

    The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (LDEO) continues its long history of contributions to public understanding of Science through “live” and web-based programs that provide teachers, students, and the other access to new discoveries and updates on key issues. We highlight current activities in paired posters. Part 1 focuses on events held at the Palisades, NY, campus. "Earth2Class (E2C)" is a unique program integrating science content with increased understanding about classroom learning and technology. Monthly workshops allow K-14 participants to combine talks by researchers about cutting-edge investigations with acquisition of background knowledge and classroom-ready applications. E2C has sponsored 100 workshops by more than 60 LDEO scientists for hundreds of teachers. A vast array of resources on includes archived versions of workshops, comprehensive sets of curriculum units, and professional development opportunities. It has been well received by both workshop participants and others who have only accessed the web site. "Hudson River Snapshot Day" celebrates the Hudson River Estuary and educates participants on the uniqueness of our nearby estuary as part of the annual National Estuaries Week. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program and Hudson Basin River Watch coordinate the event. LDEO scientists help coordinate annual data collection by school classes to create a day-in-the-life picture all along the river. LDEO researchers also participate in "River Summer," bringing together participants from a variety of perspectives to look at the Hudson River and foster better understanding of how the same features can appear very differently to artists, writers, political scientists, economists, or scientists. These perspectives aid in recognizing the Hudson’s unique characteristics and history by identifying cross-disciplinary relationships and fostering new

  17. Improving Students' Understanding of Waves by Plotting a Displacement-Time Graph in Class

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Yajun

    2012-04-01

    The topic of waves is one that many high school physics students find difficult to understand. This is especially true when using some A-level textbooks1,2used in the U.K., where the concept of waves is introduced prior to the concept of simple harmonic oscillations. One of the challenges my students encounter is understanding the difference between displacement-time graphs and displacement-position graphs. Many students wonder why these two graphs have the same sinusoidal shape. Having the students use multimedia simulations allows them to see, in a hands-on fashion, the relationship between the two graphs.

  18. The Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP). A Public-Private Partnership Addressing Wind Energy Forecast Needs

    SciTech Connect

    Wilczak, James M.; Finley, Cathy; Freedman, Jeff; Cline, Joel; Bianco, L.; Olson, J.; Djalaova, I.; Sheridan, L.; Ahlstrom, M.; Manobianco, J.; Zack, J.; Carley, J.; Benjamin, S.; Coulter, R. L.; Berg, Larry K.; Mirocha, Jeff D.; Clawson, K.; Natenberg, E.; Marquis, M.

    2015-10-30

    The Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP) is a public-private research program, the goals of which are to improve the accuracy of short-term (0-6 hr) wind power forecasts for the wind energy industry and then to quantify the economic savings that accrue from more efficient integration of wind energy into the electrical grid. WFIP was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), with partners that include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), private forecasting companies (WindLogics and AWS Truepower), DOE national laboratories, grid operators, and universities. WFIP employed two avenues for improving wind power forecasts: first, through the collection of special observations to be assimilated into forecast models to improve model initial conditions; and second, by upgrading NWP forecast models and ensembles. The new observations were collected during concurrent year-long field campaigns in two high wind energy resource areas of the U.S. (the upper Great Plains, and Texas), and included 12 wind profiling radars, 12 sodars, 184 instrumented tall towers and over 400 nacelle anemometers (provided by private industry), lidar, and several surface flux stations. Results demonstrate that a substantial improvement of up to 14% relative reduction in power root mean square error (RMSE) was achieved from the combination of improved NOAA numerical weather prediction (NWP) models and assimilation of the new observations. Data denial experiments run over select periods of time demonstrate that up to a 6% relative improvement came from the new observations. The use of ensemble forecasts produced even larger forecast improvements. Based on the success of WFIP, DOE is planning follow-on field programs.

  19. Florida State University Receives EPA Funding to Improve Understanding of the Effects of Climate Change on Indoor Air Quality

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    ATLANTA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. has received a $500,000 grant to improve understanding of the effects of climate change on indoor air quality. The grant is a

  20. Research Plans for Improving Understanding of Effects of Very Low-Frequency Noise of Heavy Lift Rotorcraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fidell, Sanford; Horonieff, Richard D.; Schmitz, Fredric H.

    2010-01-01

    This report reviews the English-language technical literature on infrasonic and low-frequency noise effects; identifies the most salient effects of noise produced by a future large civil tiltrotor aircraft on crew, passengers, and communities near landing areas; and recommends research needed to improve understanding of the effects of such noise on passengers, crew, and residents of areas near landing pads.

  1. WWC Review of the Report "Improving At-Risk Learners' Understanding of Fractions." What Works Clearinghouse Single Study Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2013

    2013-01-01

    The study examined the effects of "Fraction Challenge," a supplemental small-group tutoring math program that focuses on improving student understanding of fractions. Study authors randomly assigned fourth grade "at-risk" students in 53 classrooms in 13 schools to either an intervention group that received "Fraction…

  2. Improving Individualized Educational Program (IEP) Mathematics Learning Goals for Conceptual Understanding of Order and Equivalence of Fractions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scanlon, Regina M.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this Executive Position Paper project was to develop resources for improving Individual Educational Program (IEP) mathematics learning goals for conceptual understanding of fractions for middle school special education students. The investigation surveyed how IEP mathematics learning goals are currently determined and proposed a new…

  3. Using Targeted Active-Learning Exercises and Diagnostic Question Clusters to Improve Students' Understanding of Carbon Cycling in Ecosystems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maskiewicz, April Cordero; Griscom, Heather Peckham; Welch, Nicole Turrill

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we used targeted active-learning activities to help students improve their ways of reasoning about carbon flow in ecosystems. The results of a validated ecology conceptual inventory (diagnostic question clusters [DQCs]) provided us with information about students' understanding of and reasoning about transformation of inorganic and…

  4. An information theory application to improve understanding of subsurface flow and transport conditions at the BARC OPE3 site

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improving understanding of subsurface conditions includes comparison and discrimination of concurrent models. Additional observations can be useful for that purpose. The objective of this work was to implement and test a novel method for optimization of selecting locations for additional observation...

