Aston Martin RapideE Validation Prototype Moves Under Own Power

first_imgAston Martin news The first electric Aston is to be available before the end of this year, but only 155 units will ever be made. Aston Martin’s First All-Electric Car To Arrive In 2019, But Limited To 155 Units Source: Electric Vehicle News It’s alive and it looks encouraging.Aston Martin‘s boss Andy Palmer shared a short video with a validation prototype of the all-electric RapideE.According to the description, it’s the first time when the car is running under its own power from a 800 V production battery, developed in partnership with Williams Engineering.“A moment of @astonmartin history. First Validation Prototype Aston Martin RapideE moves under its own power for the very first time with its breakthrough 800v battery. Great work from the development team which includes Williams Engineering.” Aston Martin Intends To Go All Hybrid/Electric By 2030 Andy Palmer Says Aston Martin RapidE Is For Buyers Looking For “Something Above Tesla” A moment of @astonmartin history. First Validation Prototype Aston Martin RapideE moves under its own power for the very first time with its breakthrough 800v battery. Great work from the development team which includes Williams Engineering. pic.twitter.com/b2mRaeCsNP— Andy Palmer (@AndyatAston) January 21, 2019 Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 22, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more



Norton Rose Fulbright Wins an Appeal in Longrunning Mineral Rights Case

first_img Password Username Norton Rose Fulbright’s recent win in a Texarkana appeals court involves a nearly decade-long dispute over ownership rights in the Haynesville Shale. The legal battle’s complexity is truly remarkable; one could even say it resembles an episode-specific character web from the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones.” The Lawbook has the details . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Remember mecenter_img Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Lost your password?last_img read more


Sen Hawkins Announces Listening TourSmoky skies from Oregon Montana and regional blazesChelan

first_imgSenator Brad Hawkins announced what he calls a “listening tour” where he will be visiting several communities in the 12th district October 5th through October 7th.“I thought this would be a creative way to go out and connect with people where they are, so I can listen to their thoughts and concerns,” Hawkins said.Hawkins will meet by appointment at public locations in Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties. On Oct. 5 he’ll start at Leavenworth City Hall, then stop at Wenatchee’s Confluence Technology Center and the Douglas County Public Services Building in East Wenatchee, make a visit to Pybus Public Market, and wrap up that evening at the Port of Quincy. The tour’s second day opens at the Lake Chelan School District board room, with visits to the Sweet River Bakery in Pateros and Alta Lake State Park on the way to late-afternoon appointments in Winthrop.Hawkins asks that people email him at brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov or phone his legislative office at 360-786-7622 to arrange appointments.Hawkins said there will be two meeting opportunities in the Wenatchee area where no appointments are needed. One is the Oct. 5 stop at Pybus Public Market; the second will be a community hike up Saddle Rock. Hawkins and others who want to join him for the hike will depart from the Saddle Rock Gateway starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7.last_img read more


Study shows how anxiety levels are linked to increased fracture risk in

first_imgMay 9 2018Anxiety has already been shown to take its toll on the human body in many ways, including increased risk for heart disease and gastrointestinal disorders. Now a new study demonstrates how anxiety levels are linked to an increased risk of bone fractures in postmenopausal women. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).Fracture risk is a major concern for women as they age, with one in three women worldwide estimated to suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture during her lifetime. With people living longer, the frequency of osteoporotic fractures is growing and therefore driving up healthcare costs. This has led to an increased focus on accurately assessing patients for fracture risk.Related StoriesDrinking Matcha tea may reduce anxious behavior, research showsStudy: Megakaryocytes play an important role in cell migration’Text neck’ may be causing bone spurs in young peoplePrevious studies have shown that participants with anxiety disorders were 1.79 times more likely to develop osteoporosis than were those without anxiety. In the article “Anxiety levels predict fracture risk in postmenopausal women assessed for osteoporosis,” study results demonstrate how anxiety levels in postmenopausal women are associated with bone mineral density, a key indicator of fracture risk, of the lumbar spine and femoral neck.Of the 192 postmenopausal women recruited to the study, those with the lowest levels of anxiety showed a lower probability of fracture than did the women with higher anxiety scores. In addition, anxiety levels were significantly related to age, menopause age, years since menopause, and depressive symptoms.”Osteoporosis, which affects mortality and quality of life, is on the rise,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. “In addition to previously known risk factors such as early menopause, cigarette smoking, and certain medications such as steroids, this study suggests that women with anxiety need to be screened for osteoporosis because of their higher risk of low bone density, which is associated with higher osteoporotic fracture risk.” Source:https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/press-release/anxiety-and-fracture-risk-5-9-18.pdflast_img read more


Study explores link between weight loss and presurgical psychiatric disorders in obese

first_imgJun 1 2018Psychiatric disorders, a common comorbidity of severe obesity, especially for youth, should not disqualify an adolescent with severe obesity from bariatric surgery. According to a study published in Pediatrics, identifying anxiety, depressive disorders, ADHD, and eating disorders, while still a crucial pre-surgical evaluation step, had no predictive value for how much post-surgical weight loss an adolescent would achieve.This is the first study to look at a large, diverse sample of adolescent patients with severe obesity to understand the relationship between weight loss outcomes and pre-surgical psychiatric disorders. Some conventional wisdom held that these types of disorders could influence a patient’s ability to adhere to the pre- and post-surgical guidelines and as a result might contraindicate surgical intervention.”This procedure actually seems to be equally beneficial across ages, race/ethnicity and presence or absence of psychiatric disorders for weight loss,” says Eleanor Mackey, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a psychologist with the Obesity Program’s IDEAL clinic at Children’s National Health System. “Unlike other interventions that may be influenced by cultural or socioeconomic factors, surgical intervention appears to offer all kids the same opportunity to succeed. Most important, there’s no scientific basis for denying an adolescent this procedure based simply on the presence of a psychiatric disorder. This does not mean adolescents should not be evaluated and treated for these disorders, which themselves have a significant impact on functioning and quality of life, but in terms of weight loss after surgery, the presence of psychiatric disorders is not predictive of outcomes.”Related StoriesResearch team receives federal grant to study obesity in children with spina bifidaNew technique reduces postoperative deficit of oxygen in the blood in patients with morbid obesityTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’The researchers compared adolescents with severe obesity (body mass index greater than 120 percent of the 95th percentile) who underwent the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy procedure at Children’s National (169). Even after controlling for demographic factors in study participants, the findings were clear–there was no difference in outcome between those with diagnosed psychiatric disorders and those without at 3 and 12 months post-surgery.Little prior research exists looking specifically at the characteristics of adolescents with obesity who respond favorably to surgery. Recent guidelines echo these findings, but often different programs or insurers have different criteria.Children’s National is one of only a few children’s hospitals with accreditation from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery to offer bariatric surgery for adolescents with severe obesity. The extraordinary diversity of the patient population in Washington, D.C., which includes high rates of young people with obesity from a wide variety of backgrounds, allows the team to collect comprehensive information about successful interventions across age and demographic groups.Future research will follow participants long term to continue building understanding of the relationship between post-surgical weight loss and these pre-existing psychiatric disorders.Source: https://childrensnational.org/last_img read more


