20,004 research outputs found

    Constituting Boundaries within Mental Health Care: Tensions, Hierarchies and the Politics of Distribution

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    Political economics and normative analysis

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    The approaches and opinions of economists often dominate public policy discussion. Economists have gained this privileged position partly (or perhaps mainly) because of the obvious relevance of their subject matter, but also because of the unified methodology (neo-classical economics) that the vast majority of modern economists bring to their analysis of policy problems and proposed solutions. The idea of Pareto efficiency and its potential trade-off with equity is a central idea that is understood by all economists and this common language provides the economics profession with a powerful voice in public affairs. The purpose of this paper is to review and reflect upon the way in which economists find themselves analysing and providing suggestions for social improvements and how this role has changed over roughly the last 60 years. We focus on the fundamental split in the public economics tradition between those that adhere to public finance and those that adhere to public choice. A pure public finance perspective views failures in society as failures of the market. The solutions are technical, as might be enacted by a benevolent dictator. The pure public choice view accepts (sometimes grudgingly) that markets may fail, but so, it insists, does politics. This signals institutional reforms to constrain the potential for political failure. Certain policy recommendations may be viewed as compatible with both traditions, but other policy proposals will be the opposite of that proposed within the other tradition. In recent years a political economics synthesis emerged. This accepts that institutions are very important and governments require constraints, but that some degree of benevolence on the part of policy makers should not be assumed non-existent. The implications for public policy from this approach are, however, much less clear and perhaps more piecemeal. We also discuss analyses of systematic failure, not so much on the part of markets or politicians, but by voters. Most clearly this could lead to populism and relaxing the idea that voters necessarily choose their interests. The implications for public policy are addressed. Throughout the paper we will relate the discussion to the experience of UK government policy-making

    Physical inactivity in prevails in later life

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    The majority of people over 70 years may self-report themselves to be in good health but just being older means they are more likely to experience a range of health related ups and downs than in their younger years. One explanation for this is that the older population carries a progressively heavier burden of chronic disease and disability than their younger cohorts. With a changing demographic and in particular an ageing population, it is not surprising that politicians and health professionals are keen to intervene – mostly because of a presumed high cost of not-so-good health

    Sociological Knowledge and Transformation at ‘Diversity University’, UK

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    This chapter is based on a case study of one UK university sociology department and shows how sociology knowledge can transform the lives of ‘non-traditional’ students. The research from which the case is drawn focused on four departments teaching sociology-related subjects in universities positioned differently in UK league tables. It explored the question of the relationship between university reputation, pedagogic quality and curriculum knowledge, challenging taken-for-granted judgements about ‘quality’ and in conceptualising ‘just’ university pedagogy by taking Basil Bernstein’s ideas about how ‘powerful’ knowledge is distributed in society to illuminate pedagogy and curriculum. The project took the view that ‘power’ lies in the acquisition of specific (inter)disciplinary knowledges which allows the formation of disciplinary identities by way of developing the means to think about and act in the world in specific ways. We chose to focus on sociology because (1) university sociology is taken up by all socio-economic classes in the UK and is increasingly taught in courses in which the discipline is applied to practice; (2) it is a discipline that historically pursues social and moral ambition which assists exploration of the contribution of pedagogic quality to individuals and society beyond economic goals; (3) the researchers teach and research sociology or sociology of education - an understanding of the subjects under discussion is essential to make judgements about quality. ‘Diversity’ was one of four case study universities. It ranks low in university league tables; is located in a large, multi-cultural English inner city; and, its students are likely to come from lower socio-economic and/or ethnic minority groups, as well as being the first in their families to attend university. To make a case for transformative teaching at Diversity, the chapter draws on longitudinal interviews with students, interviews with tutors, curriculum documents, recordings of teaching, examples of student work, and a survey. It establishes what we can learn from the case of sociology at Diversity, arguing that equality, quality and transformation for individuals and society are served by a university curriculum which is research led and challenging combined with pedagogical practices which give access to difficult-to-acquire and powerful knowledge

    Comments on the problem of turbulence in aviation

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    The problem of turbulence since the beginning of aviation is traced. The problem was not cured by high altitude flight and was acerbated by the downbursts associated with thunderstorms. The accidents that occurred during the period 1982 to 1984 are listed. From this is extracted the weather related accidents. Turbulence accounts for 24% of the accidents involving large commercial carriers and 54% of the weather related accidents. In spite of all the efforts to improve the forecasting and detection of turbulence, the problem is still a large one

