Psychologists find a simple way to reduce racial prejudice

first_imgAll three experiments used a procedure called the Implicit Associations Test (IAT) to gauge implicit bias. The IAT measures differences in reaction time (gauged in fractions of seconds) taken to categorize faces (in this case, Black or White) into groups depending on whether they are paired with positive or negative sets of words. Typically, it takes slightly longer to categorize faces when a negatively stereotyped group is paired with pleasant words, or when a positively stereotyped group is identified with unpleasant ones.In the first experiment, 146 White, Asian, and Latino undergraduate college students took an IAT with two different conditions. In the first, faces were identified only as Black or White. In the second, the same faces were identified as Black or White students attending the same college as the participants. Participants showed less implicit anti-Black bias in the second condition, in which they saw themselves as sharing membership in an important and positively-valued group with the Black people pictured.The second experiment, which included 112 students, had the same basic design as the first, but added a third condition identifying faces as Black or White firefighters. Describing Black individuals as members of this positively perceived group to which the participants did not belong did not reduce implicit anti-Black bias. This appears to indicate that it was perceiving Black individuals as members of a shared ingroup, rather than simply seeing them as members of a positively valued group, that changed prejudiced responses in the first experiment.The third experiment, including 141 students, was similar to the first except that instead of pleasant and unpleasant words, participants had to identify the logo of their own college or that of a rival. Participants were more readily able to categorize ingroup Black faces paired with their own logo (a symbol of ingroup membership), indicating that they formed a direct implicit association between Black faces and the ingroup under the right conditions.“This research provides the first evidence of how and why categorization in terms of shared group memberships can reduce implicit bias,” Scroggins and his colleagues said.The study authors conclude that their results might be used to develop interventions that help to reduce racial bias by identifying and highlighting shared ingroup categories between potentially biased individuals and the targets of that bias. They suggest that these techniques could one day be used to reduce inequalities in medical care employment that arise due to subtle but pervasive implicit biases on the part of health care providers and job interviewers.Even fatal shootings of unarmed Black suspects might one day be reduced simply by finding ways of reminding White police officers of the group ties they may share with one another. Email Share Share on Twitter Share on Facebookcenter_img Racially biased judgments can be effectively reduced by changing the way that people think about group memberships they share with those against whom they are biased, according to a study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.A wealth of research has shown that biased judgments about members of racial minority groups often happen as an automatic reaction occurring within a fraction of a second. Prejudiced reactions that occur in this way are known as implicit biases. Because these reactions occur without thinking, people who hold them often do not think of themselves as being prejudiced. This makes implicit biases particularly difficult to eliminate, raising questions about how to make enduring social change possible.A team of psychologists led by W. Anthony Scroggins, of the University of California, Santa Barbara, conducted a series of three experiments to investigate one potential approach to changing these biases. Research shows that, in addition to implicit negative biases against members of stigmatized groups (or “outgroups”), people also have implicit positive biases towards groups to which they themselves belong (or “ingroups”). The authors of this study examined whether these positive ingroup biases could erase the impact of negative outgroup bias on implicit prejudice. Pinterest LinkedInlast_img read more