  5. Understanding, promoting and protecting geodiversity and geoheritage of the Piemonte region (Italy) through innovative techniques and public engagement in Earth Science studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giardino, Marco; Lozar, Francesca; Perotti, Luigi; Palomba, Mauro; Groppo, Chiara; Natalicchio, Marcello; Ghiraldi, Luca; Beltramo, Riccardo; Lombardo, Vincenzo

    2016-04-01

    The onset of Antropocene demonstrates the importance of considering both 1) geodiversity and 2) geoheritage as parts of the landscape "interfaces" where relationships between natural and socio-economic systems can be studied and interpreted. By definition: 1) is the variety, recognizable in nature ("diversity"), of geological features (rocks, minerals, fossils…), of geomorphological environments (and related forms and processes) and of soil characteristics; 2) is an integral part of the global natural heritage focusing on unique, special and representative sites of geological interests (geosites l.s.). In the Antropocene, both 1) and 2) hold a dynamic character, as the result of actions and interactions of natural and/or human factors. Therefore, geodiversity and geoheritage studies are essential for breaking down geological environments and human territories into their main parts and to understand the variables and mechanisms that control their changes. In this perspective, results of the multidisciplinary project PROGEO-Piemonte ("PROactive management of GEOlogical heritage in the Piemonte Region") are presented here: an innovative approach for assessing geodiversity in order to select areas of high potential value of geoheritage to be enhanced by targeted management actions. Since the geodiversity of Piemonte is materialized by elements of high scientific, educational, tourism, etc. value, the geosites where this geoheritage is preserved have been comprehensively analysed and characterized for encompassing both public and private interests. 9 strategic geothematic areas have been selected in the Piemonte Region to test this approach, and to improve social engagement aimed at protecting and promoting geodiversity ad geoheritage. The investigated areas represent the multifaceted geodiversity of Piemonte; each area is characterized by high potential for scientific studies, enhancement of public understanding of science, recreation activities and for economic

  6. NOAA's Science On a Sphere Education Program: Application of a Scientific Visualization System to Teach Earth System Science and Improve our Understanding About Creating Effective Visualizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDougall, C.; McLaughlin, J.

    2008-12-01

    NOAA has developed several programs aimed at facilitating the use of earth system science data and data visualizations by formal and informal educators. One of them, Science On a Sphere, a visualization display tool and system that uses networked LCD projectors to display animated global datasets onto the outside of a suspended, 1.7-meter diameter opaque sphere, enables science centers, museums, and universities to display real-time and current earth system science data. NOAA's Office of Education has provided grants to such education institutions to develop exhibits featuring Science On a Sphere (SOS) and create content for and evaluate audience impact. Currently, 20 public education institutions have permanent Science On a Sphere exhibits and 6 more will be installed soon. These institutions and others that are working to create and evaluate content for this system work collaboratively as a network to improve our collective knowledge about how to create educationally effective visualizations. Network members include other federal agencies, such as, NASA and the Dept. of Energy, and major museums such as Smithsonian and American Museum of Natural History, as well as a variety of mid-sized and small museums and universities. Although the audiences in these institutions vary widely in their scientific awareness and understanding, we find there are misconceptions and lack of familiarity with viewing visualizations that are common among the audiences. Through evaluations performed in these institutions we continue to evolve our understanding of how to create content that is understandable by those with minimal scientific literacy. The findings from our network will be presented including the importance of providing context, real-world connections and imagery to accompany the visualizations and the need for audience orientation before the visualizations are viewed. Additionally, we will review the publicly accessible virtual library housing over 200 datasets for SOS

  7. A Positive Deviance Approach to Understanding Key Features to Improving Diabetes Care in the Medical Home

    PubMed Central

    Gabbay, Robert A.; Friedberg, Mark W.; Miller-Day, Michelle; Cronholm, Peter F.; Adelman, Alan; Schneider, Eric C.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE The medical home has gained national attention as a model to reorganize primary care to improve health outcomes. Pennsylvania has undertaken one of the largest state-based, multipayer medical home pilot projects. We used a positive deviance approach to identify and compare factors driving the care models of practices showing the greatest and least improvement in diabetes care in a sample of 25 primary care practices in southeast Pennsylvania. METHODS We ranked practices into improvement quintiles on the basis of the average absolute percentage point improvement from baseline to 18 months in 3 registry-based measures of performance related to diabetes care: glycated hemoglobin concentration, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level. We then conducted surveys and key informant interviews with leaders and staff in the 5 most and least improved practices, and compared their responses. RESULTS The most improved/higher-performing practices tended to have greater structural capabilities (eg, electronic health records) than the least improved/lower-performing practices at baseline. Interviews revealed striking differences between the groups in terms of leadership styles and shared vision; sense, use, and development of teams; processes for monitoring progress and obtaining feedback; and presence of technologic and financial distractions. CONCLUSIONS Positive deviance analysis suggests that primary care practices’ baseline structural capabilities and abilities to buffer the stresses of change may be key facilitators of performance improvement in medical home transformations. Attention to the practices’ structural capabilities and factors shaping successful change, especially early in the process, will be necessary to improve the likelihood of successful medical home transformation and better care. PMID:23690393

  8. Interferometric Measurement for Improved Understanding of Boundary Effects in Micromachined Beams

    SciTech Connect

    Bitsie, Fernando; Jensen, Brian D.; de Boer, Maarten

    1999-07-15

    Micromachined beams are commonly used to measure material properties in MEMS. Such measurements are complicated by the fact that boundary effects at the ends of the beams have a significant effect on the properties being measured. In an effort to improve the accuracy and resolution of such measurements, we are conducting a study of support post compliance in cantilever and fixed-fixed beams. Three different support post designs have been analyzed by finite element modeling. The results are then compared to measurements made on actual devices using interferometry. Using this technique, the accuracy of measurements of Young's modulus has been improved. Continuing work will also improve the measurement of residual stress.

  9. The premises is the premise: understanding off- and on-premises alcohol sales outlets to improve environmental alcohol prevention strategies.

    PubMed

    Chinman, Matthew; Burkhart, Q; Ebener, Patricia; Fan, Cha-Chi; Imm, Pamela; Osilla, Karen Chan; Paddock, Susan M; Wright, Annie

    2011-06-01

    Environmental strategies to prevent the misuse of alcohol among youth--e.g., use of public policies to restrict minors' access to alcohol--have been shown to reduce underage drinking. However, implementation of policy changes often requires public and private partnerships. One way to support these partnerships is to better understand the target of many of the environmental strategies, which is the alcohol sales outlet. Knowing more about how off-premises outlets (e.g., liquor and convenience stores) and on-premises outlets (e.g., bars and restaurants) are alike and different could help community-based organizations better tailor, plan, and implement their environmental strategies and strengthen partnerships between the public and commercial sectors. We conducted a survey of managerial or supervisory staff and/or owners of 336 off- and on-premises alcohol outlets in six counties in South Carolina, comparing these two outlet types on their preferences regarding certain alcohol sales practices, beliefs toward underage drinking, alcohol sales practices, and outcomes. Multilevel logistic regression showed that while off- and on-premises outlets did have many similarities, off-premises outlets appear to engage in more practices designed to prevent sales of alcohol to minors than on-premises outlets. The relationship between certain Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) practices and outcomes varied by outlet type. This study furthers the understanding of the differences between off- and on-premises alcohol sales outlets and offers options for increasing and tailoring environmental prevention efforts to specific settings.

  10. Can Dynamic Visualizations Improve Middle School Students' Understanding of Energy in Photosynthesis?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryoo, Kihyun; Linn, Marcia C.

    2012-01-01

    Dynamic visualizations have the potential to make abstract scientific phenomena more accessible and visible to students, but they can also be confusing and difficult to comprehend. This research investigates how dynamic visualizations, compared to static illustrations, can support middle school students in developing an integrated understanding of…

  11. Improved understanding and testing for salinity tolerance in cool-season turfgrasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Utah State University and the USDA-ARS in Logan, Utah, were funded to conduct research towards understanding how cool season turf specied tolerate salt stress. Salt tolerant and salt susceptible varieties of Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and the check alkaligrass were planted in a replica...

