Matching Items (6)

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Global Health and Sustainability Collaborative Research Networks as Models of Collective Action

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Collaborative research is not only a form of social and human capital and a public good, but also a fundamental elicitor of positive Collective Action. Collaborative Research Networks can serve

Collaborative research is not only a form of social and human capital and a public good, but also a fundamental elicitor of positive Collective Action. Collaborative Research Networks can serve as models of proactive and purposive Collective Action and catalysts of societal change, if they function as more than hubs of research and knowledge. It is the goal of this Honors Thesis to examine the current nature under which collaborative research networks, focused on matters of Global Health or Sustainability, operate., how they are organized, what type of collaboration they engage in, and who collaborates with whom. A better understanding of these types of networks can lead to the formation of more effective networks that can develop innovative solutions to our collective Global Health and Sustainability problems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012-05

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Preliminary Results and the Unconsidered Potential of the 2014 Open Payments Research Dataset: Introducing a Complex Systems Framework for Extracting Meaningful Information from Big Data

Description

This work challenges the conventional perceptions surrounding the utility and use of the CMS Open Payments data. I suggest unconsidered methodologies for extracting meaningful information from these data following an

This work challenges the conventional perceptions surrounding the utility and use of the CMS Open Payments data. I suggest unconsidered methodologies for extracting meaningful information from these data following an exploratory analysis of the 2014 research dataset that, in turn, enhance its value as a public good. This dataset is favored for analysis over the general payments dataset as it is believed that generating transparency in the pharmaceutical and medical device R&D process would be of the greatest benefit to public health. The research dataset has been largely ignored by analysts and this may be one of the few works that have accomplished a comprehensive exploratory analysis of these data. If we are to extract valuable information from this dataset, we must alter both our approach as well as focus our attention towards re-conceptualizing the questions that we ask. Adopting the theoretical framework of complex systems serves as the foundation for our interpretation of the research dataset. This framework, in conjunction with a methodological toolkit for network analysis, may set a precedent for the development of alternative perspectives that allow for novel interpretations of the information that big data attempts to convey. By thus proposing a novel perspective in interpreting the information that this dataset contains, it is possible to gain insight into the emergent dynamics of the collaborative relationships that are established during the pharmaceutical and medical device R&D process.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The form, aspect, and definition of Anglo-Saxon identity: a study of medieval British words, deeds, and things

Description

In this dissertation I argue that medieval peoples used a different style of identity from those applied to them by later scholarship and question the relevance of applying modern terms

In this dissertation I argue that medieval peoples used a different style of identity from those applied to them by later scholarship and question the relevance of applying modern terms for identity groups (e.g., ethnicity or nationality) to the description of medieval social units. I propose we think of identity as a social construct comprised of three articulating facets, which I call: form, aspect, and definition. The form of identity is its manifestation in behavior and symbolic markers; its aspect is the perception of these forms by people; and its definition is the combination of these perceptions into a social category. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, I examine each facet individually before synthesizing the results. I study the form of identity through an analysis of styles in material culture using a consensus analysis to determine how well objects decorated with the same motif do communicating a shared idea to members of a social group. I explore the aspect of identity through a whole-corpus linguistics approach to Old English, in which I study the co-occurrence of words for "a people" and other semantic fields to refine our understanding of Old English perceptions of social identity. Finally, I investigate the definition of identity by comparing narrations of identity in Old English verse and prose in order to see how authors were able to use vocabulary and imagery to describe the identity of their subjects. In my conclusion I demonstrate that the people of Medieval England had a concept of identity based on the metaphor of a village meeting or a feast, in which smaller, innate groups were thought to aggregate into new heterogeneous wholes. The nature and scale of these groups changed over the course of the Anglo-Saxon period but some of the names used to refer to these units remained constant. Thus, I suggest scholars need to apply a culturally relevant concept of identity when describing the people who lived in Medieval Britain, one that might not match contemporary models, and be cognizant of the fact that medieval groups were not the same as their modern descendants.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Challenge of advocacy for sustainability scientists

Description

Without scientific expertise, society may make catastrophically poor choices when faced with problems such as climate change. However, scientists who engage society with normative questions face tension between advocacy and

