WorldWideScience

Sample records for improving public understanding

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. CDBG Public Improvements Activity

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Housing and Urban Development — CDBG activity related to public improvements, including senior centers, youth centers, parks, street improvements, water/sewer improvements, child care centers, fire...

  6. Public understanding of sustainable tourism

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, G; Rathouse, K; Scarles, C; Holmes, K.; Tribe, J

    2010-01-01

    If tourism is to become part of a more sustainable lifestyle, changes are needed to the patterns of behaviour adopted by the public. This paper presents the results of research conducted amongst members of the public in England on their understanding of sustainable tourism; their response to four desired tourism behaviour goals, and expectations about the role of government and the tourism industry in encouraging sustainable tourism. The research shows a lack of awareness of tourism’s impact ...

  7. Public understanding of drug therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Understanding vaccines: a public imperative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 p...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  12. Understanding Public Responses to Emerging Technologies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Macnaghten, Philip; Davies, S.R.; Kearnes, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies aimed at understanding public responses to emerging technologies have given limited attention to the social and cultural processes through which public concerns emerge. When probed, these have tended to be explained either in cognitive social psychological terms, typically in the

  13. Understanding performative interactions in public settings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Williamson, Julie; Hansen, Lone Koefoed; Jacucci, Giulio

    2014-01-01

    Interactive digital technologies pervade our shared spaces in personal, mobile, infrastructural and other embedded forms. These changes challenge the ways we understand and investigate the relationships between people, computing and settings. Responding to this situation—where ubiquitous computing...... is not only personal but also public, and where digital interactions may happen anywhere—this special issue explores how HCI research can use the strengths of an intersection of theory, practice and innovation in order to best address this conjunction of interactive technologies, public spaces and people...

  14. Understanding the nature of health: New perspectives for medicine and public health. Improved wellbeing at lower costs [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Bircher

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  15. Improving public disclosure in banking

    OpenAIRE

    anonymous

    2000-01-01

    The use of market discipline as a complement to bank supervision and regulation has gained greater acceptance in the United States and abroad. It is also widely recognized that effective market discipline depends on market participants' having information about the risks and financial condition of banking organizations. Therefore, attention is being focused increasingly on ways to improve transparency in banking. Staff of the Federal Reserve System undertook a staff study, Improving Public Di...

  16. Interweaving climate research and public understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betts, A. K.

    2016-12-01

    For the past 10 years I have been using research into land-atmosphere-cloud coupling to address Vermont's need to understand climate change, and develop plans for greater resilience in the face of increasing severe weather. The research side has shown that the fraction of days with snow cover determines the cold season climate, because snow acts as a fast climate switch between non-overlapping climates with and without snow cover. Clouds play opposite roles in warm and cold seasons: surface cooling in summer and warming in winter. The later fall freeze-up and earlier spring ice-out on lakes, coupled to the earlier spring phenology, are clear markers both of a warming climate, as well as the large interannual variability. Severe flooding events have come with large-scale quasi-stationary weather patterns. This past decade I have given 230 talks to schools, business and professional groups, as well as legislative committees and state government. I have written 80 environmental columns for two Vermont newspapers, as part of a weekly series I helped start in 2008. Commentaries and interviews on radio and TV enable me to explain directly the issues we face, as the burning of fossil fuels destabilizes the climate system. The public in Vermont is eager to learn and understand these issues since many have roots in the land; while professional groups need all the information and guidance possible to prepare for the future. My task as a scientist is to map out what we know in ways that can readily be grasped in terms of past experience, even though the climate system is already moving outside this range - and at the same time outline general principles and hopeful strategies for dealing with global and local climate change.

  17. MANAGING OPERATIONS IMPROVEMENT IN ROMANIAN PUBLIC SERVICES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BALOI IONUT-COSMIN

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to develop a pleading for the transfer of best practices to improving the operational activity in the Romanian public institutions. The practice of implementation demonstrates that the perception of many executives in the Romanian private enterprises regarding the set of tools to improve processes and assimilation of lean philosophy is not a very favorable and encouraging one. It can be said that only some large enterprises had successfully introduced in their daily practice and organization the improvement principles, the operational optimization and the elimination of waste sources. In the SMEs, and especially in the services the experiences are isolated, but they have demonstrated the usefulness (the frequency of saving goals indicate, indeed, the need for proliferation of continuous improvement principles. Regarding the public organizations, the implementation of the new management system of designing and operating the current practices is pretty unknown, accepted at declarative level, but becomes, when is planned and implemented rather a burden on managers who should take on this challenge. Both in public management and private management, today the focus is on people and relationships (processes and projects, starting of course with the work organization. The good practices successfully proved in the private management in the recent decades are transferred today to public institutions; and the Romanian public organizations tend to adapt, also in terms of processes optimization. The study aims to analyze the functioning of the hypothetical management system of processes improvements, respectively the applying of lean tools and principles within the public Romanian institution. They are treated some dysfunctions observed within the process of understanding the utility aspects and throughout the assuming of operational improvement goals within these organizations. The qualitative observations, the critical interpretations and

  18. Understanding performative interactions in public settings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Williamson, Julie; Hansen, Lone Koefoed; Jacucci, Giulio

    2014-01-01

    is not only personal but also public, and where digital interactions may happen anywhere—this special issue explores how HCI research can use the strengths of an intersection of theory, practice and innovation in order to best address this conjunction of interactive technologies, public spaces and people...

  19. Public policy frameworks for improving population health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarlov, A R

    1999-01-01

    Four conceptual frameworks provide bases for constructing comprehensive public policy strategies for improving population health within wealthy (OECD) nations. (1) Determinants of population health. There are five broad categories: genes and biology, medical care, health behaviors, the ecology of all living things, and social/societal characteristics. (2) Complex systems: Linear effects models and multiple independent effects models fail to yield results that explain satisfactorily the dynamics of population health production. A different method (complex systems modeling) is needed to select the most effective interventions to improve population health. (3) An intervention framework for population health improvement. A two-by-five grid seems useful. Most intervention strategies are either ameliorative or fundamentally corrective. The other dimension of the grid captures five general categories of interventions: child development, community development, adult self-actualization, socioeconomic well-being, and modulated hierarchical structuring. (4) Public policy development process: the process has two phases. The initial phase, in which public consensus builds and an authorizing environment evolves, progresses from values and culture to identification of the problem, knowledge development from research and experience, the unfolding of public awareness, and the setting of a national agenda. The later phase, taking policy action, begins with political engagement and progresses to interest group activation, public policy deliberation and adoption, and ultimately regulation and revision. These frameworks will be applied to help understand the 39 recommendations of the Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health, the Sir Donald Acheson Report from the United Kingdom, which is the most ambitious attempt to date to develop a comprehensive plan to improve population health.

  20. Understanding the Cost of Public Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. Understanding the Cost of Public Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  2. Strengthening public health research for improved health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique Gea-Izquierdo

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Research in public health is a range that includes from fundamental research to research in clinical practice, including novel advances, evaluation of results and their spreading. Actually, public health research is considered multidisciplinary incorporating numerous factors in its development. Establishing as a mainstay the scientific method, deepens in basic research, clinical epidemiological research and health services. The premise of quality and relevance is reflected in international scientific research, and in the daily work and good biomedical practices that should be included in the research as a common task. Therefore, the research must take a proactive stance of inquiry, integrating a concern planned and ongoing development of knowledge. This requires improve international coordination, seeking a balance between basic and applied research as well as science and technology. Thus research cannot be considered without innovation, weighing up the people and society needs. Acting on knowledge of scientific production processes requires greater procedures thoroughness and the effective expression of the results. It is noted as essential to establish explicit principles in review and evaluation of the adjustments of actions, always within the standards of scientific conduct and fairness of the research process. In the biomedical scientific lines it have to be consider general assessments that occur related to the impact and quality of health research, mostly leading efforts to areas that require further attention. However, other subject areas that may be deficient or with lower incidence in the population should not be overlook. Health research as a source of new applications and development provides knowledge, improving well-being. However, it is understandable without considering the needs and social demands. Therefore, in public health research and to improve the health of the population, we must refine and optimize the prevention and

  3. Improving Student Understanding of Spatial Ecology Statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  4. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement

    CERN Document Server

    Zhu, Guangtian

    2016-01-01

    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.

  5. Improving Student Understanding of Spatial Ecology Statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, Robert, II; Alberts, Halley

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. On the importance of PURE - Public Understanding of Renewable Energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broman, Lars; Kandpal, Tara C.

    2013-09-15

    Public understanding of science (PUS) is a central concept among science communicators. Public understanding of renewable energy (PURE) is proposed as an important sub-concept of PUS. The aim of this paper is to interest and invite renewable energy scientists to join a PURE research project. Four separate important questions for a PURE research project can be identified: (A) Is PURE important? (B) Which issues of PURE are the most important ones, according to renewable energy scientists? (C) What understanding of renewable energy has the general public today, worldwide? (D) How to achieve PURE?.

  8. Public understanding of science wins 3m pounds boost

    CERN Multimedia

    1999-01-01

    The British Association for the Advancement of Science is to receive a grant of almost 3 million pounds from the Welcome Trust to support its work to promote the public understanding of science (2 paragraphs).

  9. Speaking with Numbers: Scientific Literacy and Public Understanding of Science

    OpenAIRE

    SEVGİ, Levent

    2006-01-01

    Public understanding of science and scientific literacy is discussed. Scientific method, scientific process and scientific filter are reviewed accordingly. Basic terms of measurement and numerical calculation are outlined. Finally, fundamental requirements of scientific literacy and critical response skills are presented.

  10. Science Communication for the Public Understanding of Nuclear Issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cho, Seongkyung [Myungji Univ., Yongin (Korea, Republic of)

    2006-04-15

    Uncertainty, stigma, risk perception, and value judgment represent characteristics of nuclear issues in the public arena. Nuclear issue, in the public arena, is a kind of risk rather than technology that we are willing to use for good purpose. There are uncertainty, stigma, risk perception, and value judgment as characteristics of nuclear. The notion of the public, here is of active, sensitive, and sensible citizens, with power and influence. The public understands nuclear issues less through direct experience or education than through the filter of mass media. Trust has been a key issue on public understanding of nuclear issues. Trust belongs to human. The public understanding process includes perception, interpretation, and evaluation. Therefore, science communication is needed for public understanding. Unfortunately, science communication is rarely performed well, nowadays, There are three important actors-the public, experts, and media. Effective science communication means finding comprehensible ways of presenting opaque and complex nuclear issues. It makes new and strong demands on experts. In order to meet that requirement, experts should fulfill their duty about developing nuclear technology for good purpose, understand the public before expecting the public to understand nuclear issues, accept the unique culture of the media process, take the responsibility for any consequence which nuclear technologies give rise to, communicate with an access route based on sensibility and rationality, have a flexible angle in the science communication process, get creative leadership for the communication process with deliberation and disagreement, make efficient use of various science technologies for science communication. We should try to proceed with patience, because science communication makes for a more credible society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  12. Public Understanding of Climate Change in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  13. Public Understanding of Climate Change in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  14. Public Understanding of and Attitudes towards Science & Technology in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Daguang

    2005-01-01

    @@ China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) began the research and survey of the Chinese Public Understanding of Science and Technology at the beginning of the 1990s with the help of Prof. Jon D. Miller, then Director of US National Public Opinion Research Center and Longitudinal Studies of the Youth at the Illinois University.

  15. Role of the special publications and media production for public understanding of space sciences: Ukrainian example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vavilova, I.

    Ukraine has an advanced infrastructure providing its scientists with the support to take their skills in scientific space and astronomical research (some historical comments and present status will be briefly given). Nevertheless, the general understanding on what is the role of space sciences in development of the Ukrainian economy and society does not be yet in line with the high profile of space sciences. To improve this situation, the Space Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences and the Ukrainian Astronomical Association have supported the issues of special publications in these fields, namely the "Our sky" and "Pulsar" magazines, the special translated edition of the "Magnificent cosmos", the "Ukraine in constellation of space states of the world" special edition, moreover, the special movies dedicated to the well-known scientists and designers have been produced as well as various exhibitions and other PR actions have been organized. Paper will be devoted to the study of public reaction on this action.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Emerging theoretical understanding of pluricentric coordination in public governance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reff Pedersen, Anne; Sehested, Karina; Sørensen, Eva

    2011-01-01

    institutionally or functionally demarcated units that follows a specific pregiven rational logic of consequentiality. This view is apparent in public administration theory, organization theory, and planning theory. In recent years, this unitary, rationalist understanding of coordination has been challenged...... processes in which public authorities seek to govern their subjects. In the new theories, one of the main questions is how to get a better hold of this new understanding of coordination in processes of public governance. The article aims to do so by bringing together insights from three theoretical strands......: public administration theory, organizational theory, and planning theory to show how each of them are currently contributing to the development of what we define as a theory of pluricentric coordination in public governance....

  18. Understanding American Culture From the Taboos in Public Activities%Understanding American Culture From the Taboos in Public Activities

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    游荣荣

    2011-01-01

    This thesis aims to contrast the taboos between China and English-speaking countries, in order to make people know and understand the taboos in public activities . It is helpful for our cross-cultural social intercourse and makes both sides to understand

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Public understanding of chemistry research in print news

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fafard, Patrick

    2012-12-01

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

  2. Understanding public (misunderstanding of tDCS for enhancement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Yenisa Cabrera

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Do we need a public understanding of statistics?

    OpenAIRE

    Roten, Fabienne Crettaz von

    2006-01-01

    Abstract This paper explores arguments in favor of a public understanding of statistics and suggests its possible contributions to the analysis of surveys of attitudes toward science. Statistics permeates all aspects of life?from education, work, media, and health, to citizenship. For example, most media reporting includes statistical references to health, social and demographic trends, education, and ...

  4. Understanding Digital Health as Public Pedagogy: A Critical Framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Rich

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper argues on behalf of a public pedagogy approach to developing a critical understanding of digital health technologies. It begins by appraising the hitherto polarised articulations of digital innovation as either techno-utopian or techno-dystopian, examining these expectations of technology and considering the tensions between them. It subsequently outlines how a public pedagogy approach can help mediate between these views, offering a more contextualised, socio-political perspective of mHealth. This approach teases out the nuances of digital health by engaging with the complexities of embodied learning. Furthermore, it urges caution against viewing these pedagogical forces as one of transference, or simple governance. To this end, we therefore contextualise our critique of digital health, within an attempt to reconstitute an understanding of public pedagogies of technology.

  5. Public understanding in Great Britain of ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. The current state of public understanding of nanotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waldron, Anna M [Cornell University, Nanobiotechnology Center (United States)], E-mail: amw37@cornell.edu; Spencer, Douglas [Edu, Inc. (United States); Batt, Carl A [Cornell University (United States)

    2006-10-15

    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.

  7. A Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Beyond consent--improving understanding in surgical patients.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Mulsow, Jürgen J W

    2012-01-01

    Little is known of the actual understanding that underlies patient choices with regard to their surgical treatment. This review explores current knowledge of patient understanding and techniques that may be used to improve this understanding.

  9. Understanding Higher Education Institutions' Publicness: Do Public Universities Produce More Public Outcomes than Private Universities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Young-Joo

    2017-01-01

    Higher education institutions produce a broad array of public outcomes. However, little is known about the varying levels of their contribution to the public good and what explains the variation among institutions. This study uses the theory of organisational publicness and examines how these institutions' ownership status and resource publicness…

  10. Health care quality improvement publication trends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Understanding employee engagement in a public service context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Mette Strange

    Employee engagement has long been capturing the attention of researchers and practitioners (Bakker, Albrecht, & Leiter, 2011; Kahn, 1990), due to its positive impact on various measures of organizational performance and individual level outcomes (Gruman & Saks, 2011; Harter, Schmidt, & Hayes, 2002......). To date however, employee engagement has primarily been studied in private manufacturing firms, but since it cannot be assumed that employee engagement models developed in the private sector are applicable to the public sector (Boselie, 2010; Taher & Emmert, 1992), future research is needed. The purpose...... of this paper is therefore to build a research agenda aiming to understand employee engagement in a public service context. The paper begins with a literature review of the main contributions to the study of employee engagement and then follows with a brief review of the public sector, highlighting some...

  12. Numbers, scale and symbols: the public understanding of nanotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Batt, Carl A. [Cornell University, Department of Food Science (United States); Waldron, Anna M., E-mail: amw37@cornell.ed [Waldron Educational Consulting (United States); Broadwater, Natalie [Cornell University, Department of Food Science (United States)

    2008-10-15

    Nanotechnology will be an increasing part of the everyday lives of most people in the world. There is a general recognition that few people understand the implications of the technology, the technology itself or even the definition of the word. This lack of understanding stems from a lack of knowledge about science in general but more specifically difficulty in grasping the size scale and symbolism of nanotechnology. A potential key to informing the general public is establishing the ability to comprehend the scale of nanotechnology. Transitioning from the macro to the nanoscale seems to require an ability to comprehend scales of one-billion. Scaling is a skill not common in most individuals and tests of their ability to extrapolate size based upon scaling a common object demonstrates that most individuals cannot scale to the extent needed to make the transition to nanoscale. Symbolism is another important vehicle to providing the general public with a basis to understand the concepts of nanotechnology. With increasing age, individuals are able to draw representations of atomic scale objects, but these tend to be iconic and the different representations not easily translated. Ball and stick models are most recognized by the public, which provides an opportunity to present not only useful symbolism but also a reference point for the atomic scale.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  14. Improvement of publicly verifiable authenticated encryption scheme

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LEI Fei-yu; CHEN Wen; MA Chang-she; CHEN Ke-fei

    2007-01-01

    A weakness of unforgeability is found in Ma and Chen scheme, and the root cause is the susceptive linear design in the scheme. In order to avoid the weakness and susceptive linear design, an improvement by means of two mechanisms including quadratic residue and composite discrete logarithm is proposed, which can defeat the forgery attacks in Ma and Chen scheme. The new scheme remains good confidentiality, public verifiability and efficiency.

  15. Improving semantic scene understanding using prior information

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Improving Education and Understanding of NDLTD

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Seungwon; Oh, Sanghee; Pomerantz, Jeffrey P.; Wildemuth, Barbara M.; Fox, Edward A.

    2007-01-01

    To understand ETDs, what NDLTD is, how it works, and the benefits of NDLTD, it is necessary to educate those involved, such as students who will create and submit their ETDs, as well as the library staff members who will be participating in NDLTD and administering their local system. To help educators prepare digital library (DL) courses supportive of their goals, our DL curriculum group has been developing educational modules and conducting field analyses since January 2006. This paper is a ...

  17. Assessing Models of Public Understanding In ELSI Outreach Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  18. Improving Urban Mobility by Understanding its Complexity

    CERN Document Server

    Gershenson, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Urban mobility systems are composed multiple elements with strong interactions, i.e. their future is co-determined by the state of other elements. Thus, studying components in isolation, i.e. using a reductionist approach, is inappropriate. I propose five recommendations to improve urban mobility based on insights from the scientific study of complex systems: use adaptation over prediction, regulate interactions to avoid friction, use sensors to recover real time information, develop adaptive algorithms to exploit that information, and deploy agents to act on the urban environment.

  19. Understanding the Dynamics of EngagingIinteraction in Public Spaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalsgaard, Peter; Dindler, Christian; Halskov, Kim

    We present an analysis of three interactive installations in public spaces, in terms of their support of engagement as an evolving process. In particular, we focus on how engagement unfolds as a dynamic process that may be understood in terms of evolving relations between cultural, physical......, content-related, and social elements of interactive environments. These elements are explored through the literature on engagement with interaction design, and it is argued that, although valuable contributions have been made towards understanding engagement with interactive environments, the ways...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. Understanding public perceptions of biotechnology through the "Integrative Worldview Framework".

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Witt, Annick; Osseweijer, Patricia; Pierce, Robin

    2015-07-03

    Biotechnological innovations prompt a range of societal responses that demand understanding. Research has shown such responses are shaped by individuals' cultural worldviews. We aim to demonstrate how the Integrative Worldview Framework (IWF) can be used for analyzing perceptions of biotechnology, by reviewing (1) research on public perceptions of biotechnology and (2) analyses of the stakeholder-debate on the bio-based economy, using the Integrative Worldview Framework (IWF) as analytical lens. This framework operationalizes the concept of worldview and distinguishes between traditional, modern, and postmodern worldviews, among others. Applied to these literatures, this framework illuminates how these worldviews underlie major societal responses, thereby providing a unifying understanding of the literature on perceptions of biotechnology. We conclude the IWF has relevance for informing research on perceptions of socio-technical changes, generating insight into the paradigmatic gaps in social science, and facilitating reflexive and inclusive policy-making and debates on these timely issues. © The Author(s) 2015.

  2. MELATONIN: POTENTIAL UTILITY FOR IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russel J REITER; Fatih GULTEKIN; Luis J FLORES; Ma Pilar TERRON; Dun-Xian TAN

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available This review summarizes the beneficial actions of melatonin in various experimental conditions/diseases and identifies where the use of melatonin may be helpful in improving public health. The nightly use of melatonin supplements by humans often improves their sleep and helps correct the circadian dyssynchronization associated with “jet lag”. Additionally, melatonin has been found effective in curtailing the growth of a variety of experimental cancers. Mechanistically, this is achieved by melatonin’s ability to limit fatty acid uptake, especially linoleic acid, by tumor cells. Fatty acids are growth factors for many tumors. Additionally, melatonin inhibits the elevated telomerase activity of tumor cells thus making them more fragile and vulnerable to chemotherapies. Melatonin also may inhibit angiogenesis in tumors by suppressing endothelin-1 production and the indole interferes with the stimulatory action of steroids on hormone-responsive tumors. As an ubiquitously-acting antioxidant, melatonin reduces cardiac damage during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R injury (heart attack and during I/R to the brain (stroke. Melatonin also limits the toxicity of amyloid  peptide and of neurofibrillary tangles, two of the cardinal signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Collectively, these data suggest supplementation with melatonin, whose endogenous levels decrease with age, may improve the quality of life in the aged and, as a consequence, be beneficial for public health generally. [TAF Prev Med Bull 2006; 5(2.000: 131-158

  3. Measuring and Understanding Public Opinion on Human Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Climate services to improve public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Understanding mis-implementation in public health practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownson, Ross C; Allen, Peg; Jacob, Rebekah R; Harris, Jenine K; Duggan, Kathleen; Hipp, Pamela R; Erwin, Paul C

    2015-05-01

    A better understanding of mis-implementation in public health (ending effective programs and policies or continuing ineffective ones) may provide important information for decision makers. The purpose of this study is to describe the frequency and patterns in mis-implementation of programs in state and local health departments in the U.S. A cross-sectional study of 944 public health practitioners was conducted. The sample included state (n=277) and local health department employees (n=398) and key partners from other agencies (n=269). Data were collected from October 2013 through June 2014 (analyzed in May through October 2014). Online survey questions focused on ending programs that should continue, continuing programs that should end, and reasons for endings. Among state health department employees, 36.5% reported that programs often or always end that should have continued, compared with 42.0% of respondents in local health departments and 38.3% of respondents working in other agencies. In contrast to ending programs that should have continued, 24.7% of state respondents reported programs often or always continuing when they should have ended, compared to 29.4% for local health departments and 25% of respondents working in other agencies. Certain reasons for program endings differed at the state versus local level (e.g., policy support, support from agency leadership), suggesting that actions to address mis-implementation are likely to vary. The current data suggest a need to focus on mis-implementation in public health practice in order to make the best use of scarce resources. Copyright © 2015 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Understanding the organization of public health delivery systems: an empirical typology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  7. An Improved Publication Process for the UMVF.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. A territorial understanding of sustainability in public development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peti, Marton, E-mail: mpeti@vati.hu

    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.

  10. Understanding what needs to be done to improve a school

    OpenAIRE

    Wilson, G Stuart

    2003-01-01

    This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University. The purpose of this research is to discover different ways of understanding what needs to be done to improve a school, with particular reference to secondary school head teachers. The variation within those understandings, and how the understandings are logically and hierarchically related, are also of interest. Contributions of theory and knowledge to the quality of head teachers' thinking, ...

  11. Improving Students' Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Improving Students' Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Looking beyond superficial knowledge gaps: understanding public representations of biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buijs, A.E.; Fischer, A.; Rink, D.; Young, J.C.

    2008-01-01

    Lack of public support for, and protest against, biodiversity management measures have often been explained by the apparently inadequate knowledge of biodiversity in the general public. In stark contrast to this assumption of public ignorance, our results from focus group discussions in The

  14. Improving health outcomes with better patient understanding and education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert John Adams

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Understanding individual attitudes towards ban on smoking in public places

    OpenAIRE

    Zasimova, Liudmila; Kossova, Elena; Ryazanova, Marina

    2014-01-01

    The paper discusses factors that have impact on individual attitudes towards bans on smoking in a number of public places — hospitals, universities, work sites, sports facilities, cafes and restaurants, bars and clubs. Using data from national public opinion survey conducted in 2011 by Levada Center for HSE we show that support of smoking bans varies across types of public places and depends on different social and economic characteristics of individuals. Smoking is an important but not the o...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. Understanding Public-Private Collaboration Configurations for International Information Infrastructures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klievink, A.J.

    2015-01-01

    Collaboration between the public and the private sector is seen as an instrument to make governance smarter, more effective, and more efficient. However, whereas there is literature on public-private collaboration, very little of it addresses how these collaborations can be shaped to make use of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  20. Understanding Public Attitudes in Britain towards Faith Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, Ben

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides a detailed analysis of different aspects of public attitudes towards faith schools in Britain. It examines two questions relating to government policy on this issue and two questions that ask about the perceived outcomes of this type of school. After discussing existing public opinion on this issue it uses data from the British…

  1. Public health triangulation: approach and application to synthesizing data to understand national and local HIV epidemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutherford, George W; McFarland, William; Spindler, Hilary; White, Karen; Patel, Sadhna V; Aberle-Grasse, John; Sabin, Keith; Smith, Nathan; Taché, Stephanie; Calleja-Garcia, Jesus M; Stoneburner, Rand L

    2010-07-29

    Public health triangulation is a process for reviewing, synthesising and interpreting secondary data from multiple sources that bear on the same question to make public health decisions. It can be used to understand the dynamics of HIV transmission and to measure the impact of public health programs. While traditional intervention research and meta-analysis would be ideal sources of information for public health decision making, they are infrequently available, and often decisions can be based only on surveillance and survey data. The process involves examination of a wide variety of data sources and both biological, behavioral and program data and seeks input from stakeholders to formulate meaningful public health questions. Finally and most importantly, it uses the results to inform public health decision-making. There are 12 discrete steps in the triangulation process, which included identification and assessment of key questions, identification of data sources, refining questions, gathering data and reports, assessing the quality of those data and reports, formulating hypotheses to explain trends in the data, corroborating or refining working hypotheses, drawing conclusions, communicating results and recommendations and taking public health action. Triangulation can be limited by the quality of the original data, the potentials for ecological fallacy and "data dredging" and reproducibility of results. Nonetheless, we believe that public health triangulation allows for the interpretation of data sets that cannot be analyzed using meta-analysis and can be a helpful adjunct to surveillance, to formal public health intervention research and to monitoring and evaluation, which in turn lead to improved national strategic planning and resource allocation.

  2. Public health triangulation: approach and application to synthesizing data to understand national and local HIV epidemics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aberle-Grasse John

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Public health triangulation is a process for reviewing, synthesising and interpreting secondary data from multiple sources that bear on the same question to make public health decisions. It can be used to understand the dynamics of HIV transmission and to measure the impact of public health programs. While traditional intervention research and metaanalysis would be ideal sources of information for public health decision making, they are infrequently available, and often decisions can be based only on surveillance and survey data. Methods The process involves examination of a wide variety of data sources and both biological, behavioral and program data and seeks input from stakeholders to formulate meaningful public health questions. Finally and most importantly, it uses the results to inform public health decision-making. There are 12 discrete steps in the triangulation process, which included identification and assessment of key questions, identification of data sources, refining questions, gathering data and reports, assessing the quality of those data and reports, formulating hypotheses to explain trends in the data, corroborating or refining working hypotheses, drawing conclusions, communicating results and recommendations and taking public health action. Results Triangulation can be limited by the quality of the original data, the potentials for ecological fallacy and "data dredging" and reproducibility of results. Conclusions Nonetheless, we believe that public health triangulation allows for the interpretation of data sets that cannot be analyzed using meta-analysis and can be a helpful adjunct to surveillance, to formal public health intervention research and to monitoring and evaluation, which in turn lead to improved national strategic planning and resource allocation.