  12. An Exercise To Improve Career Understanding of Commencing Engineering and Technology Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palmer, Stuart R.; Bray, Sharyn L.

    2002-01-01

    Undergraduate engineering students (n=123) collected and analyzed engineering job ads from newspapers and the Internet and prepared reports. Many began with inaccurate conceptions; 86.2% reported change in their understanding of engineering. Some learned how to increase their employability. Initial concepts of engineering as focused on technology…

  13. Improving Students' Understanding and Explanation Skills through the Use of a Knowledge Building Forum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamel, Christine; Turcotte, Sandrine; Laferriere, Therese; Bisson, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Education research has shown the importance of helping students develop comprehension skills. Explanation-seeking rather than fact-seeking pedagogies have been shown to warrant deeper student understanding. This study investigates the use of Knowledge Forum (KF) in K-6 classrooms (n = 251) to develop students' explanation skills. To this end, we…

  14. Teachers and Game-Based Learning: Improving Understanding of How to Increase Efficacy of Adoption

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ketelhut, Diane Jass; Schifter, Catherine C.

    2011-01-01

    Interest in game-based learning for K-12 is growing. Thus, helping teachers understand how to use these new pedagogies is important. This paper presents a cross-case study of the development of teacher professional development for the River City project, a games-based multi-user virtual environment science curriculum project for middle school…

  15. Improving Student's Understanding of Career Decision-Making through Service Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coulter-Kern, Russell G.; Coulter-Kern, Paige E.; Schenkel, Aubree A.; Walker, Danielle R.; Fogle, Kelly L.

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the impact of an experiential service-learning project designed to help high school students begin to choose a career path and increase college students' understanding about how to make career decisions. In the study, two groups of college students attended information sessions on career advising. The first group then helped…

  16. Improving High School Students' Understanding of Potential Difference in Simple Electric Circuits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liegeois, Laurent; Chasseigne, G'erard; Papin, Sophie; Mullet, Etienne

    2003-01-01

    This paper reports two studies into the understanding of the concept of potential difference in the current-potential difference-resistance context among 8th-12th graders (Study 1), and the efficiency of a learning device derived from Social Judgment Theory (Study 2). These two studies showed that: (a) when asked to infer potential difference from…

  17. Using Art-Based Chemistry Activities to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding in Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danipog, Dennis L.; Ferido, Marlene B.

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the effects of art-based chemistry activities (ABCA) on high school students' conceptual understanding in chemistry. The study used the pretest-posttest control group design. A total of 64 third-year high school students from two different chemistry classes participated in the study. One class was exposed to art-based…

  18. Drafting Exercises to Improve Understanding. Industrial Arts Series No. 10,007.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hinrichs, Roy S., Comp.

    These materials, which can be used to supplement a drafting program, are designed to assist the instructor in helping students develop a better understanding of certain areas of drafting. The materials are divided into exercises that allow the student to devote full attention to one aspect of drafting at a time, and tests, which can be used either…

  19. Four Cornerstones of Calibration Research: Why Understanding Students' Judgments Can Improve Their Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunlosky, John; Thiede, Keith W.

    2013-01-01

    The target articles make significant advances in our understanding of students' judgments of their cognitive processes and products. In general, the advances are relative to a subset of common themes, which we call the four cornerstones of research on metacognitive judgments. We discuss how the target articles build on these cornerstones (judgment…

  20. Effective Use of Discovery Learning to Improve Understanding of Factors That Affect Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mukherjee, Arup

    2015-01-01

    Undergraduate business majors are required to take a course in operations management. In this course, a great deal of emphasis is put on developing a good understanding of quality because this is likely to be the only required course that covers this important topic. Quality of output exhibits a great deal of variation. To produce high quality on…

  1. An Integrated Academic Literacy Approach to Improving Students' Understanding of Plagiarism in an Accounting Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Lisa; Singh, Nishani

    2016-01-01

    Plagiarism in higher education is a widespread and complex issue. Students' understanding of plagiarism differs as a result of combining their prior learning about referencing with their current experience of institutional policies and generic resources. Plagiarism was identified as a major learning issue in a core second-year undergraduate…

  2. Using the Theory of Reasoned Action to Improve the Understanding of Recreation Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Robert A.; Kent, Anne T.

    1985-01-01

    Using the theory of reasoned action, 100 residents of a small Midwestern city were questioned about intentions to camp, attitudes and beliefs about camping, and influences of "important others" in making decisions to camp. The study results demonstrate that the theory may be useful in predicting behavior and understanding the…

  3. Understanding Change for Effective School Improvement Initiatives: Critical Elements of School Reform

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schnautz, Dee Ann Piercy

    2012-01-01

    With the historical political and social changes, which ultimately affect education, it is easy to see why teachers sometimes balk at new initiatives and perceived new best practices. For change to occur it is important to understand how perception of critical elements of change impact student academic growth. It is also important to have a…

  4. Successful Storyreading Procedures: Working with Kindergarten Teachers to Improve Children's Story Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterman, Carol L.

    Based on the hypothesis that teachers' naturally occurring presentations of storyreading have an effect on children's literacy learning, a study examined whether teachers can be trained to provide a structure for listening to stories and whether this type of presentation would result in significant gains in children's story understanding. Five…

  5. Improved analyses for soil carbohydrates, amino acids, and phenols: Tools for understanding soil processes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A process-level understanding of soil carbon(C) and nitrogen (N) cycling will be facilitated by precise measurement of biochemical compounds in soil organic matter. This review summarizes some recent developments in analyses for soil carbohydrates, amino compounds (amino acids and amino sugars), and...

  6. Improving efficacy of landscape interventions in the (sub) humid Ethiopian highlands by improved understanding of runoff processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tebebu, Tigist; Steenhuis, Tammo; Dagnew, Dessalegn; Guzman, Christian; Bayabil, Haimanote; Zegeye, Assefa; Collick, Amy; Langan, Simon; MacAlister, Charlotte; Langendoen, Eddy; Yitaferu, Birru; Tilahun, Seifu

    2015-09-01

    Despite millions of dollars invested in soil and water conservation practices in the (sub) humid Ethiopian highlands and billions of hours of food-for-work farm labor, sediment concentration in rivers is increasing. This paper reports on the research to reverse the current trend. Based on the understanding of the hydrology of highlands, we provide evidence on sources of surface runoff and sediment and on mechanisms that govern the erosion processes and approaches and how they affect soil and water conservation practices. We suggest that priority in landscape interventions should be given to re-vegetation of the degraded areas so as to reduce the sediment concentration contributions originating from these areas. Additionally, efforts should be directed to gully rehabilitation in the saturated bottom landscape that may consist of vegetating shallow gullies and stabilizing head cuts of deeper gullies Finally, rehabilitation efforts should be directed to increase the rain water infiltration in the upland areas through the hard pan layer by connecting the land surface to the original deep flow paths that exist below about 60 cm. It will reduce the direct runoff during the rainy season and increase baseflow during the dry season.