GoMRI to Award $105 Mln to Oil Spill Research Groups

first_imgThe Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) announced that it plans to award up to $105 million to support research consortia investigating the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization, and remediation technologies.  The funding under this program, known as RFP-IV, will support research in the Gulf of Mexico conducted by consortia of four or more institutions between 2015 and 2017.  It is anticipated that each team will be funded at levels between $1 million and $7.5 million per year.“We have been talking with and listening to the research community, citizens of the gulf communities, as well as stakeholders in the Gulf region.  Although RFP-IV is similar to our RFP-I initiative, it includes important changes,” said Dr. Rita Colwell, chairman of the GoMRI Research Board.“GoMRI continues to fund research in five thematic areas, but we have provided clarity to our public health theme,” said Colwell.  “We have been working diligently to identify information needed about oil spill effects and gaps in the research currently being conducted in the Gulf region.  This request for proposals reflects changes based on what has been learned.”With the RFP-IV initiative, GoMRI will fund research consortia conducting integrated research in one or more of the following five thematic areas:Physical distribution, dispersion, and dilution of petroleum (oil and gas), its constituents, and associated contaminants (e.g., dispersants) under the action of physical oceanographic processes, air–sea interactions, and tropical storms.Chemical evolution and biological degradation of the petroleum/dispersant system and subsequent interaction with coastal, open-ocean, and deep-water ecosystems.Environmental effects of the petroleum/dispersant system on the sea floor, water column, coastal waters, beach sediments, wetlands, marshes, and organisms; and the science of ecosystem recovery.Technology developments for improved response, mitigation, detection, characterization, and remediation associated with oil spills and gas releases.Impact of oil spills on public health including behavioral, socioeconomic, environmental risk assessment, community capacity, and other population health considerations and issues.Research teams interested in applying for RFP-IV support must complete a pre-proposal by January 15, 2014 to be eligible to submit a full proposal by the June 2, 2014 deadline.Information about RFP-IV, including all official application requirements and guidelines, is available on the GoMRI website . Requests for clarification from potential applicants to the RFP-IV program must be submitted via the GoMRI RFP-IV FAQs site: GoMRI is an independent scientific research program. The Research Board is the decision-making and oversight body regarding research supported by GoMRI and consists of twenty members. More than $175 million has already been awarded by GoMRI to support research.“We look forward to receiving many competitive applications,” said Colwell.[mappress]Press Release, November 18, 2013last_img read more

GE to Combine Onshore and Offshore Activities

first_imgThe USA energy giant, GE, will combine its onshore wind activities into the renewable energy joint venture with Alstom. “It has been decided to combine the assets of GE and Alstom in the renewable energy sector into a single group, reporting directly to [GE] CEO Jeff Immelt,” said Mark Hutchinson, in charge of the merger.Initial deal saw GE create a 50:50 joint venture with Alstom including offshore wind, hydro and tidal energy while onshore would stay under GE management.The new division, to be headquartered in Paris, will be led by Jérôme Pécresse and will include hydropower, onshore and offshore wind activities.The European Commission is jet to make a decision weather GE’s proposed acquisition of Alstom assets is in line with EU merger regulations.A decision on €12.35bn deal is due on August 6.OffshoreWIND staff; Image: gelast_img read more

Dudgeon Reaches Another Milestone

first_imgThe approval for Dudgeon in meeting the milestone requirements was confirmed by the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC), the designated independent Counterparty to CFDs, last week. Dudgeon issued the milestone requirement notice on 7th May 2015, two days ahead of schedule.“This milestone fulfillment is very good news for the project, and it confirms that we’re progressing according to plan in the development of the wind farm. Important elements and decisions to undertake the project, such as financial commitment, consents, timetable and key contracts, have been fulfilled. Onshore construction has just started, but will pick up considerably throughout this year, preparing for the offshore installation campaigns in 2016 and 2017,” says Statoil’s Vice President and Chairman of the Dudgeon Board of Directors, Halfdan Brustad.“The contractual milestone has been reached through excellent work by the project team and good collaboration with the government’s delivery body, LCCC. The process and the dialogue towards approval have been excellent”, he added.Nic Rigby, LCCC’s Head of Contract Management, explains: “Congratulations to Dudgeon that they have completed their milestone requirements and reached this pivotal point. Not only does this confirm significant commitment to the projects by the company but it is also a step closer to ensuring we will have the low carbon generation that this country needs.”Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm was awarded an Investment Contract under DECC’s Final Investment Decision (FID) Enabling for Renewables process in April 2014. The project is one of the first investments from the UK Electricity Market Reforms (EMR), designed to build the world’s first low carbon electricity market. The CfD contract and a known Strike Price provide a sustainable and long-term basis for the significant investment needed to construct the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm. It is expected to have an installed capacity of 402MW, enough energy to power up to approximately 410,000 UK homes.Image: dudgeonoffshorewindlast_img read more