  3. Understanding and Improving the Smartphone Ecosystem: Measurements, Security and Tools

    OpenAIRE

    Wei, Xuetao

    2013-01-01

    The smartphone ecosystem encompasses smartphones' hardware and software platform, applications (apps) running on top of the platform, as well the infrastructural components. As the smartphone ecosystem is becoming an important part of our daily life, it is essential to profile, understand and, ultimately, secure the devices and the information they collect and manipulate. To this end, we pave the way for understanding and improving the smartphone ecosystem by designing useful tools, performin...

  4. Improving Team Performance for Public Health Preparedness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Megan; Scullard, Mickey; Hedberg, Craig; Moilanen, Emily; Radi, Deborah; Riley, William; Bowen, Paige Anderson; Petersen-Kroeber, Cheryl; Stenberg, Louise; Olson, Debra K

    2017-02-01

    Between May 2010 and September 2011, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to assess the effect of exercises on team performance during public health emergency response. Participants were divided into 3 research teams exposed to various levels of intervention. Groups consisted of a control group that was given standard MDH training exercises, a didactic group exposed to team dynamics and communication training, and a treatment group that received the didactic training in addition to a post-exercise facilitated debriefing. To assess differences in team performance, teams engaged in 15 functional exercises. Differences in team performance across the 3 groups were identified, although there was no trend in team performance over time for any of the groups. Groups demonstrated fluctuation in team performance during the study period. Attitudinal surveys demonstrated an increase in workplace satisfaction and confidence in training among all groups throughout the study period. Findings from this research support that a critical link exists between training type and team performance during public health emergency response. This research supports that intentional teamwork training for emergency response workers is essential for effective public health emergency response. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:7-10).

  5. Public understanding of visual representations of uncertainty in temperature forecasts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tak, S.W.; Toet, A.; Erp, J.B.F. van

    2015-01-01

    Multiday weather forecasts often include graphical representations of uncertainty. However, visual representations of probabilistic events are often misinterpreted by the general public. Although various uncertainty visualizations are now in use, the parameters that determine their successful deploy

  6. Public Understanding of Science: Science PR and Popular Culture

    OpenAIRE

    Mircea SAVA

    2011-01-01

    The present social context has imposed on science an active communication behavior with the wide audience. The process of science communication has a strong stake of Public Relations as its foundation. It can be stated that the science communication activities have become instruments of a science promotion platform, and the paradigm of Public Relations and Popular Culture served as its model for development. Creating and maintaining a positive attitude of various audiences towards science and...

  7. Will NCLB Improve or Harm Public Education?

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  8. Improving Lecture Quality through Training in Public Speaking

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  9. Improving Lecture Quality through Training in Public Speaking

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  10. Understanding implementation in complex public organizations – implication for practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gry Cecilie Høiland

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The effective implementation of politically initiated public service innovations to the front-lines of the public service organization, where the innovation is to be applied, is a challenge that both practitioners and researchers struggle to solve. We highlight the importance of analysing contextual factors at several levels of the implementation system, as well as the importance of considering how the practical everyday work situations of the front-line workers influence their application of the innovation in question. We illustrate this by exploring the implementation process of a specific work inclusion measure, looking at its wider context and some of its implementation outcomes at a specific public agency. The intention is to illustrate the significance of considering the contextual complexity influencing implementation work as a reminder for practitioners to take this into account in their planning and practices.

  11. Improving Technology Education: Understanding Reform--Assuming Responsibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bybee, Rodger W.

    2003-01-01

    Presents a strategic framework for standards-based reform: (1) dissemination (develop awareness); (2) interpretation (increase understanding and support); (3) implementation (change policies, programs, and practices); (4) evaluation (monitor and adjust); and (5) revision (improve efficiency and influence of standards). Outlines roles for various…

  12. Improving students’ understanding of quantum measurement. I. Investigation of difficulties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangtian Zhu1,2

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available We describe the difficulties that advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with quantum measurement within the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics. We explore the possible origins of these difficulties by analyzing student responses to questions from both surveys and interviews. Results from this research are applied to develop research-based learning tutorials to improve students’ understanding of quantum measurement.

  13. Improving At-Risk Learners' Understanding of Fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Measuring public understanding on Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) electricity bills using ordered probit model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zainudin, WNRA; Ramli, NA

    2017-09-01

    In 2016, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) had introduced an upgrade in its Billing and Customer Relationship Management (BCRM) as part of its long-term initiative to provide its customers with greater access to billing information. This includes information on real and suggested power consumption by the customers and further details in their billing charges. This information is useful to help TNB customers to gain better understanding on their electricity usage patterns and items involved in their billing charges. Up to date, there are not many studies done to measure public understanding on current electricity bills and whether this understanding could contribute towards positive impacts. The purpose of this paper is to measure public understanding on current TNB electricity bills and whether their satisfaction towards energy-related services, electricity utility services, and their awareness on the amount of electricity consumed by various appliances and equipment in their home could improve this understanding on the electricity bills. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods are used to achieve these objectives. A total of 160 respondents from local universities in Malaysia participated in a survey used to collect relevant information. Using Ordered Probit model, this paper finds respondents that are highly satisfied with the electricity utility services tend to understand their electricity bills better. The electric utility services include management of electricity bills and the information obtained from utility or non-utility supplier to help consumers manage their energy usage or bills. Based on the results, this paper concludes that the probability to understand the components in the monthly electricity bill increases as respondents are more satisfied with their electric utility services and are more capable to value the energy-related services.

  15. Improving Public Perception of Behavior Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Improvement and alienation of public real estate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferruccio Favaron

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Most of the Italian cities have been in crisis through the last decades, not being able anymore to guarantee the needs and expectations of their inhabitants, due to the lack of fundamental services, mobility, places of aggregation and attraction. The housing growth since Second World War, answering almost only to the needs of speculation and revaluation of landed revenue, produced anonymous and degraded suburbs, contributing to cancel a fundamental part of our communities’ history and culture. The crisis of the cities has clashed with the architectural one. Through sustainable regeneration, identified by the Italian architects as the greatest opportunity for revitalizing the cities and develop the country, we need to sustain interventions based on high architectural quality, besides innovative energetic, environmental and social requalification standards. It is now as never fundamental to extend the city effect from the centre to the far end suburbs, upgrading the public element, integrating the services and proposing new polarities able to interact in a synergic and propaedeutic way with the city centre. Within these settings, involving public agencies and resources with private companies and capitals, the new conversion, development and alienation of the public real estate (valued more than 400 billions €, represent a unique chance to redefine and regenerate the cities, apart from being an extraordinary opportunity to drop the debt and rationalize the local government expenses. To provide powerful infrastructures, aimed cultural policies, sustainable and environmental developments plans, are the biggest challenges to make our cities the most important investment on our future.

  17. The Public Understanding of Error in Educational Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  18. The Public Understanding of Error in Educational Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhui Kamaldeep S

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

  2. Scholarly and Public Views: Understanding Narratives around Nanotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  3. Scholarly and Public Views: Understanding Narratives around Nanotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  4. Critical Interactives: Improving Public Understanding of Institutional Policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  5. Critical Interactives: Improving Public Understanding of Institutional Policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Education and communication to increase public understanding of nuclear technology peaceful uses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levy, Denise S.; Passos, Igor S., E-mail: denise@omiccron.com.br [Omiccron Programacao Grafica, Atibaia, SP (Brazil)

    2014-07-01

    Nuclear technology helps to improve the quality of our everyday life. Nevertheless, there is still great misinformation and the issue divides public opinion. Several surveys were conducted over the past years to study public acceptance of Nuclear Technology in Brazil and worldwide. GlobeScan (2005), for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Eurobarometers (2010), published by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and development (OECD), report similar socio-demographic trends: the higher the education level, the more favorable is public opinion towards nuclear power. Taking into account education and communication are crucial to increase public knowledge and understanding of the benefits of Nuclear Technology and that Internet access has increased strongly all over the country, this educational project aims to take advantage of the potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to disseminate the peaceful use of nuclear technology and its benefits, informing children and teenagers, as well as parents and teachers, who are most often unaware of the matter. Whereas Internet access has increased strongly for both public and private schools all over the country, this web-based educational project, entitled Radioatividades (Radioactivities), provides short courses, curiosities and interactive activities covering topics related to Nuclear Technology and its beneficial applications in several areas, such as medicine, agriculture, industry, art and electric power generation. The project uses the combination of multiple technologies and last generation internet resources. Our target is the dissemination of information, promoting the benefits of Nuclear Technology for new generations, contributing to public acceptance of Nuclear Technology, combating misinformation in our society, omission of the media and knowledge fragmentation. Education transforms old prejudices and inspires new thoughts, stimulating

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Media evolution and public understanding of climate science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Ann E

    2011-01-01

    This paper employs public opinion data from a nationally representative probability sample to examine how information encounters and exposure to different media sources relate to individuals' beliefs about global warming. The analyses indicate that media source exposure (i.e., exposure to news and information about science presented through different media outlets), intentional information exposure (i.e., deliberate exposure to global warming news coverage), and inadvertent information exposure (i.e., unplanned exposure to news and information about science that is encountered online while searching for other forms of information) relate to beliefs about global warming, in significant and meaningful ways. Namely, the findings show that both intentional information exposure and inadvertent online information exposure associate with disbelief in human-made causes, catalysts, and consequences of global warming. Theoretical and social implications of the findings are discussed and contextualized in light of the rapidly evolving media environment.

  10. Scientists' understanding of public communication of science and technology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kristian Hvidtfelt; Kjaer, Carsten Rahbæk; Dahlgaard, Jørgen

    , perhaps in collaboration with university-based communication departments. They understood their own role as disseminators of new, research-based knowledge, less so as communicators of ethical, social and political implications of research. Finally, the respondents responded favorably to the recent......, there seems to be two competing ways of framing the role of scientists in the process of science communication. The linear model stresses onedirectional flow of knowledge from scientists to the general public whereas the interactional, reflective model emphasizes dialogue and upstream engagement. Recent...... This paper reports on a Danish survey of scientists. The objective is to find out, in the context of the new 2003 Act on Universities, which introduces science communication and knowledge exchange as new obligations for the universities, how Danish university-based researchers within the natural...

  11. Scientists' understanding of public communication of science and technology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kristian Hvidtfelt; Kjaer, Carsten Rahbæk; Dahlgaard, Jørgen

    British studies of scientists' opinions on science communication have shown that most scientists operate in the framework of the linear model. However, public and government pressure to increase scientists' exchange of knowledge and competencies with society may be changing this perception. Objective......) responsibility for process of science communication. Specifically, they are very interested in appearing in the news media. We found a nuanced view on science in the mass media, which to us indicate that scientists are no longer "media shy", if they ever were. Scientists do seem to recognize the importance...... of the mass media in today's society. For their part, journalists are interested in using experts to legitimize their stories, and so, in the future, we might see a struggle between journalistic and scientific "spinning" of science in the media....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Improving Research and Scientific Publications in Africa: Analysis of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Improving Research and Scientific Publications in Africa: Analysis of a ... factors that can guarantee career success in the field of biomedical science in Nigeria. ... in the article, c) Number of figures and presentation of data within the figures, ...

  16. A "Light Bulb Moment" in Understanding Public Health for Undergraduate Students: Evaluation of the Experiential "This Is Public Health" Photo Essay Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dundas, Kate Joanne; Hansen, Vibeke; Outram, Suzanne; James, Erica L

    2017-01-01

    A lack of understanding of the importance of public health both within the community and in the tertiary education setting is a significant impediment to improvement in population health. The international campaign "This is Public Health" (TIPH) has been promoted widely as a strategy to increase community awareness and attract and inspire the next generation of public health professionals. This paper describes and evaluates student perceptions of a TIPH photo essay and reflective task in order to explore the pedagogical and learning outcomes related to undergraduate students' public health knowledge. The aim of the analysis was to understand (1) if the task led to increased awareness of public health, and if so, the process of how an understanding of public health develops, and (2) how the interactive nature of the experiential TIPH task leads to depth of understanding. This study was undertaken at the University of Newcastle (UON), NSW, Australia. A qualitative study design using a descriptive case study methodology was employed. One-hundred and thirty-nine undergraduate students taking part in a semester-long, introductory public health course provided informed consent and completed a TIPH photo essay and reflective task as a compulsory assessment. Analysis of the student reflections was performed using a general inductive approach to qualitative thematic analysis. Analysis of the reflections indicated that completion of the photo essay and reflective task revealed two strong thematic clusters each with a number of subthemes. The most important findings were the six strong data clusters around students' new and deeper understanding of Public Health. Additionally, four separate data clusters around the pedagogy of the task were revealed. The task also impacted beyond knowledge improvement and academic performance. Students alluded to an increased appreciation of their own health, a new recognition of the importance of preventative health measures, and an improved

  17. Linking public health agencies and hospitals for improved emergency preparedness: North Carolina's public health epidemiologist program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markiewicz, Milissa; Bevc, Christine A; Hegle, Jennifer; Horney, Jennifer A; Davies, Megan; MacDonald, Pia D M

    2012-02-23

    In 2003, 11 public health epidemiologists were placed in North Carolina's largest hospitals to enhance communication between public health agencies and healthcare systems for improved emergency preparedness. We describe the specific services public health epidemiologists provide to local health departments, the North Carolina Division of Public Health, and the hospitals in which they are based, and assess the value of these services to stakeholders. We surveyed and/or interviewed public health epidemiologists, communicable disease nurses based at local health departments, North Carolina Division of Public Health staff, and public health epidemiologists' hospital supervisors to 1) elicit the services provided by public health epidemiologists in daily practice and during emergencies and 2) examine the value of these services. Interviews were transcribed and imported into ATLAS.ti for coding and analysis. Descriptive analyses were performed on quantitative survey data. Public health epidemiologists conduct syndromic surveillance of community-acquired infections and potential bioterrorism events, assist local health departments and the North Carolina Division of Public Health with public health investigations, educate clinicians on diseases of public health importance, and enhance communication between hospitals and public health agencies. Stakeholders place on a high value on the unique services provided by public health epidemiologists. Public health epidemiologists effectively link public health agencies and hospitals to enhance syndromic surveillance, communicable disease management, and public health emergency preparedness and response. This comprehensive description of the program and its value to stakeholders, both in routine daily practice and in responding to a major public health emergency, can inform other states that may wish to establish a similar program as part of their larger public health emergency preparedness and response system.

  18. Linking public health agencies and hospitals for improved emergency preparedness: North Carolina's public health epidemiologist program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markiewicz Milissa

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In 2003, 11 public health epidemiologists were placed in North Carolina's largest hospitals to enhance communication between public health agencies and healthcare systems for improved emergency preparedness. We describe the specific services public health epidemiologists provide to local health departments, the North Carolina Division of Public Health, and the hospitals in which they are based, and assess the value of these services to stakeholders. Methods We surveyed and/or interviewed public health epidemiologists, communicable disease nurses based at local health departments, North Carolina Division of Public Health staff, and public health epidemiologists' hospital supervisors to 1 elicit the services provided by public health epidemiologists in daily practice and during emergencies and 2 examine the value of these services. Interviews were transcribed and imported into ATLAS.ti for coding and analysis. Descriptive analyses were performed on quantitative survey data. Results Public health epidemiologists conduct syndromic surveillance of community-acquired infections and potential bioterrorism events, assist local health departments and the North Carolina Division of Public Health with public health investigations, educate clinicians on diseases of public health importance, and enhance communication between hospitals and public health agencies. Stakeholders place on a high value on the unique services provided by public health epidemiologists. Conclusions Public health epidemiologists effectively link public health agencies and hospitals to enhance syndromic surveillance, communicable disease management, and public health emergency preparedness and response. This comprehensive description of the program and its value to stakeholders, both in routine daily practice and in responding to a major public health emergency, can inform other states that may wish to establish a similar program as part of their larger public

  19. Assessing and improving student understanding of quantum mechanics

    CERN Document Server

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Understanding the Correlations between Social Attention and Topic Trends of Scientific Publications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xianlei Dong

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: We propose and apply a simplified nowcasting model to understand the correlations between social attention and topic trends of scientific publications. Design/methodology/approach: First, topics are generated from the obesity corpus by using the latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA algorithm and time series of keyword search trends in Google Trends are obtained. We then establish the structural time series model using data from January 2004 to December 2012, and evaluate the model using data from January 2013. We employ a state-space model to separate different non-regression components in an observational time series (i.e. the tendency and the seasonality and apply the “spike and slab prior” and stepwise regression to analyze the correlations between the regression component and the social media attention. The two parts are combined using Markov-chain Monte Carlo sampling techniques to obtain our results. Findings: The results of our study show that (1 the number of publications on child obesity increases at a lower rate than that of diabetes publications; (2 the number of publication on a given topic may exhibit a relationship with the season or time of year; and (3 there exists a correlation between the number of publications on a given topic and its social media attention, i.e. the search frequency related to that topic as identified by Google Trends. We found that our model is also able to predict the number of publications related to a given topic. Research limitations: First, we study a correlation rather than causality between topics' trends and social media. As a result, the relationships might not be robust, so we cannot predict the future in the long run. Second, we cannot identify the reasons or conditions that are driving obesity topics to present such tendencies and seasonal patterns, so we might need to do “field” study in the future. Third, we need to improve the efficiency of our model by finding more efficient

  1. Assessing and Improving Student Understanding of Tree-Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kummer, Tyler A.

    Evolution is the unifying theory of biology. The importance of understanding evolution by those who study the origins, diversification and diversity life cannot be overstated. Because of its importance, in addition to a scientific study of evolution, many researchers have spent time studying the acceptance and the teaching of evolution. Phylogenetic Systematics is the field of study developed to understand the evolutionary history of organisms, traits, and genes. Tree-thinking is the term by which we identify concepts related to the evolutionary history of organisms. It is vital that those who undertake a study of biology be able to understand and interpret what information these phylogenies are meant to convey. In this project, we evaluated the current impact a traditional study of biology has on the misconceptions students hold by assessing tree-thinking in freshman biology students to those nearing the end of their studies. We found that the impact of studying biology was varied with some misconceptions changing significantly while others persisted. Despite the importance of tree-thinking no appropriately developed concept inventory exists to measure student understanding of these important concepts. We developed a concept inventory capable of filling this important need and provide evidence to support its use among undergraduate students. Finally, we developed and modified activities as well as courses based on best practices to improve teaching and learning of tree-thinking and organismal diversity. We accomplished this by focusing on two key questions. First, how do we best introduce students to tree-thinking and second does tree-thinking as a course theme enhance student understanding of not only tree-thinking but also organismal diversity. We found important evidence suggesting that introducing students to tree-thinking via building evolutionary trees was less successful than introducing the concept via tree interpretation and may have in fact introduced or

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Creating quality improvement culture in public health agencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    We conducted case studies of 10 agencies that participated in early quality improvement efforts. 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. 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. 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.

  4. Improving public health system performance through multiorganizational partnerships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mays, Glen P; Scutchfield, F Douglas

    2010-11-01

    Public health activities in the United States are delivered through multiple public and private organizations that vary widely in their resources, missions, and operations. Without strong coordination mechanisms, these delivery arrangements may perpetuate large gaps, inequities, and inefficiencies in public health activities. We examined evidence and uncertainties concerning the use of partnerships to improve the performance of the public health system, with a special focus on partnerships between public health agencies and health care organizations. We found that the types of partnerships likely to have the largest and most direct effects on population health are among the most difficult, and therefore least prevalent, forms of collaboration. High opportunity costs and weak and diffuse participation incentives hinder partnerships that focus on expanding effective prevention programs and policies. Targeted policy actions and leadership strategies are required to illuminate and enhance partnership incentives.

  5. Combinatorial Mutagenesis and Selection to Understand and Improve Yeast Promoters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laila Berg

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 promoter in methylotrophic Pichia pastoris. The Zeocin resistance gene was applied as a valuable reporter for mutant 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 promoter DNA sequence. We demonstrate that this approach can be used to select for promoter variants with abolished glucose repression in large mutant libraries. We also selected promoter variants with elevated expression level under induced conditions. The properties of the selected 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Assessing Community Leadership: Understanding Community Capacity for Health Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, Billie; Wendel, Monica; Kelly Pryor, Brandy N; Ingram, Monique

    The purpose of this study was to pilot a quantitative instrument to measure aspects of community leadership within an assessment framework. The instrument includes 14 Likert-type questions asking residents how they perceive leaders within 5 sectors: Louisville Metro Council/Mayor's Office, the faith community, education, business, and the civic sector. Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky, has a population of about 743 000 residents. Respondents were asked to examine leadership within West Louisville, an economically deprived area of the city made up of 9 contiguous neighborhoods. This area is predominantly African American (78% compared with 22% in Louisville Metro), with an overall poverty rate of 43% (compared with 18% in Louisville Metro), and unemployment rate of 23% (compared with 8% in Louisville Metro). Residents of West Louisville are looking to leadership to address many of the inequities. Twenty-seven participants representing 7 community sectors completed the survey, of whom 90% work in West Louisville. The instrument measured local perceptions of leadership strength, effectiveness, trust, communication, community building, and leadership development. The majority of respondents agree that strong leadership exists across the 5 sectors, with variation regarding perceptions of the quality of that leadership. City leadership within the Mayor's Office and Metro Council is largely viewed positively, while the growing tensions within the education sector were reflected in the survey results. The perception of community leadership is important to understanding local community capacity to improve health and also inclusivity of community voice in the assessment and community improvement processes. Results from such assessments can offer useful information for strengthening community capacity and sustaining relationships needed to enact progressive and equitable solutions to address local issues. Leaders in a variety of settings can utilize this instrument to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Alison

    2002-07-01

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

  11. Understanding Academic Publications : Duplicate Publication And Role Of Impact Factor In Promotion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Cher Loh

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Academic performance is still primarily judged on publications. Not surprisingly, pressure to publish for the purpose of academic standing or promotion can be huge. People have been put off from an academic career simply because of this necessity. This is unfortunate because publishing our research findings or knowledge is our core business and why we become academicians. The notion that teaching is the academician’s chief duty is only half correct. We should and can enjoy publishing if we accept this as an inseparable part of our job.

  12. Understanding How the Public Perceives the Importance of University Research in the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jensen Richard W.

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Most universities in the United States have little or no idea about how the public perceives the importance of research done at these institutions. Learning whether the public believes academic research is valuable, meaningful, and practical has implications for higher education, if the public believes that university research is of little worth. This project utilized naturalistic and qualitative methods to learn how alumni perceived the importance of research at a major public university with a heavy concentration in research (Texas A&M University. Long interviews using open-ended questions were conducted with 133 alumni at 33 locations in Texas. Interviews were transcribed, unitized, and coded using qualitative methods, and themes were identified. Findings provide insights into whether the public believes university research is important, how the public learns about research, whether public relations programs are effective, the importance of research and teaching, and the types of research the public wants universities to pursue. A framework is proposed to learn about how well the public understands science and to measure the effectiveness of media and education programs to raise both science awareness and understanding of science.

  13. Improving ICT Management in Public Universities in Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wanyembi, G.N.W.

    2002-01-01

    With the rapid infusion of information and communication technology (ICT) in Kenya in the recent past, organizations are now realizing the critical role that management, control and maintenance of ICT play in providing and improving ICT services to the user communities. Public universities as agents

  14. Improving Urban Corridor that Respect to Public Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Advances in public health accreditation readiness and quality improvement: evaluation findings from the National Public Health Improvement Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLees, Anita W; Thomas, Craig W; Nawaz, Saira; Young, Andrea C; Rider, Nikki; Davis, Mary

    2014-01-01

    Continuous quality improvement is a central tenet of the Public Health Accreditation Board's (PHAB) national voluntary public health accreditation program. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the National Public Health Improvement Initiative (NPHII) in 2010 with the goal of advancing accreditation readiness, performance management, and quality improvement (QI). Evaluate the extent to which NPHII awardees have achieved program goals. NPHII awardees responded to an annual assessment and program monitoring data requests. Analysis included simple descriptive statistics. Seventy-four state, tribal, local, and territorial public health agencies receiving NPHII funds. NPHII performance improvement managers or principal investigators. Development of accreditation prerequisites, completion of an organizational self-assessment against the PHAB Standards and Measures, Version 1.0, establishment of a performance management system, and implementation of QI initiatives to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Of the 73 responding NPHII awardees, 42.5% had a current health assessment, 26% had a current health improvement plan, and 48% had a current strategic plan in place at the end of the second program year. Approximately 26% of awardees had completed an organizational PHAB self-assessment, 72% had established at least 1 of the 4 components of a performance management system, and 90% had conducted QI activities focused on increasing efficiencies and/or effectiveness. NPHII appears to be supporting awardees' initial achievement of program outcomes. As NPHII enters its third year, there will be additional opportunities to advance the work of NPHII, compile and disseminate results, and inform a vision of high-quality public health necessary to improve the health of the population.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  19. Radio conversation between scientists and the public as a mean for understanding public perception of radiation risk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merzagora, M.; Coyaud, Sylvie [Radio Popolare, via Stradella 5/a, 20133 Milan (Italy); Ottolenghi, A.

    1999-09-01

    Radio broadcasts with phone-ins in which the public can interact directly with scientists in the studios can represent a very useful tool for analyzing public understanding of science. An in depth analysis of the listeners' questions and of the scientists' reactions-despite the obviously low statistical relevance - can provide important clues on the spontaneous and emotional components of the attitudes of the citizens toward science, and of the attitude of scientists toward citizens concerns. As an example of the opportunities such an approach may offer, a series of live radio broadcasts on radiation and its applications (the first three transmitted in Italy in November and December 1998) is presented. Each broadcast involved an introductory presentation by two or three invited scientists, followed by phone-ins. The questions of the listeners are analyzed and commented. A strong need for a deeper understanding of the methodological principle of radiation research seemed to emerge. The broadcasts also stressed how the need of an interaction between scientists and the public is at least as urgent as the transfer of information to the public. In the future, the same approach will be extended to other fields of science and to other radio channels, with the aim of designing a methodology for the exploitation of specific features of radio broadcasts for promoting the dissemination of scientific culture. (author)

  20. The impact of signing a memorandum of understanding on reproductive health with the Ministry of Public Health in Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leke, Robert J I; Njotang, Nana P; Shearon, Azong B; Wankah, Charlotte A

    2014-10-01

    Health statistics relating to Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 are poor for most low-resource countries. Professional societies can assist governments to improve these health indicators. For an effective collaboration, the Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians Cameroon (SOGOC) and the Ministry of Public Health signed a memorandum of understanding on reproductive health. A major consequence of this collaboration was the ease of transfer of competence associated with SOGOC adopting a monitoring and evaluation role, which has improved quality of care. The impact of this collaboration for the Society has been significant; SOGOC is recognized as a partner and has an opportunity to play a leadership role in issues concerning reproductive health.

  1. Understanding Situated Social Interactions: A Case Study of Public Places in the City

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paay, Jeni; Kjeldskov, Jesper

    2008-01-01

    of a physical place providing an understanding of peoples’ situated social interactions in public places of the city derived through a grounded analysis of small groups of friends socialising out on the town. Informed by this, we describe the design and evaluation of a mobile prototype system facilitating...... these and their situated interactions. In response, this paper addresses the challenge of informing design of mobile services for fostering social connections by using the concept of place for studying and understanding peoples’ social activities in a public built environment. We present a case study of social experience...

