693 research outputs found

    Mediating boundaries between knowledge and knowing: ICT and R4D praxis

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    Research for development (R4D) praxis (theory-informed practical action) can be underpinned by the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) which, it is claimed, provide opportunities for knowledge working and sharing. Such a framing implicitly or explicitly constructs a boundary around knowledge as reified, or commodified ‚Äď or at least able to be stabilized for a period of time (first order knowledge). In contrast ‚Äėthird-generation knowledge‚Äô emphasizes the social nature of learning and knowledge-making; this reframes knowledge as a negotiated social practice, thus constructing a different system boundary. This paper offers critical reflections on the use of a wiki as a data repository and mediating technical platform as part of innovating in R4D praxis. A sustainable social learning process was sought that fostered an emergent community of practice among biophysical and social researchers acting for the first time as R4D co-researchers. Over time the technologically mediated element of the learning system was judged to have failed. This inquiry asks: How can learning system design cultivate learning opportunities and respond to learning challenges in an online environment to support R4D practice? Confining critical reflection to the online learning experience alone ignores the wider context in which knowledge work took place; therefore the institutional setting is also considered

    Expansion dynamics of Lennard-Jones systems

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    The dynamics of the expansion of a Lennard-Jones system, initially confined at high density and subsequently expanding freely in the vacuum, is confronted to an expanding statistical ensemble, derived in the diluted quasi-ideal Boltzmann approximation. The description proves to be fairly accurate at predicting average one-body global observables, but important deviations are observed in the configuration-space structure of the events. Possible implications for finite expanding physical systems are outlined

    NSW North Coast bioenergy scoping study

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    Tourist preferences for seamount conservation in the Galapagos Marine Reserve

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    Seamounts provide oases of hard substrate in the deep sea that are frequently associated with locally enhanced biological productivity and diversity. There is now increasing recognition of their ecological and socio-economic importance. However, management strategies for these habitats are constrained not only by limited ecological understanding but by the general public’s understanding of the pressures facing these ecosystems. This study adds to the growing literature on willingness to pay for conservation of deep-sea ecosystems and species by undertaking a stated preference survey to assess tourist’s awareness of seamounts and their preferences for protection within the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Visitors’ perceptions of seamount biodiversity must be studied because tourists are key drivers of the Galapagos economy and account for 41% of the Marine Reserve budget. Our survey captured the attitudes, perceptions and willingness to pay of tourists for an increase in the entrance fee to the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Results showed tourists were willing to pay on average US$48.93 in addition to existing entrance fees. The results of this study support the willingness to develop a multiuse management plan for the Galapagos Marine Reserve, balancing conservation, local communities livelihoods and sustainable tourism. Our results evidence a willingness to support and fund conservation, which is of critical importance to both the Galapagos National Park and local non-governmental organizations heavily reliant for their work on entrance fees and donations respectively. Overall, the conclusion from this study is that, despite limited knowledge, visitors of the Galapagos Islands attach positive and significant values to the conservation of seamount biodiversity

    Our energy future: Renewable energy master plan

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    Can we use postal surveys with anonymous testing to monitor chlamydia prevalence in young women in England? Pilot study incorporating randomised controlled trial of recruitment methods

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    OBJECTIVES: Chlamydia prevalence in the general population is a potential outcome measure for the evaluation of chlamydia control programmes. We carried out a pilot study to determine the feasibility of using a postal survey for population-based chlamydia prevalence monitoring. METHODS: Postal invitations were sent to a random sample of 2000 17-year-old to 18-year-old women registered with a general practitioner in two pilot areas in England. Recipients were randomised to receive either a self-sampling kit (n=1000), a self-sampling kit and offer of £5 voucher on return of sample (n=500) or a self-sampling kit on request (n=500). Participants returned a questionnaire and self-taken vulvovaginal swab sample for unlinked anonymous Chlamydia trachomatis testing. Non-responders were sent a reminder letter 3 weeks after initial invitation. We calculated the participation rate (number of samples returned/number of invitations sent) and cost per sample returned (including cost of consumables and postage) in each group. RESULTS: A total of 155/2000 (7.8%) samples were returned with consent for testing. Participation rates varied by invitation group: 7.8% in the group who were provided with a self-sampling kit, 14% in the group who were also offered a voucher and 1.0% in the group who were not sent a kit. The cost per sample received was lowest (£36) in the group who were offered both a kit and a voucher. CONCLUSIONS: The piloted survey methodology achieved low participation rates. This approach is not suitable for population-based monitoring of chlamydia prevalence among young women in England

    Testing for sexually transmitted infections in a population-based sexual health survey: development of an acceptable ethical approach

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    Population-based research is enhanced by biological measures, but biological sampling raises complex ethical issues. The third British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) will estimate the population prevalence of five sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, human papillomavirus (HPV), HIV and Mycoplasma genitalium) in a probability sample aged 16e44 years. The present work describes the development of an ethical approach to urine testing for STIs, including the process of reaching consensus on whether to return results. The following issues were considered: (1) testing for some STIs that are treatable and for which appropriate settings to obtain free testing and advice are widely available (Natsal-3 provides all respondents with STI and healthcare access information), (2) limits on test accuracy and timeliness imposed by survey conditions and sample type, (3) testing for some STIs with unknown clinical and public health implications, (4) how a uniform approach is easier to explain and understand, (5) practical difficulties in returning results and cost efficiency, such as enabling wider STI testing by not returning results. The agreed approach, to perform voluntary anonymous testing with specific consent for five STIs without returning results, was approved by stakeholders and a research ethics committee. Overall, this was acceptable to respondents in developmental piloting; 61% (68 of 111) of respondents agreed to provide a sample. The experiences reported here may inform the ethical decision making of researchers, research ethics committees and funders considering population-based biological sampling

    Enabling political legitimacy and conceptual integration for climate change adaptation research within an agricultural bureaucracy: a systemic inquiry

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    The value of using systems approaches, for situations framed as ‚Äėsuper wicked‚Äô, is examined from the perspective of research managers and stakeholders in a state-based climate change adaptation (CCA) program (CliChAP). Polycentric drivers influencing the development of CCA research pre-2010 in Victoria, Australia are reflected on, using Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) to generate a boundary critique of CCA research as a human activity system. We experienced the complexity of purpose with research practices pulling in different directions, reflected on the appropriateness of agricultural bureaucracies‚Äô historical new public management (NPM) practices, and focused on realigning management theory with emerging demands for adaptation research skills and capability. Our analysis conceptualised CliChAP as a subsystem, generating novelty in a wider system, concerned with socio-ecological co-evolution. Constraining/enabling conditions at the time dealing with political legitimacy and conceptual integration were observed as potential catalysts for innovation in research management towards better handling of uncertainty as a social process using systemic thinking in practice (StiP)

    The personal development planning cycle.

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    This Learning and CPD sheet is designed to pull together into a framework many of the activities that have already been published. It should also help anyone planning to go for audit of their CPD or who have been requested to submit for audit. There are a number of different ways of viewing the Personal Development Planning (PDP) or CPD cycle; the one covered here is just one example and shouldn't be seen as the only way of looking at PDP. For a greater range of activities, look at the book "Skills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook" by Cottrell and the companion website
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