Using peripheral nerve blocks to treat facial pain may produce longterm pain

first_imgAug 14 2018A new study has shown that use of peripheral nerve blocks in the treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia (TGN) may produce long-term pain relief.TGN is a condition involving sudden episodes of severe facial pain that significantly reduces quality of life in those affected. When medication fails to control the pain, some patients turn to invasive procedures that require a high level of expertise and can result in long-standing numbness. Peripheral Trigeminal Nerve Blocks (PTNB), a procedure in which a numbing medication is injected at the sites where the problem nerve reaches the face, is a promising alternative to the riskier, ganglion-level procedures, although its efficacy in both short-term and long-term management of TGN has not been well studied.Related StoriesDistractions and exercise may be key to managing chronic painScientists find ragweed compounds as potential neuroprotective agentsNerve stimulation therapy could help patients with the most common type of strokeIn a case series in this week’s American Journal of Emergency Medicine, Michael Perloff, MD, assistant professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, examines nine patients with TGN treated with PTNB. He finds that all nine had immediate relief of their pain after the procedure, with most reporting that they were pain-free. In addition, six of the nine patients noted continued pain relief from a range of one to eight months following the procedure, with two of them having complete resolution of their pain months after the injections.Perloff, also a neurologist at Boston Medical Center, sees these results as a promising step for treating patients with TGN. “PTNB can be a simple, safe alternative compared to opioids, invasive ganglion level procedures or surgery.”​Source: https://www.bmc.org/last_img read more


Medical or surgical treatment for severe heartburn prevents esophageal cancer

first_img Source:https://ki.se/en/news/treatment-for-severe-heartburn-prevents-cancer Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 23 2018Medical or surgical treatment of severe heartburn prevents cancer of the esophagus, a study from Karolinska Institutet with almost one million Nordic patients reveals. The results will be published in the scientific journal JAMA Oncology.Pathological heartburn and acid reflux affects 10-20 per cent of the adult population. Long and severe reflux is the strongest risk factor for cancer of the esophagus (type adenocarcinoma), an aggressive cancer that is difficult to treat.Reflux is usually treated with medicine to make the stomach contents less acidic, which usually eliminates or reduces symptoms. One alternative is to have an operation (anti-reflux surgery) which prevents the stomach contents from coming up into the esophagus. Previous studies have not conclusively demonstrated that these treatments prevent esophageal cancer, but the studies have not been sufficiently large or had enough follow-up time to ensure that conclusions can be drawn on any long-term cancer-preventive effects.940,000 patients with reflux included in the studyIn the present study, researchers used health data records from 1964 to 2014 from the five Nordic countries. Of the more than 940,000 patients with reflux in the study, about 895,000 received medical treatment and of those nearly 2,370 patients (0.3 per cent) developed cancer of the esophagus during the follow-up period. The risk of cancer of the esophagus decreased over time following treatment and was similar to that of the corresponding population after 15 years or more in those who received medication.Of the more than 48,400 patients who had anti-reflux surgery, 177 (0.4 per cent) developed cancer of the esophagus during the follow-up period. The risk of esophageal cancer clearly fell also in this group and was at the same level as in the corresponding population 15 years or more after the operation.Related StoriesUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryWhen the patients with reflux who had an operation were compared with those with reflux who received medication, the patients who had been operated on had a slightly higher risk of esophageal cancer during the entire follow-up period, but the risk did not increase over time. This is probably caused by the fact that the operated patients had more serious reflux from the beginning.”The results show that effective medical or surgical treatment of reflux prevents cancer of the esophagus. But because the individual’s risk of developing esophageal cancer is low, even in those with reflux disease, the results do not justify treating reflux solely as a cancer-preventive measure. The symptoms and complications of reflux disease should continue to govern treatment,” says John Maret-Ouda, physician and scientist at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery at Karolinska Institutet and the first author of the study.However, he points out that for the small percentage of people with severe reflux in combination with other risk factors for esophageal cancer, such as obesity, male gender and mature age, effective and continuous medical treatment or an operation to treat reflux is recommended.Statistically significant results”Previous research results have shown poor cancer-preventive effects from anti-reflux surgery. The difference now is that for the first time we can show statistically significant results because we have a sufficiently large study with a long follow-up period of over 15 years following the operation,” says Jesper Lagergren, consultant surgeon and professor at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, who led the study.last_img read more


A new shot at reducing research red tape

first_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country No matter how much scientists complain about it, federal oversight of academic research isn’t going away. But could it be done better?The chair of a new National Academies panel examining how the government keeps tabs on its $40-billion-a-year investment wants that oversight “to be sensible enough so that investigators have more time to do research.” That’s a reference to an often-cited 2005 survey in which faculty say that “administrative tasks”—such as complying with agency reporting requirements—take up 42% of the time they devote to federally supported research projects.Speaking yesterday during a break at the panel’s first meeting in Washington, D.C., Larry Faulkner, president emeritus of the University of Texas (UT), Austin, told ScienceInsider that “it would be a mistake to think that the only purpose of this study is to lighten the regulatory burden on universities. Regulation is required, it’s justified, and it’s needed. What we’re trying to do is guide both government and higher education to find more efficient ways to address those needs.” Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The new study is the latest attempt by the academic research community to seek relief from what it sees as the steady accretion of unreasonable and costly government-wide regulations and policy directives from individual agencies. Faulkner says he witnessed that growth firsthand as UT president from 1998 to 2006.“The job of vice president for research was transformed before my eyes,” he recalls. “It used to be about fostering large, complex, multidisciplinary research projects and removing any stumbling blocks. By the time I left, the job was consumed by coping with regulatory requirements—human subjects, animal research, environmental and safety practices, conflicts of interest, and so on. The scale of it really took off.”The opening session was replete with stories about policies that university administrators and scientists described as misguided—or worse. One outside speaker, Arthur Bienenstock, a physics professor emeritus and special assistant to the president of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, for federal research policy, cited a proposal to change how universities are reimbursed for the cost of supporting federally funded research that would have resulted in scientists spending less time in the lab. “It took us 3 years to kill that idea,” said Bienenstock, who led a 2014 study by the National Science Board on how to improve government oversight of academic research.Two panelists chimed in with their own cautionary tales. Microbiologist Arturo Casadevall of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, took a swipe at the federal rules for conducting animal research. He’s written a tongue-in-cheek essay proposing that anyone shopping for a mouse trap at Home Depot should be required to abide by the same 200-page regulatory protocol he must follow in caring for his research animals. “If government oversight is so useful, then it should apply to everyone,” he explained about his idea, which he says colleagues have urged him to shelve.Lee Ellis of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston pointed out that “I have to get recertified every 10 years as a surgeon, but I have to take a compliance course annually” to meet federal requirements relating to human subjects, biosafety, and other topics. “Which is more important to society?” he asked rhetorically.But other speakers warned the panel about the hidden dangers that could result from requesting changes to any existing federal rule or policy. For example, the current rules on disclosure of potential conflicts of interest by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grantees were triggered by the high-profile case of scientist—psychiatrist Charles Nemeroff of Emory University in Atlanta, who failed to tell his university about a conflict, noted Tobin Smith of the Association of American Universities, in Washington, D.C., who did not mention Nemeroff by name. The new policies make the universities responsible for handling every potential conflict that is disclosed, he said—a significant workload given that NIH funds about half of all federal academic research. “But I’m afraid that what will come back to bite us is the conflict-of-interest that we don’t know about.”Another long-standing complaint is that the federal government doesn’t provide sufficient funding for universities to comply with the new rules. Such “unfunded mandates” may cost universities as much as $4000 per student each year, Bienenstock told the panel, money that is often recouped by raising tuition. But Smith had warned the panel earlier that highlighting the cost of regulations by linking them to tuition may be an unwise political strategy.“If you say that you could save this much on tuition,” Smith said, “then the next time the government eliminates a regulation, some state legislator may ask you, ‘So how much are you going to lower tuition?’ There is certainly a connection, but you need to be careful.”Panelist David Korn, a professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said the same caution should apply to lifting the current federal ceiling on recoverable administrative expenses, which universities say is grossly inadequate. “We need to be very careful about going to Congress with a suggestion to review indirect costs,” he said. Many scientists don’t understand how the mechanism works, he said, and most members of Congress see it as some sort of profit stream, or other such nonsense.” Another panelist pointed out the contradictory nature of asking for full cost recovery from the federal government “while we’re willing to accept much lower reimbursement rates” from foundations.The roots of the new study lie in a 2007 law reauthorizing federal programs for higher education. It ordered up a review of all regulations that apply to universities. The Department of Education was told to fund the study, but the money wasn’t appropriated until 2014. Last summer the House of Representatives passed a bill asking the White House science office to study ways to streamline federal regulations and reporting requirements, although the Senate never took action. A coalition of federal agencies and universities have been chipping away at the issue for several years, and a 2012 National Academies report on the health of research universities also recommended changes in federal oversight.The new panel has been asked to develop a “framework and supporting principles” for how the government monitors university research. “I don’t think any of us know exactly what that means,” Faulkner admits. But the goal, he says, is to create “the intellectual structure against which regulations, old and new, would be tested.”Bienenstock agreed that a better rationale for federal oversight would be very useful. But he feels that correcting the problem may require a more fundamental overhaul of the current system, in which the government agrees to finance campus research in exchange for having universities train the nation’s future scientists and engineers. He said that partnership, created after World War II, is no longer working properly, especially with respect to biomedical research—the “800-pound gorilla” in the room.“The public wants more biomedical research done at universities than is consistent with the functions of those universities and academic medical centers,” Bienenstock told the panel. “If the public wants more research, we need a new funding model.”Correction, 10:14am, 2/18/2015: An earlier version of the story reported incorrectly that Lee Ellis was speaking about compliance with federal rules relating to the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.last_img read more