  2. Improving Sustainability Performance for Public-Private-Partnership (PPP Projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liyin Shen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Improving sustainability performance in developing infrastructure projects is an important strategy for pursuing the mission of sustainable development. In recent years, the business model of public-private-partnership (PPP is promoted as an effective approach in developing infrastructure projects. It is considered that the distribution of the contribution on project investment between private and public sectors is one of the key variables affecting sustainability performance of PPP-type projects. This paper examines the impacts of the contribution distribution between public and private sectors on project sustainability performance. A model named the sustainability performance-based evaluation model (SPbEM is developed for assisting the assessment of the level of sustainability performance of PPP projects. The study examines the possibility of achieving better sustainability through proper arrangement of the investment distribution between the two primary sectors in developing PPP-type infrastructure projects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Can asthma control be improved by understanding the patient's perspective?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Østrem Anders

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clinical trials show that asthma can be controlled in the majority of patients, but poorly controlled asthma still imposes a considerable burden. The level of asthma control achieved reflects the behaviour of both healthcare professionals and patients. A key challenge for healthcare professionals is to help patients to engage in self-management behaviours with optimal adherence to appropriate treatment. These issues are particularly relevant in primary care, where most asthma is managed. An international panel of experts invited by the International Primary Care Respiratory Group considered the evidence and discussed the implications for primary care practice. Discussion Causes of poor control Clinical factors such as exposure to triggers and concomitant rhinitis are important but so are patient behavioural factors. Behaviours such as smoking and nonadherence may reduce the efficacy of treatment and patients' perceptions influence these behaviours. Perceptual barriers to adherence include doubting the need for treatment when symptoms are absent and concerns about potential adverse effects. Under-treatment may also be related to patients' underestimation of the significance of symptoms, and lack of awareness of achievable control. Implications Three key implications for healthcare professionals emerged from the debate. First, the need for simple tools to assess asthma control. Two approaches considered were the monitoring of biometric markers of control and questionnaires to record patient-reported outcomes. Second, to understand the reasons for poor control for individual patients, identifying both clinical (e.g. rhinitis and behavioural factors (e.g. smoking and nonadherence to treatment. Third was the need to incorporate, within asthma review, an assessment of patient perspectives including their goals and aspirations and to elicit their beliefs and concerns about asthma and its treatment. This can be used as a basis for

  7. Improving public administration performance demands investment in human resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Klun

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper emphasizes that investments in human resources are one of the important factors for improving public sector performance. In strategic papers of Slovenian government and during the reform process of public administration, government stressed out that human resources are one of the most important factors for improving performance. This is originating point of research. The main hypothesis of presented research is that investments in human resources improve efficiency and effectiveness of public sector. For several reasons explained in the paper, tax administration was chosen to test the hypothesis. We used a number of training participations per employee as an indicator of investments in human resources. For determination of effi ciency and effectiveness, we used selected performance indicators and survey among taxpayers about their satisfaction. The main obstacle of the research is that not long-time series are used for better test of hypothesis since surveys among taxpayers are not regular. The results indicate a positive correlation between training and performance indicators and training and taxpayers’ satisfaction.

  8. Quality Improvement in Hospitals: Identifying and Understanding Behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz M. Mazur

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Improving operational performance in hospitals is complicated, particularly if process improvement requires complex behavioral changes. Using single-loop and double-loop learning theory as a foundation, the purpose of this research is to empirically uncover key improvement behaviors and the factors that may be associated with such behaviors in hospitals. A two-phased approach was taken to collect data regarding improvement behaviors and associated factors, and data analysis was conducted using methods proposed by grounded theorists. The contributions of this research are twofold. First, five key behaviors related to process improvement are identified, namely Quick Fixing, Initiating, Conforming, Expediting, and Enhancing. Second, based on these observed behaviors, a set of force field diagrams is developed to structure and organize possible factors that are important to consider when attempting to change improvement behaviors. This begins to fill the gap in the knowledge about what factors drive effective improvement efforts in hospital settings.

  9. Understanding Public Perception of and Participation in Non-Revenue Water Management in Malaysia to Support Urban Water Policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chee Hui Lai

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In contextualising the serious water loss, inefficient resource utilization, and ineffective water utility management in Malaysia, the objective of this study is to understand the public’s perception of non-revenue water (NRW management in order to provide policy inputs, and to determine ways to improve public participation in NRW reduction. Findings reveal that there is currently only meagre public participation in NRW management in Malaysia, with a majority of the respondents demonstrating a lack of knowledge and awareness on NRW; over-dependence on water utility and government agencies in reducing NRW rates; and failure to submit a report when a leaking pipe is noticed. Educating the public on the importance of reducing NRW and promoting public interests and concerns around water tariffs, is essential to improve NRW reductions in Malaysia. Community-led strategies to better engage the public in addressing NRW-related issues have to be enhanced. To this end, concrete policy implications derived from the findings of the study are outlined.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Daniel B.; Weis, Nicole

    2013-01-01

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

  13. The Public Understanding of Scientific Information: Communicating, Interpreting, and Applying the Science of Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Stephen P.; Phillips, Linda M.

    2003-01-01

    Research is conducted in abstract contexts that inhibit practical application. In addition, research results are often uncertain and always circumscribed. Lay people have difficulty interpreting results for use in particular situations. The media could play a significant role in the public understanding of scientific information if it would report…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  17. UNDERSTANDING THE CHANGING ROLE OF PUBLIC SECTOR PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT IN LESS DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tillema, Sandra; Mimba, Ni Putu S. H.; Van Helden, G. Jan

    2010-01-01

    This article develops a framework for understanding changes in the demand for and supply of performance information in public sector organizations in less developed countries (LDCs). New Institutional Sociology (NIS) is used to argue that pressures from specific stakeholders stimulate organizations

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  20. Open Data Strategies and Experiences to Improve Sharing and Publication of Public Sector Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura María Gutiérrez Medina

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The Canary Islands receive 10 million tourists every year. Tourism represents a key sector for economic development in the Canaries. This work presents the benefits of open data usages in the tourism sector both in municipalities and in the island government. These public institutions have valuable information that should be shared with other institutions: 600 hotels and apartments, 10,000 bars and restaurants, and more than 15,000 retail businesses. This article describes an open data project to validate and to publish such data across multiple administrations. The main benefits for the public sector are the improvement of the data quality and the interoperability between different administrations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Improving Student Understanding of Geological Rates via Chronotopographic Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linneman, S. R.; Clark, D. H.; Buly, P.

    2010-12-01

    We are investigating the value of incorporating chronotopographic analysis into undergraduate geology courses using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to improve student understanding of the rates and styles of geomorphic processes. Repeat high-resolution TLS surveys can track the evolution of active landscapes, including sites of active faulting, glaciation, landslides, fluvial systems and coastal dynamics. We hypothesize that geology students who collect and analyze such positional data for local active landscapes will develop a better sense of the critical (and non-steady) geomorphic processes affecting landscape change and develop a greater interest in pursuing opportunities for geology field work. We have collected baseline TLS scans of actively evolving landscapes identified in cooperation with land-use agencies. The project team is developing inquiry activities for each site and assessing their impact. For example, our faculty partners at 2-year colleges are interested in rapid retreat of coastal bluffs near their campuses. In this situation, TLS will be part of a laboratory activity in which students compare historic air photos to predict areas of the most active long-term bluff retreat; join their instructor to collect TLS data at the site (replicating the baseline scan); sketch outcrops in the field and suggest areas of the site for higher resolution scanning; and in the following class compare their predictions to the deformation maps that are the output of the repeated TLS scans. A brief two question assessment instrument was developed to address both the content and attitudinal targets. It was given WWU Geomorphology classes in 3 sequential quarters of the 2009/2010 academic year, 2 which did not work with the TLS technology (pre treatment) and one that did participate in the redesigned activities (post treatment). Additionally focus group interviews were conducted with the post students so they could verbalize their experience with the TLS. The content

  3. Understanding Synthesis Across Disciplines to Improve Nursing Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    Nursing students must learn higher-order thinking skills of analysis and synthesis to manage complex data for decision making in healthcare. Teaching synthesis, however, is challenging and elusive due to lack of understanding of the concept and an explicit pedagogy for teaching it. A qualitative, multi-phased research project was designed to gain understanding of what synthesis is, how professionals acquire synthesis skills, and how to best teach synthesis. The first phase explored interdisciplinary descriptions of synthesis. Three focus groups were conducted, and interdisciplinary participants responded to several questions. Several themes emerged suggesting that synthesis depends on cognitive skills and competencies, situational and contextual factors, preparation and knowledge acquisition skills, interpersonal and interaction skills, and personal qualities. Participants also supported use of multi-modal teaching strategies to reinforce students' use of synthesis in learning. This project provided a beginning understanding of the synthesis process, revealing striking similarities in synthesis across professional disciplines. © The Author(s) 2015.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Standing in the Hallway Improves Students' Understanding of Conformity

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lethbridge, Jane

    2011-07-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lethbridge Jane

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

  9. For debate: a new wave in public health improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Sally C; Winpenny, Eleanor; Ball, Sarah; Fowler, Tom; Rubin, Jennifer; Nolte, Ellen

    2014-11-22

    The rising burden of chronic disease poses a challenge for all public health systems and requires innovative approaches to effectively improve population health. Persisting inequalities in health are of particular concern. Disadvantage because of education, income, or social position is associated with a larger burden of disease and, in particular, multimorbidity. Although much has been achieved to enhance population health, challenges remain, and approaches need to be revisited. In this paper, we join the debate about how a new wave of public health improvement might look. We start from the premise that population health improvement is conditional on a health-promoting societal context. It is characterised by a culture in which healthy behaviours are the norm, and in which the institutional, social, and physical environment support this mindset. Achievement of this ambition will require a positive, holistic, eclectic, and collaborative effort, involving a broad range of stakeholders. We emphasise three mechanisms: maximisation of the value of health and incentives for healthy behaviour; promotion of healthy choices as default; and minimisation of factors that create a culture and environment which promote unhealthy behaviour. We give examples of how these mechanisms might be achieved.

  10. Improvements on the present theoretical understanding of octupole correlations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robledo L.M.

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Some intriguing results, obtained in a recent survey of octupole properties for all even-even nuclei, are reanalyzed in order to understand the origin of the strong disagreement with experimental data and/or the strange behaviours observed. The limitations of the rotational formula to describe E1 and E3 transition strengths are discussed as well as the role played by octupole-quadrupole coupling in some specific nuclei.

  11. Formulation, Normalization, Reliability and Validity Measurement of \\\\\\"Public Understanding of Science\\\\\\" Scale in Isfahan City

    OpenAIRE

    vahid ghasemi; zahra maher

    2014-01-01

    Introduction In the second half of the 1980s, new concerns emerged under the title of ‘public understanding of science’ (PUS). This transition is marked by the influential report of the Royal Society of London in 1985. Like the previous cases, the diagnosis is that of a public deficit, who does not show sufficient support for science; and this makes scientific institutions concerned. The Royal Society took the view of many of its members and assumed that better knowledge will be the driver...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Improving Access to and Understanding of Regulations through Taxonomies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Understanding Leadership Paradigms for Improvement in Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flumerfelt, Shannon; Banachowski, Michael

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Understanding Resolvin Signaling Pathways to Improve Oral Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura De Oleo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of resolvins has been a major breakthrough for understanding the processes involved in resolution of inflammation. Resolvins belong to a family of novel lipid mediators that possess dual anti-inflammatory and pro-resolution actions. Specifically, they protect healthy tissue during immune-inflammatory responses to infection or injury, thereby aiding inflammation resolution and promoting tissue healing. One of the major concerns in modern medicine is the management and treatment of oral diseases, as they are related to systemic outcomes impacting the quality of life of many patients. This review summarizes known signaling pathways utilized by resolvins to regulate inflammatory responses associated with the oral cavity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola J. Mulder

    2014-08-01

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

  18. Improving utilisation of dental services by understanding cultural difference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, J A

    1993-10-01

    There is considerable health and medical research and anecdotal evidence showing that members of different cultural groups and people from lower socio-economic status and/or disadvantaged ethnic minority groups are prone to increased morbidity and early mortality. It is also clear that similar patterns are found in terms of dental health status and dental health morbidity. New Zealand data from the Second International Collaborative Study (ICSII) clearly illustrate that poorer health status overall and poorer dental health status are experienced by certain sections and groups within the population. Data from these studies suggest that members of lower socio-economic status groups, different ethnic groups and those with different cultural affiliations experience different health status and use the health services at differential rates. Some of the factors that appear to influence this are clearly related to cultural beliefs and attitudes. Future efforts by the New Zealand health services and in particular by the New Zealand dental health services to redress the situation need to be based on a clear understanding of the many factors that limit the availability and uptake of preventive and dental health care services by high risk groups. Understanding cultural difference is a key requirement.

  19. Understanding and Improving the External Survey Environment of Official Statistics

    OpenAIRE

    Lorenc, Boris; Loosveldt, Geert; Mulry, Mary H.

    2013-01-01

    We argue for renewed efforts to improve the external survey environment for official statistics. We introduce the concept of social marketing as one novel way of achieving this. We also propose measuring the survey-taking climate and the related changes on the societal level using a 'survey climate barometer'. Finally, by presenting current and potential initiatives planned by Statistics Canada, we illustrate activities that national statistical institutes could implement with the goal of pos...

  20. Expanding the understanding of motivation in the theory of public service contracting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindholst, Christian

    The understanding of what drives efficient performance is only partial in the standard theory of public service contracting where performance essentially is explained as dependent on extrinsic incentives. In this paper I claim that intrinsic motivations and the dynamics between intrinsic...... motivations and extrinsic incentives also have a role for explaining performance. This role is not limited to shifts from the public to the private service sector, as suggested by current supplements to standard theory, but it is also extended to play a part in on-going and recurrent contractual relationships...... with private service providers. In order to address my claim, I provide an embedded case study based on qualitative data of motivations and motivational dynamics within a set of external contractual relations managed through a performance management scheme by a public contracting agency. I find...

  1. Expanding the understanding of motivation in the theory of public service contracting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindholst, Christian

    motivations and extrinsic incentives also have a role for explaining performance. This role is not limited to shifts from the public to the private service sector, as suggested by current supplements to standard theory, but it is also extended to play a part in on-going and recurrent contractual relationships...... with private service providers. In order to address my claim, I provide an embedded case study based on qualitative data of motivations and motivational dynamics within a set of external contractual relations managed through a performance management scheme by a public contracting agency. I find......The understanding of what drives efficient performance is only partial in the standard theory of public service contracting where performance essentially is explained as dependent on extrinsic incentives. In this paper I claim that intrinsic motivations and the dynamics between intrinsic...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  3. Sagan Medal Paper: Improving Impact in Public Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabala, Aiora; Pascual, Unai

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Improving Climate Projections by Understanding How Cloud Phase affects Radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesana, Gregory; Storelvmo, Trude

    2017-01-01

    Whether a cloud is predominantly water or ice strongly influences interactions between clouds and radiation coming down from the Sun or up from the Earth. Being able to simulate cloud phase transitions accurately in climate models based on observational data sets is critical in order to improve confidence in climate projections, because this uncertainty contributes greatly to the overall uncertainty associated with cloud-climate feedbacks. Ultimately, it translates into uncertainties in Earth's sensitivity to higher CO2 levels. While a lot of effort has recently been made toward constraining cloud phase in climate models, more remains to be done to document the radiative properties of clouds according to their phase. Here we discuss the added value of a new satellite data set that advances the field by providing estimates of the cloud radiative effect as a function of cloud phase and the implications for climate projections.

  6. Mechanistic Understanding of Microbial Plugging for Improved Sweep Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  7. Using Twitter to Understand Public Perceptions Regarding the #HPV Vaccine: Opportunities for Public Health Nurses to Engage in Social Marketing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keim-Malpass, Jessica; Mitchell, Emma M; Sun, Emily; Kennedy, Christine

    2017-07-01

    Given the degree of public mistrust and provider hesitation regarding the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, it is important to explore how information regarding the vaccine is shared online via social media outlets. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the content of messaging regarding the HPV vaccine on the social media and microblogging site Twitter, and describe the sentiment of those messages. This study utilized a cross-sectional descriptive approach. Over a 2-week period, Twitter content was searched hourly using key terms "#HPV and #Gardasil," which yielded 1,794 Twitter posts for analysis. Each post was then analyzed individually using an a priori coding strategy and directed content analysis. The majority of Twitter posts were written by lay consumers and were sharing commentary about a media source. However, when actual URLs were shared, the most common form of share was linking back to a blog post written by lay users. The vast majority of content was presented as polarizing (either as a positive or negative tweet), with 51% of the Tweets representing a positive viewpoint. Using Twitter to understand public sentiment offers a novel perspective to explore the context of health communication surrounding certain controversial issues. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna M Lecky

    Full Text Available 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.

  10. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT METHODS AND THEIR USAGE IN ALBANIAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arjan QEFALIA

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Education and higher education in particular is one of strategic priorities for development, which guarantees progress. Its role is related to all characteristics of a society, and it undoubtedly constitutes one of the most important areas of life of a nation. It has stable and long-term impact on all aspects of activities related to people and their welfare. The challenge to be faced in the transition period requires that higher education in Albania to be developed, consolidated and follow the trend of higher education in developed countries. Quality itself and by using the continuous quality improvement methods by universities, it constitutes the basis for ensuring the success of the Albanian higher education institutions in the future.In this paper, through the use of literature, the questionnaires and interviews directed mainly to the professors / pedagogues working in Albanian public higher education institutions, the focus is to show the continuous quality improvement methods used by universities / faculties / departments, and to test the hypothesis: The use or not of the continuous improvement methods is dependent on the studies type (those higher education institutions that offer first cycle studies, first and second cycle studies, or first, second and third cycle studies that the higher education institution offers.

  11. Improved understanding of hyperaccumulation yields commercial phytoextraction and phytomining technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaney, Rufus L; Angle, J Scott; Broadhurst, C Leigh; Peters, Carinne A; Tappero, Ryan V; Sparks, Donald L

    2007-01-01

    This paper reviews progress in phytoextraction of soil elements and illustrates the key role of hyperaccumulator plant species in useful phytoextraction technologies. Much research has focused on elements which are not practically phytoextracted (Pb); on addition of chelating agents which cause unacceptable contaminant leaching and are cost prohibitive; and on plant species which offer no useful phytoextraction capability (e.g., Brassica juncea Czern). Nickel phytoextraction by Alyssum hyperaccumulator species, which have been developed into a commercial phytomining technology, is discussed in more detail. Nickel is ultimately accumulated in vacuoles of leaf epidermal cells which prevents metal toxicity and provides defense against some insect predators and plant diseases. Constitutive up-regulation of trans-membrane element transporters appears to be the key process that allows these plants to achieve hyperaccumulation. Cadmium phytoextraction is needed for rice soils contaminated by mine wastes and smelter emissions with 100-fold more soil Zn than Cd. Although many plant species can accumulate high levels of Cd in the absence of Zn, when Cd/Zn>100, only Thlaspi caerulescens from southern France has demonstrated the ability to phytoextract useful amounts of Cd. Production of element-enriched biomass with value as ore or fertilizer or improved food (Se) or feed supplement may offset costs of phytoextraction crop production. Transgenic phytoextraction plants have been achieved for Hg, but not for other elements. Although several researchers have been attempting to clone all genes required for effective hyperaccumulation of several elements, success appears years away; such demonstrations will be needed to prove we have identified all necessary processes in hyperaccumulation.

  12. Terminal costs, improved life expectancy and future public health expenditure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjørner, Thomas Bue; Arnberg, Søren

    2012-06-01

    This paper presents an empirical analysis of public health expenditure on individuals in Denmark. The analysis separates out the individual effects of age and proximity to death (reflecting terminal costs of dying) and employs unique micro data from the period 2000 to 2009, covering a random sample of 10% of the Danish population. Health expenditure includes treatment in hospitals, subsidies to prescribed medication and health care provided by general practitioners and specialists and covers about 80% of public health care expenditure on individuals. The results confirm findings from previous studies showing that proximity to death has a significant impact on health care expenditure. However, it is also found that cohort effects (the baby boom generation) as well as improvements in life expectancy have a substantial effect on future health care expenditure even when proximity to death is controlled for. These results are obtained by combining the empirical estimates with a long term population forecast. When life expectancy increases, terminal costs are postponed but the increases in health expenditure that follow from longer life expectancy are not as large as the increase in the number of elderly persons would suggest (due to "healthy ageing"). Based on the empirical estimates, healthy ageing is expected to reduce the impact of increased life expectancy on real health expenditure by 50% compared to a situation without healthy ageing.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heba Awadh Alharbi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 ultimately affect students’ English speaking capacity. Focusing on the Saudi EFL context, this paper attempted to identify the causes of Saudi students’ low proficiency in English communication and provide some recommendations to address these issues. The most significant findings of the paper were: (1 reforming specific Ministry of Education and Higher Education policies in Saudi Arabia is crucial; (2 the Saudi education system should reinforce the use of contemporary approaches to teaching that emphasise problem solving and critical thinking skills and put students in charge of their own learning; and (3 the ministry should consider converting some Saudi public schools into bilingual schools.

  14. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ni S

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Siyu Ni,1 Changyan Li,1 Shirong Ni,2 Ting Chen,1 Thomas J Webster3,4 1College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Donghua University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Pathophysiology, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 4Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Abstract: 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. 76 FR 28397 - Acceleration of Broadband Deployment by Improving Policies Regarding Public Rights of Way and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-17

    ... COMMISSION 47 CFR Chapter I Acceleration of Broadband Deployment by Improving Policies Regarding Public... broadband deployment through improved policies regarding public rights of way and wireless facilities siting... broadband deployment by encouraging improvements in policies regarding public rights of way and...

  1. Exploring potentials of sense-making theory for understanding social processes in public hearing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyhne, Ivar

    authorities and the public in such planning often characterised by conflict. A sense-making framework is developed based on Karl Weick's theory to investigate how participants at the meeting change their understanding aspects like other actors' opinions and the infrastructure project. Through interviews...... and observations it is shown that participants' senses do not change except from a few aspects. The participants at the meeting thus seem stuck in their positions without interest in being open for other interpretations or arguments. The investigation leads to considerations about the benefit and role...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Sandy A

    2017-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  5. On the Improvement of Public Participation in Legislation Mechanism in the Ethnic Minority Autonomous Areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Jun

    2016-01-01

    The legislative public participation in ethnic minority autonomous areas has its legal basis. The fifth regulation in the lifa fa ( The Leg-islative Law ) of China makes a general require-ment on public participation in legislation. In order to ensure the effective participation of the public in legislation, some ethnic minority autonomous re-gions have outlined some requirements on public comment, demonstration, and hearing during the legislative process through autonomous regulations. These ethnic minority autonomous areas are com-prised of both autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties. However, the breadth and depth of the public participation in legislation in ethnic minority auton-omous areas is inadequate, and a perfect mecha-nism of public participation in legislation in ethnic minority autonomous areas has yet to be formed. This is mainly reflected in the following aspects:1 ) The relevant laws of public participation in leg-islation have not been perfected;2 ) The enthusi-asm of public participation in legislation is not high;3) Legislative information is not fully open, and the feedback mechanism has not been perfec-ted;4 ) The limited approach for public participa-tion in legislation, and the lack of ethnic and re-gional characteristics. To improve the mechanism of public partici-pation in the legislation of ethnic minority autono-mous areas, we can start with the following:1 ) Improving the legal regulation of public participation in the legislation of ethnic minority autonomous areas The state and the ethnic minority autonomous areas should develop operational laws of public participation, so as to provide a legal basis for the public’s participation. The ethnic minority autono-mous areas should fully integrate the actual situa-tion of the local ethnic people and create autono-mous regulations with local characteristics, protect public participation rights, and promote public participation in legislation in an orderly and

  6. Sport Mass Media Influence on Promoting Sports in Order to Improve Public Health

    OpenAIRE

    Majdy Ahmed Shawqi; Homoud M. Al Anazi; Ali Alshamli

    2012-01-01

    Mass media could be one of the tools used to promote a physically active lifestyle. It is a direct and potentially effective tool for reaching public with means, knowledge and information and helping them to understand the importance of a physically active lifestyle. The main purpose of the study was to discover the influence of mass media in promoting sports activities in order to improve health in Sultanate of Oman, and attempt to determine the effect of the mass media in promoting sports a...

  7. Improving Public Diplomacy, the Frontline of Soft Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-05-01

    education, wine , public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system and public health,” Reg demands, “what have the Romans ever done for us?” 13 For Reg...Nations Susan Rice indicated that the Obama Administration shares this view – as well as appreciates the importance – of public diplomacy, noting...U.S. Congress directly. Kuwait, Japan and Israel have all been “top spenders” in this endeavor, hiring lobbyists and public relations firms to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. MATHEMATICAL UNDERSTANDING AND REPRESENTATION ABILITY OF PUBLIC JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL IN NORTH SUMATRA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ani Minarni

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 Sumatera, Indonesia. The population is all of the students of public junior high school (PJHS in North Sumatera. Samples choose based on stratified random sampling. The samples are the students of PJHS 27 Medan, PJHS 1 Percut Sei Tuan, PJHS 1 Tebing Tinggi, and PJHS 2 Pematangsiantar. The techniques used for collecting data is observation, interview, and essay test. The research findings: (1 Based on interview and observation found that conventional approach still use in all of the class of PJHS; The students engagement in learning activity is very low as well as students self-regulated learning; Most of the students do not attain minimal mastery achievement, (2 Based on essay test found that achievement of the students in mathematical understanding and representation test is categories low.

  11. Formulation, Normalization, Reliability and Validity Measurement of \\\\\\"Public Understanding of Science\\\\\\" Scale in Isfahan City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    vahid ghasemi

    2014-04-01

    CFI= 0/89 PCFI = 0/62 CMIN/D.F =2/9 The results of the reliability test are at an acceptable level, with Cronbach Alpha coefficient being above 0.7, and test-retest reliability coefficient above 0.69, for all the dimensions of public understanding of science. The total reliability of the questionnaire was also acceptable, with Cronbach Alpha coefficient equal to 0.84, and test-retest reliability coefficient equal to 0.69. Transformation of raw score of normalizing sample (n=384 into T and Z score and percentiles failed for the norms of questionnaire. The mean of the standard scores is zero, indicating that the distribution of the data has been symmetric. The developed questionnaire in this study, therefore, is valid and reliable and, from now on, can be used in the social studies for the purpose of measuring public understanding of scientific concepts. Citizens' interest in science and technology is more than average level. The results of the research show that the majority of citizens in Isfahan have positive attitudes towards science and technology, but level of their scientific knowledge is less than the average level.

  12. Education to Action: Improving Public Perception of Bats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Hoffmaster

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. IMPROVING PUBLIC SERVICES THROUGH A ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    IOANA STĂNCESCU

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Organizational management, systemic approach, is known more as a system Management, that set of factors such as organizational, methodological information, decisions and relationships between them, as outlined, that will achieve objectives. Fundamental objective of management in public organizations involved in the holders of public office positions and leadership and execution in this area an additional responsibility to manage all types of resources available to the public sector, namely human resources, information, material and financial.Summary of process management is focusing on human coordination of joint work. An important role in this process is modernizing organizational management and quality delivery of public services or the institution's activities, public services more efficient by implementing innovative tools, leading to a government driven process to a results-oriented public service.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Using Public Participation to Improve MELs Energy Data Collection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kloss, Margarita; Cheung, Iris [Hoi; 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.

  17. Using Public Participation to Improve MELs Energy Data Collection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cheung, Iris (Hoi Ying); 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.

