n a 25-year career as a successful public intellectual, Stephen Jay Gould has accrued nearly all the trappings of celebrity: a new loft in SoHo, tenure at Harvard, a gig at NYU, book sales totaling in the millions (his twentieth title, The Lying Stones of Marrak ech, comes out next month), not to mention a schedule that takes him to London, Paris, or L.A. almost weekly. Not bad for a college professor. But recently, he's picked up one of the less (...) desirable accoutrements of fame. The graying, 58-year-old Queens native has become the first paleontologist in history with his own stalker—albeit an intellectual one. (shrink)
The application of evolutionary theory to human behavior has elicited a variety of critiques, some of which charge that this approach expresses or encourages conservative or reactionary political agendas. In a survey of graduate students in psychology, Tybur, Miller, and Gangestad (Human Nature, 18, 313–328, 2007) found that the political attitudes of those who use an evolutionary approach did not differ from those of other psychology grad students. Here, we present results from a directed online survey of a broad sample (...) of graduate students in anthropology that assays political views. We found that evolutionary anthropology graduate students were very liberal in their political beliefs, overwhelmingly voted for a liberal U.S. presidential candidate in the 2008 election, and identified with liberal political parties; in this, they were almost indistinguishable from non-evolutionary anthropology students. Our results contradict the view that evolutionary anthropologists hold conservative or reactionary political views. We discuss some possible reasons for the persistence of this view in terms of the sociology of science. (shrink)
Background There has been significant discussion about the need to manage conflict of interest (COI) in medical journals. This has lead many journals to implement policies to manage COI for authors and reviewers; however, surprisingly little attention has been focused on the COI of journal editors. Objective The goal of this exploratory study was to determine whether the policies were accessible to the public and to researchers, and to discuss the potential impact on public transparency. Design The authors conducted an (...) internet search of editor COI policy instruments that have been developed, implemented and communicated by the top 10 peer-reviewed medical journals (2010 ISI Web of Knowledge Impact Factor), and assessed their general accessibility by gauging the level of difficulty in navigating the journal's website (number of clicks to find the policy instruments). Results Only four of the 10 medical journals (40%) in this study have accessible COI policy directives that include editors (JIM, PLoS Medicine, AIM, CMAJ). One journal (NEJM) had an editorial on the subject, and another (The Lancet) mentioned editor COI in their general guidelines. These documents are not readily accessible; starting from the journal's main website at least four clicks are needed to access these documents. Conclusion These results suggest that there is a general lack of accessible editor COI policy instruments among leading medical journals, something that may consequently have a negative impact on the trust accorded to these journals. (shrink)
1 Be Still Sitting is a natural slowing down of this rushing, self-centered, mind-body chattering that we often live. This is the practice of realization, which is what we are, and this practice allows us to be who we are.
Toward a Postmodernist View of Conflict of Interest Content Type Journal Article Category Case Studies Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11673-012-9359-x Authors Elise Smith, Doctorat en sciences humaines appliquées, option bioéthique, Programmes de bioéthique, Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3J7 Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
While there has been significant discussion in the health sciences and ethics literatures about problems associated with publication practices (e.g., ghost- and gift-authorship, conflicts of interest), there has been relatively little practical guidance developed to help researchers determine how they should fairly allocate credit for multi-authored publications. Fair allocation of credit requires that participating authors be acknowledged for their contribution and responsibilities, but it is not obvious what contributions should warrant authorship, nor who should be responsible for the quality and (...) content of the scientific research findings presented in a publication. In this paper, we review arguments presented in the ethics and health science literatures, and the policies or guidelines proposed by learned societies and journals, in order to explore the link between author contribution and responsibility in multi-author multidisciplinary health science publications. We then critically examine the various procedures used in the field to help researchers fairly allocate authorship. (shrink)
In a competitive, globalised world, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is proposed as a strategy to invigorate the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The primary objective of this paper is to identify CSR factors that influence the competitiveness of SMEs and to develop a hypothesised model that can be tested on SMEs. Although SMEs in Uganda are increasingly becoming the backbone of the economy, their rate of survival and competitiveness are a cause for concern. The outcomes of CSR activities (...) can help to improve the survival rate of SMEs, and may offer great opportunities for business competitiveness, locally and globally. (shrink)