Heres who could win the 20 million XPrize for roving on the

first_imgOne Lunar XPrize team wants to study the effect of space weather on the Apollo 17 rover. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Update: The story below will apear in the 23 December issue of Science, but after the magazine went to press, the Japan-based team Hakuto announced that it had also booked a ride to the moon—along with a rival, Team Indus. The lander of the India-based team can carry 20 kilograms and so, in addition to its own rover, Team Indus will also carry Hakuto’s 4-kilogram rover. It remains to be seen which rover will get out of the lander first and set off on the 500-meter trek required to win the prize.A few years back, Oded Aharonson, a planetary scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, met three space-mad engineers who were building a cut-price mission to the moon. Backed by a mix of companies, foundations, and universities, the trio was competing for the $20 million jackpot of the Google Lunar XPrize, which challenged privately funded teams to be the first to land on the moon, travel 500 meters, and send back pictures and video. Other than that, the engineers’ ambitions didn’t extend beyond a triumphant party in the central square of Tel Aviv, Israel.But to Aharonson, this was too good an opportunity to miss. “You have to do something more. There must be some intellectual legacy to this mission,” he told them. After several such conversations, he says, “they bought it.” The party plans are still on. But SpaceIL now has a mission scientist—Aharonson—and its lander will carry a lightweight sensor to map the moon’s magnetic field. Science was never the primary driver for the Lunar XPrize, which reaches a major milestone at the end of this month. Only those teams with a contract to launch their spacecraft before the end of 2017 will be allowed to stay in the competition. Of the 16 industry teams still in the running, the XPrize authorities have confirmed launches for just four, including SpaceIL. A fifth team, Part-Time Scientists, a Germany-based team founded by researchers who initially entered the prize alongside their day jobs, is still awaiting confirmation of its launch booking. G. Grullón/Science Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Here’s who could win the $20 million XPrize for roving on the moon—but will any science get done? Moonward bound? Five teams say they have booked launches to compete for the $20 million Google Lunar XPrize, but they have different approaches to roving on the moon and doing science. NASA By Daniel CleryDec. 22, 2016 , 9:00 AM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Engineering will determine the ultimate winner of the prize, which is modeled on the Ansari XPrize, awarded in 2004 to give a leg up to cheap human spaceflight. The race to get to the moon, move around, and report back home is meant to foster cheap lunar access so that industry and government agencies can prospect for minerals or build resorts for space tourists. Along the way, though, science will benefit, says Andrew Barton, the prize’s director of technical operations in Culver City, California. Movement over the surface and communication with Earth are basic technologies for many future science missions. Also, he notes, the competition offers two bonus prizes that are at least partly scientific. The water discovery bonus ($4 million) requires teams to unambiguously detect water on the surface and publish a peer-reviewed paper to prove it. “Water has been observed from orbit but no one has yet made a physical measurement on the surface,” Barton says. For the Apollo Heritage Bonus Prize ($4 million), teams must broadcast video and pictures from one of the Apollo landing sites, and Barton says data on how exposure on the moon has weathered the Apollo artifacts could have scientific value.None of the potential finalists has declared an intention to look for water. That may be because they’re most likely to find it in permanently shady craters at the poles, a difficult place for solar-powered rovers to reach. Nor is it easy to get a look at Apollo relics. Landing on the moon is imprecise, so the nearest Apollo site could lie far beyond the range of the teams’ modest rovers. Closer landings risk damage to sites of historical importance, from the blast of a retrorocket or a collision.Part-Time Scientists, however, is planning to try. The team believes its rovers—developed with the help of the Audi car company—have the necessary range. Karsten Becker, the team’s chief technology officer for electronics, says they want to get up close to Apollo 17’s lunar rover, which is made of materials including aluminum, fiberglass, nylon, and duct tape. “What’s happened to that after 45 years in the space environment? Is it like new or in shreds from micrometeoroids?” he asks. Team Indus from India may go for a smaller, $1 million bonus by visiting the site of an unmanned landing—China’s Chang’e 3 lander and Yutu rover, which operated from 2013 to 2014.Although the bonus prizes haven’t generated a stampede to do science, most of the finalists have taken on one or several experiments. SpaceIL’s magnetometer aims to help answer the question of where the moon’s magnetic field comes from. Is it the relic of an ancient field, created by a churning iron core like Earth’s, that was locked into its surface rocks when the core solidified? Or does it come from iron-rich asteroids that generate magnetic fields from the energy of their impact? As the Israeli craft orbits the moon and moves across the surface, the magnetometer will look for correlations between magnetic field changes and impact sites. “This mission may not settle the question once and for all, but we’ll make progress,” Aharonson says.Another finalist, Team Indus, is holding an open competition for young people aged 25 and under to devise experiments that could point a way to sustainable settlements on the moon. The team was overwhelmed by 3000 entries from all over the world, including plant and microbial growth experiments, proposals to build lunar structures and radiation shields, and even an attempt to brew beer on the moon. The team recently narrowed the field to a short list of 25, and those groups are now building prototypes that must be the size of a soda can and weigh less than 250 grams. In March 2017, up to eight experiments will be chosen to fly.Moon Express is carrying a couple payloads: laser retroreflectors from a U.S.-Italian university group to precisely measure the Earth-moon distance for gravitational studies, and a 7-centimeter optical telescope for the International Lunar Observatory Association, a nonprofit aiming to show the power of observing in airless, ever-clear skies. The telescope will have open access for “citizen scientists.”Synergy Moon, an international team with offices in San Francisco, California, aims to blend the arts and sciences—perhaps with a holographic projector that will display artworks on the moon. The team claims it will study weathering of the lunar surface and the nature of the thin atmosphere above it using tiny autonomous robots they call lunar spiders and butterflies. These may be more artwork than instrument, according to a team blog post: “They will also be programmed for swarm behavior, to create random geometric and color patterns.”In general, it’s best not to expect major payoffs for science, says Mike Ravine, a project manager at Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, California, which builds instruments for NASA Mars missions. In 2000, Ravine attempted to get a private moonshot off the ground with BlastOff! Corporation. The effort failed, but it taught him the challenge of trying to do science on a cut-rate mission. If the XPrize teams succeed, he says, “it would be great to wring some scientific value out of it. But it’s a pretty high bar.”last_img read more