  18. PPACA and public health: creating a framework to focus on prevention and wellness and improve the public's health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majette, Gwendolyn Roberts

    2011-01-01

    PPACA epitomizes comprehensive health care reform legislation. Public health, disease prevention, and wellness were integral considerations in its development. This article reveals the author's personal experiences while working on the framework for health care reform in the United States Senate and reviews activity in the United States House of Representatives. This insider's perspective delineates PPACA's positive effect on public health by examining the infrastructure Congress designed to focus on prevention, wellness, and public health, with a particular focus on the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council; the National Prevention, Health Promotion, Public Health, and Integrative Health Care Strategy; and the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The Council, strategy, and fund are especially important because they reflect compliance with some of the Institute of Medicine's recommendations to improve public health in the United States, as well as international health and human rights norms that protect the right to health.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. Public service improvement with user-centric service composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoppen dos Santos, Joni; Ferreira Pires, Luis; Goncalves da Silva, Eduardo; Iacob, Maria Eugenia; Janssen, M.; Macintosh, A.; Scholl, H.J.; Tambouris, E.; Wimmer, M.A.; de Bruijn, H.; Tan, Y.H

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, public organisations have been challenged to offer electronic services. This has caused a proliferation of disconnected web sites or web portals, often reflecting the internal structures (departments or sections) of these organizations. This paper shows that electronic public servic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Improving organizational capacity to address health literacy in public health: a rapid realist review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, C D; Saul, J E; Bitz, J; Pompu, K; Best, A; Jackson, B

    2014-06-01

    Despite the growing significance of health literacy to public health, relatively little is known about how organizational capacity may be improved for planning, implementing and sustaining health literacy interventions. This study aimed to connect decision makers in a public health agency with evidence of how organizational capacity may be improved for delivering health literacy services. A rapid realist review of published and grey literature was conducted by a partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the InSource Research Group. Realist review methodology attempts to understand what works for whom under what circumstances, and is characterized by its focus on strategies/interventions, contexts, mechanisms and their relationship to outcome. This review was completed in collaboration with a reference panel (comprised of a broad range of PHAC representatives) and an expert panel. Literature searching was conducted using three databases supplemented with bibliographic hand searches and articles recommended by panels. Data were extracted on key variables related to definitions, strategies/interventions associated with increased organizational capacity, contextual factors associated with success (and failure), mechanisms activated as a result of different strategies and contexts, key outcomes, and evidence cited. Strategies found to be associated with improved organizational capacity for delivering health literacy services may be classified into three domains: (1) government action; (2) organizational/practitioner action; and (3) partnership action. Government action includes developing policies to reinforce social norms; setting standards for education; conducting research; and measuring health literacy levels. Organizational/practitioner action relates to appropriate models of leadership (both high-level government engagement and distributed leadership). Innovative partnership action includes collaborations with media outlets, those producing

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. 'Never heard of it'- understanding the public's lack of awareness of a new electronic patient record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratan, Tanja; Stramer, Katja; Greenhalgh, Trisha

    2010-12-01

    The introduction of electronic patient records that are accessible by multiple providers raises security issues and requires informed consent - or at the very least, an opportunity to opt out. Introduction of the Summary Care Record (SCR) (a centrally stored electronic summary of a patient's medical record) in pilot sites in the UK was associated with low awareness, despite an intensive public information programme that included letters, posters, leaflets, and road shows. To understand why the public information programme had limited impact and to learn lessons for future programmes. Linguistic and communications analysis of components of the programme, contextualized within a wider mixed-method case study of the introduction of the SCR in pilot sites. Theoretical insights from linguistics and communication studies were applied. The context of the SCR pilots and the linked information programme created inherent challenges which were partially but not fully overcome by the efforts of campaigners. Much effort was put into designing the content of a mail merge letter, but less attention was given to its novelty, linguistic style, and rhetorical appeal. Many recipients viewed this letter as junk mail or propaganda and discarded it unread. Other components of the information programme were characterized by low visibility, partly because only restricted areas were participating in the pilot. Relatively little use was made of interpersonal communication channels. Despite ethical and legal imperatives, informed consent for the introduction of shared electronic records may be difficult to achieve through public information campaigns. Success may be more likely if established principles of effective mass and interpersonal communication are applied. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Christina Juris; Walston, Stephen L

    2015-03-01

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

  8. Improving the effectiveness of public entities procurement practices

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    M. Com. (Business Management) The media and the Auditor General have extensively reported on the ineffective and unethical conduct of public sector employees regarding the procurement of goods and services. The Auditor General’s report demonstrates that there is evidence that public sector procurement processes are less than adequate to achieve constitutional procurement goals, which are to conduct processes that are fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective The delivery...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Stahel, Philip F; Moore, Ernest E

    2014-01-01

    The lack of formal training programs for peer reviewers places the scientific quality of biomedical publications at risk, as the introduction of ‘hidden’ bias may not be easily recognized by the reader. The exponential increase in the number of manuscripts submitted for publication worldwide, estimated in the millions annually, overburdens the capability of available qualified referees. Indeed, the workload imposed on individual reviewers appears to be reaching a ‘breaking point’ that may no ...

  10. Understanding and improving low bystander CPR rates: a systematic review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaillancourt, Christian; Stiell, Ian G; Wells, George A

    2008-01-01

    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a crucial yet weak link in the chain of survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. We sought to understand the determinants of bystander CPR and the factors associated with successful training. For this systematic review, we searched 11 electronic databases, 1 trial registry and 9 scientific websites. We performed hand searches and contacted 6 content experts. We reviewed without restriction all communications pertaining to who should learn CPR, what should be taught, when to repeat training, where to give CPR instructions and why people lack the motivation to learn and perform CPR. We used standardized forms to review papers for inclusion, quality and data extraction. We grouped publications by category and classified recommendations using a standardized classification system that was based on level of evidence. We reviewed 2409 articles and selected 411 for complete evaluation. We included 252 of the 411 papers in this systematic review. Differences in their study design precluded a meta-analysis. We classified 22 recommendations; those with the highest scores were 1) 9-1-1 dispatch- assisted CPR instructions, 2) teaching CPR to family members of cardiac patients, 3) Braslow's self-training video, 4) maximizing time spent using manikins and 5) teaching the concepts of ambiguity and diffusion of responsibility. Recommendations not supported by evidence include mass training events, pulse taking prior to CPR by laymen and CPR using chest compressions alone. We evaluated and classified the potential impact of interventions that have been proposed to improve bystander CPR rates. Our results may help communities design interventions to improve their bystander CPR rates.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernet, Daniel; Prasuhn, Volker; Weingartner, Rolf

    2015-04-01

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

  12. The ELENA Programme in the Province of Chieti - A Public Private Partnership Best Practice Improving Energy Efficiency of Buildings and Public Lighting Systems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Fecondo, Pierluigi; Moca, Giancarlo

    2015-01-01

    Public Private Partnership initiatives and models are proven, scalable and internationally-recognized procurement methods for reducing the operating costs and improve environmental quality of public bodies...

  13. Social Media: Gateway to Public Preparedness and Understanding of GeoHazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballmann, J. E.; Bohon, W.; Bartel, B. A.

    2016-12-01

    The clear, timely communication of natural hazards information is critical to providing the public with the tools and information they need to make informed decisions before, during, and after events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. For the geohazards community, this is a multi-sector collaboration involving partners from national, state, and local governments, businesses, educational organizations, non-profit groups, and scientific institutions, for the benefit and participation of the whole community. Communications channels must be clear, consistent, and unified for the sake of maximum reach. One method of public communication that has proven to be particularly effective in disseminating hazards-related information is social media. The broad social and geographic reach of social media coupled with its ubiquitous use in all age groups makes it a powerful way to reach large segments of the population. Social media is already widely used by mass media and scientific organizations to communicate science and hazards. However, it is important that science organizations present a united and clear message, particularly about hazards preparation and response. The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), UNAVCO, and the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) have created a Joint Social Media Task Force. The objective of this collaboration is 1) to build social media communities and improve the reach of science messaging, 2) to create and present consistent and clear messaging across social media platforms and regional facilities, 3) to promote outstanding products and educational information , 4) to assist and collaborate in regional, national and international efforts (TweetChats, Reddit fora, ShakeOut, etc.) and 5) to assist and support the efforts of FEMA, the USGS and other partner organizations during crisis situations. Here, we outline the difficulties and successes of creating such an alliance and provide a road map

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Sport Mass Media Influence on Promoting Sports in Order to Improve Public Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majdy Ahmed Shawqi

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Mass media could be one of the tools used to promote a physically active lifestyle. It is a direct and potentially effective tool for reaching public with means, knowledge and information and helping them to understand the importance of a physically active lifestyle. The main purpose of the study was to discover the influence of mass media in promoting sports activities in order to improve health in Sultanate of Oman, and attempt to determine the effect of the mass media in promoting sports activities to improve health. The study sample consisted of 470 participants divide to five age groups (15-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, and over 40 years, respectively. The study used a mass mediasurvey to answer the main questions of the study. The results showed a weakness of mass media to encourage sports culture and exercise within different segments of society in order to improve health. Furthermore, it was a good signal that highlights the importance of mass media in promoting exercise in sport in order to improve health. In addition, the results of the study provide professionals in sports an adequate informationas to what mass media should be done to promote sports in order to improve health of the people of Oman. It recommend that mass media should embrace national projects to promote and encourage sport for health.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yael Feinberg

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.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.

  17. Education Improves Public Health and Promotes Health Equity

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. What do we do with all this video? Better understanding public engagement for image and video annotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiener, C.; Miller, A.; Zykov, V.

    2016-12-01

    Advanced robotic vehicles are increasingly being used by oceanographic research vessels to enable more efficient and widespread exploration of the ocean, particularly the deep ocean. With cutting-edge capabilities mounted onto robotic vehicles, data at high resolutions is being generated more than ever before, enabling enhanced data collection and the potential for broader participation. For example, high resolution camera technology not only improves visualization of the ocean environment, but also expands the capacity to engage participants remotely through increased use of telepresence and virtual reality techniques. Schmidt Ocean Institute is a private, non-profit operating foundation established to advance the understanding of the world's oceans through technological advancement, intelligent observation and analysis, and open sharing of information. Telepresence-enabled research is an important component of Schmidt Ocean Institute's science research cruises, which this presentation will highlight. Schmidt Ocean Institute is one of the only research programs that make their entire underwater vehicle dive series available online, creating a collection of video that enables anyone to follow deep sea research in real time. We encourage students, educators and the general public to take advantage of freely available dive videos. Additionally, other SOI-supported internet platforms, have engaged the public in image and video annotation activities. Examples of these new online platforms, which utilize citizen scientists to annotate scientific image and video data will be provided. This presentation will include an introduction to SOI-supported video and image tagging citizen science projects, real-time robot tracking, live ship-to-shore communications, and an array of outreach activities that enable scientists to interact with the public and explore the ocean in fascinating detail.

  20. Public-private partnerships as facilitators of environmental improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeppesen, Søren; Lehmann, Martin

    2004-01-01

    Public-private partnerships in the environmental field have emerged as one option in the pursuit of sustainable development in different contexts. So-called ?Green Networks?, ?Cleaner Production Centres?, ?Waste Minimisation Clubs? are among others highlighted as alternatives to (governmental...

  1. Field exercises are useful for improving public health emergency responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsty Hope

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Problem: Emergencies resulting from disease outbreaks and extreme environmental events present significant challenges for health services.Context: Preparing to effectively manage emergencies is a core activity in public health units. Field exercises support consolidation of biopreparedness by testing plans, identifying weaknesses, providing training opportunities and developing surge capacity.Action: An extended field exercise to test response to a novel influenza strain was conducted in New South Wales, Australia in September 2008, eight months before the influenza A(H1N1 2009 pandemic emerged. Lasting four days and involving over 300 participants, the exercise was set in the early response phase with the staggered presentation of 41 cases to 36 emergency departments in the health area. An additional 150 contacts were written into a complex scenario to test the public health response.Outcome: The subsequent pandemic emergence in mid-2009 offered a unique opportunity to assess the field exercise format for disaster preparedness. Most roles were adequately tested with recognized benefit during the actual pandemic response. However, the exercise did not adequately challenge the public health planning team that synthesizes surveillance data and forecasts risk, nor did it identify planning issues that became evident during the subsequent pandemic. Discussion: Field exercises offer the opportunity to rigorously test public health emergency preparedness but can be expensive and labour-intensive. Our exercise provided effective and timely preparation for the influenza A(H1N1 2009 pandemic but showed that more emphasis needs to be placed on the role and training of the public health planning team.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  3. Implementing Continuous Improvement Management (CIM) in the Public Schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgers, William E.; Thompson, Tommy A.

    This book traces the restructuring of a Texas school district that moved from management by coercion to continuous improvement for quality. In 1990, the Dickinson Independent School District (Texas) began implementation of Continuous Improvement Management (CIM), based on the teachings of W. Edwards Deming, William Glasser, and J. M. Juran.…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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/

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Patient and public understanding and knowledge of antimicrobial resistance and stewardship in a UK hospital: should public campaigns change focus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micallef, Christianne; Kildonaviciute, Kornelija; Castro-Sánchez, Enrique; Scibor-Stepien, Aleksandra; Santos, Reem; Aliyu, Sani H; Cooke, Fiona J; Pacey, Sarah; Holmes, Alison H; Enoch, David A

    2017-01-01

    The rising global tide of antimicrobial resistance is a well-described phenomenon. Employing effective and innovative antimicrobial stewardship strategies is an essential approach to combat this public health threat. Education of the public and patients is paramount to enable the success of such strategies. A panel of hospital multidisciplinary healthcare professionals was set up and a short quiz containing true/false statements around antimicrobial stewardship and resistance was designed and piloted. An educational leaflet with the correct replies and supporting information was also produced and disseminated. Participants were recruited on a single day (18 November 2015) from the hospital outpatient clinics and the hospital outpatient pharmacy waiting room. One hundred and forty-five completed quizzes were returned, providing a total of 1450 answers. Overall, 934 of 1450 (64%) statements were scored correctly whilst 481 (33%) were scored incorrectly; 35 (3%) statements were left unscored. We speculate that these results may demonstrate that respondents understood the statements, as only a small proportion of statements were left unanswered. The question dealing with the definition of antimicrobial resistance and the question dealing with the definition of antimicrobial stewardship obtained the most incorrect replies (85% and 72%, respectively). However, a specific factual recall question regarding only one microorganism (MRSA) received the most correct responses (99%). We describe a simple, innovative method of engagement with patients and the general public to help educate and disseminate important public health messages around antimicrobial resistance and stewardship. We also identified the need for public health campaigns to address the knowledge gaps found around this topic. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Understanding the Nature of Bureaucracy: An Integration of the Organizational and Public Choice Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-03-01

    organizational and public choice theory were inadequate, but I ended up modifying and extending Mises’ definition to include the work of other Austrians on...17 Public Choice Theory .. .. .. .. .... .... .... .... ...... ........ 18 The Elusive Nature of Bureaucracy...regarding burea ix and bureaucratic behavior derived from mainstream public choice theory tend to be individualistic, atomistic and economic in their

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  10. Can public health registry data improve Emergency Medical Dispatch?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, M S; Christensen, E F; Jepsen, S B

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Emergency Medical Dispatchers make decisions based on limited information. We aimed to investigate if adding demographic and hospitalization history information to the dispatch process improved precision. METHODS: This 30-day follow-up study evaluated time-critical emergencies...

  11. Improving Public Library Services for Rural Community Development

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    highlighted. The paper canvasses the use of information communication technology to improve ... These activities are just not feasible to manage without the impact of .... private discussions/business transactions can take place. With the ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyekyung Woo

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Improving outcomes: understanding the psychosocial aspects of the orthopaedic trauma patient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Paul E; MacKenzie, Ellen J; Bosse, Michael J; Greenhouse, Pamela K

    2014-01-01

    The care of orthopaedic trauma patients with multiple injuries has dramatically improved in the past 25 years. The understanding of the physiology of trauma has evolved, new surgical approaches have been developed, and technologic advances have created better implants. New methods of treating fractures include fluoroscopic and computer-assisted imaging. Surgical interventions have changed from extensive and prolonged dissections to more limited and effective percutaneous and minimally invasive techniques. The lives of patients are being saved, and radiographic outcomes are improving; however, medical and surgical advances that achieve better radiographic and anatomic outcomes do not always improve functional outcomes. Understanding and optimizing the management of the psychosocial factors that affect trauma patients can improve outcomes.

  17. Teaching genetics prior to teaching evolution improves evolution understanding but not acceptance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, Rebecca; Hejmadi, Momna; Hurst, Laurence D

    2017-05-01

    What is the best way to teach evolution? As microevolution may be configured as a branch of genetics, it being a short conceptual leap from understanding the concepts of mutation and alleles (i.e., genetics) to allele frequency change (i.e., evolution), we hypothesised that learning genetics prior to evolution might improve student understanding of evolution. In the UK, genetics and evolution are typically taught to 14- to 16-y-old secondary school students as separate topics with few links, in no particular order and sometimes with a large time span between. Here, then, we report the results of a large trial into teaching order of evolution and genetics. We modified extant questionnaires to ascertain students' understanding of evolution and genetics along with acceptance of evolution. Students were assessed prior to teaching, immediately post teaching and again after several months. Teachers were not instructed what to teach, just to teach in a given order. Regardless of order, teaching increased understanding and acceptance, with robust signs of longer-term retention. Importantly, teaching genetics before teaching evolution has a significant (p evolution understanding by 7% in questionnaire scores beyond the increase seen for those taught in the inverse order. For lower ability students, an improvement in evolution understanding was seen only if genetics was taught first. Teaching genetics first additionally had positive effects on genetics understanding, by increasing knowledge. These results suggest a simple, minimally disruptive, zero-cost intervention to improve evolution understanding: teach genetics first. This same alteration does not, however, result in a significantly increased acceptance of evolution, which reflects a weak correlation between knowledge and acceptance of evolution. Qualitative focus group data highlights the role of authority figures in determination of acceptance.

  18. Teaching genetics prior to teaching evolution improves evolution understanding but not acceptance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, Rebecca; Hejmadi, Momna

    2017-01-01

    What is the best way to teach evolution? As microevolution may be configured as a branch of genetics, it being a short conceptual leap from understanding the concepts of mutation and alleles (i.e., genetics) to allele frequency change (i.e., evolution), we hypothesised that learning genetics prior to evolution might improve student understanding of evolution. In the UK, genetics and evolution are typically taught to 14- to 16-y-old secondary school students as separate topics with few links, in no particular order and sometimes with a large time span between. Here, then, we report the results of a large trial into teaching order of evolution and genetics. We modified extant questionnaires to ascertain students’ understanding of evolution and genetics along with acceptance of evolution. Students were assessed prior to teaching, immediately post teaching and again after several months. Teachers were not instructed what to teach, just to teach in a given order. Regardless of order, teaching increased understanding and acceptance, with robust signs of longer-term retention. Importantly, teaching genetics before teaching evolution has a significant (p evolution understanding by 7% in questionnaire scores beyond the increase seen for those taught in the inverse order. For lower ability students, an improvement in evolution understanding was seen only if genetics was taught first. Teaching genetics first additionally had positive effects on genetics understanding, by increasing knowledge. These results suggest a simple, minimally disruptive, zero-cost intervention to improve evolution understanding: teach genetics first. This same alteration does not, however, result in a significantly increased acceptance of evolution, which reflects a weak correlation between knowledge and acceptance of evolution. Qualitative focus group data highlights the role of authority figures in determination of acceptance. PMID:28542179

  19. Understanding Quality: A Guide for Developers and Consumers of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Trainings

    OpenAIRE

    Hites, Lisle; Altschuld, James

    2010-01-01

    The work described in this article represents two years of collaboration among 32 evaluators from 23 schools of public health involved in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Centers for Public Health Preparedness program. Evaluators in public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) training were tasked with identifying what constitutes quality in PHEP training and providing guidance to practitioners in selecting training packages. The results of their deliberations included developm...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Does Competition Improve Public School Efficiency? A Spatial Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Improving Design Understandings and Skills through Enhanced Metacognition: Reflective Design Journals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, Mustafa; Kurt, Sevinc

    2017-01-01

    The main aim of this study was to investigate and discover whether going through the process of reflection by keeping reflective design journals (RDJ) enhances architecture students' metacognition and whether this enhanced metacognition improves their design understandings and skills. The study was a mixed-methods design and utilised content…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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)

  9. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement Part 2: Development of Research-based Learning Tools

    CERN Document Server

    Zhu, Guangtian

    2016-01-01

    We describe the development and implementation of research-based learning tools such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials (QuILTs) 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' understanding of concepts related to quantum measurement.

  10. Improving students’ understanding of quantum measurement. II. Development of research-based learning tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangtian Zhu1,2

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available 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’ understanding of concepts related to quantum measurement.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  12. Understanding public sector innovations: the role of leadership activities for a climate for innovation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dorsman, S.J.; Tummers, L.G.; Thaens, M.

    2015-01-01

    Innovations are considered to be crucial for the success of public organizations. However, it is not a foregone conclusion that public organizations are innovative. This study is based on the leadership and innovation literature to consider whether team level leadership activities could be associate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  18. Essential veterinary education: equipping students with an understanding of the need for research in global veterinary public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbs, E P J; Anderson, T C

    2009-08-01

    Research is the foundation of health advancement; therefore, it is imperative that all health professionals are well versed in its importance during their formal training. Since veterinary education in most countries is now focused on preparing clinicians rather than public health practitioners or research scientists, educators should recognise the importance of research by emphasising the principles and key methodologies that are generic in the life sciences. This exposure will provide a baseline understanding for all students, may encourage some to complete research projects and research-focused externships during school, and will ultimately inspire others to pursue research training after graduation. All aspects of veterinary research would benefit from this approach, including veterinary public health. This paper discusses the essential understanding of research that should be gained through veterinary education, particularly within the evolving nature of veterinary public health education.

  19. Soil color - a window for public and educators to understands soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libohova, Zamir; Beaudette, Dylan; Wills, Skye; Monger, Curtis; Lindbo, David

    2017-04-01

    Soil color is one of the most visually striking properties recorded by soil scientists around the world. Soil color is an important characteristic related to soil properties such organic matter, parent materials, drainage. It is a simplified way for the public and educators alike to understand soils and their functions. Soil color is a quick measurement that can be recorded by people using color charts or digital cameras, offering an opportunity for the citizen science projects to contribute to soil science. The US Soil Survey has recorded soil colors using Munsell color system for over 20,000 soil types representing a wide range of conditions throughout the Unites States. The objective of this research was to generate a US soil color map based on color descriptions from the Official Series Descriptions (OSDs). A color calculator developed in R and ArcMap were used to spatially display the soil colors. Soil colors showed vertical trends related to soil depth and horizontal trends related to parent material and climate. Soil colors represent development processes depending upon environment and time that have influenced their appearance and geographic distribution. Dark colors represent soils that are rich in organic matter, such as the soils of the Midwest USA, which are some of the most fertile soils in the world. These soils are relatively "young" in that they developed over the last 20,000 years in materials left behind after continental Glaciers retreated and reflect long- term prairie vegetation that dominated this area prior to European settlements. Dark soils of the Pacific Northwest reflect the influence of forests (and volcanic activity) but are shallower and less fertile than the deep dark Midwest soils. Soils of the eastern and southern Coastal Plains are older and are enriched with iron oxides ('rust') which gives them their red coloring. Soils of flood plains, like the broad Mississippi Valley, have multi-colored soils that reflect the process of

  20. Water Governance in England: Improving Understandings and Practices through Systemic Co-Inquiry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie Foster

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In 2015, water governance in England finds itself part way through perhaps the most significant changes since the privatisation of the water industry in 1989. Each of the changes is a response to the specific challenges that fall within the realm of improving water governance. However, they also raise many questions: How will the changes play out in practice? Will they work together to form a coherent ’whole’? Can collaborative and competitive approaches really co-exist? This research aims to engage researchers, policy-makers and practitioners in a systemic co-inquiry in order to improve understandings and practices in relation to water governance in England. The two workshops undertaken as part of the research focused on the current and future water governance situation in England, respectively. The findings from the workshops demonstrate that the systemic co-inquiry process generally proved very successful and useful for this group of stakeholders. The workshops provided the opportunity for participants to share, explore and challenge their ideas, knowledge and experiences in water governance; and in doing so, they brought about shared understandings, revealed new insights and identified concerted actions to improve (transform water governance. However, it is recognised that whilst significant progress has been made towards improving understanding and practices in relation to water governance in England, there is still further work required in order to implement these improvements on a local, national or global scale.

  1. Understanding the threats posed by non-native species: public vs. conservation managers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolphe E Gozlan

    Full Text Available Public perception is a key factor influencing current conservation policy. Therefore, it is important to determine the influence of the public, end-users and scientists on the prioritisation of conservation issues and the direct implications for policy makers. Here, we assessed public attitudes and the perception of conservation managers to five non-native species in the UK, with these supplemented by those of an ecosystem user, freshwater anglers. We found that threat perception was not influenced by the volume of scientific research or by the actual threats posed by the specific non-native species. Media interest also reflected public perception and vice versa. Anglers were most concerned with perceived threats to their recreational activities but their concerns did not correspond to the greatest demonstrated ecological threat. The perception of conservation managers was an amalgamation of public and angler opinions but was mismatched to quantified ecological risks of the species. As this suggests that invasive species management in the UK is vulnerable to a knowledge gap, researchers must consider the intrinsic characteristics of their study species to determine whether raising public perception will be effective. The case study of the topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva reveals that media pressure and political debate has greater capacity to ignite policy changes and impact studies on non-native species than scientific evidence alone.

  2. Understanding the threats posed by non-native species: public vs. conservation managers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gozlan, Rodolphe E; Burnard, Dean; Andreou, Demetra; Britton, J Robert

    2013-01-01

    Public perception is a key factor influencing current conservation policy. Therefore, it is important to determine the influence of the public, end-users and scientists on the prioritisation of conservation issues and the direct implications for policy makers. Here, we assessed public attitudes and the perception of conservation managers to five non-native species in the UK, with these supplemented by those of an ecosystem user, freshwater anglers. We found that threat perception was not influenced by the volume of scientific research or by the actual threats posed by the specific non-native species. Media interest also reflected public perception and vice versa. Anglers were most concerned with perceived threats to their recreational activities but their concerns did not correspond to the greatest demonstrated ecological threat. The perception of conservation managers was an amalgamation of public and angler opinions but was mismatched to quantified ecological risks of the species. As this suggests that invasive species management in the UK is vulnerable to a knowledge gap, researchers must consider the intrinsic characteristics of their study species to determine whether raising public perception will be effective. The case study of the topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva reveals that media pressure and political debate has greater capacity to ignite policy changes and impact studies on non-native species than scientific evidence alone.

  3. Public Financial Expenditure——A Reflection of the Livelihood Improvement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chun Yi

    2008-01-01

    @@ In recent years.China's public finance put social construction high on the agenda and attaches more importance on livelihood insurance and improvement.The 2003-2007 public financial expenditure reflects a fact that the government isputting more emphasis on livelihood andissues concerning the people.

  4. The Business Improvement District Movement: Contributions to Public Administration and Management by Seth A. Grossman

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Kleinschmit

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Grossman, S. (2016. The Business Improvement District Movement: Contributions to Public Administration and Management. New York, NY: Routledge. $49.95 (paperback, ISBN: 978-1-1386-6889-8.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. A synthesis of research needs for improving the understanding of atmospheric mercury cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Leiming; Lyman, Seth; Mao, Huiting; Lin, Che-Jen; Gay, David A.; Wang, Shuxiao; Sexauer Gustin, Mae; Feng, Xinbin; Wania, Frank

    2017-07-01

    This synthesis identifies future research needs in atmospheric mercury science, based on a series of review papers, as well as recent developments in field data collection, modeling analysis, and emission assessments of speciated atmospheric mercury. Research activities are proposed that focus on areas that we consider important. These include refinement of mercury emission estimations, quantification of dry deposition and air-surface exchange, improvement of the treatment of chemical mechanisms in chemical transport models, increase in the accuracy of oxidized mercury measurements, better interpretation of atmospheric mercury chemistry data, and harmonization of network operation. Knowledge gained in these research areas will significantly improve our understanding of atmospheric cycling from local to global scales.

  8. Metaphorical concepts in molecular biology students’ texts – a way to improve subject-matter understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Fredriksson

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Earlier research brings evidence that metaphors facilitate our understanding of the world. In this study we explore Bachelor students’ popular science articles on molecular biology with the aim to determine the frequency and nature of metaphorical concepts used in the articles. For this purpose, a comparative metaphor analysis of students’ texts was conducted. The results show that only few students (5 out of 47 use metaphorical concepts when writing about complex molecular biological mechanisms to non-specialist readers. We discuss that the use of metaphors not only reflect, but may also support, the writer’s subject understanding, especially when metaphorical concepts are created by the writer herself. We suggest that the invention of metaphorical concepts when explaining subject-matter to a layman could be a way for students to improve their subject understanding.

  9. SAFETY AND SECURITY IMPROVEMENT IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BASED ON PUBLIC PERCEPTION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tri Basuki JOEWONO

    2006-01-01

    Three aspects of an improvement agenda are proposed based on the perception data, namely technology, management, and institution. This agenda is clarified by a set of action plans incorporating the responsible parties and a time frame. The action plan is divided into three terms to define a clear goal for each step. The short-term action focuses on the hardware and on preparing further steps, whereas the medium-term action focuses on developing and improving the standard of safety and security. The long-term action focuses on advancing safety and security practices. The effectiveness of this agenda and action plan rests upon a set of assumptions, such as the degree of seriousness from the authoritative institution, fair distribution of information, the availability of reasonable resources, and coordinated and collaborative action from all parties involved to reach the objective.

  10. Understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in rural Tanzania: the ACCESS Programme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alba Sandra

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prompt access to effective treatment is central in the fight against malaria. However, a variety of interlinked factors at household and health system level influence access to timely and appropriate treatment and care. Furthermore, access may be influenced by global and national health policies. As a consequence, many malaria episodes in highly endemic countries are not treated appropriately. Project The ACCESS Programme aims at understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in a rural Tanzanian setting. The programme's strategy is based on a set of integrated interventions, including social marketing for improved care seeking at community level as well as strengthening of quality of care at health facilities. This is complemented by a project that aims to improve the performance of drug stores. The interventions are accompanied by a comprehensive set of monitoring and evaluation activities measuring the programme's performance and (health impact. Baseline data demonstrated heterogeneity in the availability of malaria treatment, unavailability of medicines and treatment providers in certain areas as well as quality problems with regard to drugs and services. Conclusion The ACCESS Programme is a combination of multiple complementary interventions with a strong evaluation component. With this approach, ACCESS aims to contribute to the development of a more comprehensive access framework and to inform and support public health professionals and policy-makers in the delivery of improved health services.

