Matching Items (10)

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An Intention- and Outcome-Focused Perspective on the Doubling of the NIH Budget

Description

This thesis studies the 1998-2003 doubling of the National Institutes of Health budget to evaluate how assertions about the impact of research investments compare with actual health and research outcomes.

This thesis studies the 1998-2003 doubling of the National Institutes of Health budget to evaluate how assertions about the impact of research investments compare with actual health and research outcomes. Stakeholders in the doubling noted a variety of outcomes intended to result from the effort. Using public value mapping (Bozeman and Sarewitz, 2005), I have compared stakeholders' stated intentions of what the doubling ought to achieve with the health and research outcomes actually produced. In applying public value mapping, I first conducted interviews and reviewed press releases, Congressional record, news, and other data from the doubling period. Six public values were commonly represented in this data: (1) improving health outcomes (2) reducing the cost of healthcare (3) producing application-relevant knowledge (4) building biosecurity and biodefense capabilities (5) developing the research enterprise (6) economic growth I then inferred causal logic chains by which increasing funding could lead to achievement of the public values and identified four investment intermediaries through which funding would pass in advancing public values. Finally, using proxies, I evaluated if the public values had advanced in a way directly attributable to funding increases. This analysis identified (5) as achieved. (1), (3), (4), and (6) were indeterminate in one of the two components necessary for evaluating public value achievement: either no clear advancement or no direct link between outcomes and doubling investments. (2) was a failure due to the increase in healthcare costs throughout and following the doubling period. These results indicate that complex societal outcomes used to justify incremental research investments are challenging to causally attribute to those same investments, and thus uncertain premises on which to base policy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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New Developments in Human Embryo Research: Reassessing the 14-day Guideline in the US

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In this paper, I aim to assess the ethical and policy issues at the forefront of developmental biology, mainly, the 14-day guideline dictating human embryo research. Ever since the invention

In this paper, I aim to assess the ethical and policy issues at the forefront of developmental biology, mainly, the 14-day guideline dictating human embryo research. Ever since the invention of in vitro fertilization in the 1970s, the research landscape of human embryo research has been well explored. Now, there are new embryonic technologies and human embryonic stem cell based models that many believe do not fit into current guidelines. This paper analyzes four of these new technologies-- stem cell derived gametes, embryoids, 3D printed embryos and synthetic embryos-- in order to explore the impetus for reopening the debate on the 14-day guideline. The paper then explores current research and research projects while comparing and contrasting science as well as the potential for moral status and how that impacts regulation. Current United States policies and regulations as well as current professional society guidelines are broken down to fully grasp the political landscape surrounding human embryo research. Notably, current policies include the complete lack of a federal definition of an embryo as well as the Dickey-Wicker Amendment which restrict funding for human embryo research. It is thus advised that these, along with the 14 day guideline, are updated in order to encapsulate the early human developmental research landscape and promote research. This paper ends with an in depth policy recommendation including (but not limited to) bill language, suggested definitions and potential strategies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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University Student Knowledge and Perception of Influenza

Description

Influenza has shown its potential to affect and even kill millions of people within an extremely short time frame, yet studies and surveys show that the general public is not

Influenza has shown its potential to affect and even kill millions of people within an extremely short time frame, yet studies and surveys show that the general public is not well educated about the facts about influenza, including prevention and treatment. For this reason, public perception of influenza is extremely skewed, with people generally not taking the disease as seriously as they should given its severity. To investigate the inconsistencies between action and awareness of best available knowledge regarding influenza, this study conducted literature review and a survey of university students about their knowledge, perceptions, and action taken in relationship to influenza. Due to their dense living quarters, constant daily interactions, and mindset that they are "immune" to fairly common diseases like influenza, university students are a representative sample of urban populations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 54% of the world's population lived in cities as of 2014 (Urban population growth). Between 2015 and 2020, the global urban population is expected to grow 1.84% per year, 1.63% between 2020 and 2025, and 1.44% between 2025 and 2030 (Urban population growth). Similar projections estimate that by 2017, an overwhelming majority of the world's population, even in less developed countries, will be living in cities (Urban population growth). Results of this study suggest possible reasons for the large gap between best available knowledge and the perceptions and actions of individuals on the other hand. This may lead to better-oriented influenza education initiatives, more effective prevention and treatment plans, and generally raise excitement and awareness surrounding public health and scientific communication.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12