More groups sue to force USDA to restore online animal welfare records

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Country More groups sue to force USDA to restore online animal welfare records By Meredith WadmanFeb. 22, 2017 , 4:30 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emailcenter_img PETA An adult monkey in a shipping crate at Primate Products Inc. in Immokalee, Florida, in 2015 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today restored some of the tens of thousands of animal welfare documents that it removed from its website early this month. In this announcement, the agency says that it is “posting the first batch of annual reports of research institutions and inspection reports” resulting from a “comprehensive review” that began with the complete removal of previously public documents that are generated by the agency as it enforces the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the Horse Protection Act. The new announcement points readers to the reposted information on the USDA website, here.Those familiar with the records say USDA has so far restored only a small number of the previously posted documents. Among the data still unavailable are the vast majority of  reports from regular inspections of animal-holding facilities that are monitored under AWA, including puppy mills and zoos. A number of groups have sued USDA to force it to repost all of the records. “Under duress, the USDA is now attempting to get away with reposting only a tiny fraction of the animal welfare records it suddenly and indefensibly deleted … and that does not satisfy PETA [People for the Ethical Treatmeant of Animals] or the other plaintiffs in the pending lawsuit against it,” said Brittany Peet, director of captive animal law enforcement at the PETA Foundation in Washington, D.C. PETA has sued the agency to force it to restore the records, and says it won’t drop the suit until USDA complies.Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington, D.C., stated: “This is an important turnaround and a good start, but the USDA has a lot more to do here. Lawmakers, the press, animal advocates, and even the regulated community want transparency and accessible records.” HSUS also noted that the agency has failed to repost documents that it agreed to make public under the terms of a 2009 legal settlement with the animal welfare group.Another reaction came from Speaking of Research, a group that supports the use of animals in research and has offices in the United States and the United Kingdom.”Speaking of Research welcomes the decision by the USDA to repost many annual reports and inspection reports to its website,” it said in a statement. “Such information helps foster and encourage a global trend towards openness in animal research. Nonetheless, there is more to do; all institutions which conduct or fund animal experiments should have a clear statement online, explaining how and why they do this, in order that the public can understand the important role of animals in research.”The first batch of records being reposted, USDA wrote, come from U.S. research labs regulated under AWA. The department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service oversees more than 7800 animal holding facilities from zoos to circuses and aquariums, including roughly 1100 labs, some of them run by the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Tanya Espinosa, a spokesperson for USDA in Riverdale, Maryland, added in an email: “This first batch of [documents] … was reviewed for personal information and reposted. We will continue posting documents over the next few weeks.” Complaints from CongressMembers of Congress from both parties and both sides of Capitol Hill are not satisfied.Representative Vern Buchanan (R–FL), one of two co-chairs of the congressional Animal Protection Caucus, called the USDA response “insufficient,” adding: “This website protects animals and the database should be fully restored.”“Many questions still remain,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow (D–MI), the senior Democrat on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, which oversees USDA. Stabenow said she wants “clarity” about why the documents were removed to begin with.The USDA announcement also noted that reports of some enforcement actions—when USDA moves against violators of the law—are available for public viewing at the website of the agency’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.The move comes after a public outcry that included, in the last few days: a lawsuit by animal welfare groups; a letter of protest sent to the agency from 18 Senate Democrats; and this letter to President Donald Trump, sent by a bipartisan group of 101 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, demanding that the information be immediately reposted on the public website. The organizations that opposed the document blackout included groups that support medical research with animals, pet store chains, zoos and aquariums, and animal welfare groups. All argued that the lack of transparency would damage public trust and enforcement of animal welfare laws.More groups sueOn 22 February, another coalition of animal welfare groups sued USDA to force reposting of the documents. Like organizations that sued the agency last week , the groups—the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), the Companion Animal Protection Society, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, and Animal Folks—invoke the Freedom of Information Act in arguing that USDA is legally obliged to restore the records. But in their lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Northern District of California, the groups add a new legal twist. They argue that USDA also violated the Administrative Procedures Act. That law prohibits government agencies from taking actions that are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law[.]” And the four groups say that USDA’s action in removing the records fits this description.“The information blackout is a tremendous blow to transparency and undermines advocates who are working to protect hundreds of thousands of animals across the country,” Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF, said in a statement.ALDF is based in San Francisco, California; the Companion Animal Protection Society and Stop Animal Exploitation NOW describe themselves as national nonprofits; and Animal Folks is based in St. Paul.Update: legislation introducedSix Senate Democrats led by Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a bill on 2 March that would return to public view thousands of animal welfare documents generated during enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act.  USDA removed the documents from its website on 3 February.  It began restoring them piecemeal on 17 February, but that has not satisfied critics, including some in Congress.“This legislation will ensure the restoration of all the data USDA recently wiped from its website,” Menendez said in a statement.In the House of Representatives, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and at least 30 cosponsors are planning to introduce an identical version of the Senate bill early next week.  Called the Animal Welfare Accountability and Transparency Act, it would also take away a valuable tax benefit for five years from companies that violate the Animal Welfare Act or the Horse Protection Act.*Update, 3 March, 4 pm: Information on the introduction of a bill in Congress was added. It would force USDA to return all documents removed from its website to public view.*Update, 22 February, 4:25 p.m.: Information on the lawsuit brought by ALDF and other groups was added to the story.*Update, 17 February, 4:25 p.m.: Comments from Senator Debbie Stabenow and Representative Vern Buchanan were added, as was an example of the kind of data still missing from the USDA website.*Update, 17 February, 2:30 p.m.: Comment from the PETA Foundation was added.last_img read more