  11. Pipeline Processing at the Isaac Newton Group: Using ``Live" Images for Public Understanding of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greimel, Robert; Mendez, Javier; Skillen, Ian; Lennon, D. J.; Walton, Nick A.

    The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes is currently implementing both optical and near-infrared data reduction pipelines for its imaging cameras. For quality control purposes the quicklook pipelines generate postage stamp and full size images (in jpeg format) of all reduced data frames, which can easily be accessed through a web interface. For spectroscopic instruments only the raw data frames are converted into jpeg images. In this poster we show how these images, combined with automated access to the scheduling information and current weather and observing conditions, can be used as input to form near real time web pages for public relations purposes. To enhance the usefulness of this service, a description of the observing project, accessible to the general public, is requested from the observer. Possible use of such a service for planetariums and museums is discussed. This will provide a valuable means for disseminating the dynamic nature of the observatory to the wider public.

  12. Understanding quality: a guide for developers and consumers of public health emergency preparedness trainings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hites, Lisle; Altschuld, James

    2010-01-01

    The work described in this article represents two years of collaboration among 32 evaluators from 23 schools of public health involved in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Centers for Public Health Preparedness program. Evaluators in public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) training were tasked with identifying what constitutes quality in PHEP training and providing guidance to practitioners in selecting training packages. The results of their deliberations included development and selection of guidelines for a high-quality course, a justification of the guidelines, and a Training Selection System (TSS) to assist in analyzing extant trainings. In this article, we present the TSS (along with explanatory notes for each of its sections), preliminary feedback from practitioners, and a discussion of next steps.

  13. Aesthetics and Astronomy: Studying the public's perception and understanding of non-traditional imagery from space

    CERN Document Server

    Smith, Lisa F; Arcand, Kimberly K; Smith, Randall K; Bookbinder, Jay; Keach, Kelly; 10.1177/1075547010379579

    2010-01-01

    Some 400 years after Galileo, modern telescopes have enabled humanity to "see" what the natural eye cannot. Astronomical images today contain information about incredibly large objects located across vast distances and reveal information found in "invisible" radiation ranging from radio waves to X-rays. The current generation of telescopes has created an explosion of images available for the public to explore. This has, importantly, coincided with the maturation of the Internet. Every major telescope has a web site, often with an extensive gallery of images. New and free downloadable tools exist for members of the public to explore astronomical data and even create their own images. In short, a new era of an accessible universe has been entered, in which the public can participate and explore like never before. But there is a severe lack of scholarly and robust studies to probe how people - especially non-experts - perceive these images and the information they attempt to convey. Most astronomical images for ...

  14. Improved understanding of atmospheric organic aerosols via innovations in soft ionization aerosol mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahardis, James; Geddes, Scott; Petrucci, Giuseppe A

    2011-04-01

    Organic molecules are a significant and highly varied component of atmospheric aerosols. Measurement of aerosol composition and improvements in our understanding of the complex chemistry involved in their formation and aging are being aided by innovations in soft ionization aerosol MS. (To listen to a podcast about this feature, please go to the Analytical Chemistry multimedia page at pubs.acs.org/page/ancham/audio/index.html.).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Recent publications from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative: Reviewing progress toward improved AD clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiner, Michael W; Veitch, Dallas P; Aisen, Paul S; Beckett, Laurel A; Cairns, Nigel J; Green, Robert C; Harvey, Danielle; Jack, Clifford R; Jagust, William; Morris, John C; Petersen, Ronald C; Saykin, Andrew J; Shaw, Leslie M; Toga, Arthur W; Trojanowski, John Q

    2017-04-01

    The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) has continued development and standardization of methodologies for biomarkers and has provided an increased depth and breadth of data available to qualified researchers. This review summarizes the over 400 publications using ADNI data during 2014 and 2015. We used standard searches to find publications using ADNI data. (1) Structural and functional changes, including subtle changes to hippocampal shape and texture, atrophy in areas outside of hippocampus, and disruption to functional networks, are detectable in presymptomatic subjects before hippocampal atrophy; (2) In subjects with abnormal β-amyloid deposition (Aβ+), biomarkers become abnormal in the order predicted by the amyloid cascade hypothesis; (3) Cognitive decline is more closely linked to tau than Aβ deposition; (4) Cerebrovascular risk factors may interact with Aβ to increase white-matter (WM) abnormalities which may accelerate Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression in conjunction with tau abnormalities; (5) Different patterns of atrophy are associated with impairment of memory and executive function and may underlie psychiatric symptoms; (6) Structural, functional, and metabolic network connectivities are disrupted as AD progresses. Models of prion-like spreading of Aβ pathology along WM tracts predict known patterns of cortical Aβ deposition and declines in glucose metabolism; (7) New AD risk and protective gene loci have been identified using biologically informed approaches; (8) Cognitively normal and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subjects are heterogeneous and include groups typified not only by "classic" AD pathology but also by normal biomarkers, accelerated decline, and suspected non-Alzheimer's pathology; (9) Selection of subjects at risk of imminent decline on the basis of one or more pathologies improves the power of clinical trials; (10) Sensitivity of cognitive outcome measures to early changes in cognition has been improved and

  17. The Crucible simulation: Behavioral simulation improves clinical leadership skills and understanding of complex health policy change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Daniel; Vlaev, Ivo; McMahon, Laurie; Harvey, Sarah; Mitchell, Andy; Borovoi, Leah; Darzi, Ara

    2017-05-11

    The Health and Social Care Act 2012 represents the most complex National Health Service reforms in history. High-quality clinical leadership is important for successful implementation of health service reform. However, little is known about the effectiveness of current leadership training. This study describes the use of a behavioral simulation to improve the knowledge and leadership of a cohort of medical doctors expected to take leadership roles in the National Health Service. A day-long behavioral simulation (The Crucible) was developed and run based on a fictitious but realistic health economy. Participants completed pre- and postsimulation questionnaires generating qualitative and quantitative data. Leadership skills, knowledge, and behavior change processes described by the "theory of planned behavior" were self-assessed pre- and postsimulation. Sixty-nine medical doctors attended. Participants deemed the simulation immersive and relevant. Significant improvements were shown in perceived knowledge, capability, attitudes, subjective norms, intentions, and leadership competency following the program. Nearly one third of participants reported that they had implemented knowledge and skills from the simulation into practice within 4 weeks. This study systematically demonstrates the effectiveness of behavioral simulation for clinical management training and understanding of health policy reform. Potential future uses and strategies for analysis are discussed. High-quality care requires understanding of health systems and strong leadership. Policymakers should consider the use of behavioral simulation to improve understanding of health service reform and development of leadership skills in clinicians, who readily adopt skills from simulation into everyday practice.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  6. Understanding nitrate uptake, signaling and remobilisation for improving plant nitrogen use efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, Surya

    2017-08-28

    The majority of terrestrial plants use nitrate as their main source of nitrogen. Nitrate also acts as an important signalling molecule in vital physiological processes required for optimum plant growth and development. Improving nitrate uptake and transport, through activation by nitrate sensing, signalling and regulatory processes, would enhance plant growth, resulting in improved crop yields. The increased remobilisation of nitrate, and assimilated nitrogenous compounds, from source to sink tissues further ensures higher yields and quality. An updated knowledge of various transporters, genes, activators, and microRNAs, involved in nitrate uptake, transport, remobilisation, and nitrate-mediated root growth, is presented. An enhanced understanding of these components will allow for their orchestrated fine tuning in efforts to improving nitrogen use efficiency in plants. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Understanding the Drivers of Chinese Public Diplomacy in the Information Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    governments and remain in good standing with the host nation populations? One argument is that it is all about the appeal of China’s economy , driven by...of Political and Social Science 616, no. 1 (2008): 95. Nye is alluding to a similar concept as the earlier stated definition but his focus on...and Social Science 616, no. 1 (2008): 59. 11 Ian Hall and Frank Smith, “The Struggle for Soft Power in Asia: Public Diplomacy and Regional

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Research on Hotspot Discovery in Internet Public Opinions Based on Improved -Means

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gensheng Wang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available How to discover hotspot in the Internet public opinions effectively is a hot research field for the researchers related which plays a key role for governments and corporations to find useful information from mass data in the Internet. An improved -means algorithm for hotspot discovery in internet public opinions is presented based on the analysis of existing defects and calculation principle of original -means algorithm. First, some new methods are designed to preprocess website texts, select and express the characteristics of website texts, and define the similarity between two website texts, respectively. Second, clustering principle and the method of initial classification centers selection are analyzed and improved in order to overcome the limitations of original -means algorithm. Finally, the experimental results verify that the improved algorithm can improve the clustering stability and classification accuracy of hotspot discovery in internet public opinions when used in practice.

  15. Research on hotspot discovery in internet public opinions based on improved K-means.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gensheng

    2013-01-01

    How to discover hotspot in the Internet public opinions effectively is a hot research field for the researchers related which plays a key role for governments and corporations to find useful information from mass data in the Internet. An improved K-means algorithm for hotspot discovery in internet public opinions is presented based on the analysis of existing defects and calculation principle of original K-means algorithm. First, some new methods are designed to preprocess website texts, select and express the characteristics of website texts, and define the similarity between two website texts, respectively. Second, clustering principle and the method of initial classification centers selection are analyzed and improved in order to overcome the limitations of original K-means algorithm. Finally, the experimental results verify that the improved algorithm can improve the clustering stability and classification accuracy of hotspot discovery in internet public opinions when used in practice.

  16. Effective Two-way Communication of Environmental Hazards: Understanding Public Perception in the UK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorono-Leturiondo, Maria; O'Hare, Paul; Cook, Simon; Hoon, Stephen R.; Illingworth, Sam

    2017-04-01

    Climate change intensified hazards, such as floods and landslides, require exploring renewed ways of protecting at-risk communities (World Economic Forum 2016). Scientists are being encouraged to explore new pathways to work closely with affected communities in search of experiential knowledge that is able to complement and extend scientific knowledge (see for instance Whatmore and Landström 2011 and Höpner et al. 2010). Effective two-way communication of environmental hazards is, however, a challenge. Besides considering factors such as the purpose of communication, or the characteristics of the different formats; effective communication has to carefully acknowledge the personal framework of the individuals involved. Existing experiences, values, beliefs, and needs are critical determinants of the way they perceive and relate to these hazards, and in turn, of the communication process in which they are involved (Longnecker 2016 and Gibson et al. 2016). Our study builds on the need to analyze how the public perceives environmental hazards in order to establish forms of communication that work. Here we present early findings of a survey analysing the UK public's perception and outline how survey results can guide more effective two-way communication practices between scientists and affected communities. We explore the perception of environmental hazards in terms of how informed and concerned the public is, as well as how much ownership they claim over these phenomena. In order to gain a more accurate image, we study environmental hazards in relation to other risks threatening the UK, such as large-scale involuntary migration or unemployment (World Economic Forum 2016, Bord et al. 1998). We also explore information consumption in relation to environmental hazards and the public's involvement in advancing knowledge. All these questions are accompanied by an extensive demographics section that allows us to ascertain how the context or environment in which an

  17. Evaluation of the understanding of antibiotic resistance among Malaysian pharmacy students at public universities: an exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajiah, Kingston; Ren, Wong S; Jamshed, Shazia Q

    2015-01-01

    Infectious diseases are a great threat to humankind, and antibiotics are a viable proposition to numerous pathologies. However, antibiotic resistance is a global concern. Therefore, the aims of this survey were to explore the understanding and attitudes of pharmacy students regarding antibiotic use and resistance. This is a cross-sectional study conducted on final-year undergraduate pharmacy students from 5 public universities. A validated, self-administered questionnaire written in English was used to collect data. It was made up of six domains and forty-five questions. Raosoft software was used to determine the minimum required sample size. Descriptive and inferential data analyses were carried out using SPSS version 20 software. Out of 346 students, only 59.5% showed a strong understanding of antibiotic usage, while 84.4% of students demonstrated a good level of understanding regarding the issue of antibiotic resistance. However, only 34.1% of students demonstrated a positive attitude toward this issue. This survey reveals that final-year pharmacy students at Malaysian public universities have a relatively good understanding of antibiotic resistance. However, their attitudes did not strongly correlate to their knowledge. Copyright © 2014 King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. Improving public sector performance by strenghtening the relationship between audit and accounting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adelina DUMITRESCU

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available If twenty years ago the financial activities of any Romanian enterprise were the sole responsibility of the accountant, nowadays the relationships of the economical entities within theirselves and with their environment are too complex to be handled just by accounting departments. Around accounting there have appeared a significant number of activities like Controlling and Auditing which are meant to link Accounting with the strategic management. In this regard the paper approaches the relationship between internal public audit and accounting which improves decisions making process in public sector. The research methodology aims to study these relationships and determine how they can work to the benefit of increasing public sector performance. The conclusions of the research shape aspects of accounting and auditing improvement as main strategic components for insuring performance in the public sector.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Understanding Public Views about Air Quality and Air Pollution Sources in the San Joaquin Valley, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisneros, Ricardo; Brown, Paul; Cameron, Linda; Gaab, Erin; Gonzalez, Mariaelena; Ramondt, Steven; Veloz, David; Song, Anna; Schweizer, Don

    2017-01-01

    The San Joaquin Valley of California has poor air quality and high rates of asthma. Surveys were collected from 744 residents of the San Joaquin Valley from November 2014 to January 2015 to examine the public's views about air quality. The results of this study suggest that participants exposed to high PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in size) concentrations perceived air pollution to be of the worst quality. Air quality in the San Joaquin Valley was primarily perceived as either moderate or unhealthy for sensitive groups. Females perceived air pollution to be of worse quality compared to males. Participants perceived unemployment, crime, and obesity to be the top three most serious community problems in the San Joaquin Valley. Participants viewed cars and trucks, windblown dust, and factories as the principle contributors to air pollution in the area. There is a need to continue studying public perceptions of air quality in the San Joaquin Valley with a more robust survey with more participants over several years and seasons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  4. Research on Hotspot Discovery in Internet Public Opinions Based on Improved K-Means

    OpenAIRE

    Gensheng Wang

    2013-01-01

    How to discover hotspot in the Internet public opinions effectively is a hot research field for the researchers related which plays a key role for governments and corporations to find useful information from mass data in the Internet. An improved K-means algorithm for hotspot discovery in internet public opinions is presented based on the analysis of existing defects and calculation principle of original K-means algorithm. First, some new methods are designed to preprocess website texts, sele...

  5. Towards a Better Understanding of Agronomic Efficiency of Nitrogen: Assessment and Improvement Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Montemurro

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Agronomic N-use efficiency is the basis for economic and environmental efficiency, and an effective agro-ecosystem management practice, improving nutrient use efficiency, is a crucial challenge for a more sustainable production of horticultural, industrial and cereal crops. However, discrepancy between theory and practice still exists, coming from large gaps in knowledge on net-N immobilization/mineralization rates in agro-ecosystems, as well as on the effects of indigenous and applied N to crop response. A more thorough understanding of these topics is essential to improve N management in agricultural systems. To this end, the present Special Issue collects research findings dealing with different aspects of agronomic efficiency of N in different agro-ecosystems, and environmental impact derived from fertilization management practices. In particular, the Special Issue contains selected papers, which concern a wide range of topics, including analyzing tools, options of management, calculation equation and modeling approaches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. A synthesis of research needs for improving the understanding of atmospheric mercury cycling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Zhang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This synthesis identifies future research needs in atmospheric mercury science, based on a series of review papers, as well as recent developments in field data collection, modeling analysis, and emission assessments of speciated atmospheric mercury. Research activities are proposed that focus on areas that we consider important. These include refinement of mercury emission estimations, quantification of dry deposition and air–surface exchange, improvement of the treatment of chemical mechanisms in chemical transport models, increase in the accuracy of oxidized mercury measurements, better interpretation of atmospheric mercury chemistry data, and harmonization of network operation. Knowledge gained in these research areas will significantly improve our understanding of atmospheric cycling from local to global scales.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. The Availability of Original Data and Statistics: An Improvement in Good Publication Practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morselli-Labate AM

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to highlight the aspects of good publication practices, with particular reference to data analysis, and to propose an innovative initiative for improving the quality of scientific information in this field. Several committees within the scientific community provide information and publish guidelines in order to support scientists in the application of good publication practices and to improve quality in medical research. Those guidelines suggest that the possibility of verifying the original data warrants the reliability of the published results by reducing the occurrence of misconduct related to data analysis. The initiative proposed in this article is aimed at making the original data and the statistical reports available to the scientific community together with the actual paper. Such a practice is undoubtedly an improvement in the quality of publication permitting verification of the results as well as allowing for further elaboration of the same data.

  10. Improving Risk Governance of Emerging Technologies through Public Engagement: The Neglected Case of Nano-Remediation?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grieger, Khara Deanne; Wickson, Fern; Andersen, Henning Boje

    2012-01-01

    assessment. This paper therefore carries out a literature review to capture and analyse how governance strategies have focused on public engagement for NT and how such engagement relates to processes of risk analysis. To further investigate these issues, we focus on a specific NT application as a case study......: the use of nanoparticles for environmental remediation (nano-remediation). Through our review and analysis we find that the main approaches to incorporating public engagement into governance strategies have been the generation of a better understanding of public perceptions of NT and the setting......While public engagement is internationally considered to be crucial for successful governance of nanotechnologies (NT), it has not necessarily been clear what the relationship is (or should be) between these engagement efforts and the more traditional governance practice of scientific risk...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Development of food preservation and processing techniques by radiation - Improving the public understanding of food irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, H. S.; Park, S. C.; Choi, J. M. [Sogang University, Seoul (Korea)

    2000-03-01

    Person-to-person interview survey toward 1,161 adults sampled nationally. Person-to person interview survey toward 195 nutritionists sampled in Seoul. Person-to-person interview survey toward 151 consumerists and environmentalists sampled in Seoul. Survey was conducted in September, 1999. 45 refs., 61 figs., 8 tabs. (Author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. UNDERSTANDING THE DETERMINANTS OF TAX COMPLIANCE BEHAVIOR AS A PREREQUISITE FOR INCREASING PUBLIC LEVIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioan BǍTRÂNCEA

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we investigate the most important studies concerning the factors which shape tax compliancebehavior with the aim of understanding how these factors could be used by tax authorities as tools for increasing publicproceedings. In order to do that, we first summarize the most relevant socio psychological, political and economicdeterminants. Among the socio psychological factors, we offer details concerning attitudes, norms, fairnessperceptions, motivational postures, and the way they relate to tax compliance behavior. From the range of politicaldeterminants, we particularly emphasize the importance of tax law complexity. Moreover, we briefly present theevolution of the research on tax behavior starting from the assumptions of the classical model of tax evasion developedby Allingham and Sandmo (1972. We also underline the impact which audit probabilities, fines, tax rates, and incomehave on tax compliance behavior. Second we offer different examples of countries (e.g., Australia, New Zealand which,based on the understanding of these determinants, have managed to develop models of tax compliance, to apply themand, as a consequence, to boost tax compliance. Third we draw conclusions about the importance of these factors andabout the extent to which they could help other economies to increasingly levy taxes.

  15. Understanding and influencing behaviour change by farmers to improve water quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackstock, K L; Ingram, J; Burton, R; Brown, K M; Slee, B

    2010-11-01

    Diffuse pollution from agriculture remains a significant challenge to many countries seeking to improve and protect their water environments. This paper reviews literature relating to the provision of information and advice as a mechanism to encourage farmers to mitigate diffuse pollution. The paper presents findings from a literature review on influencing farmer behaviour and synthesizes three main areas of literature: psychological and institutional theories of behaviour; shifts in the approach to delivery of advice (from knowledge transfer to knowledge exchange); and the increased interest in heterogeneous farming cultures. These three areas interconnect in helping to understand how best to influence farmer behaviour in order to mitigate diffuse pollution. They are, however, literatures that are rarely cited in the water management arena. The paper highlights the contribution of the 'cultural turn' taken by rural social scientists in helping to understand collective and individual voluntary behaviour. The paper explores how these literatures can contribute to the existing understanding of water management in the agricultural context, particularly: when farmers question the scientific evidence; when there are increased calls for collaborative planning and management; and when there is increased value placed on information as a business commodity. The paper also highlights where there are still gaps in knowledge that need to be filled by future research - possibly in partnership with farmers themselves. Whilst information and advice has long been seen as an important part of diffuse pollution control, increasing climate variability that will require farmers to practice adaptive management is likely to make these mechanisms even more important.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Driving forces behind the Chinese public's demand for improved environmental safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Ting; Wang, Jigan; Ma, Zongwei; Bi, Jun

    2017-12-15

    Over the past decades, the public demand for improved environmental safety keeps increasing in China. This study aims to assess the driving forces behind the increasing public demand for improved environmental safety using a provincial and multi-year (1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2014) panel data and the Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence, and Technology (STIRPAT) model. The potential driving forces investigated included population size, income levels, degrees of urbanization, and educational levels. Results show that population size and educational level are positively (Pdemand for improved environmental safety. No significant impact on demand was found due to the degree of urbanization. For the impact due to income level, an inverted U-shaped curve effect with the turning point of ~140,000 CNY GDP per capita is indicated. Since per capita GDP of 2015 in China was approximately 50,000 CNY and far from the turning point, the public demand for improved environmental safety will continue rising in the near future. To meet the increasing public demand for improved environmental safety, proactive and risk prevention based environmental management systems coupled with effective environmental risk communication should be established. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. Understanding key influencers' attitudes and beliefs about healthy public policy change for obesity prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, Kim D; Nykiforuk, Candace I J; Vu-Nguyen, Karen; Nieuwendyk, Laura M; VanSpronsen, Eric; Reed, Shandy; Wild, T Cameron

    2014-11-01

    As overweight and obesity is a risk factor for chronic diseases, the development of environmental and healthy public policy interventions across multiple sectors has been identified as a key strategy to address this issue. In 2009, a survey was developed to assess the attitudes and beliefs regarding health promotion principles, and the priority and acceptability of policy actions to prevent obesity and chronic diseases, among key policy influencers in Alberta and Manitoba, Canada. Surveys were mailed to 1,765 key influencers from five settings: provincial government, municipal government, school boards, print media companies, and workplaces with greater than 500 employees. A total of 236 surveys were completed with a response rate of 15.0%. Findings indicate nearly unanimous influencer support for individual-focused policy approaches and high support for some environmental policies. Restrictive environmental and economic policies received weakest support. Obesity was comparable to smoking with respect to perceptions as a societal responsibility versus a personal responsibility, boding well for the potential of environmental policy interventions for obesity prevention. This level of influencer support provides a platform for more evidence to be brokered to policy influencers about the effectiveness of environmental policy approaches to obesity prevention. © 2014 The Obesity Society.

  2. Understanding geodesy and geoscience processes through interactive demonstrations for the general public

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olds, S. E.; Bartel, B. A.

    2016-12-01

    Hands-on demonstrations are an effective way for novice learners, whether they are students, public, or museum visitors, to experience geoscience processes. UNAVCO and community members have developed hands-on demonstrations of a variety of geophysical processes highlighting the geodetic techniques used to measure these processes. These demonstrations illustrate how observations of changes at the earth's surface can be quantified and inform us about forces within the earth that we can't see. They also emphasize the societal impact of research related to each earth process. In this presentation, we will provide descriptions of a suite of these demonstrations, major concepts covered, materials needed, instructions for assembly and how to lead the demonstration, sample questions to ask participants, weaknesses inherent in the model, and a list of supporting handouts that augment the demonstration. Some of the demonstrations to be highlighted include: volcanic deformation using flour or an augmented-reality sandbox; isostatic rebound from glacial melt using flubber; compression of the Pacific Northwest using springs; and tsunami early warning using a tub of water and foam buoys. We will also discuss the process of developing interactive demonstrations and provide initial feedback from classroom and science festival events. Write-ups of the demonstrations are freely available on the UNAVCO Education website (search terms: UNAVCO geodetic demonstrations).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  4. FLOW CHART AS A TOOL FOR IMPROVEMENT AND CONTROL IN PUBLIC INSTUONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Brondani Carvalho

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Controls are fundamental tools for the quality of the services provided by public and private organizations. The Supervising Permits Management of the City Hall of Santa Maria displays troubles regarding these controls. Thus, this study aims at describing the emission process of notifications sent by the Administration and also to suggest points of control, allowing Public Management to improve its collection, as well as avoiding the customers to be improperly charged. The present work was accomplished by a case study. Starting from a no structured interview, a flowchart has been developed, emphasizing the critical aspects to be improved. Standard operational procedures were proposed for those critical aspects in order to establish a routine, improving the performed processes. Besides, improving suggestions have been presented with the intent of optimizing the services for a higher satisfaction of the internal and external customer of the organization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Optimizing Bus Passenger Complaint Service through Big Data Analysis: Systematized Analysis for Improved Public Sector Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weng-Kun Liu

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available With the advances in industry and commerce, passengers have become more accepting of environmental sustainability issues; thus, more people now choose to travel by bus. Government administration constitutes an important part of bus transportation services as the government gives the right-of-way to transportation companies allowing them to provide services. When these services are of poor quality, passengers may lodge complaints. The increase in consumer awareness and developments in wireless communication technologies have made it possible for passengers to easily and immediately submit complaints about transportation companies to government institutions, which has brought drastic changes to the supply–demand chain comprised of the public sector, transportation companies, and passengers. This study proposed the use of big data analysis technology including systematized case assignment and data visualization to improve management processes in the public sector and optimize customer complaint services. Taichung City, Taiwan, was selected as the research area. There, the customer complaint management process in public sector was improved, effectively solving such issues as station-skipping, allowing the public sector to fully grasp the service level of transportation companies, improving the sustainability of bus operations, and supporting the sustainable development of the public sector–transportation company–passenger supply chain.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubenstein Lisa V

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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

  8. Taking Action With Data: Improving Environmental Public Health at the Community Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camponeschi, Jenny; Vogt, Christy M; Creswell, Paul D; Mueller, Meridith; Christenson, Megan; Werner, Mark A

    The Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (Wisconsin Tracking) compiles and provides data on health endpoints and related environmental exposures as a resource to local health departments, tribes, academia, and other stakeholders. The goal of providing these data is that stakeholders use them to develop projects that improve environmental health in their communities-that is, moving from "data to action." To encourage use of Wisconsin Tracking data, we developed a minigrants program and issued a funding opportunity to local health departments and tribes. The opportunity requested proposals for small projects using our data, with the goal of making public health improvements in those communities. Wisconsin Tracking evaluated the minigrants program after its completion. Eight local health departments in Wisconsin were awarded up to $10 500 to develop and implement projects over a 9-month period. Wisconsin Tracking created a funding opportunity announcement requiring utilization of our data to develop projects by local health departments in Wisconsin. We reviewed and scored applications, evaluating proposals on a range of criteria. During the 9-month project period, Wisconsin Tracking staff members provided a variety of technical assistance to grantees. An evaluation of the overall program followed. Funded communities used Wisconsin Tracking data to improve public health infrastructure, leverage partnerships, establish new initiatives, respond to emergencies, improve communication with stakeholders and residents, and make a variety of public health improvements in their communities. Efforts to increase use of our data catalyzed development of small-scale environmental health projects. This minigrants program was successful at building relationships between local health departments and Wisconsin Tracking, increasing awareness of Wisconsin Tracking data and resources, and contributing to numerous documented public health improvements throughout Wisconsin.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belam Judith

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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

  10. Improving the effectiveness of sickness benefit case management through a public-private partnership?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Malene Rode; Aust, Birgit; Høgelund, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to investigate whether a multidimensional public-private partnership intervention, focussing on improving the quality and efficiency of sickness benefit case management, reduced the sickness benefit duration and the duration until self-support. Methods We used...

  11. Exploring New Service Models: Can Consolidating Public Service Points Improve Response to Customer Needs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, Pat; Horowitz, Lisa R.

    2000-01-01

    Describes an experimental integrated service point that combines the desks and staff who perform reference and circulation at one of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's libraries. Considers whether this service model can consolidate public service points to improve response to customer needs; discusses performance measurement; and offers…

  12. 38 CFR 3.714 - Improved pension elections-public assistance beneficiaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Improved pension elections-public assistance beneficiaries. 3.714 Section 3.714 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation...

