A participatory rural appraisal inthree West African countries examined thepossibility for replacing chemical pesticidesto control locusts and grasshoppers with abiological control method based on anindigenous fungal pathogen. The fungus iscurrently being tested at different sites inthe Sahel and in the humid tropics of WestAfrica. Structured group interviews, individualdiscussions, and field visits, were used toobtain farmers' perceptions of locust andgrasshoppers as crop pests, their quantitativeestimation of crop losses, and theirwillingness to pay for locust control. Farmersas well as plant protection officers generallyperceived (...) locusts and grasshoppers as importantpests that cause significant damage. Farmerswere aware of some of the risks of the use ofchemical pesticides, but not of the potentialalternatives. The use of the fungus in anoil-formulation and standard Ultra Low Volume(ULV) equipment was demonstrated, and theresults discussed with farmers. Theirimpressions of biological control werefavorable, and they expressed an interest inusing the technology. Farmers' expressedwillingness to pay for locust control is small,but not negligible. Locusts and grasshoppersare very visible pests and thus amenable topressure from farmers to local administrators,as well as by farmers' relatives in the city onthe national government. Therefore, politicalpressure for locust control is strong, althoughnational governments spend little on it,depending mostly on foreign donors. Donors areincreasingly worried about the environmentaleffect of the large amounts of chemicalpesticides used on locust control, and arepushing for more benign alternatives. Theresults of the present survey indicate thatthere may be a potential market for abiopesticide against grasshoppers and locustson cash crops in the humid areas. The potentialmarket in the Sahel depends on a reduction ofcosts or a subsidy of its price. This subsidycould be justified by the expected reduction inenvironmental and health costs when replacingchemical pesticides. Since donors are thecurrent purchasers of chemical pesticides forthe Sahel, they would also be expected to beinvolved in the purchase of the biologicalproduct. (shrink)
The democratic age -- A brief history of human liberty -- The twisted path -- Illiberal democracy -- The Islamic exception -- Too much of a good thing -- The death of authority -- The way out -- The 51st state.
Islamic finance is gaining greater attention in the finance industry, and this paper analyses how Islamic financial institutions are responding to the welfare needs of society. Using interview data with managers and content analysis of the disclosures, this study attempts to understand management perceptions of corporate social responsibility in IFIs. A thorough understanding of CSR by managers, as evident in the interviews, has not been translated fully into practice. The partial use of IFIs’ potential role in social welfare would add (...) further challenges in the era of financialisation. (shrink)
This paper describes some important classes of two degrees of freedom of underactuated mechanical system and also surveys review of the recent state-of-the-art concerning the mathematical modeling of these systems, their classification, and all the control strategies that have been made so far to control these systems. Future research and challenges concerning the improvement, the effectiveness, and robustness of the proposed controllers for underactuated mechanical systems are presented.
This study aims to measure the latent mean difference in perfectionism and marital satisfaction by counseling help-seeking attitudes. The respondents were 327 married graduate students from a research university in Malaysia. An online self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data. The respondents completed the Almost Perfect Scale- Revised, Dyadic Almost Perfect Scale, Marital Satisfaction Scale, and Attitudes toward Seeking Professional Psychology Help Scale. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to examined the instruments and the results indicated that construct validity were (...) achieved. The latent mean difference in perfectionism and marital satisfaction by counseling help-seeking attitudes were tested using multigroup invariance analysis. The respondents with negative attitudes toward counseling help-seeking reported a higher latent mean in perfectionism but a lower latent mean in marital satisfaction compared to those with positive attitudes toward counseling help-seeking. The implications of these findings for counseling services are discussed. (shrink)
Privacy issues are frequently discussed amongst researchers, practitioners and patients in healthcare. However, psychiatric patients’ privacy issues get less attention in information system development (ISD), whereby they are one of the most important stakeholders. This paper applies Carew and Stapleton’s ISD privacy framework to psychiatric monitoring systems to understand the issues that are related to monitoring psychiatric patients’ behaviour. By understanding the privacy issues amongst patients, the research will be able to provide guidance to system developers to produce a privacy-sensitive (...) system that can contribute to the system engineering for international stability. We will elaborate each factor in the framework (physical, social, psychological and informational) and then explain the relationship to the privacy of psychiatric patient. (shrink)
It is obligatory to educate student researchers before they start their work by teaching them about the various types of plagiarism and how to avoid them. It is also vital that research supervisors take into account the sources of data that are explored in their students’ manuscripts. This article tries to draw the reader’s attention to the importance of avoiding all types of plagiarism in their research.