  7. How can we improve our understanding of cardiovascular safety liabilities to develop safer medicines?

    PubMed Central

    Laverty, HG; Benson, C; Cartwright, EJ; Cross, MJ; Garland, C; Hammond, T; Holloway, C; McMahon, N; Milligan, J; Park, BK; Pirmohamed, M; Pollard, C; Radford, J; Roome, N; Sager, P; Singh, S; Suter, T; Suter, W; Trafford, A; Volders, PGA; Wallis, R; Weaver, R; York, M; Valentin, JP

    2011-01-01

    Given that cardiovascular safety liabilities remain a major cause of drug attrition during preclinical and clinical development, adverse drug reactions, and post-approval withdrawal of medicines, the Medical Research Council Centre for Drug Safety Science hosted a workshop to discuss current challenges in determining, understanding and addressing ‘Cardiovascular Toxicity of Medicines’. This article summarizes the key discussions from the workshop that aimed to address three major questions: (i) what are the key cardiovascular safety liabilities in drug discovery, drug development and clinical practice? (ii) how good are preclinical and clinical strategies for detecting cardiovascular liabilities? and (iii) do we have a mechanistic understanding of these liabilities? It was concluded that in order to understand, address and ultimately reduce cardiovascular safety liabilities of new therapeutic agents there is an urgent need to: Fully characterize the incidence, prevalence and impact of drug-induced cardiovascular issues at all stages of the drug development process. Ascertain the predictive value of existing non-clinical models and assays towards the clinical outcome. Understand the mechanistic basis of cardiovascular liabilities; by addressing areas where it is currently not possible to predict clinical outcome based on preclinical safety data. Provide scientists in all disciplines with additional skills to enable them to better integrate preclinical and clinical data and to better understand the biological and clinical significance of observed changes. Develop more appropriate, highly relevant and predictive tools and assays to identify and wherever feasible to eliminate cardiovascular safety liabilities from molecules and wherever appropriate to develop clinically relevant and reliable safety biomarkers. PMID:21306581

  8. Promoting Safe Walking and Cycling to Improve Public Health: Lessons From The Netherlands and Germany

    PubMed Central

    Pucher, John; Dijkstra, Lewis

    2003-01-01

    Objectives. We examined the public health consequences of unsafe and inconvenient walking and bicycling conditions in American cities to suggest improvements based on successful policies in The Netherlands and Germany. Methods. Secondary data from national travel and crash surveys were used to compute fatality trends from 1975 to 2001 and fatality and injury rates for pedestrians and cyclists in The Netherlands, Germany, and the United States in 2000. Results. American pedestrians and cyclists were much more likely to be killed or injured than were Dutch and German pedestrians and cyclists, both on a per-trip and on a per-kilometer basis. Conclusions. A wide range of measures are available to improve the safety of walking and cycling in American cities, both to reduce fatalities and injuries and to encourage walking and cycling. PMID:12948971

  9. Using Massive Vehicle Positioning Data to Improve Control and Planning of Public Road Transport

    PubMed Central

    Padrón, Gabino; García, Carmelo R.; Quesada-Arencibia, A.; Alayón, Francisco; Pérez, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    This study describes a system for the automatic recording of positioning data for public transport vehicles used on roads. With the data provided by this system, transportation-regulatory authorities can control, verify and improve the routes that vehicles use, while also providing new data to improve the representation of the transportation network and providing new services in the context of intelligent metropolitan areas. The system is executed autonomously in the vehicles, by recording their massive positioning data and transferring them to remote data banks for subsequent processing. To illustrate the utility of the system, we present a case of application that consists of identifying the points at which vehicles stop systematically, which may be points of scheduled stops or points at which traffic signals or road topology force the vehicle to stop. This identification is performed using pattern recognition techniques. The system has been applied under real operating conditions, providing the results discussed in the present study. PMID:24763212

  10. Public goods and private interests: The role of voluntary green power demand in achieving environmental improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiser, Ryan Hayes

    This dissertation explores the role of consumer purchasing behavior in providing public, environmental goods. It does so by empirically evaluating one market---voluntary demand for renewable energy. The dissertation addresses the following five research questions: (1) What does early experience with green power marketing tell us about the prospects for this market to deliver environmental benefits? (2) What product design and marketing approaches might be used to increase voluntary demand? (3) What motivates non-residential customers to voluntarily purchase green power? (4) What role might public policy play in the creation of the green power market? (5) What preferences do individuals hold on the most appropriate forms of support for renewable energy? By helping to answer these questions, this dissertation seeks to better understand the gap between widespread positive attitudes for the environment and an often-anemic response to green product offerings. It contributes to not only the public goods and environmental marketing literatures, but also to contingent valuation methodology and to an emerging literature on the motivations of firms to contribute to environmental causes. The analysis performed is diverse, and includes: a literature review, a mail survey of green power marketers, a mail survey of non-residential green power customers, and contingent valuation and opinion surveys of U.S. residents. Detailed statistical analysis is performed on the data collected from the residential and non-residential surveys. The analysis reveals that customer participation in green power programs to date has been weak. The possibility that the traditional economic concept of "free riding" may explain this low response is raised, and the dissertation identifies a number of marketing approaches that might be used to partially combat this problem. Analysis of survey data shows that non-residential green power purchases have been motivated principally by altruistic concerns

  11. Improving Science Communication and Engaging the Public in Astronomy and Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arion, Douglas N.

    2016-01-01

    A partnershipship between Carthage College and the Appalachian Mountain Club has delivered a successful public education and outreach program that merges natural environment topics and astronomy. Over the four years of activity, over 25,000 people have received programming. The effort has trained nature educators, permanent and seasonal AMC staff, and undergraduate physics and astronomy students to integrate diverse topical material and deliver high quality programming to the lay public. Unique to the program is the holistic nature of the material delivered - an 'atypical' astronomy program. Linking observable characteristics of the natural world with astronomical history and phenomena, and emphasizing the unique sequence of events that have led to human life on Earth, the program has changed attitudes and behaviors among the public participants. Successful interventions have included hands-on observing programs (day and night) that link nature content to the observed objects; table-talk presentations on nature/astronomy topics; dark skies preservation workshops; and hands-on activities developed for younger audiences, including schools, camps, and family groups. An extensive evaluation and assessment effort managed by a leading sociologist has demonstrated the effectiveness of the approach, and contributed to continuous improvement in the program content and methods. This work was supported in part by NSF Grant 1432662.