  13. Role of the Poison Control Centre of Morocco in the Improvement of Public Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naima Rhalem

    2013-09-01

    How to cite this article: Rhalem N, Aghandous R, Chaoui H, Eloufir R, Badrane N, Windy M, et al. Role of the Poison Control Centre of Morocco in the Improvement of Public Health. Asia Pac J Med Toxicol 2013;2:82-6.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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<...

  15. Improvements of Decision Support Systems for Public Administrations via a Mechanism of Co-creation of Value

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tindara Abbate

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper focuses on a possible improvement of knowledge-based decision support systems for human resource management within Public Administrations, using a co-creation of value’s mechanism, according to the Service-Dominant Logic (SDL paradigm. In particular, it applies ontology-driven data entry procedures to trigger the cooperation between the Public Administration itself and its employees. Advantages in such sense are evident: constraining the data entry process by means of the term definition ontology improves the quality of gathered data, thus reducing potential mismatching problems and allowing a suitable skill gap analysis among real and ideal workers competence profiles. The procedure foresees the following steps: analyzing organograms and job descriptions; modelling Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSA for job descriptions; transforming KSAs of job descriptions into a standard-based model with integrations of other characteristics; extracting information from Curricula Vitae according to the selected model; comparing profiles and roles played by the employees.The 'a priori' ontology-driven approach adequately supports the operations that involve both the Public Administration and employees, as for the data storage of job descriptions and curricula vitae. The comparison step is useful to understand if employees perform roles that are coherent with their own professional profiles.The proposed approach has been experimented on a small test case and the results show that its objective evaluation represents an improvement for a decision support system for the re-organization of Italian Public Administrations where, unfortunately often, people are engaged in activities that are not so close to their competences.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Improving health IT through understanding the cultural production of safety in clinical settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Laurie Lovett

    2010-01-01

    Health IT is said to have the potential to improve the safety and effectiveness of care. However, it is known that the implementation of health IT can introduce new risks into the environment of care as a result of design failures, implementation failures, and unintended consequences. The design and implementation of health IT systems reflect explicit or implicit assumptions about what constitutes safe practice. These assumptions may clash with those held by patients and clinicians who are the intended users and subjects of the technology. Current perspectives on risk are discussed and an anthropological approach to understanding the construction of safe practices in the clinical setting is explored using research in barcode medication administration.

  19. Improving understanding of the functional diversity of fisheries by exploring the influence of global catch reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Kirsty L; Watson, Reg A; Halpern, Benjamin S; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Blanchard, Julia L

    2017-09-06

    Functional diversity is thought to enhance ecosystem resilience, driving research focused on trends in the functional composition of fisheries, most recently with new reconstructions of global catch data. However, there is currently little understanding of how accounting for unreported catches (e.g. small-scale and illegal fisheries, bycatch and discards) influences functional diversity trends in global fisheries. We explored how diversity estimates varied among reported and unreported components of catch in 2010, and found these components had distinct functional fingerprints. Incorporating unreported catches had little impact on global-scale functional diversity patterns. However, at smaller, management-relevant scales, the effects of incorporating unreported catches were large (changes in functional diversity of up to 46%). Our results suggest there is greater uncertainty about the risks to ecosystem integrity and resilience from current fishing patterns than previously recognized. We provide recommendations and suggest a research agenda to improve future assessments of functional diversity of global fisheries.

  20. Toward Improved Understanding of Food Security: A Methodological Examination Based in Rural South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkland, Tracy; Kemp, Robert S.; Hunter, Lori M.; Twine, Wayne S.

    2014-01-01

    Accurate measurement of household food security is essential to generate adequate information on the proportion of households experiencing food insecurity, especially in areas or regions vulnerable to food shortages and famine. This manuscript offers a methodological examination of three commonly used indicators of household food security – experience of hunger, dietary diversity, and coping strategies. Making use of data from the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance Site in rural South Africa, we examine the association between the indicators themselves to improve understanding of the different insight offered by each food security “lens.” We also examine how the choice of indicator shapes the profile of vulnerable households, with results suggesting that dietary diversity scores may not adequately capture broader food insecurity. Concluding discussion explores programmatic and policy implications as related to methodological choices. PMID:25414598

  1. Pedestrian fall safety assessments improved understanding on slip resistance measurements and investigations

    CERN Document Server

    Kim, In-Ju

    2017-01-01

    This book examines pedestrian shoe-floor slip resistance from an engineering standpoint in order to better understand friction and wear behavior. This analysis includes an extensive investigation into the surface properties of shoes and flow, and the measurement of dynamic friction and other mechanical and physical aspects of shoe-floor tribology. Lastly, the book proposes a measurement concept for the identification and classification of operational floor surfaces under a range of different conditions. Novel techniques and methods are proposed that can improve the reliability of slip resistance assessments. The current state of knowledge is critically examined and discussed from a tribological perspective, including aspects like friction, wear, lubrication and the mechanical behavior of shoes, floors and their wider environment. Further, the book reports on extensive experimental investigations into the topographical characteristics of shoe and floor surfaces and how they affect slip resistance. Slips result...

  2. Toward Improved Understanding of Food Security: A Methodological Examination Based in Rural South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkland, Tracy; Kemp, Robert S; Hunter, Lori M; Twine, Wayne S

    2013-03-01

    Accurate measurement of household food security is essential to generate adequate information on the proportion of households experiencing food insecurity, especially in areas or regions vulnerable to food shortages and famine. This manuscript offers a methodological examination of three commonly used indicators of household food security - experience of hunger, dietary diversity, and coping strategies. Making use of data from the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance Site in rural South Africa, we examine the association between the indicators themselves to improve understanding of the different insight offered by each food security "lens." We also examine how the choice of indicator shapes the profile of vulnerable households, with results suggesting that dietary diversity scores may not adequately capture broader food insecurity. Concluding discussion explores programmatic and policy implications as related to methodological choices.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lander Willem

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Improving Understanding of the Agulhas Current and Its Global Climate Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beal, Lisa; Biastoch, Arne

    2010-05-01

    Working Group on the Climatic Importance of the Greater Agulhas System; Portland, Oregon, 20-21 February 2010; The first meeting of the new Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) Working Group 136 was held to discuss recent developments in understanding the greater Agulhas Current system and future research directions. The overarching goal of the working group is to improve understanding and awareness of the regional and global climate impacts of the Agulhas Current, a major western boundary current that flows along the east coast of Africa, and its interocean leakage. In addition to studying modern circulation, the working group is motivated by recent paleodata that suggest that through the currents' southern influence on the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), changes in the leakage of warm and salty Agulhas waters into the Atlantic may have triggered the end of ice ages. In terms of global climate, this arguably puts the importance of the greater Agulhas system on a par with Heinrich (land-ice release) events and high-latitude deepwater formation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Understanding evidence: a statewide survey to explore evidence-informed public health decision-making in a local government setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Rebecca; Waters, Elizabeth; Moore, Laurence; Dobbins, Maureen; Pettman, Tahna; Burns, Cate; Swinburn, Boyd; Anderson, Laurie; Petticrew, Mark

    2014-12-14

    The value placed on types of evidence within decision-making contexts is highly dependent on individuals, the organizations in which the work and the systems and sectors they operate in. Decision-making processes too are highly contextual. Understanding the values placed on evidence and processes guiding decision-making is crucial to designing strategies to support evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM). This paper describes how evidence is used to inform local government (LG) public health decisions. The study used mixed methods including a cross-sectional survey and interviews. The Evidence-Informed Decision-Making Tool (EvIDenT) survey was designed to assess three key domains likely to impact on EIDM: access, confidence, and organizational culture. Other elements included the usefulness and influence of sources of evidence (people/groups and resources), skills and barriers, and facilitators to EIDM. Forty-five LGs from Victoria, Australia agreed to participate in the survey and up to four people from each organization were invited to complete the survey (n = 175). To further explore definitions of evidence and generate experiential data on EIDM practice, key informant interviews were conducted with a range of LG employees working in areas relevant to public health. In total, 135 responses were received (75% response rate) and 13 interviews were conducted. Analysis revealed varying levels of access, confidence and organizational culture to support EIDM. Significant relationships were found between domains: confidence, culture and access to research evidence. Some forms of evidence (e.g. community views) appeared to be used more commonly and at the expense of others (e.g. research evidence). Overall, a mixture of evidence (but more internal than external evidence) was influential in public health decision-making in councils. By comparison, a mixture of evidence (but more external than internal evidence) was deemed to be useful in public health decision

  12. Understanding and Improving Recruitment to Randomised Controlled Trials: Qualitative Research Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Daisy; Husbands, Samantha; Hamdy, Freddie C; Holmberg, Lars; Donovan, Jenny L

    2017-05-31

    The importance of evidence from randomised trials is now widely recognised, although recruitment is often difficult. Qualitative research has shown promise in identifying the key barriers to recruitment, and interventions have been developed to reduce organisational difficulties and support clinicians undertaking recruitment. This article provides an introduction to qualitative research techniques and explains how this approach can be used to understand-and subsequently improve-recruitment and informed consent within a range of clinical trials. A literature search was performed using Medline, Embase, and CINAHL. All studies with qualitative research methods that focused on the recruitment activity of clinicians were included in the review. The majority of studies reported that organisational difficulties and lack of time for clinical staff were key barriers to recruitment. However, a synthesis of qualitative studies highlighted the intellectual and emotional challenges that arise when combining research with clinical roles, particularly in relation to equipoise and patient eligibility. To support recruiters to become more comfortable with the design and principles of randomised controlled trials, interventions have been developed, including the QuinteT Recruitment Intervention, which comprises in-depth investigation of recruitment obstacles in real time, followed by implementation of tailored strategies to address these challenges as the trial proceeds. Qualitative research can provide important insights into the complexities of recruitment to trials and inform the development of interventions, and provide support and training initiatives as required. Investigators should consider implementing such methods in trials expected to be challenging or recruiting below target. Qualitative research is a term used to describe a range of methods that can be implemented to understand participants' perspectives and behaviours. Data are gathered from interviews, focus groups

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mateker, William R; McGehee, Michael D

    2016-12-22

    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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Mateker, William R.

    2016-12-23

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gina Polo

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Understanding the state of health policy and systems research in West Africa and capacity strengthening needs: scoping of peer-reviewed publications trends and patterns 1990-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defor, Selina; Kwamie, Aku; Agyepong, Irene Akua

    2017-07-12

    The need for locally-driven, locally-generated evidence to guide health policy and systems decision-making and implementation in West Africa remains urgent. Thus, health policy and systems research (HPSR) is a field with great potential for addressing many of the sub-region's intransigent health challenges. This paper presents an analysis of trends and patterns of peer-reviewed HPSR publications across the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to help understand trends and patterns of HPSR publication and the degree of involvement of West African researchers in HPSR evidence generation in the sub-region. Our goal was to use the findings to inform the development of a sub-regional strategy to strengthen HPSR and its use to inform development and improvement of health outcomes. A scoping review was conducted over a 25-year period from January 1990 to September 2015. Literature searches were conducted in English and French using Google Scholar, PubMed Central and Cairn.info. A total of 258 articles were retrieved. Of these, 246 were statistically analysed, with 54% having West African lead authors. Two thirds of the papers originated from three out of the 15 countries of the ECOWAS, specifically Nigeria (28.86%), Burkina Faso (21.54%) and Ghana (17.07%). Most authors were based in academic institutions and participation of authors from ministries of health, hospitals and non-governmental organisations was limited. English was the predominant language for publication even for papers originating from Francophone West African countries. There has been a progressive increase in publications over the studied period. Despite progressive improvements over time, West Africa remains a weak sub-region in terms of peer-reviewed HPSR publications. Within the overall weakness, there is country-to-country variation. The fact that only a handful of countries accounted for nearly 70% of the total volume of publications in West Africa attests to the great disparities in

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Durrheim

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. A quality improvement evaluation case study: impact on public health outcomes and agency culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingood, William C; Sabbagh, Radwan; Spitzfaden, Steve; Hicks, Angela; Wells, Lucy; Puigdomenech, Suzannah; Kramer, Dale F; Butterfield, Ryan; Riley, William; Wood, David L

    2013-05-01

    Quality improvement (QI) is increasingly recognized as an important strategy to improve healthcare services and health outcomes, including reducing health disparities. However, there is a paucity of evidence documenting the value of QI to public health agencies and services. The purpose of this project was to support and assess the impact on the outcomes and organizational culture of a QI project to increase immunization rates among children aged 2 years (4:3:1:3:3:1 series) within a large public health agency with a major pediatric health mission. The intervention consisted of the use of a model-for-improvement approach to QI for the delivery of immunization services in public health clinics, utilizing plan-do-study-act cycles and multiple QI techniques. A mixed-method (qualitative and quantitative) model of evaluation was used to collect and analyze data from June 2009 to July 2011 to support both summative and developmental evaluation. The Florida Immunization Registry (Florida SHOTS [State Health Online Tracking System]) was used to monitor and analyze changes in immunization rates from January 2009 to July 2012. An interrupted time-series application of covariance was used to assess significance of the change in immunization rates, and paired comparison using parametric and nonparametric statistics were used to assess significance of pre- and post-QI culture items. Up-to-date immunization rates increased from 75% to more than 90% for individual primary care clinics and the overall county health department. In addition, QI stakeholder scores on ten key items related to organizational culture increased from pre- to post-QI intervention. Statistical analysis confirmed significance of the changes. The application of QI combined with a summative and developmental evaluation supported refinement of the QI approach and documented the potential for QI to improve population health outcomes and improve public health agency culture. Copyright © 2013 American Journal of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  3. Analysing improvements to on-street public transport systems: a mesoscopic model approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingvardson, Jesper Bláfoss; Kornerup Jensen, Jonas; Nielsen, Otto Anker

    2017-01-01

    Light rail transit and bus rapid transit have shown to be efficient and cost-effective in improving public transport systems in cities around the world. As these systems comprise various elements, which can be tailored to any given setting, e.g. pre-board fare-collection, holding strategies...... and other advanced public transport systems (APTS), the attractiveness of such systems depends heavily on their implementation. In the early planning stage it is advantageous to deploy simple and transparent models to evaluate possible ways of implementation. For this purpose, the present study develops...... a mesoscopic model which makes it possible to evaluate public transport operations in details, including dwell times, intelligent traffic signal timings and holding strategies while modelling impacts from other traffic using statistical distributional data thereby ensuring simplicity in use and fast...

  4. Fake news of baby booms 9months after major sporting events distorts the public's understanding of early human development science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grech, Victor; Masukume, Gwinyai

    2017-08-23

    In France on 27/6/16, Iceland's men's national football team won 2-1, knocking England out of the UEFA European Championship. Nine months after this momentous Icelandic victory, Ásgeir Pétur Þorvaldsson a medical doctor in Iceland, posted a tweet in jest suggesting that a baby boom had occurred as a result of increased celebratory coital activity following the win. The media covered this widely but statistical analysis shows otherwise and this was confirmed by the original tweet source. Given the increase in fake scientific news, it is especially important for scientists to correct misinformation lest the public loses trust in science or gains a distorted understanding of known facts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Priority setting for resources to improve the understanding of information about claims of treatment effects in the mass media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semakula, Daniel; Nsangi, Allen; Oxman, Andrew D; Sewankambo, Nelson K

    2015-05-01

    Claims about benefits and harms of treatments are common in the media. We engaged health journalists in prioritizing concepts of evidence-based medicine that we believe the public needs to understand to be able to assess claims about treatment effects; and which could improve how journalists report such information. We conducted a three-day workshop with a group of Ugandan journalists in which we presented and explained the concepts. We asked journalists to prioritize groups of related concepts using four pre-specified criteria i.e. relevance of the concepts to journalists and their audiences; ease of comprehension; feasibility of developing resources for teaching the concepts and, whether such resources would potentially have an impact. Using a modified Delphi technique, participants ranked each group of concepts using these criteria on a scale of one to six (one = lowest; 6 = highest). We analyzed the rankings in real time using STATA statistical software. All six groups of concepts were considered relevant and comprehensible with scores of five and six on a scale of one to six. Twenty two out of 25 participants reported having understood the concepts well, with subjective scores of above 75 on a scale of one to 100. Journalists in Uganda recognize the importance of evidence-based medicine concepts in assessing claims about benefits and harms of treatments to them and their audiences. They should be empowered to use these and similar concepts in order to improve how information about effects of treatments is relayed in the media. © 2015 Chinese Cochrane Center, West China Hospital of Sichuan University and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  6. Improving Our Understanding of the 3D Coronal Evolution of CME Propagation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess Webber, Shea A.; Thompson, Barbara J.; Ireland, Jack; Kwon, Ryun Young

    2017-08-01

    An improved understanding of the kinematic properties of CMEs and CME-associated phenomena has several impacts: 1) a less ambiguous method of mapping propagating structures into their inner coronal manifestations, 2) a clearer view of the relationship between the “main” CME and CME-associated brightenings, and 3) an improved identification of the heliospheric sources of shocks, Type II bursts, and SEPs. We present the results of a mapping technique that facilitates the separation of CMEs and CME-associated brightenings (such as shocks) from background corona. The Time Convolution Mapping Method (TCMM) segments coronagraph data to identify the time history of coronal evolution, the advantage being that the spatiotemporal evolution profiles allow users to separate features with different propagation characteristics. For example, separating “main” CME mass from CME-associated brightenings or shocks is a well-known obstacle, which the TCMM aids in differentiating. A TCMM CME map is made by first recording the maximum value each individual pixel in the image reaches during the traversal of the CME. Then the maximum value is convolved with an index to indicate the time that the pixel reached that value. The TCMM user is then able to identify continuous “kinematic profiles,” indicating related kinematic behavior, and also identify breaks in the profiles that indicate a discontinuity in kinematic history (i.e. different structures or different propagation characteristics). The maps obtained from multiple spacecraft viewpoints (i.e., STEREO and SOHO) can then be fit with advanced structural models to obtain the 3D properties of the evolving phenomena.

  7. Measuring quality improvement in public health: the development and psychometric testing of a QI Maturity Tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly, Brenda M; Booth, Maureen; Mittal, Prashant; Shaler, George

    2012-06-01

    There is growing interest and investment in improving the quality of public health services and outcomes. Following the lead of other sectors, efforts are underway to introduce systematic quality improvement (QI) tools and approaches to state and local public health agencies. Little is known, however, about how to describe and reliably measure the level of QI maturity within a public health agency. The authors describe the development of a QI Maturity Tool using research from the fields of organizational design, psychology, health care, and complexity theory. The 37-item assessment tool is based on four quality domains derived from the literature: (a) organizational culture, (b) capacity and competency, (c) practice, and (d) alignment and spread. The tool was designed to identify features of an organization that may be enhancing or impeding QI; monitor the impact of efforts to create a more favorable environment for QI; and define potential cohorts of public health agencies for evaluation purposes. The article presents initial steps in testing and validating the QI Maturity Tool including: (a) developing a theoretical framework, (b) assuring face and content validity, (c) determining the tool's reliability based on estimates of internal consistency, (d) assessing the dimensionality, and (f) determining the construct validity of the instrument. The authors conclude that there is preliminary evidence that the QI Maturity Tool is a promising instrument. Further work is underway to explore whether self-reported survey results align with an agency's actions and the products of their QI efforts.

  8. Improving analytic hierarchy process applied to fire risk analysis of public building

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHI Long; ZHANG RuiFang; XIE QiYuan; FU LiHua

    2009-01-01

    The structure importance in Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) reflects how important Basic Events are to Top Event.Attribute at alternative level in Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) also reflect its importance to general goal.Based on the coherence of these two methods,an improved AHP is put forward.Using this improved method,how important the attribute is to the fire safety of public building can be ana-lyzed more credibly because of the reduction of subjective judgment.Olympic venues are very impor-tant public buildings in China.The fire safety evaluation of them will be a big issue to engineers.Im-proved AHP is a useful tool to the safety evaluation to these Olympic venues,and it will guide the evaluation in other areas.

  9. Application of the Public-Private Partnership Organizational Structure in the Improvement of Business Operations of Public Sector Enterprises in Serbia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Slaðana Benkovic; Jovan Krivokapic; Milos Milosavljevic

    2015-01-01

    .... This is why the aim of the paper was to draw attention to the potentials that are available to the public sector in Serbia in the improvement of business operations, taking into account the current...

  10. Burn-out syndrome: Understanding and early recognition of the syndrome from the nursing staff in public and private hospital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ageliki Ftylaki

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The analysis and the investigation of the burn-out syndrome have to a great degree preoccupied the researchers in the sector of health internationally. Regarding the nursing science and the Greek reality, it tends to look like an outbreak of an epidemic, it consists a risk for the mental and physical health of nursing personnel and influences the quality of the available health services.Aim: The aim of the present study was the investigation, the understanding and the early recognition of the symptoms of the burn-out syndrome from nurses who work in private and public hospitals of Crete.Material and method: Semi-structured interviews were used in a sample of eight (8 nurses from two hospitals (private and public sector of Crete. The data were analyzed based on the principles of content analysis.Results: The analysis of data revealed no differences between the nurses in the private and the public hospital with regard to the early recognition of symptoms and the comprehension of the burn-out syndrome. The majority of nurses knew the definition of the syndrome and most of them presented symptoms that included sexual disturbances, insomnia, gastro-intestine disturbances and headaches. The pressure of workload, the low income and the work environment were considered by most nurses as the main factors that contributed in the onset of the syndrome.Conclusions: The majority of nurses can recognize the early symptoms of the burn-out syndrome and many of them experience the syndrome. Support and respect on nursing staff from the supervisors and efforts to reduce the workload, the development of educational programs and a satisfactory work environment constitute the essential factors for the prevention and the treatment of the syndrome.

  11. Using process elicitation and validation to understand and improve chemotherapy ordering and delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertens, Wilson C; Christov, Stefan C; Avrunin, George S; Clarke, Lori A; Osterweil, Leon J; Cassells, Lucinda J; Marquard, Jenna L

    2012-11-01

    Chemotherapy ordering and administration, in which errors have potentially severe consequences, was quantitatively and qualitatively evaluated by employing process formalism (or formal process definition), a technique derived from software engineering, to elicit and rigorously describe the process, after which validation techniques were applied to confirm the accuracy of the described process. The chemotherapy ordering and administration process, including exceptional situations and individuals' recognition of and responses to those situations, was elicited through informal, unstructured interviews with members of an interdisciplinary team. The process description (or process definition), written in a notation developed for software quality assessment purposes, guided process validation (which consisted of direct observations and semistructured interviews to confirm the elicited details for the treatment plan portion of the process). The overall process definition yielded 467 steps; 207 steps (44%) were dedicated to handling 59 exceptional situations. Validation yielded 82 unique process events (35 new expected but not yet described steps, 16 new exceptional situations, and 31 new steps in response to exceptional situations). Process participants actively altered the process as ambiguities and conflicts were discovered by the elicitation and validation components of the study. Chemotherapy error rates declined significantly during and after the project, which was conducted from October 2007 through August 2008. Each elicitation method and the subsequent validation discussions contributed uniquely to understanding the chemotherapy treatment plan review process, supporting rapid adoption of changes, improved communication regarding the process, and ensuing error reduction.

  12. Improve Student Understanding Ability Through Gamification in Instructional Media Based Explicit Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firdausi, N.; Prabawa, H. W.; Sutarno, H.

    2017-02-01

    In an effort to maximize a student’s academic growth, one of the tools available to educators is the explicit instruction. Explicit instruction is marked by a series of support or scaffold, where the students will be guided through the learning process with a clear statement of purpose and a reason for learning new skills, a clear explanation and demonstration of learning targets, supported and practiced with independent feedback until mastery has been achieved. The technology development trend of todays, requires an adjustment in the development of learning object that supports the achievement of explicit instruction targets. This is where the gamification position is. In the role as a pedagogical strategy, the use of gamification preformance study class is still relatively new. Gamification not only use the game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts, but also to empower and engage learners with the ability of motivation on learning approach and maintains a relaxed atmosphere. With using Reseach and Development methods, this paper presents the integration of technology (which in this case using the concept of gamification) in explicit instruction settings and the impact on the improvement of students’ understanding.

  13. Improved RSA cryptosystem based on the study of number theory and public key cryptosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Israt Jahan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Security is required to transmit confidential information over the network. Security is also demanding in wide range of applications. Cryptographic algorithms play a vital role in providing the data security against malicious attacks. RSA algorithm is extensively used in the popular implementations of Public Key Infrastructures. In asymmetric key cryptography, also called Public Key cryptography, two different keys (which form a key pair are used. One key is used for encryption and only the other corresponding key must be used for decryption. No other key can decrypt the message – not even the original (i.e. the first key used for encryption. In this paper, we have proposed an improved approach of RSA algorithm using two public key pairs and using some mathematical logic rather than sending one public key d irectly.Because if an attacker has an opportunity of getting the public key componet they can find private key value by brute force search. General Terms: Cryptography, network security

  14. Systematic review of public-targeted communication interventions to improve antibiotic use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Elizabeth Louise Anne; Tolfree, Robert; Kipping, Ruth

    2017-04-01

    Excessive use of antibiotics accelerates the acquisition/spread of antimicrobial resistance. A systematic review was conducted to identify the components of successful communication interventions targeted at the general public to improve antibiotic use. The databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science and Cochrane Library were searched. Search terms were related to the population (public, community), intervention (campaign, mass media) and outcomes (antibiotic, antimicrobial resistance). References were screened for inclusion by one author with a random subset of 10% screened by a second author. No date restrictions were applied and only articles in the English language were considered. Studies had to have a control group or be an interrupted time-series. Outcomes had to measure change in antibiotic-related prescribing/consumption and/or the public's knowledge, attitudes or behaviour. Two reviewers assessed the quality of studies. Narrative synthesis was performed. Fourteen studies were included with an estimated 74-75 million participants. Most studies were conducted in the United States or Europe and targeted both the general public and clinicians. Twelve of the studies measured changes in antibiotic prescribing. There was quite strong ( P  antibiotic prescribing; the majority of these studies reported reductions of greater than -14% with the largest effect size reaching -30%. Multi-faceted communication interventions that target both the general public and clinicians can reduce antibiotic prescribing in high-income countries but the sustainability of reductions in antibiotic prescribing is unclear.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Kumaragurupari

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Understanding factors affecting patient and public engagement and recruitment to digital health interventions: a systematic review of qualitative studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Siobhan; Hanlon, Peter; O'Donnell, Catherine A; Garcia, Sonia; Glanville, Julie; Mair, Frances S

    2016-09-15

    Numerous types of digital health interventions (DHIs) are available to patients and the public but many factors affect their ability to engage and enrol in them. This systematic review aims to identify and synthesise the qualitative literature on barriers and facilitators to engagement and recruitment to DHIs to inform future implementation efforts. PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, Scopus and the ACM Digital Library were searched for English language qualitative studies from 2000 - 2015 that discussed factors affecting engagement and enrolment in a range of DHIs (e.g. 'telemedicine', 'mobile applications', 'personal health record', 'social networking'). Text mining and additional search strategies were used to identify 1,448 records. Two reviewers independently carried out paper screening, quality assessment, data extraction and analysis. Data was analysed using framework synthesis, informed by Normalization Process Theory, and Burden of Treatment Theory helped conceptualise the interpretation of results. Nineteen publications were included in the review. Four overarching themes that affect patient and public engagement and enrolment in DHIs emerged; 1) personal agency and motivation; 2) personal life and values; 3) the engagement and recruitment approach; and 4) the quality of the DHI. The review also summarises engagement and recruitment strategies used. A preliminary DIgital Health EnGagement MOdel (DIEGO) was developed to highlight the key processes involved. Existing knowledge gaps are identified and a number of recommendations made for future research. Study limitations include English language publications and exclusion of grey literature. This review summarises and highlights the complexity of digital health engagement and recruitment processes and outlines issues that need to be addressed before patients and the public commit to digital health and it can be implemented effectively. More work is needed to create successful engagement strategies and better

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Towards an improved mechanistic understanding of major saltwater inflows into the Baltic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höflich, Katharina; Lehmann, Andreas; Myrberg, Kai

    2017-04-01

    area are investigated in more detail. Finally, insights into the ingredients to effective major Baltic inflows are synthesized into a flow-chart diagram in which an improved mechanistic understanding of major Baltic inflows is outlined.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Improved Time to Publication in Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-07-03

    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 JGRAtmospheres 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. 78 FR 10181 - Global Quality Systems-An Integrated Approach To Improving Medical Product Safety; Public Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-13

    ... ``Global Quality Systems--An Integrated Approach to Improving Medical Product Safety.'' This 2-day public... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Global Quality Systems--An Integrated Approach To Improving Medical Product Safety; Public Workshop AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS. ACTION: Notice of...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofie eThijs

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. Improving our understanding of the use of traditional complementary/alternative medicine in children with cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladas, Elena J; Lin, Meiko; Antillion, Federico; Rivas, Silvia; Chantada, Guillermo; Cacciavillano, Walter; Ortiz, Roberta; Stein, Katja; Castillo, Luis; Rocha, Valeria; Fu, Ligia; Rodriquez, Hilze; Kelly, Kara M

    2015-05-01

    Children with cancer in high-income and low-income countries often use traditional complementary/alternative medicine (TCAM). With efforts by the World Health Organization and international twinning programs improving access to conventional care for patients with childhood cancer, understanding the global use of TCAM is important because reliance on TCAM may affect time to presentation, adherence, and abandonment of care. In the current study, the authors describe the process and validation of an international survey documenting the use of TCAM among children with cancer. The survey was designed to collect information on TCAM use and associated factors through both open-ended and close-ended questions. During the period between June 2012 and December 2013, the survey was administered to 300 children and adolescents (or their parents) who were undergoing treatment for cancer at a collaborating institution located in Mexico, Uruguay, and Nicaragua. For the majority of constructs, the survey demonstrated strong test-retest reliability as evidenced by an intraclass correlation of at least ≥0.79 in each of the participating countries. The survey demonstrated good internal consistency and reliability across countries (α range from. 77 to. 85 for the belief scale; and an α range from. 60 to. 86 for the cause scale) and convergent validity between TCAM beliefs and behavior constructs (adjusted correlation range, 0.35-0.60). The results of the current study demonstrate the successful development of a cross-cultural survey that produced results that were reliable and valid. These findings will aid investigators in providing guidelines concerning TCAM, support the development of education and research priorities, and identify variables associated with TCAM that are region-specific. © 2014 American Cancer Society.