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Governing Global Science: Pandemic Preparedness and H5N1 Research on the International Stage

Description

The thesis examines the Indonesian claim of H5N1 viral sovereignty in 2006, and the mutant H5N1 papers controversy in 2011, to analyze the notion of science transcending national boundaries and

The thesis examines the Indonesian claim of H5N1 viral sovereignty in 2006, and the mutant H5N1 papers controversy in 2011, to analyze the notion of science transcending national boundaries and novel conflicts with science operating on the international stage, specifically for H5N1 preparedness. This thesis argues how the symmetries between the Indonesian sovereignty case and the H5N1 papers controversy illustrate the locus of contention and uncertainty present in the international scientific space, specifically related to the ownership and governance of influenza pandemic preparedness materials and research. To achieve this, the thesis comparatively analyzes the two controversies to reveal the unsettledness in dimensions of both pandemic preparedness and international and transnational governance of science. This symmetrical analysis clarifies the unresolved issues of ownership, control, and accountability, which exist in the scientific international space. The deliberations of both case studies were framed so that the primary goal of the resolutions developed into maintaining scientific openness for public health benefit. With this method of deliberation taken, the significant and unique issues raised by these cases, in addition to the ownership questions that were allowing these controversies to gain prominence, were commonly left unaddressed. In doing so, the potential of the reemergence for similar controversies remains high.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Anticipatory Gaming: Informing the Anticipatory Governance Process through Digital Media

Description

Science fiction themed video games, specifically Role Playing Games (RPGs) like Deus Ex: Human Revolution (DX:HR), that focus on an emerging technology, contain features that help to better inform anticipatory

Science fiction themed video games, specifically Role Playing Games (RPGs) like Deus Ex: Human Revolution (DX:HR), that focus on an emerging technology, contain features that help to better inform anticipatory governance. In a game like DX:HR, players vicariously experience human-enhancement technology and its societal effects through their in-game character. Acting as the character, the player explores the topic of human-enhancement technology in various ways, including dialogue with non-player characters (NPCs) and decisions that directly affect the game's world. Because Deus Ex: Human Revolution and games similar to it, allow players to explore and think about the technology itself, the stances on it, and its potential societal effects, they facilitate the anticipatory governance process. In this paper I postulate a theory of anticipatory gaming, which asserts that video games inform the anticipatory governance process for an emerging technology. To demonstrate this theory I examine the parts of the anticipatory governance process and demonstrate RPG's ability to inform it, through a case study of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

Engineering – The Social Experiment: An Analysis of Engineering Curriculum and Industry Expectations

Description

The engineers of the future are currently in the process of earning their degrees and certifications from engineering programs guided by ABET accreditations. ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and

The engineers of the future are currently in the process of earning their degrees and certifications from engineering programs guided by ABET accreditations. ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, is the voice of reason for the development of engineering programs. Aspiring engineers desire institutions that follow ABET Standards to ensure that their education meets the expectations of industry partners and researchers. However, these standards have not been drastically altered in years to reflect the changing needs of industry. With the advancement of technology in the last two decades, old school engineering and its application is becoming less common.

Science policy and curriculum go hand in. The future engineers are taught hand calculations, lab testing for field work parallels, and methodologies based on the written policies set forth decades ago. Technology today is rapidly changing, and engineering education is struggling to make changes to keep up with these technology advancements. In today’s world, technology drives invention and innovation, whereas some argue it is thought and curiosity. Engineering programs are taking a toll regardless of the point of view. Education is not made to keep up with current societal needs.