Lots of scientists marched yesterday Five explain why they didnt

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Tracey Mueller-Gibbs, conservation biologist and advocate based in San Diego, California, had been on the fence, but in the end she didn’t march. The event would have benefited from “look[ing] beyond the partisan ideals,” she says, and instead asking “what did we do as members of this society to allow the problems that exist to get here?” And she urged marchers to take on the “everyday practice of looking at what we are doing as scientists, as well as individuals outside the scientific community, to question what are we doing—let’s be aware, let’s speak up, let’s see the smaller problems rather than allowing them to become grand problems.” Tracey Mueller-Gibbs Nick McMurray Anahita Hamidi, neuroscience Ph.D. candidate at University of California, Davis, was inclined to support the march. But as a minority—queer, Iranian-American, a female researcher—she wasn’t happy about how its U.S. organizers handled diversity issues. “I’m not sitting on the outside policing every statement … but a lot of the people in the leadership positions who were part of the organizing and part of the diversity committees stepped down. And I think that was a big red flag for me.” If the march had been the only opportunity to stand up for science, she says, she’d have been there, but “I don’t see that this is the end-all, be-all. I don’t think that this is my only opportunity to be an activist for science.” By Dorie ChevlenApr. 23, 2017 , 11:30 AM Anahita Hamidi Virginia Schutte, science communicator in Houma, Louisiana, didn’t think a march is the best way to encourage support for science. “It seems like the way the event has been set up and branded, it’s not going to reach outside of the people who are already aligned with the cause. It won’t be able to change any minds.” She’s thought long about that challenge (and even penned a 5-step strategy online) and thinks ultimately the way to communicate the march’s cause will be through one-on-one conversations: “Many people shy away from topics that they know are hot-button … but letting people see that people they already like have different views from them, that is what will bring about real change in the long run.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Saturday’s march coverage focused, naturally enough, on those who turned out in the streets. But Science’s Dorie Chevlen spent some time talking with those who didn’t march, for one reason or another.Turns out not marching can be a sensitive topic: When Dorie posted a note looking for nonmarchers on a march-related website, several commenters called for her post to be removed, accused her of being a troll, and even suggested she was a Russian operative trying to wreak havoc. Even simple questioning about the march, it appears, can to some people feel like an assault on science itself.Here’s what some nonmarchers told Dorie: Hank Ratrie’s creaky knees kept him from the Washington, D.C., march, but he was planning to take his students caving. Nick McMurray, entomology undergraduate at University of California, Davis, and small business owner in Nevada City, California, was concerned about the possible fallout from the march. “It’s good to see people getting involved and passionate,” he says, but “I’m afraid that it’s going to be perceived as just another liberal-democrat progressive’s complaining-fest. … And I don’t think that any of the people who we need to be reaching about science are going to listen.” Rather than organize a march, McMurray believes that “we need to better articulate [the importance of sound science policy and funding] to people—because some people don’t have a good education, some people may need more time, but we’re all intelligent people on some level.”center_img Anahita Hamidi Hank Ratrie Virginia Schutte Jenn Danzig Lots of scientists marched yesterday. Five explain why they didn’t Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Virginia Schutte Nick McMurray Hank Ratrie, a biology professor at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, agreed with the march’s aims, but trekking to D.C. to walk around the Mall for several hours wasn’t easy at his age. “I’m getting old,” the 71-year-old Ratrie explains, “and I’m not a big fan of crowds, either.” So he was planning “to make my science gesture by taking my students caving instead” – giving them some first-hand exposure to field observation.last_img read more


House science panel joins Trump in questioning research overhead payments

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Federal payments for overhead on research grants help keep the lights on in laboratories—and the burners burning. Bill Dickinson/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Vedder said that wealthy universities profit from the present system, which gives them an incentive to seek ever-more federal funding. The government would save money by declaring a flat reimbursement rate, he asserted, although he didn’t suggest a figure and didn’t address the president’s 2018 proposal for NIH. (It calls for reducing overhead payments from roughly 28% of the agency’s grant spending to 10%; that cut would reduce NIH’s overhead payments to universities from about $6.5 billion to $1.9 billion.) In fact, Vedder said he prefers altering the peer-review system to benefit grant applicants whose institutions are willing to accept lower rates of indirect cost recovery.Luther’s job was to defend a system that nobody likes but that he and his academic colleagues believe is essential to ensuring that basic research continues to be an engine of U.S. innovation. He offered a homey analogy: “If direct costs are the gas for the research engine,” he said in his written testimony, “then reimbursements [overhead] represent the oil. The research engine requires both.”Some members seemed to welcome the chance to hear those well-worn arguments before making up their minds. “I’m being educated on this issue by university officials in my district,” confessed Representative Roger Marshall (R–KS), a rookie legislator. Marshall may be politically inclined to view overhead as an unnecessary government expense, but his district includes Kansas State University and a national biodefense laboratory under construction.For Comstock, who leads the committee’s research panel, the hearing was an opportunity to put her mark on an issue that had suddenly taken on a higher profile with Trump’s budget proposal. But it was an imperfect fit.For starters, the committee has no jurisdiction over NIH. So members were left to explore the practices of the National Science Foundation (NSF), another major funder of academic research that is part of the committee’s portfolio. In addition, NSF doesn’t set overhead rates for the nation’s colleges and universities. Rather, it applies the rates negotiated between universities and one of two other government agencies.Finally, the committee was so eager to jump on the overhead bandwagon that it took the unusual step of asking the General Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan congressional watchdog agency, to present preliminary results from a study of NSF overhead payments that won’t be completed until the fall (see graph, below/above). GAO studies, which usually find fault with an agency’s accounting practices, aren’t usually released until they are complete. But this time, when Republicans jumped on a preliminary finding that universities received a bigger chunk of indirect costs to go with awards NSF made last year than did companies or other federal agencies, GAO’s John Neumann pleaded with lawmakers to withhold judgment. Neumann said he had yet to examine what factors could be causing the discrepancy, including the nature of the research being conducted and whether the sectors follow different accounting procedures. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe House science panel joins Trump in questioning research overhead payments By Jeffrey MervisMay. 26, 2017 , 3:00 PM A hearing on how the U.S. government defrays the cost of doing federally funded research on college campuses might put most people to sleep. But when budgets are tight, the billions of dollars being spent each year on so-called overhead become an irresistible target for lawmakers.This past Wednesday, the science committee of the U.S. House of Representatives weighed in on the subject, one that is at the core of the U.S. research enterprise but also exceedingly complicated. The hearing gave Republicans an opportunity to voice support for lowering overhead payments, which cover things like electricity, lab maintenance, regulatory compliance, and administration. Lowering those costs is a key to a proposal by the Trump administration that would affect those getting grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Democrats acknowledged that the current system could be improved but warned that some approaches on the table could have unintended negative consequences.Chaired by Representative Barbara Comstock (R–VA), the 100-minute hearing was refreshingly free of the extreme partisanship that has hobbled much of the committee’s efforts in recent years. The panel of witnesses included both a longtime advocate for blowing up the current system, Ohio University in Athens economist Richard Vedder, as well as James Luther, a senior financial officer at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and board chair of a Washington, D.C.–based organization representing the interests of the mainstream academic community. What is overhead?Indirect cost recovery rates are not for the faint of heart. So here’s a primer. [For the record, the NSF witness, William (Dale) Bell, asserted gleefully more than once that indirect costs are indeed “sexy.”]Every federal grant comes with an additional component for the “indirect” cost of doing research. That word is a catchall for a cornucopia of expenses that can be grouped under either administrative costs or facilities. The first category is what universities need to spend to comply with myriad federal rules governing research activities, from disposing of hazardous waste to ensuring that research subjects—both animal and human—are treated properly. The second covers all the physical costs—bricks and mortar, equipment and instruments, utilities, and grounds—of doing research.Universities could calculate those costs for each grant. But it would be a nightmare. So instead, every 3 to 6 years, each university and the government negotiate an overall rate to cover every research project, subject to extensive rules on what costs can and cannot be counted. In general, university overhead rates average about 50% (though they vary widely), meaning the government would give the university $50,000 to cover the overhead on a $100,000 grant. (Calculating it another way, one-third of the grant goes to overhead.) Many university officials have long complained that the government formula shortchanges their institution, leaving them to pick up a significant chunk of those expenses.Why you should careThe idea that the government should reimburse universities for the cost of supporting federally funded research arose shortly after World War II, fueled by science’s contribution to the war effort. Indirect costs also feed into the broader principle of cost-sharing, that is, that requiring institutions to have some “skin in the game” will make federal dollars go further.But policymakers realized that wealthy institutions with large endowments might have a competitive advantage because of their ability to “buy” more research. Indirect cost recovery was seen as a way to level the playing field by refilling the coffers of poorer institutions.With the hearing coming 1 day after President Trump proposed cutting NSF’s budget by 11%, it’s no surprise that every member paid homage to the importance of containing costs. However, Republicans gravitated toward the assumption that the current system needs to be flensed, if not stripped bare. “Are taxpayers paying for these costs in an efficient and transparent manner, or are we unnecessarily subsidizing excess?” wondered Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), chairman of the full committee.In contrast, Democrats tended to worry that putting too much emphasis on saving money could hurt the research enterprise by eroding quality. “Let’s make sure we are not initiating a race to the bottom,” warned Representative Don Beyer (D–VA), vice-chair for the minority, “with prizes to the lowest bidder doing the least valuable research.”Without pending legislation and with the GAO analysis unfinished, Comstock is under no pressure to reconcile these competing interests. Last year’s reauthorization of NSF programs created an interagency working group within the White House budget office to examine ways to ease administrative burden on universities. But it has yet to be constituted, and indirect costs will be only one item on its agenda. So this perennial issue is likely to remain in the news, awaiting resolution.last_img read more


