The notion that the idea of nature isnot quite the unbiased rule to designsustainable futures is obvious. But,nevertheless, questions about nature, how itfunctions and what it might aim at, is leadingthe controversial debates about bothsustainability and biotechnology. These tworesearch areas hardly have the same theorybackground. Whereas in the first concept, theidea of eternal cyclical processes is basic,the latter focuses on optimization. However,both concepts can work together, but only undera narrow range of public acceptance in Europe.The plausibility of arguments for usingbiotechnology (...) within sustainable technologiesvaries according to the assumed part natureitself plays for reaching optimized states. Theculture related vision of nature's functionshas impact on agricultural biotechnology,dealing not only with food crops but also withnon-food plants like renewable resources thatare used for energy or fiber production. Theseplants are grown to reach sustainabledevelopment. However, there is a fundamentaldifference between regarding biofuels as``renewable'' and ``regenerative,'' due to thetension between the concepts of ``the natural''and ``the sustainable.'' Arguments ofoptimization, efficiency, and efficacy arecritically discussed in order to take thepresent need for sustainable technologies forserious. (shrink)
Internet users have access to a multitude of science-related information – on journalistic news sites but also on blogs with user-generated content. In this context, we investigated in two studies the factors which influence laypersons’ selective exposure. In an experiment with a collection of online news, parents were asked to search for information about the controversy surrounding violence in the media. Texts from high-reputation sources were clicked on more frequently – regardless of content –, whereas ratings by others had limited (...) effects. In a second experiment, the expertise and gender of blog authors as well as valence and number of ratings were varied. In this setting, texts from sources with positive ratings were read for longer. Results show that laypersons make use of credibility cues when deciding which articles to read. For online news sites, media reputation is most important, whereas in blogs, ratings are taken into account more frequently. (shrink)
Nicole C. Karafyllis and Gotlind Ulshöfer (Eds): Sexualised Brains, Scientific Modelling of Emotional Intelligence from a Cultural Perspective Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 407-408 DOI 10.1007/s12376-009-0035-3 Authors Antje Kampf, School of Medicine of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz Institute for the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine Am Pulverturm 13 55131 Mainz Germany Journal Medicine Studies Online ISSN 1876-4541 Print ISSN 1876-4533 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 4.
Die moderne Samenbank lässt sich mit Medienbegriffen beschreiben, von Bestand bis Infrastruktur. Stets bleibt als blinder Fleck die Medialität des Samens, dessen Vitalität im Dunkel der Kühlkammer künstlich verlängert wird. Der Beitrag diskutiert Varianten, das Problem der Teleologie der Natur in Medienbegriffen abzuhandeln und bietet eine neue Geschichte von ›den Bienen und den Blumen‹. Er hebt den Samen als Inbegriff einer nicht reduzierbaren Substanz hervor, dessen Latenz als mediales Apriori des Lebenden begreifbar wird. A modern sperm bank can actually be (...) described by using media terms such as ›stock‹ or ›infrastructure‹. However, the mediality of sperm seems to be persistently lingering in a blind spot, its vitality artificially prolonged in the dark of the cooling chamber. This article discusses different variants to treat the problem of describing the teleology of nature with the help of media terms and offers a new take on the story of ›the birds and the bees‹. The argumentation stresses the importance of sperm as the very quintessence of a non-reducible substance whose latency as a medial a priori of life thus becomes palpable. (shrink)
The active debate about the return of incidental or secondary findings in research has primarily focused on return to research participants, or in some cases, family members. Particular attention has been paid to return of genomic findings. Yet, research may generate other types of findings that warrant consideration for return, including findings related to the pathology of donated biospecimens. In the case of deceased biospecimen donors who are also organ and/or tissue transplant donors, pathology incidental findings may be relevant not (...) to family members, but to potential organ or tissue transplant recipients. This paper will describe the ethical implications of pathology incidental findings in the Genotype-Tissue Expression project, the process for developing a consensus approach as to if/when such findings should be returned, possible implications for other research projects collecting postmortem tissues and how the scenario encountered in GTEx fits into the larger return of results/incidental findings debate. (shrink)
Like every major new technology, genetic engineering is affecting the hopes and fears of many people. The risks involved are perceived differently by different groups. One group regards genetic engineering as a simple extension of older techniques with no special risks, e.g. traditional breeding. This conservative denial of special risks is confronted with a different kind of conservatism from a group which, in the name of the preservation of nature, opposes any kind of genetic engineering. A third group, rooted in (...) the liberal tradition, is prepared to accept the risks of genetic engineering as long as they are outweighed by prospective benefits. The liberal as well as the two conservative approaches, however, face serious difficulties in trying to develop a sound ethical argument concerning genetic engineering. In order to avoid these difficulties, an ethical approach focused on paradigmatic examples of good and evil is proposed. Such examples constitute rules of moral description, much as standards of measurement constitute rules of physical description. These rules are elaborated and interpreted in processes of social learning. In the present state of development of genetic engineering, such social learning requires appropriate institutional procedures. (shrink)
ArgumentWe examine the criteria used to validate the use of nonhuman organisms in North-American alcohol addiction research from the 1950s to the present day. We argue that this field, where the similarities between behaviors in humans and non-humans are particularly difficult to assess, has addressed questions of model validity by transforming the situatedness of non-human organisms into an experimental tool. We demonstrate that model validity does not hinge on the standardization of one type of organism in isolation, as often the (...) case with genetic model organisms. Rather, organisms are viewed as necessarily situated: they cannot be understood as a model for human behavior in isolation from their environmental conditions. Hence the environment itself is standardized as part of the modeling process; and model validity is assessed with reference to the environmental conditions under which organisms are studied. (shrink)
Was ist Natur oder was könnte sie sein? Diese und weitere Fragen sind grundlegend für Naturdenken und -handeln. Das Lehr- und Studienbuch bietet eine historisch-systematische und zugleich praxisbezogene Einführung in die Naturphilosophie mit ihren wichtigsten Begriffen. Es nimmt den pluralen Charakter der Wahrnehmung von Natur in den philosophischen Blick und ist auch zum Selbststudium bestens geeignet.
This article examines sexual identity formation among 346 lesbian-identified and 60 bisexual-identified women. On average, bisexuals come out at later ages and exhibit less “stable” identity histories. However, variations in identity history among lesbians and bisexuals overshadow the differences between them and demonstrate that coming out is not a linear, goal-oriented, developmental process. Sexual identity formation must be reconceptualized as a process of describing one's social location within a changing social context. Changes in sexual identity are, therefore, expected of mature (...) individuals as they maintain an accurate description of their position vis-à-vis other individuals, groups, and institutions. (shrink)
Pedagogical intervention regarding engagement with natural, artistic and moral beauty can lead to an increase in trait hope. In a quasi-experimental design with college students the intervention group showed significantly higher gain scores on trait hope than did the comparison group; the effect size was moderate. The experimental group also experienced significantly larger increases with engagement with moral beauty ; the effect size was large. The discussion section focuses on integrating understanding beauty with moral education pedagogy, using a key element (...) in philosophical definitions of beauty : unity-in-diversity. It is hypothesized that such pedagogy will increase engagement with natural, artistic and moral beauty and thus raise trait hope. (shrink)
A theoretical framework is required that explains why and how cross-group contact reduces collective action and how the demobilizing effects can be counteracted. We propose that at least two mechanisms are involved: an affective process whereby the positive affect created offsets negative emotions and action tendencies, and a more strategic process whereby individual advancement comes to seem like a possibility.