  12. How experts are chosen to inform public policy: can the process be improved?

    PubMed

    Rowe, Sylvia; Alexander, Nick; Weaver, Connie M; Dwyer, Johanna T; Drew, Christa; Applebaum, Rhona S; Atkinson, Stephanie; Clydesdale, Fergus M; Hentges, Eric; Higley, Nancy A; Westring, M Elizabeth

    2013-10-01

    The ever-increasing complexity of the food supply has magnified the importance of ongoing research into nutrition and food safety issues that have significant impact on public health. At the same time, ethical questions have been raised regarding conflict of interest, making it more challenging to form the expert panels that advise government agencies and public health officials in formulating nutrition and food safety policy. Primarily due to the growing complexity of the interactions among government, industry, and academic research institutions, increasingly stringent conflict-of-interest policies may have the effect of barring the most experienced and knowledgeable nutrition and food scientists from contributing their expertise on the panels informing public policy. This paper explores the issue in some depth, proposing a set of principles for determining considerations for service on expert advisory committees. Although the issues around scientific policy counsel and the selection of advisory panels clearly have global applicability, the context for their development had a US and Canadian focus in this work. The authors also call for a broader discussion in all sectors of the research community as to whether and how the process of empaneling food science and nutrition experts might be improved.

  13. From economic development to public health improvement: China faces equity challenges.

    PubMed

    Liu, S; Griffiths, S M

    2011-10-01

    In the past three decades China has been going through a period of rapid economic growth, which has had profound repercussions for the nation's public health system. Prior to the current health reforms much of the population was left uninsured and facing high financial risk from inadequate healthcare, with especially deep divisions between the urban and rural populations, which continues to pose a huge challenge to health equity and social justice. This paper explores the relationship between economic development and public health and discusses a series of health disparity issues that are emerging in China. These include: (1) health risk and access to care issues among unregistered urban populations (i.e. migrants); (2) low recognition of mental health, and the stigma associated with people with mental illness or communicable disease; and (3) challenges to the traditional system of family care for the elderly, as younger generations migrate to the cities and the remaining rural population ages. Implications for government policy and action to address these issues and improve public health as well as equity are discussed.

  14. Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change: Five "Best Practice" Insights From Psychological Science.

    PubMed

    van der Linden, Sander; Maibach, Edward; Leiserowitz, Anthony

    2015-11-01

    Despite being one of the most important societal challenges of the 21st century, public engagement with climate change currently remains low in the United States. Mounting evidence from across the behavioral sciences has found that most people regard climate change as a nonurgent and psychologically distant risk-spatially, temporally, and socially-which has led to deferred public decision making about mitigation and adaptation responses. In this article, we advance five simple but important "best practice" insights from psychological science that can help governments improve public policymaking about climate change. Particularly, instead of a future, distant, global, nonpersonal, and analytical risk that is often framed as an overt loss for society, we argue that policymakers should (a) emphasize climate change as a present, local, and personal risk; (b) facilitate more affective and experiential engagement; (c) leverage relevant social group norms; (d) frame policy solutions in terms of what can be gained from immediate action; and (e) appeal to intrinsically valued long-term environmental goals and outcomes. With practical examples we illustrate how these key psychological principles can be applied to support societal engagement and climate change policymaking.

  15. The Space Situational Assessment Report to Improve Public Awareness in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hongbo; Zhang, Qi; Xie, Zebing; Wei, Xiangwang; Wang, Tao

    For improvement of public awareness of the impact of space activities in China, a Space Situational Assessment Report 2013 will be issued in March 2014. More than ten Chinese main medium are invited for a special press conference. The Space Situational Assessment Report aims to introduce international space activities to Chinese public, and provide a common, comprehensive knowledge base to support the development of national policies and international security cooperation of outer space. The full report organizes international space activities until 2013 according to three parts those are Foundations, Strategies and Environment, including nine chapters, such as Space laws and policies; Space facility and equipment; Institutions and Human Resource; Military space, Civil space and Commercial space; Natural space environment; Space situational awareness, etc. A kind of Space Situational Assessment Index System is presented as a globally-focused analytic framework that defines, measures, and ranks national space activity. To use for a variety of public themes, different assessment indexes are constituted by scores of individual qualitative and quantitative metrics based on the Index System. Three research organizaitons of space sciences and technologies collaborated on the Space Situational Assessment Report. It is a scholarly and ungovernmental work.

  16. Understanding the Role of Medical Experts during a Public Health Crisis Digital Tools and Library Resources for Research on the 1918 Spanish Influenza.

    PubMed

    Ewing, E Thomas; Gad, Samah; Ramakrishnan, Naren; Reznick, Jeffrey S

    2014-10-01

    Humanities scholars, particularly historians of health and disease, can benefit from digitized library collections and tools such as topic modeling. Using a case study from the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, this paper explores the application of a big humanities approach to understanding the impact of a public health official on the course of the disease and the response of the public, as documented through digitized newspapers and medical periodicals.

  17. Understanding the Role of Medical Experts during a Public Health Crisis Digital Tools and Library Resources for Research on the 1918 Spanish Influenza

    PubMed Central

    Ewing, E. Thomas; Gad, Samah; Ramakrishnan, Naren; Reznick, Jeffrey S.

    2015-01-01

    Humanities scholars, particularly historians of health and disease, can benefit from digitized library collections and tools such as topic modeling. Using a case study from the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, this paper explores the application of a big humanities approach to understanding the impact of a public health official on the course of the disease and the response of the public, as documented through digitized newspapers and medical periodicals. PMID:26413580

  18. Right care, right place, right time: improving the timeliness of health care in New South Wales through a public?private hospital partnership.

    PubMed

    Saunders, Carla; Carter, David J

    2016-09-23

    Objective The overall aim of the study was to investigate and assess the feasibility of improving the timeliness of public hospital care through a New South Wales (NSW)-wide public-private hospital partnership.Methods The study reviewed the academic and professional grey literature, and undertook exploratory analyses of secondary data acquired from two national health data repositories informing in-patient access and utilisation across NSW public and private hospitals.Results In 2014-15, the NSW public hospital system was unable to deliver care within the medically recommended time frame for over 27400 people who were awaiting elective surgery. Available information indicates that the annual commissioning of 15% of public in-patient rehabilitation bed days to the private hospital system would potentially free up enough capacity in the NSW public hospital system to enable elective surgery for all public patients within recommended time frames.Conclusions The findings of the study justify a strategic whole-of-health system approach to reducing public patient wait times in NSW and highlight the need for research efforts aimed at securing a better understanding of available hospital capacity across the public and private hospital systems, and identifying and testing workable models that improve the timeliness of public hospital care.What is known about the topic? There are very few studies available to inform public-private hospital service partnerships and the opportunities available to improve timely health care access through such partnerships.What does this paper add? This paper has the potential to open and prompt timely discussion and debate, and generate further fundamental investigation, on public-private hospital service partnerships in Australia where opportunity is available to address elective surgery wait times in a reliable and effective manner.What are the implications for practitioners? The NSW Ministry of Health and its Local Health Districts have the

  19. Five-step authorship framework to improve transparency in disclosing contributors to industry-sponsored clinical trial publications.