Gay and lusty commoners that will ramp and thrive…

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

Saudi Aramco claims heavy lift record

first_imgThe platform, which weighed around 5,000 tonnes, was lifted using Lan Jing’s 7,500-tonne capacity crane.The heavy lift barge has also completed the installation of the 4,600-tonne Arabiyah field tie-in platform and the 1,800-tonne intermediate injection platform.The new tie-in platform was installed as part of ongoing work to complete the Arabiyah-Hasbah offshore gas fields project, which is expected to produce 2.5 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas per day through the Wasit Gas Plant when completed.  www.saudiaramco.comlast_img

For whale eyes only

first_imgEben van der Westhuizen, Fish HoekThe whales come south but once a year to bathe and mate to their very delight. They frolic while we gossip at the sheer delight to watch their might, to see them spray the sea by day. At night they dive to the depth of darkness.This gentle giant has a mystery unknown. The scales on the whale are so well known that we are supposed to call their names. They spend their time away from home enjoying the warmth of the southern seas. After all, this is their time.To show the warmth they bring to mankind. As they come they disappear to where we know not, year after year, this is the beauty of the mystery whale.They dive down deep for us to weep and say farewell until hopefully another year.last_img

Study backs damages cuts to save NHS from costs crisis

first_imgA leading neurologist has called for a dramatic cut in damages payments to help stem what he says is the growing threat to the UK economy posed by clinical negligence claims.Dr Paul Goldsmith, writing for the free market thinktank Centre for Policy Studies, said the current system for assessing and paying medical claims is expensive, unsustainable and can cause more harm than good.A study of the sector found the cost of claims is rising by 10% every year and costs per head twice as much as in the USA.Goldsmith is demanding urgent action to overhaul a system in which GPs report it is too expensive to work as their indemnity payments are so high.The professor said the root cause of the problem is a section of the Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act 1948, which quantifies compensation based on the cost of private healthcare to correct and manage mistakes. Goldsmith called for this section to be repealed.‘Nowadays we have a level of care which is unrecognisable from 1948,’ said the report. ‘The act did not foresee that some recipients of financial awards would continue to use state-funded care, or find that their disability improved after the conclusion of the case.’Goldsmith also recommended that for all personal injury awards, lost earnings should be fixed at the national living wage, or a multiple thereof, or a multiple of the victim’s salary.The report highlights the problem of no reappraisal for damages payments: if the award is paid as a lump sum and the patient gets better, the money apportioned for subsequent years cannot be reclaimed.Goldsmith said it was ‘naïve’ to think claims would fall if the incidence of errors came down, and he suggested there was no concept in law that personal injury litigation was intended to improve standards. He pointed to a World Health Organisation review concluding the standard of healthcare provided by doctors working in the UK remains among the best in the world, whereas medico-legal claims have steadily risen.The UK government currently estimates that liabilities for clinical negligence total £65bn, with £1.4bn paid out in the year ending March 2016. NHS Resolution estimates that £24 per person is paid out every year for clinical negligence.The rising cost of claims has already been addressed in recent weeks by the National Audit Office, which called for urgent intervention by the government to prevent costs spiraling further.Many of Goldsmith’s recommendations echo the calls of the Medical Defence Union, the doctors’ insurance group, which has backed the repeal of the 1948 Act and a cap on damages.last_img read more