This paper a provides an overview of the history of engineering, curriculum standards for engineering programs, an analysis of engineering programs at top universities and large universities alongside student experiences available to engineers. The ideas offered are no means the exact solution; rather policymakers and STEM education stakeholder may find the ideas shared helpful and use them as a catalyst for change.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-12

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Responsible innovation and sustainability: interventions in education and training of scientists and engineers

Description

Three dilemmas plague governance of scientific research and technological

innovation: the dilemma of orientation, the dilemma of legitimacy, and the dilemma of control. The dilemma of orientation risks innovation heedless of

Three dilemmas plague governance of scientific research and technological

innovation: the dilemma of orientation, the dilemma of legitimacy, and the dilemma of control. The dilemma of orientation risks innovation heedless of long-term implications. The dilemma of legitimacy grapples with delegation of authority in democracies, often at the expense of broader public interest. The dilemma of control poses that the undesirable implications of new technologies are hard to grasp, yet once grasped, all too difficult to remedy. That humanity has innovated itself into the sustainability crisis is a prime manifestation of these dilemmas.

Responsible innovation (RI), with foci on anticipation, inclusion, reflection, coordination, and adaptation, aims to mitigate dilemmas of orientation, legitimacy, and control. The aspiration of RI is to bend the processes of technology development toward more just, sustainable, and societally desirable outcomes. Despite the potential for fruitful interaction across RI’s constitutive domains—sustainability science and social studies of science and technology—most sustainability scientists under-theorize the sociopolitical dimensions of technological systems and most science and technology scholars hesitate to take a normative, solutions-oriented stance. Efforts to advance RI, although notable, entail one-off projects that do not lend themselves to comparative analysis for learning.

In this dissertation, I offer an intervention research framework to aid systematic study of intentional programs of change to advance responsible innovation. Two empirical studies demonstrate the framework in application. An evaluation of Science Outside the Lab presents a program to help early-career scientists and engineers understand the complexities of science policy. An evaluation of a Community Engagement Workshop presents a program to help engineers better look beyond technology, listen to and learn from people, and empower communities. Each program is efficacious in helping scientists and engineers more thoughtfully engage with mediators of science and technology governance dilemmas: Science Outside the Lab in revealing the dilemmas of orientation and legitimacy; Community Engagement Workshop in offering reflexive and inclusive approaches to control. As part of a larger intervention research portfolio, these and other projects hold promise for aiding governance of science and technology through responsible innovation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Between persuasion and coercion: situating mandatory influenza vaccination policy of healthcare personnel (HCP)

Description

Vaccinations are important for preventing influenza infection. Maximizing vaccination uptake rates (80-90%) is crucial in generating herd immunity and preventing infection incidence. Vaccination of healthcare professionals (HCP) against influenza is

Vaccinations are important for preventing influenza infection. Maximizing vaccination uptake rates (80-90%) is crucial in generating herd immunity and preventing infection incidence. Vaccination of healthcare professionals (HCP) against influenza is vital to infection control in healthcare settings, given their consistent exposure to high-risk patients like: those with compromised immune systems, children, and the elderly (Johnson & Talbot, 2011). Though vaccination is vital in disease prevention, influenza vaccination uptake among HCP is low overall (50% on average) (Pearson et al., 2006). Mandatory vaccination policies result in HCP influenza vaccination uptake rates substantially higher than opt-in influenza vaccination campaigns (90% vs. 60%). Therefore, influenza vaccination should be mandatory for HCP in order to best prevent influenza infection in healthcare settings. Many HCP cite individual objections to influenza vaccination rooted in personal doubts and ethical concerns, not best available scientific evidence. Nevertheless, HCP ethical responsibility to their patients and work environments to prevent and lower influenza infection incidence overrules such individual objections. Additionally, mandatory HCP influenza vaccination policies respect HCP autonomy via including medical and religious exemption clauses. While vaccination as a prevention method for influenza is logically sound, individuals’ actions are not always rooted in logic. Therefore, I analyze HCP perceptions and actions toward influenza vaccination in an effort to better explain low HCP uptake rates of the influenza vaccine and individual objections to influenza vaccination. Such analysis can aid in gaining HCP trust when implementing mandatory HCP influenza vaccination policies. In summary, mandatory HCP influenza vaccination policies are ethically justified, effective, scientifically-supported method of maximizing HCP influenza vaccine uptake and minimizing the spread of the influenza virus within healthcare settlings.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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A biography of endocrine disruptors: the narrative surrounding the appearance and regulation of a new category of toxic substances

