The catchment of the River Thames, the principal river system in southern England, provides the main water supply for London but is highly vulnerable to changes in climate, land use and population. The river is eutrophic with significant algal blooms with phosphorus assumed to be the primary chemical indicator of ecosystem health. In the Thames Basin, phosphorus is available from point sources such as wastewater treatment plants and from diffuse sources such as agriculture. In order to predict vulnerability to future (...) change, the integrated catchments model for phosphorus (INCA-P) has been applied to the river basin and used to assess the cost-effectiveness of a range of mitigation and adaptation strategies. It is shown that scenarios of future climate and land-use change will exacerbate the water quality problems, but a range of mitigation measures can improve the situation. A cost-effectiveness study has been undertaken to compare the economic benefits of each mitigation measure and to assess the phosphorus reductions achieved. The most effective strategy is to reduce fertilizer use by 20% together with the treatment of effluent to a high standard. Such measures will reduce the instream phosphorus concentrations to close to the EU Water Framework Directive target for the Thames. (shrink)
Culture not only influences human psychology and perceptions of self, others and reality, it also, in certain contexts, influences the quality and degree of consciousness itself. If the brain gives shape to consciousness, then we would expect culture to have a corresponding impact on the functional anatomy and microstructure of the brain. The concept of 'collective representations', as developed by Durkheim, refers to the often crucial components of human life that have meaningful existence only because we agree that they do-- (...) such as customs, money, religion, cosmology, language, games, laws, power structures and artistic genres. We present recent imaging research which illuminates the feedback relationship between these two types of representation-- the collective and the cortical-- and which demonstrates that collective representations can have well-defined cortical representations. (shrink)
Children seem to have a profound implicit knowledge of human behaviour, because they laugh at Bugs Bunny cartoons where much of the humour depends on animals behaving like humans and our intuitive recognition that this is absurd. Scientists, on the other hand, have problems defining what this 'human difference' is. I suggest these problems are of cultural origin. For example, the industrial revolution and the protestant work ethic have created a world in which work is valued over play, object intelligence (...) over social intelligence, and science and technology over the arts. This may explain why we have so many imaging studies of tool-use and object manipulation, but only four studies of dance, two of pretend play, and one of role-play. Yet in order to understand child development, the evolution of the brain, and the emergence of human self-consciousness, we need to look at social displays-- such as dance, song, image-making and role-play-- which underpin human culture, cooperation and the arts. I will discuss recent brain imaging research on playful versus instrumental behaviour and show how, in conjunction with archaeological data, we can use this to make sense of human evolution. (shrink)
This paper opens with a presentation of the philosophical underpinning and rationale of the concept of physical literacy. This is followed by an articulation of the concept of physical literacy. Three subsequent sections then consider aspects of the concept in a little more detail. The first investigates the relationship of the physical literacy to the development of a sense of self and to establishing interaction with others. Here the philosophical approach is informed by writings on cognitive development and recent neurological (...) insights. The second considers the universality of the concept and looks briefly at the views of existentialists and of contemporary sociologists. The third section addresses the place of propositional knowledge in being physically literate. The implications of objectifying the body in descriptive language are weighed against the fact that verbally expressed understanding and knowledge are an integral part of Western culture. The debate presented is one of a series that has, over the last five years, mapped the author's work on developing the concept of physical literacy. The aspects chosen to be discussed here are three that have generated considerable interest and debate. In conclusion, there is a short reflection on the implications of the views discussed for education and physical education. (shrink)
La condición de la Vida en la Naturaleza es el problema sobre el que se erigen la Filosofía y la Ciencia. En efecto, es el punto central de encuentro de todos los esfuerzos del pensamiento sistemático, humanístico, naturalista o filosófico. El auténtico sentido de la vida resulta dudoso. Cuando lo entendamos, entenderemos también el significado que ella tiene en el mundo. Pero su esencia y su condición resultan por igual difícilmente comprensibles.
Contemporary work on the links between geography and morality tends to focus on the spatial aspects of moral conduct. This paper argues that in addition to geographical space, geographical scale also plays a crucial role in the construction and maintenance of moral frameworks. Focusing on the emergence of the sustainable region in the UK, this paper argues that purportedly sustainable spaces, like the region, contain distinctive moral codes of socio-ecological conduct which are designed to guide actions and locational decisions within (...) regional space. Drawing on the case of regional development in the West Midlands, however, analysis shows that sustainable regions are characterised by not only a moral geography of space, but also a morality of scale. Combining recent work on moral geography with analyses of the political construction of geographical scale, this paper uses the case of post-war regional development in the West Midlands to show how the construction of moral landscapes is intimately tied to the production of particular moralities of scale and scales of morality. (shrink)
Studies of animal culture have not normally included a consideration of cetaceans. However, with several long-term field studies now maturing, this situation should change. Animal culture is generally studied by either investigating transmission mechanisms experimentally, or observing patterns of behavioural variation in wild populations that cannot be explained by either genetic or environmental factors. Taking this second, ethnographic, approach, there is good evidence for cultural transmission in several cetacean species. However, only the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops) has been shown experimentally to (...) possess sophisticated social learning abilities, including vocal and motor imitation; other species have not been studied. There is observational evidence for imitation and teaching in killer whales. For cetaceans and other large, wide-ranging animals, excessive reliance on experimental data for evidence of culture is not productive; we favour the ethnographic approach. The complex and stable vocal and behavioural cultures of sympatric groups of killer whales (Orcinus orca) appear to have no parallel outside humans, and represent an independent evolution of cultural faculties. The wide movements of cetaceans, the greater variability of the marine environment over large temporal scales relative to that on land, and the stable matrilineal social groups of some species are potentially important factors in the evolution of cetacean culture. There have been suggestions of gene-culture coevolution in cetaceans, and culture may be implicated in some unusual behavioural and life-history traits of whales and dolphins. We hope to stimulate discussion and research on culture in these animals. (shrink)
In this paper, we describe our recent approaches to introducing students in a beginning computer science class to the study of ethical issues related to computer science and technology. This consists of three components: lectures on ethics and technology, in-class discussion of ethical scenarios, and a reflective paper on a topic related to ethics or the impact of technology on society. We give both student reactions to these aspects, and instructor perspective on the difficulties and benefits in exposing students to (...) these ideas. (shrink)