Despite a recent economic downturn, there is considerable political and industry pressure to retain or even increase the number of scientists in the UK and other developed countries. Claims are made that the supply of scientists (including engineers and mathematicians) is crucial to the economy and the health of the nation, and a large number of initiatives have been funded to address the problem. We consider these claims in light of a re-analysis of existing figures from 1986 to 2009, for (...) young scientists passing through education and into employment. Science graduates are heavily stratified by social origin, and this sorting takes place during initial schooling just as it does with other 'prestige' subjects. The majority of science graduates then move into initial occupations that are not directly related to their degree, suggesting that at this stage of life at least, the demand for scientists trained in specific areas is more than met by existing numbers. We have no reason to believe that the situation is different to other vocational and non-vocational subjects, so perhaps science is not as special as politicians and business leaders imagine. Perhaps young people are put off careers in science by their education. Or perhaps the incentives are not right, leading to the 'wrong' kinds of students in science, and so wastage and inefficiency in the supply process. More pertinently, perhaps this vocational outcome is not how a developed country should assess the value and importance of scientific knowledge among its population. (shrink)
A subcategory of medical tourism, reproductive tourism has been the subject of much public and policy debate in recent years. Specific concerns include: the exploitation of individuals and communities, access to needed health care services, fair allocation of limited resources, and the quality and safety of services provided by private clinics. To date, the focus of attention has been on the thriving medical and reproductive tourism sectors in Asia and Eastern Europe; there has been much less consideration given to more (...) recent ‘players’ in Latin America, notably fertility clinics in Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. In this paper, we examine the context-specific ethical and policy implications of private Argentinean fertility clinics that market reproductive services via the internet. Whether or not one agrees that reproductive services should be made available as consumer goods, the fact is that they are provided as such by private clinics around the world. We argue that basic national regulatory mechanisms are required in countries such as Argentina that are marketing fertility services to local and international publics. Specifically, regular oversight of all fertility clinics is essential to ensure that consumer information is accurate and that marketed services are safe and effective. It is in the best interests of consumers, health professionals and policy makers that the reproductive tourism industry adopts safe and responsible medical practices. (shrink)
In recent years there has been an increasing awareness that a comprehensive understanding of language, cognitive and affective processes, and social and interpersonal phenomena cannot be achieved without understanding the ways these processes are grounded in bodily states. The term ‘embodiment’ captures the common denominator of these developments, which come from several disciplinary perspectives ranging from neuroscience, cognitive science, social psychology, and affective sciences. For the first time, this volume brings together these varied developments under one umbrella and furnishes a (...) comprehensive overview of this intellectual movement in the cognitive-behavioral sciences. (shrink)
This paper considers the use of secondary data analysis in educational research. It addresses some of the promises and potential pitfalls that influence its use and explores a possible role for the secondary analysis of numeric data in the 'new' political arithmetic tradition of social research. Secondary data analysis is a relatively under-used technique in Education and in the social sciences more widely, and it is an approach that is not without its critics. Here we consider two main objections to (...) the use of secondary data: that it is full of errors and that because of the socially constructed nature of social data, simply reducing it to a numeric form cannot fully encapsulate its complexity. However, secondary data also offers numerous methodological, theoretical and pedagogical benefits. Indeed by treating secondary data analysis with appropriate scepticism and respect for its limitations, by demanding that tacit assumptions about the unreliability of secondary data are applied equally to other research methods, and crucially by combining secondary data analysis with small-scale in-depth work, this paper argues for a return to prominence of secondary data analysis in its own right as well as becoming a central component of the new political arithmetic tradition of social research. (shrink)
We review Potts’ influential book on the semantics of conventional implicature (CI), offering an explication of his technical apparatus and drawing out the proposal’s implications, focusing on the class of CIs he calls supplements. While we applaud many facets of this work, we argue that careful considerations of the pragmatics of CIs will be required in order to yield an empirically and explanatorily adequate account.
The synthesis proposed by Gintis is valuable but insufficient. Greater consideration must be given to epistemological diversity within the behavioral sciences, to incorporating historical contingency and institutional constraints on decision-making, and to vigorously testing deductive models of human behavior in real-world contexts. (Published Online April 27 2007).