Description

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interact with the hormone system to negative effect. They ‘disrupt’ normal processes to cause diseases like vaginal cancer and obesity, reproductive issues like t-shaped uteri

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interact with the hormone system to negative effect. They ‘disrupt’ normal processes to cause diseases like vaginal cancer and obesity, reproductive issues like t-shaped uteri and infertility, and developmental abnormalities like spina bifida and cleft palate. These chemicals are ubiquitous in our daily lives, components in everything from toothpaste to microwave popcorn to plastic water bottles. My dissertation looks at the history, science, and regulation of these impactful substances in order to answer the question of how endocrine disruptors appeared, got interpreted by different groups, and what role science played in the process. My analysis reveals that endocrine disruptors followed a unique science policy trajectory in the US, rapidly going from their proposal in 1991 to their federal regulation in 1996, even amid intense and majority scientific disagreement over whether the substances existed at all. That trajectory resulted from the work of a small number of scientist-activists who constructed a concept and category as scientific, social, and regulatory. By playing actors from each sphere against each other and advancing a very specific scientific narrative that fit into a regulatory and social window of opportunity in the 1990s, those scientist-activists made endocrine disruptors a national issue that few could ignore. Those actions resulted in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, a heavily-criticized and ineffective regulatory program. My dissertation tells a story of the past that informs the present. In 2018, the work of researchers, public media, and policymakers in the 1990s continues to play out, evident in the deep scientific division over endocrine disrupting effects and the inability of the European Union to settle on even a definition of endocrine disruptors for regulation purposes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Negotiating socio-technical contracts: anticipatory governance and reproductive technologies

Description

This project develops the "socio-technical contract" concept, a notion that signifies the kinds of socio-technological assumptions and arrangements that characterize a particular domain of policy or practice. Socio-technical contracts, unlike

This project develops the "socio-technical contract" concept, a notion that signifies the kinds of socio-technological assumptions and arrangements that characterize a particular domain of policy or practice. Socio-technical contracts, unlike their social contract counterparts in political theory, represent active negotiation and renegotiation of social contracts around emerging technologies, as opposed to the tacit social contracts of thinkers such as Locke. I use the socio-technical contract concept to analyze the governance of assisted reproductive technologies in the United Kingdom. For increasing numbers of people, reproduction is happening in a fundamentally different way. Conception outside of the womb became a reality with the 1978 birth of Louise Brown, the first baby born via in-vitro fertilization. Alongside Louise Brown's birth emerged new social and governance configurations around reproductive technologies, including, in the United Kingdom, the establishment of a national regulatory agency, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. The project applies the socio-technical contract concept in order to examine how distributed governance and socio-cultural processes in the British context worked over time to renegotiate fundamental ideas about families and kinship, the boundaries of "ethical" science, rules governing release of information, the "right to an identity," the role of the state in the reproductive choices of individuals, and general approaches to how to think about the roles and relationships of the child, parents, and the state in and around the introduction of these technologies. As these changes have occurred, policies, social understandings, and legal rights have been renegotiated and new governance capacities, what I call "anticipatory capacities," have come into existence to manage and coordinate change across complex social systems. In illuminating anticipatory capacities in each context, I explore the tools deployed by government actors, scientists, stakeholders, and citizens in negotiating evolving socio-technical contracts around reproductive technologies.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014