Would you advise Trump on science Survey examines attitudes of US researchers

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) It’s very important that the community step up their interaction with the authorization and appropriation committees of both the House [of Representatives] and Senate, not just focus on the executive branch. Would you advise Trump on science? Survey examines attitudes of U.S. researchers By Jeffrey MervisDec. 13, 2017 , 2:15 PM Thomas Coughlin, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) Cherry Murray, Harvard University Gigi Gronvall, Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security Email I could not work for this administration, but I understand why people do. We should stick to our guns … and provide thought-filled and informative information to the Trump administration and any government body that asks,center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe “I’m not at all sure how one communicates with this administration,” confesses Jacqueline Hewitt, director of the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Hewitt, who says she’s “a Democrat willing to listen to Republicans,” is struggling to figure out a way to do that. “Get [Office of Science and Technology Policy] positions filled? Invite administration officials to [NASEM] events?”To be sure, many survey respondents expressed more serious reservations about pursuing any type of engagement. “I had no difficulties with prior Republican administrations because I believed that despite our policy differences, I had faith in their fundamental integrity and commitment to scientific inquiry,” says Shirley Tilghman, a molecular biologist and president emeritus of Princeton University. “I do not have the same confidence in the Trump administration,” says Tilghman, a Democrat.Arden Bement, a Republican who was director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation under former President George W. Bush, is one of several respondents who said now is not the time to pull away. “It’s critical that scientists work with [the White House] in setting priorities for the president’s science budget and providing advice,” he says.But Bement also understands why many scientists might hesitate. “Unfortunately, providing science advice to a president who resists advice, would not understand it, or would distort it for personal and political reasons would be futile and frustrating,” says Bement, now a professor emeritus of nuclear engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.Some scientists say they are offended by the behavior of Trump and his top aides. “There was a time when people were embarrassed to lie on national television,” says one academic who requested anonymity and self-identified as an independent.. “It erodes American competitiveness to have an administration that propagates misinformation and whose policies are not fact-based.”But other respondents warned that such hostile feelings could blind scientists to important political realities. “If we accuse the current administration of being antiscience, and extend that to Republicans in general, we may undermine natural champions of science who happen to be Republican,” says Thomas Mason, who stepped down early this year as director of Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and joined Battelle, a nonprofit based in Columbus that manages ORNL for the Department of Energy (DOE). “It also plays into the hands of those who say ‘scientists cannot be trusted’ on a topic like climate change because they are really just expressing their political views,” says Mason, a condensed matter physicist who labels himself an independent. Who we askedThe survey, conducted last month, was sent to an unscientific sample of scientists and engineers who, over several decades, have played a role in shaping U.S. research policy. About two-thirds hold academic positions, with the rest hailing from industry, government laboratories, or nonprofit research institutions. Half call themselves Democrats, with about 10% identifying as Republicans and 40% choosing the label independent. Nearly one-quarter are women, and slightly less than 10% are from groups traditionally underrepresented in science.Roughly two-thirds—45 of 66—of those contacted completed the four-question survey. It asked whether they would consider serving on a high-level advisory panel or working directly for Trump, as well as their political affiliation and how they think the community should interact with the Trump administration. A few who declined said they do not answer any surveys, and one specifically mentioned working at a federal lab as a reason not to participate.Only nine rejected the idea of serving on a high-level advisory committee, compared with 27 who said yes and four who said maybe. An additional five said they are already serving in such roles. Respondents were evenly divided about joining the administration: Whereas 22 said no, 14 said yes and nine said maybe. Varying views on engagementAlthough none praised the president’s policies or his vision for the country, several scientists said they have been encouraged by some of the president’s science-related appointments. “There’s hope,” says Paul Offit, an infectious diseases and vaccines researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, citing the reappointment of Francis Collins as director of the National Institutes of Health and Trump’s selections of Scott Gottlieb to lead the Food and Drug Administration and Jerome Adams to be U.S. surgeon general. “The best way to work with this administration is through these appointees,” says Offit, who is a Democrat.Engaging in such dialogue doesn’t require scientists to sacrifice their principles, says Thomas Coughlin, president-elect of the Washington, D.C.–based public policy arm of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. “We should stick to our guns … and provide thought-filled and informative information to the Trump administration and any government body that asks,” says Coughlin, a digital storage analyst who labels himself an independent. That interaction, he says, applies not just to the scientific method, but also politically charged topics such as evolution, “where there is a preponderance of data and science to support them.”Bradley Peterson, who chairs the science committee for the advisory council to the NASA administrator, is even more direct about the role that scientists need to play in dealing with the Trump administration. “Call them out on every factually incorrect statement, and resist attempts to disregard or downplay the role of science in society,” says Peterson, a professor emeritus of astronomy at The Ohio State University in Columbus who labels himself a Democrat/independent.In contrast, several respondents feel that individual scientists stand little chance of shaping the president’s core values or the views of senior members of his administration and, thus, believe their efforts would be for naught. “Honestly, [scientists] shouldn’t engage” with this administration, says one industry scientist, an independent who requested anonymity. “The environment is too politically charged, and it’s a no-win situation.” Instead, he says, “the U.S. science community should spend its time educating the public on [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] issues.” Donald Trump speaking at a campaign rally in Arizona in 2016, prior to being elected president. Step up, or step away?Science is not aware of comparable data on the community’s attitude toward service in previous administrations. But this survey suggests that a long track record of offering scientific advice to the government, regardless of party affiliation, is now threatened by the absence of any ties to the Trump White House, which has been slow to fill numerous key science positions. The policies of President Donald Trump have soured U.S. scientists on working with the federal government and his administration. At least that’s the conventional wisdom.However, an informal survey by Science of 66 prominent scientists and engineers suggests a more nuanced reaction to Trump’s first year in office. Half say they would seriously weigh an offer to serve in the administration as an appointed or Senate-confirmed official, and 80% say they would consider serving on a high-level panel advising the president or a federal agency. Almost 10% are current members of such panels.“You need to be at the table, otherwise you are on the table,” says Charles Rice, a soil scientist at Kansas State University in Manhattan who labels himself a moderate Republican. “Just ignoring [the administration] would not help the scientific community,” says Rice, who is chair of the agriculture board at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), an independent body that conducts government-funded studies. The right audienceCherry Murray, a Democrat who led DOE’s Office of Science during the Obama administration, was one of several scientists who noted that the executive branch isn’t the only game in town. “It’s very important that the community step up their interaction with the authorization and appropriation committees of both the House [of Representatives] and Senate, not just focus on the executive branch,” says Murray, an applied physicist at Harvard University who has agreed to serve on a panel advising the National Nuclear Security Administration within DOE.Self-interest can be a powerful motivation in any interaction with politicians, says David Galas, a molecular biologist at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle, Washington. “Convincing the apparently antiscientific that they are wrong by intellectual argument has vanishing likelihood of success,” says Galas, a former DOE official who calls himself a Democrat. “But finding ways to convince them that it is in their own self-interest” to work with scientists to improve the nation’s economy, security, and public health, he adds, “can provide a wedge that can open minds.”Scientists who choose to engage need to keep their expectations low, says Gigi Gronvall, an immunologist at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health Security in Baltimore, Maryland, who advised the Obama administration on health security issues. “I think they should try to get the wins they can. There will be plenty of times that they won’t” succeed, Gronvall, a Democrat, says. “I could not work for this administration, but I understand why people do,” she adds.One scientist said she’s willing to advise the Trump administration but that its policies have blocked her participation. “I understand from news reports that I will be, or have been, removed from” an advisory committee to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), says Catherine Kling, because EPA is funding her research on valuing improvements in water quality. Klingis an economist at Iowa State University in Ames who calls herself a Democrat/independent. Kling is referring to statements from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that such funding will now disqualify scientists from serving on such panels.Kling is still awaiting word from EPA on her status. “Would I have served? Yes. EPA’s mission is important, and I can support that mission by providing it with best possible economic advice,” she says.Robert Dynes, a former chancellor of the University of California (UC), San Diego, and former president of the UC system, speculates that some Trump officials won’t interact with scientists out of fear that they’ll be branded disloyal to the president. “There are a few thoughtful people in the Trump Cabinet, and if they asked, the scientific community would respond with enthusiasm,” says Dynes, a physicist who considers himself an independent. “The problem is, if they did so, most of us believe they would be subject to reprisals.”M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and board chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges, offers a simple formula for constructive interaction with the Trump administration. “Stay fact-based, and stay away from politics,” says Wilson, who calls himself an independent. “Stand firm on what is known from evidence. There’s nothing to be gained by disengaging.”last_img read more