  8. IMPACT OF REPRESENTATIONAL APPROACH ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF STUDENTS’ UNDERSTANDING OF ACCELERATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sutopo -

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Penelitian ini mengkaji dampak pendekatan representasi pada peningkatan pemahaman siswa tentang konsep percepatan. Subjek penelitian terdiri atas 24 mahasiswa pendidikan fisika Universitas Negeri Malang yang mengambil matakuliah Kapita Selekta Fisika Sekolah pada semester gasal tahun akademik 2011/2012. Dengan menggunakan desain penelitian mixed-method, disimpulkan beberapa dampak sebagai berikut: (1 Skor penguasaan konsep mahasiswa meningkat secara signifikan dari rata-rata 50,8% menjadi 85,0%, dengan efect size yang sangat tinggi (1,67 dan gain ternormalisasi yang juga tinggi (0,71. (2 Mahasiswa mampu menggunakan definisi operasional percepatan   untuk menganalisis diagram gerak yang berupa multi-flash; (3 Mahasiswa bisa memperbaiki sejumlah miskonsepsinya tentang percepatan; (4 Namun, sebagian kecil mahasiswa masih terpaku dengan miskonsepsinya bahwa percepatan benda yang ditembakkan ke atas berkurang seiring dengan ketinggiannya, dan tegangan tali pada ayunan selalu sama dengan berat pendulum.This research examined the impact of representational approach on the improvement of students’ understanding of acceleration. Subject consisted of 24 prospective physics teacher students of State University of Malang, enrolling Selected Topic of School Physics course in Semester I of 2011/2012 academic year. Using mixed-methods design, this study concluded that (1 students’ mean score of conceptual test increased significantly from 50.8% to 85.0% with very large d-effect size (1.67 and high normalized-gain (0.71, (2 students became able to use operational definition of acceleration   to analyze multi-flash motion diagram, and (3 students remediated their misconceptions of acceleration. However, few students stuck in their misconception that acceleration of a shot-up object is decreasing with its elevation, and the tension in the rope of a swinging pendulum is equal to the weight of its bob.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russo Joan E

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Interaction between public enterprises and foreign institutions in the improvement of territories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergienko Vitaly, Yu.

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Beautification problems of urban areas are crucial and urgent issues of modern urban planning and image of the region as they provide vision and social objectives of creating a favorable living environment to ensure the most favorable conditions for activities of the population. The level of Buildings - one of the indicators of the living environment quality of the population and purposeful activity on formation of supportive and comfortable living environment of the population is the essence of the state of urban policy. This paper discusses the interaction of public enterprises with foreign institutions in the process of improvement of the region as a factor of improvement and modernization of its infrastructure with the aim of finding effective and constructive balance of interests. The mechanism of interaction of public enterprises with the business community, external institutions, and not commercial organizations in the creation of image region is considered. To optimize the social and economic processes in the field of improvement of urban areas and improve the effectiveness of local governments a systematic approach is required for the territory development as much as possible taking into account the specialization of its unique resource and market potential, as well as the joint efforts of various communities, which are the essential importance of social strata of the population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmelo R. García

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  15. Smart transportation investments 2 : reevaluating the role of public transit for improving urban transportation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Litman, T.

    2006-09-14

    The role that public transit can play in reducing traffic congestion and achieving other transportation benefits was examined in response to recent claims that investment into urban rail transit is financially wasteful and ineffective at reducing traffic congestion. The author evaluated these claims using modern, comprehensive planning methods that consider the quality of transportation systems based on mobility and accessibility. It was shown that high quality public transit reduces traffic congestion costs in the following 3 ways: (1) high-quality, time-competitive transit attracts travellers would would otherwise drive, (2) rail transit can stimulate transit oriented development such as compact, mixed use walkable urban villages where residents have fewer cars, and (3) quality transit service can reduce travel time costs to travellers who reconsider driving when transit services are comfortable. It was suggested that as public transit service improves on a corridor, congestion levels on parallel roadways tend to decline. Grade-separated rail transit reduces congestion directly and creates more accessible communities. Many travellers claim they would prefer to drive less if alternative modes were reliable, convenient, comfortable, flexible, safe and affordable. A ranking of traffic congestion reduction strategies was presented. The most efficient strategy is considered to be higher road and parking fees during peak periods, followed by commute trip reduction programs, high quality public transit, highway capacity expansion and smart growth land use policies. 24 refs., 2 tabs., 1 fig.

  16. Improving Coordination of Addiction Health Services Organizations with Mental Health and Public Health Services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero, Erick G; Andrews, Christina; Harris, Lesley; Padwa, Howard; Kong, Yinfei; M S W, Karissa Fenwick

    2016-01-01

    In this mixed-method study, we examined coordination of mental health and public health services in addiction health services (AHS) in low-income racial and ethnic minority communities in 2011 and 2013. Data from surveys and semistructured interviews were used to evaluate the extent to which environmental and organizational characteristics influenced the likelihood of high coordination with mental health and public health providers among outpatient AHS programs. Coordination was defined and measured as the frequency of interorganizational contact among AHS programs and mental health and public health providers. The analytic sample consisted of 112 programs at time 1 (T1) and 122 programs at time 2 (T2), with 61 programs included in both periods of data collection. Forty-three percent of AHS programs reported high frequency of coordination with mental health providers at T1 compared to 66% at T2. Thirty-one percent of programs reported high frequency of coordination with public health services at T1 compared with 54% at T2. Programs with culturally responsive resources and community linkages were more likely to report high coordination with both services. Qualitative analysis highlighted the role of leadership in leveraging funding and developing creative solutions to deliver coordinated care. Overall, our findings suggest that AHS program funding, leadership, and cultural competence may be important drivers of program capacity to improve coordination with health service providers to serve minorities in an era of health care reform.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Measuring the Benefits of Public Chargers and Improving Infrastructure Deployments Using Advanced Simulation Tools: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wood, Eric; Neubauer. Jeremy; Burton, Evan

    2015-02-01

    With support from the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed BLAST-V -- the Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool for Vehicles. The addition of high-resolution spatial-temporal travel histories enables BLAST-V to investigate user-defined infrastructure rollouts of publically accessible charging infrastructure, as well as quantify impacts on vehicle and station owners in terms of improved vehicle utility and station throughput. This paper presents simulation outputs from BLAST-V that quantify the utility improvements of multiple distinct rollouts of publically available Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) in the Seattle, Washington, metropolitan area. Publically available data on existing Level 2 EVSE are also used as an input to BLAST-V. The resulting vehicle utility is compared to a number of mock rollout scenarios. Discussion focuses on the estimated number of Level 2 stations necessary to substantially increase vehicle utility and how stations can be strategically sited to maximize their potential benefit to prospective electric vehicle owners.

  19. Improving Social Understanding of Preschool Children: Evaluation of a Training Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, Moises; Sidera, Francesc; Serrano, Jessica; Amado, Anna; Rostan, Carles

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: This study tested the effects of a training program intending to foster social understanding or the capacity which enables them to understand themselves and others in terms of intentions, beliefs, desires, and emotions in children at preschool age. A number of studies have shown that in the context of shared narratives, children are…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Have Recent Financial Reforms Improved Financial Accountability in the Australian Commonwealth Public Sector?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham Bowrey

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Since the early 1990s the Australian Commonwealth public sector has undergone significant financialreforms, due primarily to the current federal Liberal government’s drive to improve the financialaccountability of the Commonwealth Government. These reforms include the adoption of accrualaccounting and budgeting and the development and implementation of an outcomes and outputs framework.These reforms culminated in the first full federal budget to be developed on an accrual basis in 1999 – 2000.This paper will examine the implementation of these reforms and the associated processes to determinewhether or not the Commonwealth government is more financially transparent and better able to dischargeits financial accountability. It is argued the complexity of the processes associated with, and the reportingrequirements of these reforms may have actually decreased the level of accountability to the key party towhom accountability is due — the Australian public.

  5. Private medical services in the Italian public hospitals: the case for improving HRM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Pietro, Carlo

    2006-08-22

    This study explores how Italian public hospitals can use private medical activities run by their employed physicians as a human resources management (HRM) tool. It is based on field research in two acute-care hospitals and a review of Italian literature and laws. The Italian National Health Service (NHS) allows employed physicians to run private, patient-funded activities ("private beds", surgical operations, hospital outpatient clinics, etc.). Basic regulation is set at the national level, but it can be greatly improved at the hospital level. Private activities, if poorly managed, can damage efficiency, equity, quality of care, and public trust in the NHS. On the other hand, hospitals can also use them as leverage to improve HRM, with special attention to three issues: (1) professional evaluation, development, and training; (2) compensation policies; (3) competition for, and retention of, professionals in short supply. The two case studies presented here show great differences between the two hospitals in terms of regulation and organizational solutions that have been adopted to deal with such activities. However, in both hospitals, private activities do not seem to benefit HRM. Private activities are not systematically considered in compensation policies. Moreover, private revenues are strongly concentrated in a few physicians. Hospitals use very little of the information provided by the private activities to improve knowledge management, career development, or training planning. Finally, hospitals do not use private activities management as a tool for competing in the labor market for health professionals who are in short supply.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Development of remote sensing tools to improve understanding and management of Lake Malawi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavula, Geoffrey Mudolole

    Degradation of land resources in the drainage basin of Lake Malawi and other lakes of the African Rift Valley has been widespread over the past several decades. Causes for this degradation include inappropriate agricultural practices, indiscriminate disposal of wastes, and increasing population pressure. These factors pose serious threats to water quality in these important lakes. It is difficult and costly to monitor relevant water quality conditions, such as concentrations of chlorophyll-alpha in these large lakes using ground-based methods, and consequently, information on temporal and spatial variations in water quality conditions of these water bodies is quite limited. Methods that use satellite-based remote sensing data to infer lake clarity and chlorophyll levels have been developed in recent years and have potential for alleviating the problem of inadequate water monitoring data in large lakes in poor and developing countries. In addition to providing data on water quality and trophic state conditions of lakes, satellite imagery has potential for determining water circulation patterns in lakes through maps of lake surface temperature (LST). In turn, LST can be used to locate upwelling zones that may enhance commercial fishing in large deep lakes. Satellite imagery also may be used to characterize and map land use and land cover (LULC). Such information can serve as a basis for studies of the relationships between changes in LULC and lake conditions, such as lake level and water quality. This paper describes results of research to develop remote sensing tools to improve the understanding and management of Lake Malawi. It includes three major components, namely: estimating chlorophyll-alpha concentrations in Lake Malawi from MODIS/Terra satellite imagery; assessing the accuracy of existing split-window algorithms to estimate lake surface temperature from AVHRR and MODIS/Terra satellite data; and determining trends in forest cover and other categories of land

  8. An intervention to improve paediatric and newborn care in Kenyan district hospitals: Understanding the context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Opondo Charles

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is increasingly appreciated that the interpretation of health systems research studies is greatly facilitated by detailed descriptions of study context and the process of intervention. We have undertaken an 18-month hospital-based intervention study in Kenya aiming to improve care for admitted children and newborn infants. Here we describe the baseline characteristics of the eight hospitals as environments receiving the intervention, as well as the general and local health system context and its evolution over the 18 months. Methods Hospital characteristics were assessed using previously developed tools assessing the broad structure, process, and outcome of health service provision for children and newborns. Major health system or policy developments over the period of the intervention at a national level were documented prospectively by monitoring government policy announcements, the media, and through informal contacts with policy makers. At the hospital level, a structured, open questionnaire was used in face-to-face meetings with senior hospital staff every six months to identify major local developments that might influence implementation. These data provide an essential background for those seeking to understand the generalisability of reports describing the intervention's effects, and whether the intervention plausibly resulted in these effects. Results Hospitals had only modest capacity, in terms of infrastructure, equipment, supplies, and human resources available to provide high-quality care at baseline. For example, hospitals were lacking between 30 to 56% of items considered necessary for the provision of care to the seriously ill child or newborn. An increase in spending on hospital renovations, attempts to introduce performance contracts for health workers, and post-election violence were recorded as examples of national level factors that might influence implementation success generally. Examples of factors

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. Can audio recording of outpatient consultations improve patients recall and understanding?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wolderslund, Maiken

    Likert Scale? And then the item responses could be summed to create a score for items concerning recall and items concerning understanding. Another aspect that needs to be taken into account is the difference in content between the consultations. Can this be done by some sort of weighing of the different...... to discuss development of the codebook regarding the assessment of patients recall and understanding. I think it is necessary that the codebook contains a scale which can determine different levels of recall and understanding in the two groups. I wonder if it would be possible to use for instance a 5-point...

  11. Effective Collaboration Between Scientists and Local Governments to Improve Scientific Communication for Public Safety in Dallas and Irving, Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanpied, M. L.; Perry, S. C.; Carriere, J.; DeShon, H. R.; Oden, K.; Vaz, R.; Williams, R. A.; Stump, B. W.; Hayward, C.; Choy, G. L.; Hoover, S. M.; Mueller, C. S.; LaGrassa, N.; Miller, G.; Osburn, M.

    2016-12-01

    Felt earthquakes have occurred in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Irving area since 2008, raising concern about seismic risks and potential links to petroleum industry activities - and leading to a productive, long-standing interaction between earthquake scientists and local government officials. City staff, including emergency managers, formed the Dallas Irving Earthquake Working Group (DIEWG) in early 2015 to share information, learn about their new hazard, and coordinate public messages and response planning. The DIEWG has held regular meetings that included academic and government experts including scientists from Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). SMU apprised DIEWG of monitoring and research results, and responded to media inquiries. USGS provided information about seismic hazard and the likelihood of damaging earthquakes, and worked with FEMA Regions VI & VIII to provide impact planning scenarios for plausible earthquakes of M4.8 and M5.6. USGS briefed DIEWG before the release of an assessment of the likelihood of damage from natural and induced earthquakes, as local officials needed to understand the information and its implications in order to translate for their constituents. DIEWG has now asked USGS to help to develop tabletop response exercises. Through these interactions, local officials and scientists increased understanding of each other's roles, capabilities and limitations. The interactions have also improved DIEWG members' understanding of earthquake risk and impact, supported hazard mitigation planning, influenced infrastructure and building code decisions, and informed conversations with residents and media. Input from DIEWG has improved scientists' translation of complex information for use in planning, and identified persistent misunderstandings about concepts and terminology that are relevant to many earthquake information products. A key aspect of this success has been the repeated personal interaction over time.

  12. Understanding the Spectrum Environment: Data and Monitoring to Improve Spectrum Utilization

    Data.gov (United States)

    Networking and Information Technology Research and Development, Executive Office of the President — The Wireless Spectrum Research and Development Senior Steering Group (WSRD SSG) Workshop V titled: Understanding the Spectrum Environment: Data and Monitoring to...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilczak, James M. [NOAA, Boulder, CO (United States); Finley, Cathy [WindLogics, Inc., St. Paul, MN (United States); Freedman, Jeff [AWS Truepower, Albany, NY (United States); Cline, Joel [USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Washington, DC (United States); Bianco, L. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Olson, J. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Djalaova, I. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Sheridan, L. [WindLogics, Inc., St. Paul, MN (United States); Ahlstrom, M. [WindLogics, Inc., St. Paul, MN (United States); Manobianco, J. [Meso, Inc., Troy, NY (United States); Zack, J. [Meso, Inc., Troy, NY (United States); Carley, J. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), College Park, MD (United States); Benjamin, S. [NOAA, Boulder, CO (United States); Coulter, R. L. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States); Berg, Larry K. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Mirocha, Jeff D. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Clawson, K. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Natenberg, E. [Meso, Inc., Troy, NY (United States); Marquis, M. [NOAA, Boulder, CO (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 connections. LDEO’s Secondary

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Profit versus public health: the need to improve the food environment in recreational facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olstad, Dana Lee; Raine, Kim D

    2013-01-08

    Despite their wellness mandate, many publicly funded recreational facilities offer primarily unhealthy foods. Governments have developed programs and resources to assist facilities to improve their food offerings, however the challenge to incent preferential sale of healthier foods remains substantial. In the Canadian province of Alberta, uptake of government-issued voluntary nutrition guidelines for recreational facilities has been limited, and offers of free assistance to implement them as part of a research study were not embraced. Financial constraints appear to be the most important barrier to offering healthier items in Alberta's recreational facilities, as facility and food service managers perceive that selling healthier foods is unprofitable and might jeopardize sponsorship agreements. Mandatory government regulation may therefore be required to overcome the barriers to offering healthier foods in this setting. The advantages of a regulatory approach appear to outweigh any disadvantages, with benefits for population health, more effective use of public funds, and greater equity for the public and industry. Adverse effects on corporate profitability and freedom of choice are expected to be limited. Regulation may offer an efficient, effective and equitable means of ensuring that recreational facilities support child health and do not undermine it by exposing children to unhealthy food environments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Multi-scale Microstructure Characterization for Improved Understanding of Microstructure-Property Relationship in Additive Manufacturing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Hye Yun

    Additive manufacturing (AM) is the process for making 3-D objects by adding materials layer by layer. It can result in a marked reduction of the time and cost associated with designing and producing highly complex parts. Over the past decade, significant progress has been made in machine hardware and control software for process development to achieve dimensional accuracy and mitigate defects. On the other hand, the knowledge on microstructure-property relationship in the additively manufactured builds is still being established. In additive manufacturing, the interactions between the heat source and the material lead to a series of physical phenomena including localized heating, melting, solidification and micro-segregation, and cooling. Far-from-equilibrium microstructure can form as the material experiences a large number of repeated, rapid heating and cooling cycles (i.e. temperature gyrations) during depositions. The mechanical properties of additively manufactured parts are significantly influenced by their final microstructure. The overarching goal of the present research is to improve the fundamental understanding of microstructure-property relationship for AM parts. Specially, it is investigated the high-temperature creep strength of InconelRTM 718 (abbreviated as IN718 thereafter) fabricated by laser-powder bed fusion (L-PBF) AM. The specific objectives include (1) effect of support on the local microstructure, (2) microstructure evolution during post-built heat treatment, and (3) creep strength. Detailed microstructure characterization is performed using a multitude of tools including micro-hardness mapping, scanning electron microscope (SEM) along with electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), and transmission electron microscope (TEM) for selected area diffraction (SAD) analysis and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The characterized microstructure is correlated to the mechanical properties. Highlights of the research findings are discussed in

  3. Information Technologies in Public Health Management: A Database on Biocides to Improve Quality of Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Grigoriu

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Biocides for prolonging the shelf life of a large variety of materials have been extensively used over the last decades. It has estimated that the worldwide biocide consumption to be about 12.4 billion dollars in 2011, and is expected to increase in 2012. As biocides are substances we get in contact with in our everyday lives, access to this type of information is of paramount importance in order to ensure an appropriate living environment. Consequently, a database where information may be quickly processed, sorted, and easily accessed, according to different search criteria, is the most desirable solution. The main aim of this work was to design and implement a relational database with complete information about biocides used in public health management to improve the quality of life.Methods: Design and implementation of a relational database for biocides, by using the software "phpMyAdmin".Results: A database, which allows for an efficient collection, storage, and management of information including chemical properties and applications of a large quantity of biocides, as well as its adequate dissemination into the public health environment.Conclusion: The information contained in the database herein presented promotes an adequate use of biocides, by means of information technologies, which in consequence may help achieve important improvement in our quality of life.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Improving Understanding of the Fate and Transport of Munitions Constituents to Enhance Sustainability of Operational Ranges

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    of Delaware Ronald Checkai Roman Kuperman Michael Simini U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Jalal Hawari National Research...ANSI Std . Z39.18 Form Approved OMB No. 0704-0188 The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per...129  Figure 69. Adsorption partition coefficients (L kg-1) from RR model for soils are shown by mean (point) std

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  9. Analysis of farm performance in Europe under different climate and management conditions to improve understanding of adaptive capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reidsma, P.; Ewert, F.; Oude Lansink, A.

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to improve understanding of the adaptive capacity of European agriculture to climate change. Extensive data on farm characteristics of individual farms from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) have been combined with climatic and socio-economic data to analyze the influ

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. An agenda to construct an improved understanding of Australian organic consumers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adamsen, Jannie Mia; Lyons, Kristen; Winzar, Hume

    2007-01-01

    Organic food is claimed to be one of the fastest growing food categories worldwide, with growth rates of 20-30%. There have been considerable research efforts globally seeking to understand the organic food consumer. To date, academic research has been unable to reach a consensus, and we remain i...

  19. Mechanistic Systems Modeling to Improve Understanding and Prediction of Cardiotoxicity Caused by Targeted Cancer Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaehee V. Shim

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs are highly potent cancer therapeutics that have been linked with serious cardiotoxicity, including left ventricular dysfunction, heart failure, and QT prolongation. TKI-induced cardiotoxicity is thought to result from interference with tyrosine kinase activity in cardiomyocytes, where these signaling pathways help to control critical processes such as survival signaling, energy homeostasis, and excitation–contraction coupling. However, mechanistic understanding is limited at present due to the complexities of tyrosine kinase signaling, and the wide range of targets inhibited by TKIs. Here, we review the use of TKIs in cancer and the cardiotoxicities that have been reported, discuss potential mechanisms underlying cardiotoxicity, and describe recent progress in achieving a more systematic understanding of cardiotoxicity via the use of mechanistic models. In particular, we argue that future advances are likely to be enabled by studies that combine large-scale experimental measurements with Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP models describing biological mechanisms and dynamics. As such approaches have proven extremely valuable for understanding and predicting other drug toxicities, it is likely that QSP modeling can be successfully applied to cardiotoxicity induced by TKIs. We conclude by discussing a potential strategy for integrating genome-wide expression measurements with models, illustrate initial advances in applying this approach to cardiotoxicity, and describe challenges that must be overcome to truly develop a mechanistic and systematic understanding of cardiotoxicity caused by TKIs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  5. Children forgotten in hot cars: a mental models approach for improving public health messaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Castle A; Grundstein, Andrew J

    2017-08-09

    On average, in the USA, 37 young children die every year due to vehicular heatstroke. Additionally, over half of these incidents occur when a parent/caregiver forgets a child in a vehicle. While various governmental and child safety advocacy groups have worked to raise awareness about these tragedies, rigorous studies have yet to be conducted that examine the current understanding and effectiveness of this public health messaging. This study will employ a mental models approach in order to identify differences that exist between experts' and parents'/caregivers' knowledge and beliefs surrounding the topic of children forgotten in hot cars. We interviewed a diverse set of 25 parents/caregivers and seven experts in order to construct and explore these mental models. A comparative analysis was conducted, and three key differences were observed between these mental models. Unlike the experts, the parents/caregivers in the study emphasised perceived lifestyle factors (eg, low-income parent) as important elements in increasing an individual's likelihood of forgetting a child in a car. Importantly, the parents/caregivers primarily obtained information from news reports, while experts believed public health campaigns would reach more parents/caregivers. Lastly, while experts stressed that this tragedy could happen to anyone, most parents/caregivers failed to acknowledge that they could forget their own child in a car. To confront this denial, future public health messaging must strive to engage and reach all parents/caregivers. This can be accomplished using a multifaceted messaging strategy that includes personalising core messaging, providing additional resources to media outlets and building rapport between key partners. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  6. Public-private partnerships improve health outcomes in individuals with early stage Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvin, James E; Tolea, Magdalena I; George, Nika; Wingbermuehle, Cheryl

    2014-01-01

    In a collaborative effort between the Missouri Department of Health, Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), Alzheimer Association, and academic researchers, we tested whether early dementia detection and comprehensive care consultations would improve health outcomes in care receivers (CRs) and their family caregivers (FCGs), therefore addressing an important public health concern. A total of 244 community-dwelling older adults screened for early-stage dementia by the AAA field staff were referred to the Alzheimer Association and participated in Project Learn MORE (Missouri Outreach and Referral Expanded) (PLM) - a 2-year, nonrandomized multisite intervention consisting of comprehensive care consultations to improve coping skills. PLM participants were compared against 96 controls receiving the Alzheimer Association's "usual services" between January 2011 and December 2012. We examined CR and FCG outcomes, including burden, care confidence, and mood, as effects of PLM, on delaying transitions in level of care. CRs showed improved knowledge (P=0.002) and reduced depression (P=0.007), while FCGs demonstrated improved knowledge (P=0.003) and ability to identify sources of support for the CR (P=0.032) and for themselves (P=0.043). However, FCGs were more burdened after PLM (P=0.02), due to increased awareness of Alzheimer's disease. PLM delayed transitions in care (odds ratio [OR] 3.32, 95% confidence level [CI]: 1.25-8.83) with the number needed to treat =6.82. PLM was successful in improving detection of incident cases of dementia in the community and in connecting patients and their families with needed services. Our findings support the use of state agencies and community service partners to detect dementia. Early implementation of psychosocial interventions could have significant impact in improving patient- and family-centered outcomes, potentially providing a cost-efficient alternative to pharmacotherapy.

  7. Memories of the past contribute to prevention: photography as a direct means for public understanding of science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caterina Piccione

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available There are thousands of ways to achieve a sustainable future for our Planet. Some of these follow high-value scientific research activities, while others simply aim to increase people’s awareness of what can and should be done to improve our, and our children’s, quality of life. The easiest way to develop this specific kind of ‘spread of culture’ consists of bringing back to life what was preserved of the history of a population and of a territory, by representing it in a renewed form, and by making it ‘food for thought’. The Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV followed this approach and decided to publish two volumes where the objective was to make people more aware of the geological and volcanic risks in some specific areas of Italy. The immediacy of the photography is used to tell the stories of volcanoes and earthquakes, to represent past events that have become ‘memories’. and to use these as a basis to build a better future. Terremoto Calabro Messinese, 1908/2008 and Terre di Fuoco are the two photographic books that have been published by INGV in cooperation with Alinari, the oldest firm in the world in the field of photography and image communication. The photographs selected to be included in the two books had a double significance: on the one side, they had to convey to the reader the immediacy of the emotions that other people had felt and lived; and on the other side, they had to make people understand the importance of prevention. The fascination of history, the importance of memories of the past, and the extraordinary strength of images help the reader build a link between the past, the present and the future, where the lessons learnt from past centuries and from the study of the Earth and its energy help us to understand which steps should be taken to achieve a ‘sustainable’ future.

  8. A Software Tool for Improved Noise Source Identification and Understanding Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Innovative Technology Applications Company and Drs. P. Morris and K. Brentner will make improvements in noise prediction and measurement methods for subsonic and...

