Microbial ecology is flourishing, and in the process, is making contributions to how the ecology and biology of large organisms is understood. Ongoing advances in sequencing technology and computational methods have enabled the collection and analysis of vast amounts of molecular data from diverse biological communities. While early studies focused on cataloguing microbial biodiversity in environments ranging from simple marine ecosystems to complex soil ecologies, more recent research is concerned with community functions and their dynamics over time. Models and concepts (...) from traditional ecology have been used to generate new insight into microbial communities, and novel system-level models developed to explain and predict microbial interactions. The process of moving from molecular inventories to functional understanding is complex and challenging, and never more so than when many thousands of dynamic interactions are the phenomena of interest. We outline the process of how epistemic transitions are made from producing catalogues of molecules to achieving functional and predictive insight, and show how those insights not only revolutionize what is known about biological systems but also about how to do biology itself. Examples will be drawn primarily from analyses of different human microbiota, which are the microbial consortia found in and on areas of the human body, and their associated microbiomes (the genes of those communities). Molecular knowledge of these microbiomes is transforming microbiological knowledge, as well as broader aspects of human biology, health and disease. (shrink)
This report presents the findings of a survey of business ethics education undertaken in the Fall of 1988. The respondents were the deans of colleges and universities associated with the AACSB.Ethics, as a curriculum topic, received significant coverage at over 90 percent of the institutions, with 53 percent indicating interest in increasing coverage of the subject. The tabulations of this survey may prove useful to schools seeking to compare or develop their emphases in business ethics.
Jones (1991) has proposed an issue-contingent model of ethical decision making by individuals in organizations. The distinguishing feature of the issue was identified as its moral intensity, which determines the moral imperative in the situation. In this study, we adapted three scenarios from the literature in order to examine the issue-contingent model. Findings, based on a student sample, suggest that (1) the perceived and actual dimensions of moral intensity often differed; (2) perceived moral intensity variables, in the aggregate, significantly affected (...) an individual''s moral judgments; and (3) some dimensions of moral intensity (namely, perceived social consensus and perceived magnitude of consequences) mattered more than others. (shrink)
E-learning has been widely utilized in medical education and suggested by some proponents to represent a fundamental advance in educational methodology. We challenge this conclusion by examining e-learning in the context of broader learning theories, specifically as they relate to instructional design and methods. Core tenets of educational design are applied to e-learning in a unified model for instructional design, and examples of e-learning technologies are examined in the context of medical education, with reflections on research questions generated by these (...) new modalities. Throughout, we argue that e-learning is a tool that, when designed appropriately, can be used to meet worthy educational goals. (shrink)
In our paper we will try to connect the dynamics of community decline to individual responses. We will operate on two levels of reality. At the first level we will discuss the circumstances surrounding the recent decline of small communities in North Dakota. At the second level we will discuss how this decline affects small town residents' attitudes toward economic development. In the first level analysis we examine the thesis that the natural environment of community growth is economic exploitation; therefore, (...) the decline of resource-based communities is natural and inevitable. We discuss the circumstances surrounding the recent decline of small communities in North Dakota. At the second level analysis, we operate at the level at which life circumstances and environments are shaped by political-economic institutions that in turn shape the behavior and mentality of communities, families, and individuals. We hypothesize that residents of declining small towns deny their powerlessness and adapt to their situation through intense dedication to economic growth. We develop a series of hypotheses to test this thesis using data from the North Dakota Rural Life Poll. In our conclusion, we discuss implications for rural development practitioners working in declining small towns where this intense dedication to economic development in prevalent. (shrink)
The metaphysical dispute between moral realists and antirealists is cast in terms of properties: the realist holds that moral properties exist, the antirealist denies this claim. There is a longstanding philosophical dispute over the nature of properties, and the obscurity of properties may make the realist/antirealist dispute even more obscure. In the spirit of deflationary theories of truth, we can turn to a deflationary theory of properties in order to clarify this issue. One might reasonably worry that such an account (...) of properties would not be capable of properly characterizing disputes regarding the existence or nonexistence of genuine moral properties. In this paper, I will show that, within this framework, the traditional disputes over the existence of moral properties can be characterized in a far clearer fashion than is usually the case. A deflationary account of properties, along with an explanatory hierarchy of properties, makes the dispute in ontology clear. (shrink)
This paper combines a review of existing literature in the field of business ethics education and a case study relating to the integration of ethics into an undergraduate degree. Prior to any discussion relating to the integration of ethics into the business curriculum, we need to be cognisant of, and prepared for, the arguments raised by sceptics in both the business and academic environments, in regard to the teaching of ethics. Having laid this foundation, the paper moves to practical questions (...) such as who should teach ethics, and when and how can ethics be taught. The paper presents alternative models for the teaching of ethics in the curriculum of undergraduate and postgraduate business programmes. An integrative model is elaborated on in more detail with a case example describing the six-stage process undertaken in the move from a single entry course to an integrated approach. The case study details not only the planning and initial implementation of ethical education in the context of an undergraduate business degree programme, but also the means by which a change in the way that ethics is taught was achieved in a business faculty in a tertiary institution. (shrink)
