Archive for December, 2012

Who is winning the battle to control the internet?

December 28, 2012

From Index on Censorship

A diverse landscape for open debate, creativity and innovation, the digital world has in many ways been a gift for free expression. A place for spreading news quickly and information-sharing, for highlighting the most profound violations of human rights, it transforms how we communicate. It’s also, of course, ripe territory for censorship, widespread offence and illegal activity.

While government representatives gathered at the World Conference on Information Technology (WCIT) to argue over the future of internet governance, this issue of Index on Censorship magazine, Digital Frontiers asks: who is winning the battle to control the internet?

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Do long-term scientific animal experiments provide objective and testable evidence of human risk?

December 27, 2012

Regulatory Forum Opinion Piece: Long-term animal bioassays: Is the end near?

From Toxicologic Pathology

This piece argues that the scientific testing of rats and mice – the officially prescribed animals – are not relevant to humans and cannot reliably forecast risks to humans, especially cancer risks. It outlines how official regulations based on irrelevant information are unethical, contrary to the law, and contrary to the expectations of free citizens in free societies. Ethical regulatory alternatives exist, either grounded on science or on transparent precautionary decisions when scientific evidence may not be available. This is the first in the scientific literature to document the technical and ethical fallacies on which regulators in the US and worldwide have presumed to assess long term human cancer risks from tests in rats and mice. The article is timely within the current scenario of financial restrictions, as it highlights alternatives that would save millions of animals and hundreds of $ millions in the US alone, while being compatible with transparent scientific or precautionary evidence.

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The unsuccessful antidepressant drug discovery process indicates a catastrophic systems failure

December 24, 2012

The failure of the antidepressant drug discovery process is systemic

From Journal of Psychopharmacology

Depression is widespread and accounts for approximately 12% of the total burden of non-fatal global disease. In the developed world around 25% of people can expect to experience this at some point in their lives. First line treatments for depression are mostly drugs based with antidepressants being the third most commonly prescribed medication in the United States. There are strong clinical and commercial pressures for new antidepressant drugs. However the prospects for this are reduced as several major pharmaceutical companies have abandoned research work whilst many others have decreased their research investment. It is argued these trends are indicative of a catastrophic systems failure. The aim of this paper is to explore the reasons why this hiatus has occurred and ways in which this knowledge can be used to help inform efforts to get the antidepressant drug discovery process moving forward once again.

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Visual narratives of London among East European migrants indicate disillusionment with the global city

December 18, 2012

‘Where is the global city?’ visual narratives of London among East European migrants

From Urban Studies

This paper considers visual narratives, referring to the simultaneous textual and pictorial narrating of migrant experiences of everyday life in London, narratives that construct a counter-discourse to a ‘global’ London. The study is based on research conducted with men arriving from Eastern Europe in London after the expansion of the EU in 2004. Looking at photographs the paper observes that participants’ emplacement in and observation of banal and ordinary places in the city and en route to their homeland, suggest an assemblage of a mobile migrant subject within everyday urban spaces. Participants express disillusionment with the global city. The iconic city remains largely irrelevant to their lives.

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Towards an emotional understanding of trust in a climate of public distrust in science and regulation

December 13, 2012

Risk, communication and trust: Towards an emotional understanding of trust

From Public Understanding of Science

Public distrust in science and regulation is widely discussed today. The issue of public trust is at the fore, and there is a growing body of literature that discusses its meaning and function. Voices are being raised that advocate the need for more deliberative, democratic, and communicative ways to earn trust.  Lack of public trust in regulation has also led to an explosion in risk management practices.  This study examines trust for public understandings of science and for risk communication. It argues that trust is a modality of action that is relational, emotional, asymmetrical, and anticipatory. Hence, trust does not develop through information and the uptake of knowledge but through emotional involvement and sense-making. The article summarises trust cannot be achieved by being a spectator, by passively being fed knowledge, or  standing alone outside of social life. Instead, trust is created when citizens are emotionally involved, take part, have a say, and in some sense are able to recognize themselves in the recipient of their trust. Trust is not only relational, but also emotional.

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The impact of alcohol in pedestrian trauma

December 12, 2012

From Trauma

Alcohol-related injuries represent a significant global health burden. While much has been done to raise public awareness and decrease drunk-driving rates in many parts of the world, alcohol use by both drivers and vulnerable roadway users continues to play a notorious role in traffic safety and impedes the success of injury prevention efforts. There is a high prevalence of alcohol use among pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles, especially in collisions involving pedestrian fatalities. This article considers the high prevalence of alcohol use among pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles, especially in collisions involving pedestrian fatalities. Alcohol use by pedestrians impairs judgment and coordination leading to risky street-crossing behaviors. Pedestrians who are drunk sustain more severe injuries, require more imaging, encounter more complications, and require longer hospital LOS. The prevention focus should evolve from strategies focusing primarily on motor vehicle occupants to ones that target the vulnerabilities and distractions of pedestrians and which emphasize a safe co-existence within their shared environment.