  9. Improving Confidence, Clarity, and Fluency in Public Speaking Skills of Middle School Students through Innovative Instructional Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mobley, Donald Graham

    A practium study sought to improve the confidence, clarity, and fluency of 115 seventh graders' public speaking skills. Students' public speaking skills were evaluated before and after the practicum by rotating peer review committees of three students each. The first month the practicum focused on self-esteem and a study of the history and…

  10. What research tells us about knowledge transfer strategies to improve public health in low-income countries: a scoping review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siron, Stéphanie; Dagenais, Christian; Ridde, Valéry

    2015-11-01

    This study describes the current state of research on knowledge transfer strategies to improve public health in low-income countries, to identify the knowledge gaps on this topic. In this scoping review, a descriptive and systematic process was used to analyse, for each article retained, descriptions of research context and methods, types of knowledge transfer activities and results reported. 28 articles were analysed. They dealt with the evaluation of transfer strategies that employed multiple activities, mostly targeting health professionals and women with very young children. Most often these studies used quantitative designs and measurements of instrumental use with some methodological shortcomings. Results were positive and suggested recommendations for improving professional practices, knowledge and health-related behaviours. The review highlights the great diversity of transfer strategies used, strategies and many conditions for knowledge use. The review provides specific elements for understanding the transfer processes in low-income countries and highlights the need for systematic evaluation of the conditions for research results utilization.

  11. Improved understanding of near-ground winds in hurricanes and tornadoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karstens, Christopher Daniel

    Hurricanes and tornadoes contain the most destructive and life threatening winds on the planet. Combined, they are responsible for approximately $11 billion in damage in the U.S. annually. To compose a set of effective mitigation techniques, a comprehensive understanding of hurricane and tornado winds is needed. However, our understanding of these winds in the lowest 30 meters AGL, particularly their interaction with complex terrain, is lacking. This thesis includes two studies that address this issue. In the first study, a representative wind profile extracted from WRF simulations of hurricanes is used to initialize CFD modeled flow interaction with built structures using Fluent. The magnitude of structurally-induced modifications to the wind profile is presented. In the second study, recent tornado pressure and wind measurements are compared to laboratory and numerical simulations of tornado-like vortices. In addition, a comparative range of minimum pressures from a wide variety of tornadoes with different size and intensities is presented.

  12. Multiculturalism in current tourism: Can tourism and travelling help to improve tolerance and understanding?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josefová Alena

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The article focuses on one of the most important issues of the beginning of the 21st century, which is unprecedented move of people. This political, sociological, geographical and psycho-linguistics phenomenon needs qualitatively new approaches in meeting races, cultures, religions, customs and habits. What are the possibilities of cohabitation of people in these new political, cultural and economic conditions? The way can be intercultural exchange characterised by mutual respect and the will to understand otherness and other values.

  13. Improving Pharmacy Students' Understanding and Long-term Retention of Acid-Base Chemistry

    OpenAIRE

    Roche, Victoria F.

    2007-01-01

    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 med...

  14. Data-model fusion to better understand emerging pathogens and improve infectious disease forecasting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaDeau, Shannon L; Glass, Gregory E; Hobbs, N Thompson; Latimer, Andrew; Ostfeld, Richard S

    2011-07-01

    Ecologists worldwide are challenged to contribute solutions to urgent and pressing environmental problems by forecasting how populations, communities, and ecosystems will respond to global change. Rising to this challenge requires organizing ecological information derived from diverse sources and formally assimilating data with models of ecological processes. The study of infectious disease has depended on strategies for integrating patterns of observed disease incidence with mechanistic process models since John Snow first mapped cholera cases around a London water pump in 1854. Still, zoonotic and vector-borne diseases increasingly affect human populations, and methods used to successfully characterize directly transmitted diseases are often insufficient. We use four case studies to demonstrate that advances in disease forecasting require better understanding of zoonotic host and vector populations, as well of the dynamics that facilitate pathogen amplification and disease spillover into humans. In each case study, this goal is complicated by limited data, spatiotemporal variability in pathogen transmission and impact, and often, insufficient biological understanding. We present a conceptual framework for data-model fusion in infectious disease research that addresses these fundamental challenges using a hierarchical state-space structure to (1) integrate multiple data sources and spatial scales to inform latent parameters, (2) partition uncertainty in process and observation models, and (3) explicitly build upon existing ecological and epidemiological understanding. Given the constraints inherent in the study of infectious disease and the urgent need for progress, fusion of data and expertise via this type of conceptual framework should prove an indispensable tool.

  15. Public Management Reform and Organizational Performance: An Empirical Assessment of the U.K. Labour Government's Public Service Improvement Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Richard M.; Boyne, George A.

    2006-01-01

    We present the first empirical assessment of the U.K. Labour government's program of public management reform. This reform program is based on rational planning, devolution and delegation, flexibility and incentives, and enhanced choice. Measures of these variables are tested against external and internal indicators of organizational performance.…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  17. Publication guidelines for quality improvement in health care: evolution of the SQUIRE project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidoff, F; Batalden, P; Stevens, D; Ogrinc, G; Mooney, S

    2008-10-01

    In 2005, draft guidelines were published for reporting studies of quality improvement interventions as the initial step in a consensus process for development of a more definitive version. This article contains the full revised version of the guidelines, which the authors refer to as SQUIRE (Standards for QUality Improvement Reporting Excellence). This paper also describes the consensus process, which included informal feedback from authors, editors and peer reviewers who used the guidelines; formal written commentaries; input from a group of publication guideline developers; ongoing review of the literature on the epistemology of improvement and methods for evaluating complex social programmes; a two-day meeting of stakeholders for critical discussion and debate of the guidelines' content and wording; and commentary on sequential versions of the guidelines from an expert consultant group. Finally, the authors consider the major differences between SQUIRE and the initial draft guidelines; limitations of and unresolved questions about SQUIRE; ancillary supporting documents and alternative versions that are under development; and plans for dissemination, testing and further development of SQUIRE.

  18. Improving public health by respecting autonomy: using social science research to enfranchise vulnerable prison populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, David; Elger, Bernice

    2015-05-01

    It is widely recognised that prisoners constitute a vulnerable population that is subject to numerous health inequalities and merits special protection. Improving prisoners' access to healthcare by ensuring adherence to the principle of equivalence has been the main focus of efforts to ensure that their health is not jeopardised. However, another means of respecting prisoners' autonomy and improving their health is to involve them (and prison staff) in social science research within prisons. Such research not only produces valuable data which can be used to assess whether the principle of equivalence is being respected; it also enfranchises prisoners by allowing them to air concerns about perceived ill-treatment and influence their environment. If prison authorities enable such research and adjust policy accordingly, both they and prisoners will benefit from the increased level of respect for prisoners' autonomy, and the improvements in individual and public health that flow from this. Conducting social science research in prisons enables the creation of a virtuous cycle of respect that makes prisons safer and healthier places. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Cancer registration, public health and the reform of the European data protection framework: Abandoning or improving European public health research?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Mette Rye; Storm, Hans H

    2015-06-01

    The importance of cancer- and other disease registries for planning, management and evaluation of healthcare systems has been shown repeatedly during the last 50 years. Complete and unbiased population-level analyses on routinely collected, individual data concerning health and personal characteristics can address significant concerns about risk factors for cancer and provide sound evidence about public health and the effectiveness of healthcare systems. The existence of quality controlled and comprehensive data in registries, allowed to be used for quality control, research and public health purposes are taken as granted by most health professionals and researchers. However, the current revision of the European Union (EU) data protection framework suggests a harmonisation of requirements for confidentiality and individual consent to data processing, likely at the expense of proper use of registry data in the health sector. Consequences of excessive confidentiality rules that may lead to missed data linkages have been simulated. The simulations provide one possible explanation for observed heterogeneity among some cancer incidence data. Further, public health, quality control and epidemiological research on large populations can no longer provide evidence for health interventions, if requirements for consent renders research impossible or where attempts to obtain consent from each data subject generates biased results. Health professionals should engage in the on-going debate on the Commission's proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation. The nature and use of registry data in public health research must be explained and known to policy-makers and the public. Use of cancer registry data and other epidemiological activity will terminate abruptly if an unnecessarily strict EU data protection regulation is adopted. Research based interventions, as well as the international recognised standing of cancer registries and register-based research institutions in

  20. Reaching "an audience that you would never dream of speaking to": influential public health researchers' views on the role of news media in influencing policy and public understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Simon; Haynes, Abby; Derrick, Gemma; Sturk, Heidi; Hall, Wayne D; St George, Alexis

    2014-01-01

    While governments and academic institutions urge researchers to engage with news media, traditional academic values of public disengagement have inhibited many from giving high priority to media activity. In this interview-based study, the authors report on the views about news media engagement and strategies used by 36 peer-voted leading Australian public health researchers in 6 fields. The authors consider their views about the role and importance of media in influencing policy, their reflections on effective or ineffective media communicators, and strategies used by these researchers about how to best retain their credibility and influence while engaging with the news media. A willingness and capacity to engage with the mass media was seen as an essential attribute of influential public health researchers.

  1. 3D augmented reality for improving social acceptance and public participation in wind farms planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassi, S.; Klein, T. M.

    2016-09-01

    Wind energy is one of the most important source of renewable energy characterized by a significant growth in the last decades and giving a more and more relevant contribution to the energy supply. One of the main disadvantages of a faster integration of wind energy into the energy mix is related to the visual impact of wind turbines on the landscape. In addition, the siting of new massive infrastructures has the potential to threaten a community's well-being if new projects are perceived being unfair. The public perception of the impact of wind turbines on the landscape is also crucial for their acceptance. The implementation of wind energy projects is hampered often because of a lack of planning or communication tools enabling a more transparent and efficient interaction between all stakeholders involved in the projects (i.e. developers, local communities and administrations, NGOs, etc.). Concerning the visual assessment of wind farms, a critical gap lies in effective visualization tools to improve the public perception of alternative wind turbines layouts. In this paper, we describe the advantages of a 3D dynamical and interactive visualization platform for an augmented reality to support wind energy planners in order to enhance the social acceptance of new wind energy projects.

  2. Understanding Student Mobility in the B.C. Public Post-Secondary System. Highlights from the Student Transitions Project: Post-Secondary Student Mobility

    Science.gov (United States)

    British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer, 2013

    2013-01-01

    This annual newsletter summarizes the work of the Post-secondary Student Mobility (PSM) Subcommittee of the Student Transitions Project (STP) . In an effort to better understand student mobility in the B.C. public post-secondary system, the Student Transitions Project continues to describe and quantify the numerous education pathways of students…

  3. Improving Scientific Communication and Publication Output in a Multidisciplinary Laboratory: Changing Culture Through Staff Development Workshops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noonan, Christine F.; Stratton, Kelly G.

    2015-07-13

    Communication plays a fundamental role in science and engineering disciplines. However, many higher education programs provide little, if any, technical communication coursework. Without strong communication skills scientists and engineers have less opportunity to publish, obtain competitive research funds, or grow their careers. This article describes the role of scientific communication training as an innovative staff development program in a learning-intensive workplace – a national scientific research and development laboratory. The findings show that involvement in the workshop has increased overall participating staff annual publications by an average of 61 percent compared to their pre-workshop publishing performance as well as confidence level in their ability to write and publish peer-reviewed literature. Secondary benefits include improved information literacy skills and the development of informal communities of practice. This work provides insight into adult education in the workplace.

  4. Using Scientific Argumentation in a Science Methods Course to Improve Preservice Teachers' Understanding of Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Improving our understanding of environmental controls on the distribution of C3 and C4 grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pau, Stephanie; Edwards, Erika J; Still, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    A number of studies have demonstrated the ecological sorting of C3 and C4 grasses along temperature and moisture gradients. However, previous studies of C3 and C4 grass biogeography have often inadvertently compared species in different and relatively unrelated lineages, which are associated with different environmental settings and distinct adaptive traits. Such confounded comparisons of C3 and C4 grasses may bias our understanding of ecological sorting imposed strictly by photosynthetic pathway. Here, we used MaxEnt species distribution modeling in combination with satellite data to understand the functional diversity of C3 and C4 grasses by comparing both large clades and closely related sister taxa. Similar to previous work, we found that C4 grasses showed a preference for regions with higher temperatures and lower precipitation compared with grasses using the C3 pathway. However, air temperature differences were smaller (2 °C vs. 4 °C) and precipitation and % tree cover differences were larger (1783 mm vs. 755 mm, 21.3% vs. 7.7%, respectively) when comparing C3 and C4 grasses within the same clade vs. comparing all C4 and all C3 grasses (i.e., ignoring phylogenetic structure). These results were due to important differences in the environmental preferences of C3 BEP and PACMAD clades (the two main grass clades). Winter precipitation was found to be more important for understanding the distribution and environmental niche of C3 PACMADs in comparison with both C3 BEPs and C4 taxa, for which temperature was much more important. Results comparing closely related C3 -C4 sister taxa supported the patterns derived from our modeling of the larger clade groupings. Our findings, which are novel in comparing the distribution and niches of clades, demonstrate that the evolutionary history of taxa is important for understanding the functional diversity of C3 and C4 grasses, and should have implications for how grasslands will respond to global change.

  6. Target for improvement: a cluster randomised trial of public involvement in quality-indicator prioritisation (intervention development and study protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burgers Jako

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Public priorities for improvement often differ from those of clinicians and managers. Public involvement has been proposed as a way to bridge the gap between professional and public clinical care priorities but has not been studied in the context of quality-indicator choice. Our objective is to assess the feasibility and impact of public involvement on quality-indicator choice and agreement with public priorities. Methods We will conduct a cluster randomised controlled trial comparing quality-indicator prioritisation with and without public involvement. In preparation for the trial, we developed a 'menu' of quality indicators, based on a systematic review of existing validated indicator sets. Participants (public representatives, clinicians, and managers will be recruited from six participating sites. In intervention sites, public representatives will be involved through direct participation (public representatives, clinicians, and managers will deliberate together to agree on quality-indicator choice and use and consultation (individual public recommendations for improvement will be collected and presented to decision makers. In control sites, only clinicians and managers will take part in the prioritisation process. Data on quality-indicator choice and intended use will be collected. Our primary outcome will compare quality-indicator choice and agreement with public priorities between intervention and control groups. A process evaluation based on direct observation, videorecording, and participants' assessment will be conducted to help explain the study's results. The marginal cost of public involvement will also be assessed. Discussion We identified 801 quality indicators that met our inclusion criteria. An expert panel agreed on a final set of 37 items containing validated quality indicators relevant for chronic disease prevention and management in primary care. We pilot tested our public-involvement intervention with 27

  7. Improving the effectiveness of service delivery in the public healthcare sector: the case of ophthalmology services in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foo, Chee Yoong; Lim, Ka Keat; Sivasampu, Sheamini; Dahian, Kamilah Binti; Goh, Pik Pin

    2015-08-28

    Rising demand of ophthalmology care is increasingly straining Malaysia's public healthcare sector due to its limited human and financial resources. Improving the effectiveness of ophthalmology service delivery can promote national policy goals of population health improvement and system sustainability. This study examined the performance variation of public ophthalmology service in Malaysia, estimated the potential output gain and investigated several factors that might explain the differential performance. Data for 2011 and 2012 on 36 ophthalmology centres operating in the Ministry of Health hospitals were used in this analysis. We first consulted a panel of ophthalmology service managers to understand the production of ophthalmology services and to verify the production model. We then assessed the relative performance of these centres using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Efficiency scores (ES) were decomposed into technical, scale, and congestion component. Potential increase in service output was estimated. Sensitivity analysis of model changes was performed and stability of the result was assessed using bootstrap approach. Second stage Tobit regression was conducted to determine if hospital type, availability of day services and population characteristics were related to the DEA scores. In 2011, 33% of the ophthalmology centres were found to have ES > 1 (mean ES = 1.10). Potential output gains were 10% (SE ± 2.92), 7.4% (SE ± 2.06), 6.9% (SE ± 1.97) if the centres could overcome their technical, scale and congestion inefficiencies. More centres moved to the performance frontier in 2012 (mean ES = 1.07), with lower potential output gain. The model used has good stability. Robustness checks show that the DEA correctly identified low performing centres. Being in state hospital was significantly associated with better performance. Using DEA to benchmarking service performance of ophthalmology care could provide insights for policy

  8. Investigating and improving student understanding of the expectation values of observables in quantum mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-07-01

    The expectation value of an observable is an important concept in quantum mechanics since measurement outcomes are, in general, probabilistic and we only have information about the probability distribution of measurement outcomes in a given quantum state of a system. However, we find that upper-level undergraduate and PhD students in physics have both conceptual and procedural difficulties when determining the expectation value of a physical observable in a given quantum state in terms of the eigenstates and eigenvalues of the corresponding operator, especially when using Dirac notation. Here we first describe the difficulties that these students have with determining the expectation value of an observable in Dirac notation. We then discuss how the difficulties found via student responses to written surveys and individual interviews were used as a guide in the development of a quantum interactive learning tutorial (QuILT) to help students develop a good grasp of the expectation value. The QuILT strives to help students integrate conceptual understanding and procedural skills to develop a coherent understanding of the expectation value. We discuss the effectiveness of the QuILT in helping students learn this concept from in-class evaluations.

  9. Anatomy of Teaching Anatomy: Do Prosected Cross Sections Improve Students Understanding of Spatial and Radiological Anatomy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. B. Samarakoon

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Cadaveric dissections and prosections have traditionally been part of undergraduate medical teaching. Materials and Methods. Hundred and fifty-nine first-year students in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, were invited to participate in the above study. Students were randomly allocated to two age and gender matched groups. Both groups were exposed to identical series of lectures regarding anatomy of the abdomen and conventional cadaveric prosections of the abdomen. The test group (n=77, 48.4% was also exposed to cadaveric cross-sectional slices of the abdomen to which the control group (n=82, 51.6% was blinded. At the end of the teaching session both groups were assessed by using their performance in a timed multiple choice question paper as well as ability to identify structures in abdominal CT films. Results. Scores for spatial and radiological anatomy were significantly higher among the test group when compared with the control group (P<0.05, CI 95%. Majority of the students in both control and test groups agreed that cadaveric cross section may be useful for them to understand spatial and radiological anatomy. Conclusion. Introduction of cadaveric cross-sectional prosections may help students to understand spatial and radiological anatomy better.

  10. Evaluating role of interactive visualization tool in improving students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampath Kumar, Bharath

    The purpose of this study is to examine the role of partnering visualization tool such as simulation towards development of student's concrete conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium. Students find chemistry concepts abstract, especially at the microscopic level. Chemical equilibrium is one such topic. While research studies have explored effectiveness of low tech instructional strategies such as analogies, jigsaw, cooperative learning, and using modeling blocks, fewer studies have explored the use of visualization tool such as simulations in the context of dynamic chemical equilibrium. Research studies have identified key reasons behind misconceptions such as lack of systematic understanding of foundational chemistry concepts, failure to recognize the system is dynamic, solving numerical problems on chemical equilibrium in an algorithmic fashion, erroneous application Le Chatelier's principle (LCP) etc. Kress et al. (2001) suggested that external representation in the form of visualization is more than a tool for learning, because it enables learners to make meanings or express their ideas which cannot be readily done so through a verbal representation alone. Mixed method study design was used towards data collection. The qualitative portion of the study is aimed towards understanding the change in student's mental model before and after the intervention. A quantitative instrument was developed based on common areas of misconceptions identified by research studies. A pilot study was conducted prior to the actual study to obtain feedback from students on the quantitative instrument and the simulation. Participants for the pilot study were sampled from a single general chemistry class. Following the pilot study, the research study was conducted with a total of 27 students (N=15 in experimental group and N=12 in control group). Prior to participating in the study, students have completed their midterm test on the topic of chemical equilibrium. Qualitative

  11. An interdisciplinary approach towards improved understanding of soil deformation during compaction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keller, T.; Lamandé, Mathieu; Peth, S.;

    2013-01-01

    highlight the important role of technological advances in non-destructive measurement methods at pore (X-ray tomography) and soil profile (seismic) scales that not only offer new insights into soil architecture and enable visualization of soil deformation, but are becoming instrumental in the development...... and deformation processes in arable soils remains limited. Yet such knowledge is essential for better predictions of effects of soil management practices such as agricultural field traffic on soil functioning. Concepts and theory used in agricultural soil mechanics (soil compaction and soil tillage) are often...... mechanical processes, theoretical frameworks often differ and reflect disciplinary focus. We review concepts from different but complementary fields concerned with porous media mechanics and highlight opportunities for synergistic advances in understanding deformation and compaction of arable soils. We...

  12. Applying community-based participatory research to better understand and improve kinship care practices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chukwudozie, Oge; Feinstein, Clare; Jensen, Celina

    2015-01-01

    While the principles behind community-based participatory research are firmly established, the process of taking community-based participatory research with children and youth to scale and integrating it into the programming of non-governmental organizations has been scarcely documented. This art......While the principles behind community-based participatory research are firmly established, the process of taking community-based participatory research with children and youth to scale and integrating it into the programming of non-governmental organizations has been scarcely documented....... This article reflects on the experiences of Save the Children in implementing a multicountry community-based participatory research program to increase understanding of kinship care in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The article discusses challenges faced and lessons learned...... and highlights how the research process enabled action and advocacy initiatives at different levels-leading to an increase in support and policy attention for children living in kinship care....

  13. Interactive tutorial to improve student understanding of single photon experiments involving a Mach-Zehnder interferometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-03-01

    We have developed and evaluated a quantum interactive learning tutorial (QuILT) on a Mach-Zehnder interferometer with single photons to expose upper-level students in quantum mechanics courses to contemporary quantum optics applications. The QuILT strives to help students develop the ability to apply fundamental quantum principles to physical situations in quantum optics and explore the differences between classical and quantum ideas. The QuILT adapts visualization tools to help students build physical intuition about counter-intuitive quantum optics phenomena with single photons including a quantum eraser setup and focuses on helping them integrate qualitative and quantitative understanding. We discuss findings from in-class evaluations.

  14. Applying community-based participatory research to better understand and improve kinship care practices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chukwudozie, Oge; Feinstein, Clare; Jensen, Celina;

    2015-01-01

    While the principles behind community-based participatory research are firmly established, the process of taking community-based participatory research with children and youth to scale and integrating it into the programming of non-governmental organizations has been scarcely documented....... This article reflects on the experiences of Save the Children in implementing a multicountry community-based participatory research program to increase understanding of kinship care in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The article discusses challenges faced and lessons learned...... and highlights how the research process enabled action and advocacy initiatives at different levels-leading to an increase in support and policy attention for children living in kinship care....

  15. Interactive tutorial to improve student understanding of single photon experiments involving a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer

    CERN Document Server

    Marshman, Emily

    2016-01-01

    We have developed and evaluated a Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) on a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer with single photons to expose upper-level students in quantum mechanics courses to contemporary quantum optics applications. The QuILT strives to help students develop the ability to apply fundamental quantum principles to physical situations in quantum optics and explore the differences between classical and quantum ideas. The QuILT adapts visualization tools to help students build physical intuition about counter-intuitive quantum optics phenomena with single photons including a quantum eraser setup and focuses on helping them integrate qualitative and quantitative understanding. We discuss findings from in-class evaluations.

  16. Improving Predictions with Reliable Extrapolation Schemes and Better Understanding of Factorization

    CERN Document Server

    More, Sushant N

    2016-01-01

    We investigate two distinct sources of uncertainty in low-energy nuclear physics calculations and develop ways to account for them. Harmonic oscillator basis expansions are widely used in ab-initio nuclear structure calculations. Finite computational resources usually require that the basis be truncated before observables are fully converged, necessitating reliable extrapolation schemes. We show that a finite oscillator basis effectively imposes a hard-wall boundary condition. We accurately determine the position of the hard-wall as a function of oscillator space parameters, derive extrapolation formulas for the energy and other observables, and discuss the extension of this approach to higher angular momentum. Nucleon knockout reactions have been widely used to study and understand nuclear properties. Such an analysis implicitly assumes that the effects of the probe can be separated from the physics of the target nucleus. This factorization between nuclear structure and reaction components depends on the ren...

  17. Commentary: Understanding the origins of anger, contempt, and disgust in public health policy disputes: applying moral psychology to harm reduction debates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alderman, Jess; Dollar, Katherine M; Kozlowski, Lynn T

    2010-04-01

    Scientific disputes about public health issues can become emotional battlefields marked by strong emotions like anger, contempt, and disgust. Contemporary work in moral psychology demonstrates that each of these emotions is a reaction to a specific type of moral violation. Applying this work to harm reduction debates, specifically the use of smokeless tobacco to reduce harm from tobacco use, we attempt to explain why some public health disputes have been so heated. Public health ethics tend to emphasize social justice concerns to the exclusion of other moral perspectives that value scientific authority, professional loyalty, and bodily purity. An awareness of their different emotional reactions and underlying moral motivations might help public health professionals better understand each others' viewpoints, ultimately leading to more productive dialogue.

  18. THE PRACTICALITY OF USING THE TASK-BASED INSTRUCTION——IMPROVING STUDENTS'UNDERSTANDING OF STRESS AND TONE

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    顾敏

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated the efficacy of the Task-based instruction for improving students' understanding and awareness of stress and tone.23 learners made up the control group to receive the traditional method as opposed to 23 learners who receive the task-based instruction to teach stress and tone. The results indicated statistically significant differences between the Control and Experimental groups on the variables of post test scores.

  19. Simplifying mental math: Changing how added sugars are displayed on the nutrition facts label can improve consumer understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khandpur, Neha; Graham, Dan J; Roberto, Christina A

    2017-07-01

    Proposed variations to Nutrition Facts Labels (NFL) have included the display of added sugars (AS) content, but its impact on consumer understanding is poorly understood. To examine the degree to which different formats for displaying AS influence consumer understanding, perceptions, and purchase intentions. Randomized-controlled online experiment. A sample of 2509 U.S adults. Participants were randomized to 1 of 8 conditions and viewed 10 food or beverage images with either: (1) no label (control); (2) the current NFL (without AS); (3) the proposed NFL without AS; or the proposed NFL with AS in (4) grams, (5) grams and teaspoons, (6) grams and percent Daily Value (%DV), (7) grams with high/medium/low text, or (8) grams with high/medium/low text and %DV. ANCOVAs compared scores on quizzes that assessed the accuracy of judgments about AS, overall nutrition understanding and purchase intentions. Presenting AS in grams plus high/medium/low text with and without %DV led to the highest AS understanding scores (85% and 83% correct, respectively) compared to 70% correct when AS was not on the label or was displayed in grams only (74% correct). Displaying AS in teaspoons did not significantly improve understanding beyond grams alone. Consumers were best able to determine which of two products was healthier when AS was presented as %DV (68% correct) versus displayed in grams alone (60% correct), but %DV did not differ from high/medium/low text or teaspoons. None of the labels influenced purchase intentions relative to no label. Displaying AS on the NFL in grams with high/medium/low text, %DV, or the combination of the two, improved consumer understanding more than presenting it in grams or teaspoons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Training Of Manual Actions Improves Language Understanding of Semantically-Related Action Sentences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo eLocatelli

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Conceptual knowledge accessed by language may involve the re-activation of the associated primary sensory-motor processes. Whether these embodied representations are indeed constitutive to conceptual knowledge is hotly debated, particularly since direct evidence that sensory-motor expertise can improve conceptual processing is scarce.In this study, we sought for this crucial piece of evidence, by training naive healthy subjects to perform complex manual actions and by measuring, before and after training, their performance in a semantic language task. 19 participants engaged in 3 weeks of motor training. Each participant was trained in 3 complex manual actions (e.g. origami. Before and after the training period, each subject underwent a series of manual dexterity tests and a semantic language task. The latter consisted of a sentence-picture semantic congruency judgment task, with 6 target congruent sentence-picture pairs (semantically related to the trained manual actions, 6 non-target congruent pairs (semantically unrelated, and 12 filler incongruent pairs.Manual action training induced a significant improvement in all manual dexterity tests, demonstrating the successful acquisition of sensory-motor expertise. In the semantic language task, the reaction times to both target and non-target congruent sentence-image pairs decreased after action training, indicating a more efficient conceptual-semantic processing. Noteworthy, the reaction times for target pairs decreased more than those for non-target pairs, as indicated by the 2x2 interaction. These results were confirmed when controlling for the potential bias of increased frequency of use of target lexical items during manual training.The results of the present study suggest that sensory-motor expertise gained by training of specific manual actions can lead to an improvement of cognitive-linguistic skills related to the specific conceptual-semantic domain associated to the trained actions.