    PubMed

    Marušić, Ana; Hren, Darko; Mansi, Bernadette; Lineberry, Neil; Bhattacharya, Ananya; Garrity, Maureen; Clark, Juli; Gesell, Thomas; Glasser, Susan; Gonzalez, John; Hustad, Carolyn; Lannon, Mary-Margaret; Mooney, LaVerne A; Peña, Teresa

    2014-10-24

    Authorship guidelines have established criteria to guide author selection based on significance of contribution and helped to define associated responsibilities and accountabilities for the published findings. However, low awareness, variable interpretation, and inconsistent application of these guidelines can lead to confusion and a lack of transparency when recognizing those who merit authorship. This article describes a research project led by the Medical Publishing Insights and Practices (MPIP) Initiative to identify current challenges when determining authorship for industry-sponsored clinical trials and develop an improved approach to facilitate decision-making when recognizing authors from related publications. A total of 498 clinical investigators, journal editors, publication professionals and medical writers were surveyed to understand better how they would adjudicate challenging, real-world authorship case scenarios, determine the perceived frequency of each scenario and rate their confidence in the responses provided. Multiple rounds of discussions about these results with journal editors, clinical investigators and industry representatives led to the development of key recommendations intended to enhance transparency when determining authorship. These included forming a representative group to establish authorship criteria early in a trial, having all trial contributors agree to these criteria and documenting trial contributions to objectively determine who warrants an invitation to participate in the manuscript development process. The resulting Five-step Authorship Framework is designed to create a more standardized approach when determining authorship for clinical trial publications. Overall, these recommendations aim to facilitate more transparent authorship decisions and help readers better assess the credibility of results and perspectives of the authors for medical research more broadly. Please see related article: http

  20. A Public-Private Partnership Improves Clinical Performance In A Hospital Network In Lesotho.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, Nathalie; Grabowski, Aria; Jack, Brian; Nkabane-Nkholongo, Elizabeth Limakatso; Vian, Taryn

    2015-06-01

    Health care public-private partnerships (PPPs) between a government and the private sector are based on a business model that aims to leverage private-sector expertise to improve clinical performance in hospitals and other health facilities. Although the financial implications of such partnerships have been analyzed, few studies have examined the partnerships' impact on clinical performance outcomes. Using quantitative measures that reflected capacity, utilization, clinical quality, and patient outcomes, we compared a government-managed hospital network in Lesotho, Africa, and the new PPP-managed hospital network that replaced it. In addition, we used key informant interviews to help explain differences in performance. We found that the PPP-managed network delivered more and higher-quality services and achieved significant gains in clinical outcomes, compared to the government-managed network. We conclude that health care public-private partnerships may improve hospital performance in developing countries and that changes in management and leadership practices might account for differences in clinical outcomes.

  1. Improving Indoor Environmental Quality for Public Health: Impediments and Policy Recommendations

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Felicia; Jacobs, David; Mitchell, Clifford; Miller, David; Karol, Meryl H.

    2007-01-01

    Background People in modern societies spend more than 90% of their time indoors. Hence, indoor environmental quality (IEQ) has a significant impact on public health. In this article we describe health risks associated with indoor environments, illuminate barriers to overcoming these risks, and provide policy recommendations to achieve healthier indoor environments. Objectives The weight of evidence suggests that indoor environmental contaminants pose significant public health risks, particularly among children and the poor, and the societal costs of illnesses related to indoor environments are considerable. Despite the evidence of harm to human health, poor indoor environments are generally difficult to regulate and not of sufficient concern to the general public. We discuss several reasons for this lack of concern about IEQ, focusing specifically on home environments. Discussion Economics plays a large role both in political inaction and individual-level indifference. Because little effort has been made to quantify the value of the societal and individual costs of poor housing quality, as well as the benefits achievable by simple interventions, policymakers lack motivation to act on IEQ. Similarly, individual homeowners lack the incentive to remediate homes, as other problems may be more pressing than home environmental quality. Conclusions Although the problem of IEQ involves multiple stakeholders and multiple levels of governance, it is possible to establish economic incentives that would set the wheels in motion for action at all levels to achieve healthy home environments. Also important are education and information dissemination on the public health risks associated with indoor environments. These recommendations are intended for all decision makers who have an influence in developing policy to improve indoor environmental quality. PMID:17589606

  2. Is the Colombian health system reform improving the performance of public hospitals in Bogotá?

    PubMed

    McPake, Barbara; Yepes, Francisco Jose; Lake, Sally; Sanchez, Luz Helena

    2003-06-01

    Many countries are experimenting with public hospital reform - both increasing the managerial autonomy with which hospitals conduct their affairs, and separating 'purchaser' and 'provider' sides of the health system, thus increasing the degree of market pressure brought to bear on hospitals. Evidence suggesting that such reform will improve hospital performance is weak. From a theoretical perspective, it is not clear why public hospitals should be expected to behave like firms and seek to maximize profits as this model requires. Empirically, there is very slight evidence that such reforms may improve efficiency, and reason to be concerned about their equity implications. In Colombia, an ambitious reform programme includes among its measures the attempt to universalize a segmented health system, the creation of a purchaser-provider split and the transformation of public hospitals into 'autonomous state entities'. By design, the Colombian reform programme avoids the forces that produce equity losses in other developing countries. This paper reports the results of a study that has tried to track hospital performance in other dimensions in the post-reform period in Bogotá. Trends in hospital inputs, production and productivity, quality and patient satisfaction are presented, and qualitative data based on interviews with hospital workers are analyzed. The evidence we have been able to collect is capable of providing only a partial response to the study question. There is some evidence of increased activity and productivity and sustained quality despite declining staffing levels. Qualitative data suggest that hospital workers have noticed considerable changes, which include greater responsiveness to patients but also a heavier administrative burden. It is difficult to attribute specific causality to all of the changes measured and this reflects the inherent difficulty of judging the effects of large-scale reform programmes as well as weaknesses and gaps in the data

  3. The solar activity measurements experiments (SAMEX) for improved scientific understanding of solar activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    The Solar Activity Measurements Experiments (SAMEX) mission is described. It is designed to provide a look at the interactions of magnetic fields and plasmas that create flares and other explosive events on the sun in an effort to understand solar activity and the nature of the solar magnetic field. The need for this mission, the instruments to be used, and the expected benefits of SAMEX are discussed.

  4. Understanding the Potential of Virtual Environments for Improving C2 Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    Collaboration, Information-sharing, and Trust) multiplayer online counterterrorism intelligence game . Currently ELICIT has only a primitive textual interface...Trust) multiplayer online counterterrorism intelligence game to understand the comparative advantages and disadvantages of alternate C2 approaches...steps 2 Background • ELICIT: multiplayer online game —Counterterrorism intelligence domain —Like game Clue: ID fictitious terrorist plots • Used for C2

  5. Structure and content of chronic kidney disease information on the World Wide Web: barriers to public understanding of a pandemic.