    In-depth research into rural road crashes

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    This report was produced under an agreement between Transport SA and the Road Accident Research Unit formed in the late 1990s. Due to various delays in the publication of this report, Transport SA has since become the Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure and the Road Accident Research Unit has become the Centre for Automotive Safety Research. The report describes a series of 236 rural road crashes investigated between 1 March 1998 and 29 February 2000 in South Australia. Investigations began with immediate attendance at the scene of the crash. The information collected for each crash included: photographs of the crash scene and vehicles involved, video record of the crash scene and vehicles in selected cases, examination of the road environment, a site plan of the crash scene and vehicle movements in the crash, examination and measurements of the vehicles involved, interviews with crash participants, interviews with witnesses, interviews with police, information on the official police report, information from Coroner’s reports, and injury data for the injured crash participants. The report provides an overall statistical summary of the sample of crashes investigated, followed by a detailed examination of the road infrastructure issues contributing to the crashes. This is done on the basis of crash type, with separate sections concerned with single vehicle crashes, midblock crashes and crashes at intersections. A section is also provided that examines the role of roadside hazards in the crashes.Baldock MRJ, Kloeden CN and McLean A

    The envirome and the connectome: exploring the structural noise in the human brain associated with socioeconomic deprivation

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    Complex cognitive functions are widely recognized to be the result of a number of brain regions working together as large-scale networks. Recently, complex network analysis has been used to characterize various structural properties of the large scale network organization of the brain. For example, the human brain has been found to have a modular architecture i.e. regions within the network form communities (modules) with more connections between regions within the community compared to regions outside it. The aim of this study was to examine the modular and overlapping modular architecture of the brain networks using complex network analysis. We also examined the association between neighborhood level deprivation and brain network structure – modularity and grey nodes. We compared network structure derived from anatomical MRI scans of 42 middle-aged neurologically healthy men from the least (LD) and the most deprived (MD) neighborhoods of Glasgow with their corresponding random networks. Cortical morphological covariance networks were constructed from the cortical thickness derived from the MRI scans of the brain. For a given modularity threshold, networks derived from the MD group showed similar number of modules compared to their corresponding random networks, while networks derived from the LD group had more modules compared to their corresponding random networks. The MD group also had fewer grey nodes – a measure of overlapping modular structure. These results suggest that apparent structural difference in brain networks may be driven by differences in cortical thicknesses between groups. This demonstrates a structural organization that is consistent with a system that is less robust and less efficient in information processing. These findings provide some evidence of the relationship between socioeconomic deprivation and brain network topology

    A Multispectral Look at Oil Pollution Detection, Monitoring, and Law Enforcement

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    The problems of detecting oil films on water, mapping the areal extent of slicks, measuring the slick thickness, and identifying oil types are discussed. The signature properties of oil in the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, microwave, and radar regions are analyzed

    The DART-Europe project: towards developing a European theses portal

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    This paper will report on the new European theses project DART-Europe. The purpose of this project is to align institutional and national e-theses developments across Europe with the wider open archives movement by the construction of a European portal for research theses, thus enabling a global view of European institutional research assets. This project is driven through an innovative partnership between an information provider and an international body of university libraries and open access consortia. The project’s goal is to explore the creation of a European model for the deposit, discovery, use and long-term care of research theses in an open access environment. The paper will outline the projected outcomes of DART-Europe, which is an active group of institutions in addition to a technical service. To this end, DART-Europe is engaged with disciplines and institutions that are widening the definition of research by redefining the formats of theses. For institutions and countries without a repository infrastructure, DART-Europe will enable the creation of a depository. Institutions and countries with a repository infrastructure can engage with DART-Europe to deliver their e-theses. DART-Europe acts as a technology bridge for researchers between those who have existing infrastructures and those who do not. The DART-Europe architecture assumes free at point of use access to full text theses, whether held on the DART-Europe server or by institutional repositories. This paper will provide session attendees with the current progress of this initiative, including a report on the 5 strands of the project, including: architecture; creation of a management tool kit; content acquisition; digital preservation and an investigation of business models
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