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[en] This investigation focuses on possible links between the development of critical attitude and conceptual understanding among beginning teachers. In 11 in-depth interviews with pre-service teachers, we sought their opinions about the explanatory value of a number of texts on the topic of capillary ascension. The goal was to finely analyse each participant’s transition from critical passivity to explicit critique. In processing the transcripts, we followed two lines of analysis, addressing conceptual understanding and critical attitude. Coding of the interviews centred on four main critiques of the texts. The prevalence of ‘delayed critique’—a long time interval of critical passivity or instability commonly observed for three of the four critical arguments considered a priori—aligns with previous results from studies on radiocarbon dating, survival blankets and osmosis. It also became clear that better comprehension of the phenomenon did not in itself mean that future teachers would critique an inappropriate diagram in current use. This finding suggests that when constructing a critical analysis, participants had difficulty relating a qualitative explanation of the phenomenon to how to model the situation, as confirmed by the triggering effect of a new diagram introduced by the interviewer. The paper concludes by discussing the implications for teachers’ formation and for future research. (paper)
[en] In this work, we developed a self-organizing map (SOM) technique for using web-based text analysis to forecast when a group is undergoing a phase change. By 'phase change', we mean that an organization has fundamentally shifted attitudes or behaviors. For instance, when ice melts into water, the characteristics of the substance change. A formerly peaceful group may suddenly adopt violence, or a violent organization may unexpectedly agree to a ceasefire. SOM techniques were used to analyze text obtained from organization postings on the world-wide web. Results suggest it may be possible to forecast phase changes, and determine if an example of writing can be attributed to a group of interest.
[en] Full text of publication follows. Objective: the hospital rooms for radioiodine ablation of differentiated thyroid carcinoma are designed according to radiation safety lows where patients have to remain isolated. The aim of the present study is to investigate depression and anxiety levels of the patients associated with hospitalization experience for radioiodine ablation. Methods: 30 patients (8 M, 22 F; mean: 45±13 years old) with differentiated thyroid carcinoma were included into study. After withdrawal of thyroid hormone replacement at least for 3 weeks, the patients were subject of the ablation treatment. After routine psychiatric examination Hamilton Anxiety and Depression scales were administered to the patients before and after complement of hospitalization for 1-3 days. Results: according to the statistical analysis there was not any significant difference between Hamilton depression and anxiety scores and state and trait anxiety scores of the patients before and after treatment (P>0.05). However, 18 patients had depression, with major depression of six, and 21 had high anxiety levels, according to Hamilton Depression and Anxiety Scales. Conclusion: Although the patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma do not experience anxiety or depression related to the hospitalization itself for radioiodine ablation they might frequently have depression or anxiety just before the treatment. (authors)
[en] According to numerous surveys the perceived risk of nanotechnology is low and most people feel that the benefits outweigh the risks. This article provides greater insight into risk perception and concludes that the positive attitude to nanotechnology is based not on knowledge but on hope and fascination. The perceived risk is low because of a lack of vivid and frightening images of possible hazards. If news flashes were to link nanotechnology to concrete hazards or actual harm to people, attitudes might suddenly change. Risk communication faces the problem of dealing with a public at large that has little or no knowledge about the technology. As it takes time and extensive additional research to develop appropriate communication strategies and disseminate them to the relevant institutions, this exercise should be started immediately.
[en] Urged by earlier continuous failures in forecasting the consumption of energy in the world, essentially characterized by megalomania, the author presents his views on causes of such occurrences. Fundamental cause is considered - logic of a circle - insensitive to social and economic effects on the humanity in general and particularly to the energy consumption. Besides, a lethal influence of voluntarism has been specially studied as well. (author)
[en] This paper presents the results of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Culture Subprogram implementation which is a part of the Responsible Science Program - a new project of the International Science and Technology Center. This subprogram has been implemented since April 2010. It is intended to support activities that contribute to the creation of an international culture of responsible science and knowledge management with a particular focus on the scientific areas in which the center has competencies. The subprogram objective is to promote the responsible management of science in the area of nonproliferation of sensitive knowledge and technologies. The nuclear engineering was selected as a pilot area for the program, taking into account today's status of the subject: sensitive technologies and knowledge dealing with the potential for dual use, specific legislation, nuclear materials control, export control, international activity and educational programs. The subprogram realization results presented in the paper provide broadening nuclear engineering and technology curricula by developing soft and hard sciences disciplines based on recent scientific achievements in the nuclear non-proliferation, suggest effective informational exchange and sharing ideas making more available local, national and international cooperation in nuclear non-proliferation. (authors)
[en] 21 May 2011 would have marked the 90th birthday of Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, a towering 20th-century figure in science and human thought, whose ideas, research contributions, and life example exerted enormous influence on the history of the second half of the 20th century and, in particular, on the history of Russia. Whether as a scientist or a private person (including his public activities and exceptional attitude to human personality), he always displayed creativity and a freedom of spirit, thought, and action. Sakharov's life and creative work make him a model scientist and citizen for many and undoubtedly provide a legacy for the development of science and society in the 21st century. In this paper, some of Sakharov's key ideas and achievements relating to his KB-11 period are exemplified, and how they influence present day research and technology, notably as employed for affording national security, is examined. (conferences and symposia)
[en] Despite the significant increase in the use of nanotechnology in academic research and commercial products over the past decade, there have been few studies that have explored scientists’ perceptions and attitudes about the technology. In this article, we use survey data from the leading U.S. nano-scientists to explore their perceptions about two issues: the public communication of research findings and media coverage of nanotechnology, which serves as one relatively rapid outlet for public communication. We find that leading U.S. nano-scientists do see an important connection between the public communication of research findings and public attitudes about science. Also, there is a connection between the scientists’ perceptions about media coverage and their views on the timing of public communication; scientists with positive attitudes about the media are more likely to support immediate public communication of research findings, while others believe that communication should take place only after research findings have been published through a peer-review process. We also demonstrate that journalists might have a more challenging time getting scientists to talk with them about nanotechnology news stories because nano-scientists tend to view media coverage of nanotechnology as less credible and less accurate than general science media coverage. We conclude that leading U.S. nano-scientists do feel a sense of responsibility for communicating their research findings to the public, but attitudes about the timing and the pathway of that communication vary across the group.
[en] Purpose: This paper presents the results of a study undertaken to investigate how Australian radiation therapists define fitness to practise. Method: A qualitative approach was taken to data collection with focus groups being employed to gather the data. Analysis was informed by grounded theory. Following ethics approval, three homogeneous focus groups were conducted comprising a total of 21 participants, with 5-8 participants per group. The discussions were transcribed, verified by the researcher and participants, then unitised, coded and a sample checked by a second coder. Findings: There was no consensus on the definition of fitness to practise. The terms professionalism and competence were used interchangeably in some definitions. Four themes emerged from the data, these were; fitness as a continuum (individual differences and longevity in the profession), fitness as behaviour and conduct (professionalism and competence), fitness as a state of mind (attitudes and intangible elements) and fitness as being qualified (course completion means fitness to practise). Three concepts which were not raised were illegal behaviour, impaired practice and dose errors. Conclusion: There is no consensus among radiation therapists about fitness to practise. There was confusion with how Fitness to practise relates to professionalism and competence with little mention of how impairment is interwoven into the notion of fitness to practise. Without an unambiguous definition and robust criteria, making the 'judgement call' as to whether a practitioners' fitness to practise is impaired will continue to be a challenge for educators, departmental managers and registration boards.