There is a continuum between prototypical cases of rule use and prototypical cases of similarity use. A prototypical rule: (1) is explicitly represented, (2) can be verbalized, and (3) requires that the user selectively attend to a few features of the object, while ignoring the others. Prototypical similarity-use requires that: (1) the user should match the object to a mental representation holistically, and (2) there should be no selective attention or inhibition. Neural evidence supports prototypical rule-use. Most models of categorization (...) fall between the two prototypes. (shrink)
The relationship between game play and naturalistic cooperation, generosity, or market involvement is ambiguous at best, making it difficult to link game results to preferences and beliefs guiding decision-making in daily life. Discounting reputation-based explanations because the games are anonymous, while arguing that game play is guided by motivational structures or framing effects reflecting daily life, is inconsistent.
Although an excellent review, the target article displays a bias in favor of reciprocity-based explanations and against alternatives. Tolerated scrounging is more subtle and pervasive than portrayed here. Costly signaling need not be limited to public displays and generalized sharing. The theoretical basis for extensive sharing and other forms of collective action remains unresolved, and standard reciprocity-based explanations are insufficient.
Anecdotal evidence from many hunter-gatherer societies suggests that successful hunters experience higher prestige and greater reproductive success. Detailed quantitative data on these patterns are now available for five widely dispersed cases (Ache, Hadza, !Kung, Lamalera, and Meriam) and indicate that better hunters exhibit higher age-corrected reproductive success than other men in their social group. Leading explanations to account for this pattern are: (1) direct provisioning of hunters’ wives and offspring, (2) dyadic reciprocity, (3) indirect reciprocity, (4) costly signaling, and (5) (...) phenotypic correlation. I examine the qualitative and quantitative evidence bearing on these explanations and conclude that although none can be definitively rejected, extensive and apparently unconditional sharing of large game somewhat weakens the first three explanations. The costly signaling explanation has support in some cases, although the exact nature of the benefits gained from mating or allying with or deferring to better hunters needs further study. (shrink)
The paper re-examines the underachievement debate from the perspective of the 'discourse of derision' that surrounds much writing in this area. It considers the contradictions and inconsistencies which underpin much of the discourse -- from a reinterpretation of examination scores, to the conflation of the concepts of 'under' and 'low' achievement and finally to the lack of consensus on a means of defining and measuring the term underachievement. In doing so, this paper suggests a more innovative approach for understanding, re-evaluating (...) and perhaps rejecting the notion of underachievement. (shrink)
The target article adopts an adaptationist research strategy that, while logically coherent, suffers from various limitations, including problems in reconstructing past selective environments, ambiguity in how narrowly to define adaptive problems or selection pressures, and an overemphasis on specialization in evolved psychological mechanisms. To remedy these problems, I support a more flexible approach involving phenotypic adaptation and cultural evolution.
This paper addresses methodological and metatheoretical aspects of the ongoing debate over the adaptive significance of Tibetan polyandry. Methodological contributions include a means of estimating relatedness of fraternal co-husbands given multigenerational polyandry, and use of Hamilton’s rule and a member-joiner model to specify how inclusive fitness gains of co-husbands may vary according to seniority, opportunity costs, and group size. These methods are applied to various data sets, particularly that of Crook and Crook (1988). The metatheoretical discussion pivots on the critique (...) by evolutionary psychologists of adaptationist accounts of polyandry. Contrary to this critique, I argue that valid adaptationist explanations of such practices do not necessitate cognitive mechanisms evolved specifically to produce polyandry, nor that there must have been exact equivalents of Tibetan agricultural estates and social institutions in human evolutionary history. Specific issues raised when one posits either kin selection or cultural evolution to explain the adaptive features of Tibetan polyandry are also discussed. (shrink)
Abstract Three recent books on public opinion attempt to map changes in the public's policy preferences over the last few decades. Such changes have clearly occurred, but a single, overriding ?public mood? remains elusive. Rather, different components of the public mood seem to move in different directions. Furthermore, it is unclear how much of the apparent change in public mood is real and how much is an artifact resulting from changes in public policies. Yet elite perceptions, or misperceptions, of public (...) opinion are important determinants of those very policies, raising questions about the coherence of opinion?led government. (shrink)
We advance a model of human probability judgment and apply it to the design of an extrapolation algorithm. Such an algorithm examines a person's judgment about the likelihood of various statements and is then able to predict the same person's judgments about new statements. The algorithm is tested against judgments produced by thirty undergraduates asked to assign probabilities to statements about mammals.