In Praise of Scientists and Scholars

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first_imgMost educated Americans still listen to scientists and believe in established methods of scholarly inquiry. That said, a strange side effect of our country’s recent slide into extreme political polarization has been an increase in the number of Americans who reject the conclusions of scientists and scholars.We all know that the European Enlightenment, lasting from the late 17th century to the end of the 18th century, ushered in the modern era. As a result of this intellectual revolution, educated seekers of answers to puzzling questions have been more likely to turn to scientists, not demagogues, for guidance.That said, resistance to the scientific approach has always been with us. (In spite of appearances to the contrary, the 1925 Scopes trial was not the last gasp of American resistance to the scientific method.) Yet the scientific method has retained the respect of educated Americans — at least until recently.Who would have imagined that in 2017, scientists would feel so embattled that they organized nationwide protest marches to champion the scientific method? Consultants were paid to sow doubt I’m not going to focus on the elements of this story that have been widely covered by many journalists — for example, the role of consultants hired by oil companies to spread false information on global climate change, with the aim of injecting doubt into what was a matter of scientific consensus. The details of this well-known story are available from many sources.After these paid consultants stoked doubts about the causes of climate change, the resulting confusion was exploited by politicians with close ties to the fossil fuel industry. This tactic — an attitude that allowed for the rejection of scientific consensus — was then adopted by Fox News, and the tactic was cynically deployed to increase the network’s… Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberslast_img

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UK: European Union High Representative Visits EU NAVFOR OHQ

first_imgOn Thursday 2 August 2012, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton, visited the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) counter piracy operation headquarters (OHQ) in Northwood, UK. She was welcomed to the OHQ by Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, who is the Operation Commander to the EU NAVFOR.During the visit, Rear Admiral Potts updated the High Representative on EU NAVFOR’s counter piracy operations off the Horn of Africa, together with how, in line with the EU’s Comprehensive Approach to Somalia, EU NAVFOR continues to provide support to local and regional maritime capacity building programmes.Speaking about the visit, Rear Admiral Potts said “We are always very pleased to invite High Representative Ashton to the Operation Headquarters. Over the last 12 months we have witnessed considerable change, not least the reduction in piracy success, but also a greater focus on strengthening EU relationships with regional states and assisting them with training their forces in maritime security. The EU NAVFOR stands ready to provide further support to continue this success.”[mappress]Naval Today Staff, August 3, 2012; Image: EU NAVFOR UK: European Union High Representative Visits EU NAVFOR OHQ View post tag: European View post tag: OHQ View post tag: Navy View post tag: Representative View post tag: High View post tag: NAVFOR View post tag: Naval View post tag: News by topic View post tag: EU Authorities View post tag: visits View post tag: Union August 3, 2012 Back to overview,Home naval-today UK: European Union High Representative Visits EU NAVFOR OHQ Share this articlelast_img

Anger over Junior Deans’ dinner

first_imgA termly meeting in which junior deans are encouraged to “exchange war stories” has been condemned by welfare staff as “entirely inappropriate”.The junior deans’ dinners, which began in Hilary 2013, are termly social events for deans to meet. Concerns have been raised after the email organising the Michaelmas meal described the event as “a time and space for junior deans to come together to confidentially compare experiences” and “trade war stories.” It continues, “Most importantly, this is done over a relaxed dinner and a fair few drinks.” The email was sent to all junior deans in the University.A room was booked for the event to ensure “we have the privacy we’d need to discuss College issues.” One anonymous dean, who revealed the event to Cherwell, condemned the events. “My opinion is that organising a social event around which to discuss these cases is entirely inappropriate. There is already a very well thought-out system in place by the University Counselling Service which offers a forum to discuss issues presented by junior deans in an official, secure and confidential environment. “What seems to be lacking in this case is the understanding that colleges are small environments: maintaining confidentiality isn’t just about the withdrawal of names, it is about the withdrawal of information that could lead to the identification of the person or persons from the divulgence of information.”They continue to describe the event as “wholly inappropriate”. They said,  Junior Deans “who are often entrusted with information of a sensitive nature”, should not be prepared to “to divulge this information ad libitum to peers outside of a formal structured setting.”They went on, “I hope that university takes a strong approach to these ‘social’ events and recognises the potential for the breaches of confidentiality which may occur.”The dinner is being held on the Tuesday 3rd December, and follows on from a drinks event at the St Aldates Tavern at 8pm on Wednesday 19th June.The University, and the organisers of the event, did not respond to Cherwell’s request for a comment.last_img

News story: Free holiday activities and meals for disadvantaged families

first_imgTo ensure this work is implemented effectively, ministers will work closely with Frank Field MP and expert stakeholders, as it develops. A series of projects, backed by £2 million of government funding, will be run across the country including the North East, Birmingham and London, providing activities such as free football classes, play sessions and cooking classes.These projects, running across the summer, will also provide free meals for the most disadvantaged families who may rely on the free school meals they receive during term time.Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: testing the effectiveness of interventions looking at take-up of provision identifying the costs involved considering whether there are particular areas where this kind of programme would be most effective Evidence suggests that attending out-of-school activities can have a positive impact on children’s educational, health and well-being outcomes. The projects announced today will be run by Children North East, Family Action, Feeding Britain, Birmingham Holiday Kitchen, Onside Youth Zones, Street Games and TLG (Transforming Lives for Good).This funding comes after the government announced that it would run a targeted pilot programme in the 2019 Easter and summer holidays.This work aims to support children’s education by: For most pupils, the end of the school summer term signals the start of holidays, days out and a chance tomake memories with friends and family. Other families, who might rely on the support provided by schools,are not so lucky. These projects will provide a range of support for families during the summer break. They will also givechildren access to experiences that won’t just create great memories but will help broaden their horizons andbuild the confidence they need to succeed in whatever path they choose to follow. Academic standards are rising across the country and there are now 1.9 million more children in schools rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ than in 2010. Most importantly, the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their more affluent peers has already shrunk by 10% at GCSE and 10.5% at KS2 since 2011.Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of government backed schemes to help disadvantaged children. These include the £2.25 billion pupil premium, free school meals and most recently a £26 million investment to kick-start or improve breakfast clubs in at least 1,700 schools.Commenting on the announcement, Lindsay Graham, independent policy advisor who has campaigned on this issue in the past, said: The school holidays can be a challenging and costly time for families, particularly for those on a limitedincome or whose children are reliant on term time free school meals. The need for community led enrichment opportunities for children, young people and their families isparamount for helping the most disadvantaged in our society. Early research in the UK is telling us that thesetypes of projects can make a difference.last_img

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