This study set out to investigate intellectual domains as well as the use of measurement and validation methods in language assessment research and second language acquisition published in English in peer-reviewed journals. Using Scopus, we created two datasets: a dataset of core journals consisting of 1,561 articles published in four language assessment journals, and a dataset of general journals consisting of 3,175 articles on language assessment published in the top journals of SLA and applied linguistics. We applied document co-citation analysis (...) to detect thematically distinct research clusters. Next, we coded citing papers in each cluster based on an analytical framework for measurement and validation. We found that the focus of the core journals was more exclusively on reading and listening comprehension assessment, facets of speaking and writing performance such as raters and validation, as well as feedback, corpus linguistics, and washback. By contrast, the primary focus of assessment research in the general journals was on vocabulary, oral proficiency, essay writing, grammar, and reading. The secondary focus was on affective schemata, awareness, memory, language proficiency, explicit vs. implicit language knowledge, language or semantic awareness, and semantic complexity. With the exception of language proficiency, this second area of focus was absent in the core journals. It was further found that the majority of citing publications in the two datasets did not carry out inference-based validation on their instruments before using them. More research is needed to determine what motivates authors to select and investigate a topic, how thoroughly they cite past research, and what internal and external factors lead to the sustainability of a Research Topic in language assessment. (shrink)
A mass balance based model has been derived to represent the dynamical behavior of the ecosystem contained in an anaerobic digester. The model considers two bacterial populations: acidogenic and methanogenic bacteria. It forms the basis for the design of a software sensor considering both a model of the biological system and on-line gaseous measurements. The software sensor computes the concentration of inorganic carbon and volatile fatty acids (VFA) in the digester. Another software sensor is dedicated to the estimation of the (...) bacterial biomasses. The predictions of the software sensors for a real experiment are very close to the actual off-line measurements. The software sensors monitor the accumulation of VFA and thus very early detect a destabilization of the digester due to overloading. The presented methodology demonstrates the usefulness of advanced monitoring techniques for an improved understanding of the internal working of a biological system. (shrink)
Examination and evaluation are two important phases of education at any level of a student’s curriculum. However, these assessment processes are problematic in the sense that they encourage learners to devise ways to be dishonest. The traditional way of conducting exams is particularly conducive to dishonesty. In view of this, this letter proposes an online lab examination management system to prevent misconduct and to secure the process of lab examination.
This article explores urban dwellers’ perceptions of climate change and their propensity to act ecologically. It argues that a better understanding of people’s moral and psychological functioning toward ecology could guide the creation of more suitable environmental management strategies. The study is based on semi-structured interviews investigating the environmental values of urban inhabitants; the interviews were conducted in 2018, in a coastal French area affected by recurring floods. Our results showed no significant relationships among the three studied factors of experiencing (...) natural hazards, becoming aware of sustainable issues and developing intentions to ‘act green’. In fact, these last two aspects depended mainly on informal education and socio-economic conditions. Using a ‘heuristic of fear’ to develop sustainability practices is therefore inefficient, at best. Instead, practical efforts should be centred on upbringing, education, self-efficacy and socio-economic and political regulations, especially in a country like France where people are historically used to welcoming collective regulations by the Welfare State. (shrink)
_A trenchant look at how the coronavirus reveals the dangerous fault lines of contemporary society As seen on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS: “A stirring alarm addressed to an unsettled world.” ___ Forget the world that came before. The author of _American Vertigo_ serves up an incisive look at how COVID-19 reveals the dangerous fault lines of contemporary society._ With medical mysteries, rising death tolls, and conspiracy theories beamed minute by minute through the vast web universe, the coronavirus pandemic has (...) irrevocably altered societies around the world. In this sharp essay, world-renowned philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy interrogates the many meanings and metaphors we have assigned to the pandemic—and what they tell us about ourselves. Drawing on the philosophical tradition from Plato and Aristotle to Lacan and Foucault, Lévy asks uncomfortable questions about reality and mythology: he rejects the idea that the virus is a warning from nature, the inevitable result of global capitalism; he questions the heroic status of doctors, asking us to think critically about the loci of authority and power; he challenges the panicked polarization that dominates online discourse. Lucid, incisive, and always original, Lévy takes a bird’s-eye view of the most consequential historical event of our time and proposes a way to defend human society from threats to our collective future. A portion of the author’s proceeds will be donated to Binc. (shrink)
This essay diagnoses the condition of contemporary liberal democracies. It assumes that the current crisis of democracy is not the result of an external ideological threat, but it is the result of the lack of a coherent vision of democracy itself. The author recognises that the key symptom of the contemporary crisis is the decreasing involvement of citizens in public life and their growing reluctance to participate in public debate. He claims that the reason for this is the increasing social (...) polarisation. The article considers two forms of polarisation: vertical and horizontal. The first form is illustrated by Colin Crouch’s considerations, while the second one by Fareed Zakaria’s thoughts. What finds its manifestation in both cases is the phenomenon of citizens’ resignation from participation in the public debate; in the first case it is because of the lack of faith in the effectiveness of this type of opiniongiving mechanism, while in the second case it is because of the lack of recognition of other political and ideological options in society. These reflections are concluded in the postulate that the basic task facing democracy today is to maintain the public sphere as open as possible, i.e. not excluding any ideological position in advance. This kind of conclusion is illustrated with the concepts of Chantal Mouffe and Helmuth Plessner. (shrink)