We examine the occurrence of ethicsrelated terms in 10-K annual reports over 1994-2006 and offer empirical observations on the conceptual framework of Erhard et al. (Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics, and Legality (Harvard Business School, Harvard) 2007). We use a pre-Sarbanes-Oxley sample subset to compare the occurrence of ethics-related terms in our 10-K data with samples from other studies that consider virtue-related phenomena. We find that firms using ethics-related terms are more likely to (...) be "sin" stocks, are more likely to be the object of class action lawsuits, and are more likely to score poorly on measures of corporate governance. The consistency of our results across these alternative measures of ethical behavior suggests that managers who portray their firm as "ethical" in 10-K reports are more likely to be systematically misleading the public. These results are consistent with the integrity-performance paradox. (shrink)
This paper investigates ethical perceptions among Hong Kong Chinese managers of themselves and peers according to age, location of education and employment (local vs. multinational), based upon responses to thirteen potentially unethical situations.The major conclusions of the study are: (1) there is little consistency among perceptions of ethical situations; (2) Hong Kong managers perceive their peers as more unethical than themselves; (3) ethical perceptions in some situations are affected by age and to a lesser extent, place of education; and (4) (...) significant interactions were found between age and the nature of employer, as well as between the place of education and the nature of employer. (shrink)
In this paper, I outline both a nonanthropocentric and non-subjective theory of intrinsic value which incorporates pragmatism in environmental ethics in a novel way. The theory, which I call creative actualization, is a non-hierarchical, nonsubjective theory of value which includes the value of nonhuman species and the biosphere. I argue that there are conditions to such values. These limitations include evaluations of actual improvement (meliorism) and reciprocity as conditions. These conditions are necessary limitations upon actions, i.e., duties. I incorporate a (...) deontological ethic thereby as an alternative to utilitarian and other ethical theories in environmental ethics. Duties are to species and to habitats, not to individuals. I conclude that the distinction between ethics and ecological ethics is no longer tenable, given a theory of obligation which is truly universal rather than speciesist. Ecological ethics is the ethics of the future, embracing a way of life, duty, and questions of ultimate worth. (shrink)
Christian morality has been of enormous significance in world history and still underpins moral notions today. In this groundbreaking volume, J. Ian H. McDonald explores the notion of Christian ethics and discusses its roots, its significance in developing moral standards throughout the world and its stability in the modern world. The Crucible of Christian Morality begins with a study of the ethos of early Christian communities, examining the relation of cosmic vision to moral attitude and authority, noting also the (...) types of moral discourse used, and tracing the roots of these developments to the Old Testament and to the ministry of Jesus. The second half of the book concentrates on selected moral themes, concerned with persons, with communities in societies and with virtue or moral excellence, situating them in the context of ancient cultural developments. (shrink)
What makes a food good, for you? With respect to food, the expression “good for you” usually refers to the effect of the food on the nutritional health of the eater, but it can also pertain more broadly. The expression is often used by a person who is concerned with another person’s well-being, as part of an exhortation. But when framed as a question and addressed to you, as an individual, the question can require a response, calling for accountability beyond (...) the realm of nutrition or other material qualities of the food. Economic value may be considered as a ratio: goodness/price. In this paper, we examine the numerator, exploring a broad range of values domains related to food, attempting to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the meaning of goodness of food. We present a typology of values domains with respect to food, divided into three main categories: (1) material considerations, (2) psychological, psychosocial, and spiritual health, and (3) the well-being of society. This understanding that results from comprehensive consideration of these values domains has important implications for an individual for use in considering the question “what food is good for you?” in order to guide his or her future actions, helping to distinguish between what Dewey termed immediate good and reasonable good. A pragmatic approach to a fuller consideration of food-related values domains by individuals also has broad social, political, and economic implications. If, according to the FAO, food security involves both needs and preferences, consideration of what preferences are appropriate is fundamental to achieving food security. The questions about what is considered to be good food are central to questions about the sorts of food and agricultural systems human societies will seek to sustain. The approach to resolving this important aspect of sustainability might help inform a more general question as to appropriate limitations on preferences, a question fundamental to achieving sustainability in general. (shrink)
KRISP is a representation system and set of interpretation protocols that is used in the Sparser natural language understanding system to embody the meaning of texts and their pragmatic contexts. It is based on a denotational notion of semantic interpretation, where the phrases of a text are directly projected onto a largely pre-existing set of individuals and categories in a model, rather than first going through a level of symbolic representation such as a logical form. It defines a small set (...) of semantic object types, grounded in the lambda calculus, and it supports the principle of uniqueness and supplies first class objects to represent partially-saturated relationships.KRISP is being used to develop a core set of concepts for such things as names, amounts, time, and modality, which are part of a few larger models for domains including Who''s News and joint ventures. It is targeted at the task of information extraction, emphasizing the need to relate entities mentioned in new texts to a large set of pre-defined entities and those read about in earlier articles or in the same article. (shrink)