Celebrated environmental activist who became Frances ecology minister calls it quits

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Yann Bohac/SIPA/Newscom “I do not want to lie to myself anymore,” Nicolas Hulot said this morning. Celebrated environmental activist who became France’s ‘ecology minister’ calls it quits Militant environmentalist Nicolas Hulot resigned from his position as France’s minister of ecological and solidarity-based transition this morning during a live breakfast show on national radio. Hulot, who is known for his strong convictions and for speaking his mind, had not warned French President Emmanuel Macron about his decision, but he had publicly given himself 1 year starting from October 2017 to find out whether he could be useful in the government. Today, he concluded that the answer is no.“I do not want to lie to myself anymore. I do not want to give the illusion that my presence in the government means that we are facing up to [environmental] challenges,” a visibly affected Hulot said on France Inter this morning. “France is doing more than many countries,” he added, but “every day, I am surprised at myself for putting up with small steps … at a time when the planet is becoming a furnace.”The nomination of the hugely popular green activist as ecology minister in May 2017 raised high hopes that France would drastically ramp up action to protect its environment and counter climate change. Macron’s plan last summer to “make our planet great again,” announced hours after the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate accord, certainly seemed to go in that direction.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country But in this morning’s interview, Hulot deplored the lack of a common government vision for the environment, his disagreements with Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Travert over the transformation of France’s agriculture, and the power of lobbyists. “I have a little bit of influence. I have no power. I have no means,” he said, adding that he had felt “alone” in trying to implement change.Hulot acknowledged some small victories, like France’s commitment to stop the production of oil and gas and phase out the pesticide glyphosate. The decision to abandon a 50-year-old plan to build a new airport near Nantes is also widely seen as one of his accomplishments. But Hulot balked at the government’s decision to postpone the reduction of nuclear energy to 50% of the national energy mix, and he became frustrated at the slow pace of progress on his plan to bring France to carbon neutrality by 2050. His vision for an entirely new, greener food production and consumption system and a new economic model have gained little traction. The “accumulation of disappointments” made Hulot lose faith in his capacity to change things, he said.“The most basic of courtesies would have been to warn the president of the republic and the prime minister,” press agency Agence France-Presse reports government spokesperson Benjamin Griveaux as saying soon after Hulot’s announcement. On Twitter, Christophe Castaner, executive officer of La République En Marche!, Macron’s political party, praised Hulot’s work and the government’s progress on environmental issues, but added that “political outcomes are measured in the long term.”Hulot’s resignation is an “environmental emergency,” says Patrick Monfort, who studies the impact of climate change on microbial ecology at the University of Montpellier in France. “It is urgent to change trajectory and make big decisions to mitigate climate change and the degradation of socio-ecosystems,” says Monfort, who’s also secretary general of SNCS-FSU, a trade union for researchers. Monfort calls on the government to finally listen to scientists and invest heavily in environmental research.Hulot said he feared that his “most painful” decision would only make things worse for the environment, but expressed hope that “my departure will prompt a deep introspection of our society on the reality of the world.” By Elisabeth PainAug. 28, 2018 , 1:30 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more


Myths of History Was Napoleon Bonaparte Short

first_imgThe power of images and propaganda is real. They have the strength to shape the views of entire civilizations and the influence to become embedded in the national psyche for centuries. For instance when the average person thinks of Napoleon Bonaparte, most likely a few key images come to mind. The oddly iconic hat, a hidden hand tucked into his military uniform, and the fact that he was short. A short Napoleon has become such an ingrained part of Western history and culture that even a complete psychological profile was named for it. If someone has a “Napoleon complex” it means trying to overcompensate for their short stature by exaggerated assertiveness and embellished bellicosity. The idea has come down to us that Napoleon tried to conquer Europe in order to make up for his lack of height.Bonaparte at the Siege of ToulonHowever, the fact is that Napoleon was of average (possibly even slightly above average) height for his day. The image of the short emperor is the combined result of a confusion in differing measurement standards, confused contemporary perceptions, and a single cartoon used to portray Napoleon in a foolish, negative light.British propaganda of the time promoted the idea that Napoleon was short.In the early 19th century the French and British used different scales of measurement. The French inch and foot was substantially larger than the British equivalent. In 1802, French doctor Jean-Nicolas Corvisart stated Napoleon’s height to be 5’2” (5 feet 2 inches).The British press took note of this and later used it in their war of words with the French. However, taking into account the differences in measurement standards, 5’2” in France equated to 5’7” (roughly 170 cm) in the British imperial system, the system still used in America today.Retro styled image of a vintage Napoleon costume with hat.Matters were further confused during his autopsy. Napoleon died in exile on the tiny isolated island of St. Helena deep in the south Atlantic. His French doctor, Francesco Antommarchi, carried out the autopsy and stated his height at death was 5’2”.This figure was signed off by the other British doctors on this British-controlled territory. Again though, we have the discrepancy in measurement scales. This figure of 5’2” only applied to the French system. His real height was 5’7” in the British system.The sarcophagus of Napoleon Bonaparte. Photo by Son of Groucho CC BY 2.0According to the BBC, the average height of British males at the time of Napoleon was around 165 cm or 5’5”. This means that Napoleon, at 170 cm (5’7”) was actually a bit taller than normal for his era. Surprising Origins Of Popular English Phrases.Another confusing matter had to do with the perceptions of the day. Firstly, Napoleon was often referred to by his troops as “Le Petit Corporal,” the Little Corporal. In the French language though this moniker “Petit” more often than not doesn’t refer to actual size but is rather used as a term of endearment. Napoleonic soldiers weren’t making fun of their emperor’s height, they were giving him a popular and endearing nickname.Also, Napoleon liked to surround himself with members of his Imperial Guard. There were strict height requirements to be selected into the Guard which meant Napoleon was usually seen among significantly taller men. A fact which also could have led to the perception that he was short.Napoleonic Gunner, living history re-enactor.Lastly, we have the case of the all-powerful image in creating widely-held beliefs. The year 1803, directly after the peace treaty between the French and British had been called off, is when this notion of Napoleon’s shortness really took hold.Tristin Hopper of the National Post has commented that Napoleon was considered “of normal stature” until 1803. So what happened in 1803 to change the course of Napoleonic lore in the popular imagination? A caricature cartoon was published in Britain titled “Maniac Ravings or Little Boney in a Strong Fit.”” The Plumb-pudding in danger ” – Caricature by James GillrayJames Gillray was the author of this cartoon which portrays a diminutive Napoleon flipping over furniture in a childish temper tantrum and screaming about the British parliament and press. His oversized hat and furniture make Bonaparte to appear almost dwarf-like.The cartoon was spread far and wide and became enormously popular, inspiring many others to also depict Napoleon as a tiny runt. In this way, a bad-tempered, child-sized Napoleon became the accepted and henceforth authoritative standard for images and depictions of Bonaparte.“Maniac raving’s or Little Boney in a strong fit.” Gillray’s caricatures ridiculing Napoleon greatly annoyed the Frenchman, who wanted them suppressed by the British government.Napoleon at the time was aware of the image and not happy about it. Despite many attempts, he was unsuccessful in getting the British media to discontinue the unflattering cartoon. In fact, the National Post states that just before he died, Napoleon reportedly said that James Gillray and his cartoon “did more than all the armies of Europe to bring me down.”Read another story from us: Napoleon’s hat from the worst day of his life was auctioned and fetched a hefty sumSo there we have it. The origin of one of the most enduring myths and misunderstandings of history. One that is still generally accepted as fact today. But as Napoleon himself said: what is history but lies that have been agreed upon.last_img read more