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Climate change and the emergence of new organizational landscapes

December 11, 2012

Special Issue

From Organization Studies

Climate change for many is a critical issue. There appears to be a general consensus among the countries that constitute the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that a 2° Celsius warming of the planet will have dangerous, perhaps even catastrophic, consequences. More than 20 years after climate change was recognized as a critical problem, efforts to address it show a record of failure. Despite high-level efforts by states under the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, there is still no legally binding agreement to effectively cut carbon dioxide emissions globally.

This special issue recognizes that climate change is not just an environmental problem requiring technical and managerial solutions; it is a political issue where a variety of organizations – state agencies, firms, industry associations, NGOs and multilateral organizations – engage in contestation as well as collaboration over the issue. Given the urgency of the problem and the need for a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy, there is a pressing need for organization scholars to develop a better understanding of apathy and inertia in the face of the current crisis and to identify paths toward transformative change. The seven papers in this special issue examine strategies, discourses, identities and practices in relation to climate change at multiple levels.

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Effect of type and severity of partner abuse on women’s health, quality of life and help seeking

December 6, 2012

Effect of type and severity of intimate partner violence on women’s health and service use: Findings from a primary care trial of women afraid of their partners

From Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV) has a major impact on women’s wellbeing. This article describes socio-demographic characteristics, experiences of abuse, health, safety, and use of services in women enrolled in the Women’s Evaluation of Abuse and Violence Care (WEAVE) project. The WEAVE project is the first family practice based trial testing the effect of screening plus intervention for IPV on women’s health and wellbeing. The study explores associations between type and severity of abuse and women’s health, quality of life, and help seeking.

The research finds women who were fearful of partners in the last year, have poor mental health and quality of life, attend health care services frequently, and domestic violence services infrequently. It outlines how health practitioners may need to tailor their care and messages to women’s experiences of type and severity of abuse. Exploration of the extent of abuse may allow practitioners to support women in choosing and accessing IPV-specific services appropriate to their safety needs and readiness to change.

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Female employees benefit from a male CEO’s generosity when he becomes a father, particularly if the first child is a girl

December 5, 2012

Fatherhood and managerial style: How a male ceo’s children affect the wages of his employees

From Administrative Science Quarterly

Motivated by research suggesting that the transition to fatherhood influences a man’s values, this study examined how a male CEO’s newborn child affects the wages of his employees. It used the Database for Labor Market Research (IDA) as the source of data. The IDA contains demographic information on all firms, plants, and individuals in the Danish economy. The research found evidence not only that a male CEO generally pays his employees less generously after fathering a child, but also that this effect is moderated by the gender of the child as well as that of the employee. In particular, a male CEO pays both his female and male employees more generously after the birth of his first daughter and he pays his female employees more generously after the birth of his first child. Thus a female employee benefits doubly from the birth to her CEO of a first daughter who is also the CEO’s first child. It was revealed tmale CEOs tend to pay themselves more after fathering a child, especially if the child is a son. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that a male CEO tends to husband more resources for his own growing family after fathering a child as well as with the hypotheses that the first child activates the CEO’s generosity toward women and that the first daughter activates his generosity toward everyone. The study provides robust, albeit indirect, evidence that social preferences do play an important role in economic life. Future research could focus on different outcome variables, such as investment and acquisition behavior, diversification, competitive strategy, organizational culture, other human resources activities (e.g., hiring, promotion, and termination), and managerial cognition, as well as how a manager might anticipate changes to a competitor’s strategy as a result of changes to the family structure of the competitor’s CEO.

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The desire to marry and attitudes toward same-sex family legalization in a sample of Italian lesbians and gay men

December 4, 2012

From Journal of Family Issues

In the past two decades, legal and policy questions about same-sex families were strongly debated in various nations. Much progress has been made in advancing the cause of civil rights for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people in some countries. In Italy, there is still no law establishing the legality of the union between two adult persons of the same sex, so lesbians and gay males cannot gain a relationship status which is available to heterosexual married couples. Furthermore, it is not possible for gays and lesbians who are single or cohabitating to adopt a child.

This is the first study to evaluate the desire to marry and attitudes toward same-sex family legalization in a sample of Italian lesbian and gay adults. Results reveal that gay men have a lower desire to marry than lesbian participants. The Sexuality dimension revealed a pessimistic evaluation of the quality and duration of intimate relationships and a negative impression of gay or lesbian sexual behaviors. The data suggested that Italian gay men have a more negative evaluation of same-sex couples, and this is consistent with a greater pressure placed on gay men in Italy to conform to a heteronormative gender role. It was clear however that a large proportion of Italian lesbians and gay men possess a desire for long-term romantic relationships and to marry their partners should same-sex marriage be an available legal option in Italy.

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