InTowards a Canadian Research Strategy ForApplied Ethics, I put forward proposals to advance Canadian research in applied ethics. I focus on the assessment made of Canadian teaching, consulting, and research in business and professional ethics and then on the strategy proposed for advancing work in these areas. I argue for research which is  oriented to the ethical needs of those in business and the professions,  interdisciplinary, and  involves the creation of national and international networks. I then offer (...) some preliminary observations on the first two years of the new research strategy''s operation. (shrink)
Background In Canadian jurisdictions without specific legislation pertaining to research consent, the onus is placed on researchers to determine whether a child is capable of independently consenting to participate in a research study. Little, however, is known about how child health researchers are approaching consent and capacity assessment in practice. The aim of this study was to explore and describe researchers' current practices. Methods The study used a qualitative descriptive design consisting of 14 face-to-face interviews with child health researchers and (...) research assistants in Southern Ontario. Transcribed interviews were analysed for common themes. Results Procedures for assessing capacity varied considerably from the use of age cutoffs to in-depth engagement with each child. Three key issues emerged from the accounts: (1) requirements that consent be provided by a single person thwarted researchers' abilities to support family decision-making; (2) little practical distinction was made between assessing if a child was capable, versus determining if study information had been adequately explained by the researcher; and (3) participants' perceived that review boards' requirements may conflict with what they considered ethical consent practices. Conclusion The results suggest that researchers' consent and capacity knowledge and skills vary considerably. Perceived discrepancies between ethical practice and ethics boards' requirements suggest the need for dialogue, education and possibly ethics board reforms. Furthermore we propose, where appropriate, a ‘family decision-making’ model that allows parents and their children to consent together, thereby shifting the focus from separate assent and consent procedures to approaches that appropriately engage the child and family. (shrink)
This paper presents empirical data which allow us to examine how ethical aspects influence ethical consumers’ brand choices on technology-based products,such as washing machines, fridge freezers, and cars. Predicted by the literature review, the majority of our interviewees did make their brand choice based onreliability. However, we found that ethical consumers’ concept of reliability includes not only functionality but also ethical values. The results suggest that we have to reconsider whether considerations of companies’ ethical standards are the only indicators of (...) brand choice as a shortcut of the assessment of business ethics or whether various forms of ethical considerations including ethically reconstructed reliability can also a contribute to this. (shrink)
This paper synthesises a collaborative review of social capital theory, with particular regard for its relevance to the changing educational landscape within Scotland. The review considers the common and distinctive elements of social capital, developed by the founding fathers-Putnam, Bourdieu and Coleman-and explores how these might help to understand the changing contexts and pursue opportunities for growth.
I briefly discuss first philosophy (metaphysics), including different “paradigms’ of first philosophy in the history of Western philosophy. I then discuss the rise of environmental ethics as a new field of philosophy and the debate over anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric values. I suggest that ecocentric value theories could constitute a new first philosophy using the “paradigm” of value in first philosophy and why they should constitute a first philosophy.
To bring our topic within manageable limits, the attempt will be made to approach the philosophy of nature in a systematic manner. Borrowing the quantitative categories of one, some and all, nature will be treated as first as singular, then a whole or totality and finally discussed in terms of various distinctions which set nature apart as a part. Past philosophic treatments will be discussed when germane to this treatment, as an example of a particular view of nature. I will (...) argue that nature is not a per se being, cannot be singular or the whole and that the various distinctions that separate the natural from other—the artificial, theconventional, etc.—are inadequate. (shrink)
The effects of strontium on the solidi. cation mode of hypereutectic aluminium-silicon alloys have been studied. Samples were prepared from an aluminium-17wt% silicon-based alloy and strontium was added at several different concentrations. The development of the microstructure was investigated by cooling curve analysis, interrupted solidi. cation experiments and optical and scanning electron microscopy. It was found that nucleation of primary silicon is suppressed by additions of strontium. The suppressed nucleation results in supersaturation of the liquid prior to nucleation, and an (...) increased growth rate after nucleation. As a result, the silicon crystals become less faceted and more dendritic with increasing strontium additions. Increasing the strontium concentration slightly refined the eutectic spacing and introduced a small amount of fibrous silicon. Electron back-scatter diffraction measurements were performed to determine the crystallographic relation between the primary and eutectic silicon phases. The eutectic silicon in the unmodified alloy does not have any crystallographic relationship with the primary silicon crystals. In contrast, the eutectic silicon crystals in the strontium-modified alloys often share an identical or twin relationship with nearby primary silicon crystals. The incidence of twinning within primary silicon crystals was relatively low and did not appear to increase with strontium additions. (shrink)