    PubMed

    Calderón, José Luis; Zadshir, Ashraf; Norris, Keith

    2004-10-01

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a pandemic and the need to inform those at risk has never been more important. The World Wide Web (WWW) is no w considered a key source of health information, but the quality and utility of this information has been challenged. In this article, we assess structural, content, and linguistic barriers to accessed CKD information and discuss the implications of limited Internet access to communicating health. Technical (number of hyperlinks), content (number of six core CKD and risk factor information domains included), and linguistic (readability and variation in readability) barriers were assessed for websites offered by 12 kidney disease associations. The Flesch Reading Ease Index method was used to estimate readability scores, and variation in the readability of information was assessed. Eleven websites met inclusion criteria. Six of 11 websites provided information in all 6 domains of CKD information. A mean of 4 hyperlinks (range 3-5) was clicked before CKD information was available and a mean of 6 hyperlinks (range 4-12) was clicked to access all available CKD information. Mean readability scores for all six domains of CKD information exceeded national average literacy skills and far exceeded the 5th grade level readability desired for informing vulnerable populations. Information about CKD and diabetes consistently had higher readability scores. The WWW currently has little utility for informing populations at greatest risk for CKD. Barriers to accessing CKD information on the WWW are socioeconomic, technical, and linguistic. Having lower socioeconomic status, less access to computers and the WWW, multiple website hyperlinks, incomplete information, difficult readability, and significant variation in readability of CKD information on the WWW are social, structural, and content barriers to communicating CKD information. This may contribute to the growing epidemics of diminished public understanding about CKD, and disparities in

  6. Qualitative exploration of public and smoker understanding of, and reactions to, an endgame solution to the tobacco epidemic

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background There is increasing interest in ending the tobacco epidemic and in applying ‘endgame’ solutions to achieve that goal at national levels. We explored the understanding of, and reactions to, a tobacco-free vision and an endgame approach to tobacco control among New Zealand smokers and non-smokers. Methods We recruited participants in four focus groups held in June 2009: Māori (indigenous people) smokers (n=7); non-Māori smokers (n=6); Māori non-smokers (n=7); and non-Māori non-smokers (n=4). Participants were from the city of Whanganui, New Zealand. We introduced to them the vision of a tobacco-free New Zealand and the concept of a semi-autonomous agency (Tobacco-Free Commission [TFC]) that would control the tobacco market as part of an endgame approach. Results There was mostly strong support for the tobacco-free New Zealand vision among all groups of participants. The reason most commonly given for supporting the vision was to protect children from tobacco. Most participants stated that they understood the TFC concept and reacted positively to it. Nevertheless, rather than focusing on organisational or structural arrangements, participants tended to focus on supporting the specific measures which a future TFC might facilitate such as plain packaging of tobacco products. Various concerns were also raised around the TFC, particularly around the feasibility of its establishment. Conclusions We were able to successfully communicate a complex and novel supply-side focused tobacco control policy intervention to smokers and non-smokers. The findings add to the evidence from national surveys that there is public support, including from smokers, for achieving a tobacco-free vision and using regulatory and policy measures to achieve it. Support for such measures may be enhanced if they are clearly communicated and explained with a rationale which stresses protecting children and future generations from tobacco smoking. PMID:22974338

  7. The cosmic statements in the Holy Quran as introduction to the public understanding of space science in the Islamic countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosalam Shaltout, M. A.

    The Holy Quran contains more than 800 cosmic statements speak about: sun, moon, planets, stars, Sirius, zodiac, day, night, twilights, position of stars, navigation, blue sky, night sky, dawn, noon, sunrise and sunset, eclipses, lunar months, release to the sky, landing to the earth, and so on. Due to the new discoveries in the 19th and 20th centuries in astronomy and space sciences, some of the Arabian-Islamic scientists and astronomers wished to find the significance of the cosmic statements in the Holy Quran on the light of these new discoveries. This current started at the end of the 19th century, and was growing through the 20th century. Hundreds of the articles published in the Daily news, and in the Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annually Journals. Also, tens of the books published for different authors, from different Arabian and Islamic countries about the significance of the cosmic statements in the Holy Quran on the light of modern astronomy and Space sciences. Also, Radio and TV play an important role in this field, specially after the releasing of the Human kind to the space in the second half of the 20th century. This activity led to construct the International Commission on Scientific Signs in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, which follow to the Muslim World League in Makkah Al-Mukarramah in Saudi Arabia. Where, there is a Quarterly Journal for this purpose, and periodic International conference for the same purpose, the seventh conference was held in February 2004. This paper speak about the activity of the different Arabian-Islamic Scientists and Astronomers in the field of interpretations of the cosmic statements in the Holy Quran on the light of modern astronomy and space science, and their role of increasing the public understanding of space science in the Arabian and Islamic countries.

  8. Publication guidelines for improvement studies in health care: evolution of the SQUIRE Project.

    PubMed

    Davidoff, Frank; Batalden, Paul; Stevens, David; Ogrinc, Greg; Mooney, Susan

    2008-11-04

    In 2005, draft guidelines were published for reporting studies of quality improvement as the initial step in a consensus process for development of a more definitive version. The current article contains the revised version, which we refer to as Standards for QUality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE). This narrative progress report summarizes the special features of improvement that are reflected in SQUIRE and describes major differences between SQUIRE and the initial draft guidelines. It also explains the development process, which included formulation of responses to informal feedback, written commentaries, and input from publication guideline developers; ongoing review of the literature on the epistemology of improvement and methods for evaluating complex social programs; and a meeting of stakeholders for critical review of the guidelines' content and wording, followed by commentary on sequential versions from an expert consultant group. Finally, the report discusses limitations of and unresolved questions about SQUIRE; ancillary supporting documents and alternative versions under development; and plans for dissemination, testing, and further development of SQUIRE.

  9. Socioscientific Issues: A Path Towards Advanced Scientific Literacy and Improved Conceptual Understanding of Socially Controversial Scientific Theories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinzino, Dean William

    This thesis investigates the use of socioscientific issues (SSI) in the high school science classroom as an introduction to argumentation and socioscientific reasoning, with the goal of improving students' scientific literacy (SL). Current research is reviewed that supports the likelihood of students developing a greater conceptual understanding of scientific theories as well as a deeper understanding of the nature of science (NOS), through participation in informal and formal forms of argumentation in the context of SSI. Significant gains in such understanding may improve a student's ability to recognize the rigor, legitimacy, and veracity of scientific claims and better discern science from pseudoscience. Furthermore, students that participate in significant SSI instruction by negotiating a range of science-related social issues can make significant gains in content knowledge and develop the life-long skills of argumentation and evidence-based reasoning, goals not possible in traditional lecture-based science instruction. SSI-based instruction may therefore help students become responsible citizens. This synthesis also suggests that that the improvements in science literacy and NOS understanding that develop from sustained engagement in SSI-based instruction will better prepare students to examine and scrutinize socially controversial scientific theories (i.e., evolution, global warming, and the Big Bang).

  10. The Public and Professional Image of Spanish Speakers and Spanish Programs--And How to Improve It.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mead, Robert G. Jr.

    1980-01-01

    Analyzes the negative perception of Hispanics held by most Anglos and its impact on Spanish teachers' and students' motivation. Discusses means to improve teaching, diversify programs, and outgrow inferiority complexes through public relations resources and cultural awareness. (MES)

  11. A Teacher's Guide to Classroom Assessment: Understanding and Using Assessment to Improve Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Susan M.; McMunn, Nancy D.