Without scientific expertise, society may make catastrophically poor choices when faced with problems such as climate change. However, scientists who engage society with normative questions face tension between advocacy and the social norms of science that call for objectivity and neutrality. Policy established in 2011 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) required their communication to be objective and neutral and this research comprised a qualitative analysis of IPCC reports to consider how much of their communication is strictly factual (Objective), and value-free (Neutral), and to consider how their communication had changed from 1990 to 2013. Further research comprised a qualitative analysis of structured interviews with scientists and non-scientists who were professionally engaged in climate science communication, to consider practitioner views on advocacy. The literature and the structured interviews revealed a conflicting range of definitions for advocacy versus objectivity and neutrality. The practitioners that were interviewed struggled to separate objective and neutral science from attempts to persuade, and the IPCC reports contained a substantial amount of communication that was not strictly factual and value-free. This research found that science communication often blurred the distinction between facts and values, imbuing the subjective with the authority and credibility of science, and thereby damaging the foundation for scientific credibility. This research proposes a strict definition for factual and value-free as a means to separate science from advocacy, to better protect the credibility of science, and better prepare scientists to negotiate contentious science-based policy issues. The normative dimension of sustainability will likely entangle scientists in advocacy or the appearance of it, and this research may be generalizable to sustainability.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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An institutional approach to understanding energy transitions

Description

Energy is a central concern of sustainability because how we produce and consume energy affects society, economy, and the environment. Sustainability scientists are interested in energy transitions away from fossil

Energy is a central concern of sustainability because how we produce and consume energy affects society, economy, and the environment. Sustainability scientists are interested in energy transitions away from fossil fuels because they are nonrenewable, increasingly expensive, have adverse health effects, and may be the main driver of climate change. They see an opportunity for developing countries to avoid the negative consequences fossil-fuel-based energy systems, and also to increase resilience, by leap-frogging-over the centralized energy grid systems that dominate the developed world. Energy transitions pose both challenges and opportunities. Obstacles to transitions include 1) an existing, centralized, complex energy-grid system, whose function is invisible to most users, 2) coordination and collective-action problems that are path dependent, and 3) difficulty in scaling up RE technologies. Because energy transitions rely on technological and social innovations, I am interested in how institutional factors can be leveraged to surmount these obstacles. The overarching question that underlies my research is: What constellation of institutional, biophysical, and social factors are essential for an energy transition? My objective is to derive a set of "design principles," that I term institutional drivers, for energy transitions analogous to Ostrom's institutional design principles. My dissertation research will analyze energy transitions using two approaches: applying the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework and a comparative case study analysis comprised of both primary and secondary sources. This dissertation includes: 1) an analysis of the world's energy portfolio; 2) a case study analysis of five countries; 3) a description of the institutional factors likely to promote a transition to renewable-energy use; and 4) an in-depth case study of Thailand's progress in replacing nonrenewable energy sources with renewable energy sources. My research will contribute to our understanding of how energy transitions at different scales can be accomplished in developing countries and what it takes for innovation to spread in a society.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

The organization and evolution of the Hohokam economy: agent-based modeling of exchange in the Phoenix Basin, Arizona, AD 200-1450

Description

The Hohokam of central Arizona left behind evidence of a culture markedly different from and more complex than the small communities of O'odham farmers first encountered by Europeans in the

The Hohokam of central Arizona left behind evidence of a culture markedly different from and more complex than the small communities of O'odham farmers first encountered by Europeans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries A.D. Archaeologists have worked for well over a century to document Hohokam culture history, but much about Pre-Columbian life in the Sonoran Desert remains poorly understood. In particular, the organization of the Hohokam economy in the Phoenix Basin has been an elusive and complicated subject, despite having been the focus of much previous research. This dissertation provides an assessment of several working hypotheses regarding the organization and evolution of the pottery distribution sector of the Hohokam economy. This was accomplished using an agent-based modeling methodology known as pattern-oriented modeling. The objective of the research was to first identify a variety of economic models that may explain patterns of artifact distribution in the archaeological record. Those models were abstract representations of the real-world system theoretically drawn from different sources, including microeconomics, mathematics (network/graph theory), and economic anthropology. Next, the effort was turned toward implementing those hypotheses as agent-based models, and finally assessing whether or not any of the models were consistent with Hohokam ceramic datasets. The project's pattern-oriented modeling methodology led to the discard of several hypotheses, narrowing the range of plausible models of the organization of the Hohokam economy. The results suggest that for much of the Hohokam sequence a market-based system, perhaps structured around workshop procurement and shopkeeper merchandise, provided the means of distributing pottery from specialist producers to widely distributed consumers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results of this project are broadly consistent with earlier researchers' interpretations that the structure of the Hohokam economy evolved through time, growing more complex throughout the Preclassic, and undergoing a major reorganization resulting in a less complicated system at the transition to the Classic Period.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013