Increase in opioid abuse creates major health crisis

first_img By L. Parsons The abuse of prescription opioids by Americans of all ages, genders, and socioeconomic statuses has risen dramatically over the last two decades. Alongside those abuse rates, overdose has risen as well, asSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad February 13, 2018 Increase in opioid abuse creates major health crisislast_img


New president of El Salvador wields his power via Twitter firing officials

first_img“CEL President William Granadino is ordered to remove Claudia Sánchez Villalta, daughter of former President Sánchez Cerén, from her position,” he wrote in one such post on Tuesday, addressing the president of the country’s hydroelectric energy commission. “Do not hire a replacement.”Bukele, an avid social media user with more than 700,000 Twitter followers, has fired several other officials via tweet.Some of the dismissed have responded to the millennial head of state in kind, with tweets such as, “Your order will be executed immediately, President @nayibbukele.”While some of Bukele’s supporters have cheered the new form of presidential communication, his opponents on the right and the left describe the practice as autocratic.“This is not a monarchy,” Norman Quijano, the right-wing president of the Salvadoran congress, told reporters. “The absolutist monarchies were a thing of the Middle Ages and we are in the 21st century, where institutionality must be respected.” A presidential spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.Luis Assardo, a journalist and researcher based in Guatemala, said Bukele is embracing Twitter to gain recognition and speak directly to everyday Salvadorans.“He does not need the press,” Assardo said. “He does not need any kind of intermediary to deliver the information that interests him.”It echoes the approach of U.S. President Donald Trump, who communicates to his Republican Party base daily via Twitter and has also fired some officials via tweet.Trump, perhaps recognizing another Twitter fan, sent the following tweet on Saturday: “The United States stands ready to work with @NayibBukele to advance prosperity in El Salvador and the hemisphere.Congratulations President Bukele on your inauguration!” By Reuters |San Salvador | Published: June 7, 2019 3:01:38 pm Chandrayaan-2 to launch on July 22 at 2.43 pm: ISRO China hosts El Salvador as nations cut ties with Taiwan Nayib Bukele, Nayib Bukele El Salvador, Nayib Bukele twitter, El Salvador Twitter, World news, Indian Express, latest news Bukele’s targets so far have included relatives of former president Salvador Sánchez Cerén and figures from the outgoing political party, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front. (Reuters)As Nayib Bukele waged an underdog bid for the presidency of El Salvador, savvy use of social media helped propel his rise. Advertising Best Of Express Now, in his first week in office, some officials in the Central American country are reeling from the power of the presidential tweet.The 37-year-old former mayor of San Salvador, who was sworn in on Saturday, has taken some of his first actions in office via Twitter, including giving officials the ax.His targets so far have included relatives of former president Salvador Sánchez Cerén and figures from the outgoing political party, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front.center_img Post Comment(s) Related News Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Advertising LiveKarnataka floor test: Rebel MLAs have made false allegations in SC, says CM Ex-first lady of El Salvador Ana Ligia de Saca to plead guilty to corruption US restores some aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala last_img read more


Oil prices surge after suspected tanker attack near Iran

first_img Advertising Oil prices firm amid US sanctions on crude exporters Iran, Venezuela Oil prices slip as demand worries outweigh OPEC supply cuts Best Of Express Explained: How tanker attackers on a skinny waterway could affect oil prices By Reuters |London | Updated: June 13, 2019 8:16:25 pm Advertising Tensions in the Middle East have escalated since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 multinational nuclear pact with Iran and reimposed sanctions, notably targeting Tehran’s oil exports. Iran, which has distanced itself from the previous attacks, has said it would not be cowed by what it called psychological warfare.Also supporting oil bulls were signs that OPEC members were close to agreeing on continued production cuts. The charterer of the former said the vessel was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo”. Its owner said it was on fire. The manager of the latter said it had been damaged as a result of a “suspected attack” but that its cargo was intact.The incident followed last month’s sabotage attacks on vessels off the Fujairah emirate, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs. Brent crude futures were up $2.19, or 3.65%, at $62.16 a barrel by 1341 GMT, having risen as much as 4.45% to $62.64. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up $1.79, or 3.5%, at $52.93 a barrel. WTI earlier rose as much as 4.5% to $53.45.“This is a fairly small increase given the uncertainty and the potential knock-on effects of attacks such as these. This partially reflects the fact that the oil market has already priced in the supply and geopolitical risks emanating from Iran,” said Cailin Birch, economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit.center_img “However, it also reflects market concerns that the continued US-China trade war will weigh on economic activity, and therefore oil demand growth, in the world’s two largest economies.” Both crude benchmarks are set for their biggest daily rises since early January, but they are nevertheless headed for a weekly loss.Oil prices had slumped in the previous session on an unexpected rise in US crude stockpiles and a dimming outlook for global oil demand.The Bahrain-based US Navy Fifth Fleet said it was assisting the tankers after receiving distress calls following “reported attacks”. The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, part of the Royal Navy, said it was investigating. Iranian search and rescue teams have picked up 44 sailors from two damaged tankers in the Gulf of Oman, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on May 29 that naval mines “almost certainly from Iran” were used to attack the tankers off the United Arab Emirates last month, and warned Tehran against conducting new operations. Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘guilty of crimes’, will proceed further as per law: Imran Khan An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019. (Reuters)Oil prices jumped more than 4% on Thursday after a suspected attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of global oil consumption passes. The Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair carrying naphtha and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous carrying methanol have been evacuated and the crews are safe. Related News Post Comment(s)last_img read more