    2006-01-01

    This book is a comprehensive guide that shows step-by-step how to effectively integrate assessment into the classroom. Written for both new and seasoned teachers, this important book offers a practical aid for developing assessment skills and strategies, building assessment literacy, and ultimately improving student learning. This book consists of…

  12. Understanding Effective Program Improvement Schools through a Distributed Leadership Task Context Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gipson, Frances Marie

    2012-01-01

    Federal, state, and local agencies face challenges organizing resources that create the conditions necessary to create, sustain, and replicate effective high performing schools. Knowing that leadership does impact achievement outcomes and that school districts tackle growing numbers of sanctioned Program Improvement schools, a distributed…

  13. Using Sap Flow Monitoring for Improved Process-based Ecohydrologic Understanding 2022

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sap flow measurements can be an important tool for unraveling the complex web of ecosystem fluxes, especially when it is combined with other measurements like eddy covariance, isotopes, remote sensing, etc. In this talk, we will demonstrate how sap flow measurements have improved our process-level u...

  14. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement. II. Development of Research-Based Learning Tools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhu, Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

    2012-01-01

    We describe the development and implementation of research-based learning tools such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials and peer-instruction tools to reduce students' common difficulties with issues related to measurement in quantum mechanics. A preliminary evaluation shows that these learning tools are effective in improving students'…

  15. The Limits of Tutor Intervention: Understanding Improvement in a Cultural View of FE Learning and Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, David; Wahlberg, Madeleine

    2007-01-01

    From its inception, the Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education (TLC) project included an explicit intention to identify some principles for the enhancement of learning cultures in order to improve student and teacher learning, and a wish to see how effective different strategies could be in this endeavour. The project showed that both…

  16. Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Katehi, Linda, Ed.; Pearson, Greg, Ed.; Feder, Michael, Ed.

    2009-01-01

    Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other STEM subjects--science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student learning and achievement in science and mathematics, increase awareness of engineering and the work…

  17. Advances in the production and use of steel with improved internal cleanliness. ASTM special technical publication 1361

    SciTech Connect

    Mahaney, J.K. Jr.

    1999-07-01

    From earliest times, the presence of nonmetallic inclusion has been a major source of problems and failures. Failures due to inclusions have been seen in major structures and boilers as well as the inability to successfully form material into usable shapes and parts. The conference sought to determine the status of the state of the art of inclusion identification and prevention, as well as the relative status of different parts of the industry in the attempt to produce material with improved internal cleanliness. The papers presented in this book cover areas from bearing steels to castings. The various authors clearly show that level of inclusion identification and control through processing improvements is greatly dependent upon the sector of the industry. The level of inclusions desired in bearings is several orders of magnitude from the majority of the casting industry. At the same time, manufacturing methods such as continuous casting and other tonnage industry methods are not available in the discrete steel and iron casting segments of the metal melting industry. The papers in the Special Technical Publication show the state of the art in inclusion identification, prevention, and understanding of the deleterious effects of those inclusions. Products covered include bearing steels, high-strength plates, steel castings, stainless steel medical implants, and test methods to determine the presence and effect of nonmetallic inclusions in the steel products. The papers emphasize the effect on the products rather than manufacturing methods.

  18. Using Scientific Argumentation in a Science Methods Course to Improve Preservice Teachers' Understanding of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, J. L.; Bleicher, R. E.; Soden, B. J.

    2014-12-01

    Given that K-12 students have numerous alternative conceptions, it is critical that teachers have an understanding of the fundamental science underlying climate change (Feldman et al., 2010). Many teachers, however, do not demonstrate adequate understanding of these concepts (Daskolia et al., 2006). Argumentation has been identified as a mechanism for conceptual change (Mercer et al., 2004). Even with several educational initiatives promoting and supporting the use of argumentation as an instructional practice, teachers often struggle to implement argumentation in the classroom (Sampson & Blanchard, 2012). To remedy both issues above, we have designed an innovative methods course to provide background in climate change knowledge and argumentation instruction. In our methods course, we utilize Climate Science Investigations (CSI), an online, interactive series of modules and teaching resources funded by a NASA grant to support teachers learning about the basic science concepts underlying climate change. A key assignment is to develop and present an evidence-based scientific argument. The teachers were assigned a typical question and claim of climate skeptics and asked to conduct research on the scientific findings to prepare a counter-argument (rebuttal). This study examined changes in 60 preservice teachers' knowledge and perceptions about climate change after participation in the course. The teachers' understanding of fundamental concepts increased significantly. Their perceptions about climate change became more aligned to those of climate scientists. Findings suggest that scientific argumentation can play an effective role in the preparation of science educators. In addition to reporting findings in more detail, methods course activities, particularly in argumentation, will be shared in our presentation.

  19. Improving Student Understanding of Magmatic Differentiation Using an M&M Magma Chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wirth, K. R.

    2003-12-01

    Many students, especially those in introductory geology courses, have difficulty developing a deep understanding of the processes of magmatic differentiation. In particular, students often struggle to understand Bowen's reaction series and fractional crystallization. The process of fractional crystallization by gravity settling can be illustrated using a model magma chamber consisting of M&M's. In this model, each major cation (e.g., Si, Ti, Al, Fe, Mg, Ca, Na, K) is represented by a different color M&M; other kinds of differently colored or shaped pieces could also be used. Appropriate numbers of each color M&M are combined to approximate the cation proportions of a basaltic magma. Students then fractionate the magma by moving M&M's to the bottom of the magma chamber forming a series of cumulus layers; the M&M's are removed in the stoichiometric proportions of cations in the crystallizing minerals (e.g., olivine, pyroxene, feldspars, quartz, magnetite, ilmenite). Students observe the changing cation composition (proportions of colors of M&M's) in the cumulus layers and in the magma chamber and graph the results using spreadsheet software. More advanced students (e.g., petrology course) can classify the cumulates and resulting liquid after each crystallization step, and they can compare the model system with natural magmatic systems (e.g., absence of important fractionating phases, volatiles). Students who have completed this exercise generally indicate a positive experience and demonstrate increased understanding of Bowen's reaction series and fractionation processes. They also exhibit greater familiarity with mineral stoichiometry, classification, solid-solution in minerals, element behavior (e.g., incompatibility), and chemical variation diagrams. Other models (e.g., paths of equilibrium and fractional crystallization on phase diagrams) can also be used to illustrate differentiation processes in upper level courses (e.g., mineralogy and petrology).

  20. Improving pharmacy students' understanding and long-term retention of acid-base chemistry.

    PubMed

    Roche, Victoria F

    2007-12-15

    Despite repeated exposure to the principles underlying the behavior of organic acids and bases in aqueous solution, some pharmacy students remain confused about the topic of acid-base chemistry. Since a majority of organic drug molecules have acid-base character, the ability to predict their reactivity and the extent to which they will ionize in a given medium is paramount to students' understanding of essentially all aspects of drug action in vivo and in vitro. This manuscript presents a medicinal chemistry lesson in the fundamentals of acid-base chemistry that many pharmacy students have found enlightening and clarifying.