Applying proactive maintenance on CTRL

first_imgINTRO: The Channel Tunnel Rail Link will need maintenance standards ’an order of magnitude higher’ than on the rest of the UK network. Chris Jago, Managing Director of Union Railways South, briefs Murray Hughes on plans to maintain Britain’s first 300 km/h railway’IF THE NAKED EYE can see an irregularity with the track, you’ve not got a problem, you’ve got a crisis.’ Chris Jago, Managing Director of Union Railways South, was speaking as his construction team was putting the finishing touches to the UK’s first 300 km/h line. Practically all work is finished on the 70 km Section 1 of the 109 km route, and efforts are now concentrated on installing and testing the TVM430 cab signalling.If all goes well, May 5 should see the signalling go live at the junction with Eurotunnel and Network Rail at Cheriton, paving the way for high speed trials between Cheriton and Fawkham Junction during June. Also planned for next month is a demonstration run with a Eurostar train that looks certain to set a British speed record of around 330 km/h.URS expects to hand over the line to Eurostar (UK) Ltd on July 1, giving the operator three clear months for its own trials and training ahead of the opening to commercial traffic on September 28. Long before then, the maintenance regime will need to be in place, and the tests planned during the coming weeks will provide a once-only opportunity to check that all procedures and programmes work well before commercial services begin.The first live test with a Eurostar over the whole of Section 1 was planned for April 13, with the train being used purely to check the overhead line equipment. On April 23 track inspection will take place using a SNCF Mauzin recording car. The full commissioning programme was due to get underway on April 26.Contractor-client relationsBack in 2000, Jago had been asked by the Railtrack board to report on the derailment at Hatfield in October that year, and it was at once clear to him that there had been ’weaknesses in the relationship between the client and the contractor’. It was essential that the arrangements for maintaining a 300 km/h railway excluded any possibility of such a breakdown, and Jago decided that the boundary of responsibility between client and contractor had to be moved. As a result, the 10-year contract worth £92m signed last September with Carillion Rail provides for URS to inspect the line, with Carillion working to instructions from URS.The inspection procedures for CTRL are based on standards written specifically for the new line based on experience with the TGV network in France – in technical terms the line is effectively an extension of the French network on English territory, with many engineering components identical to those used in France. For example, twin-block sleepers are used throughout Section 1.OwnershipJago says that the CTRL standards have been designed to meet the requirements of the Secretary of State for Transport – the government is funding around 60% of the £5·2bn cost and is effectively the owner of the line. This meant that Union Railways had to give around 650 assurances and undertakings during the Parliamentary process in the 1990s.With Network Rail succeeding Railtrack at the end of 2002, the complex arrangements governing ownership and operation of the line have changed. Under the deal, Network Rail paid Railtrack £375m for CTRL Section 1. Network Rail is now to pay London & Continental Railways a one-off fee of £80m for the right to operate the line for the duration of LCR’s lease, which lasts until 2086. In return, Network Rail will receive an annual fee of £4m a year and costs from LCR, plus any benefits it may earn from the agreed performance regime.To operate the line, Network Rail has set up a subsidiary called Network Rail (CTRL Ltd), and Union Railways staff will transfer to this organisation when the line is handed over for commercial use; at the moment they are effectively on secondment from Network Rail to URS.Inspection regimeURS, and later Network Rail (CTRLLtd), will run a track inspection and diagnostics train over the line at two-week intervals, and Eurailscout GB will deploy its recently-delivered UM160 vehicle (RG 11.02 p675). This can take a full suite of measurements at 160 km/h, and the resulting data will be used to instruct Carillion for a programme of maintenance work. Signalling checks will be made using a SMART-3 vehicle owned by Eurotunnel, which uses it to check the signal strength of the TVM430 equipment in the Channel Tunnel. The overhead line equipment will be inspected with a road-rail vehicle or on-track unit.In determining what work needs to be done, URS will specify standards that are significantly higher than those considered ’acceptable’ by Network Rail, and Jago believes that this will in fact be cheaper in the long term.Apart from 300 km/h Eurostars, the line has been designed for use by domestic commuter trains from outer Kent running at 200to 230 km/h; the design brief also required provision for freight services to use the line – although rolling stock will have to be built to passenger train standards with relatively low axleloads. So far there have been no applications by freight operators, but Jago points out that the slower domestic trains will increase wear on the lower rail in curves. Surprisingly, the line has few straight sections and less than 1 km of level alignment; steepest grade is 2·5%.Work programmeURS has no right to close the line at weekends, and at night the contractor must work strictly within a 6h possession. With crossovers available approximately every 15 km, the intention is to work in no more than two adjoining sections, and in each case on only one track. This will ensure that the other track remains open for possible overnight services, which will be able to pass the worksites at a reduced speed of around 80 km/h thanks to rail-attached fencing between the two tracks. Jago says the aim is to work on the Up track on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and on the Down track on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.Taking a possession will be a simple process. An engineer will connect a laptop at the Ashford signalling control centre and enter the required details. The signalling will then automatically configure for the possession.None of the maintenance vehicles will be fitted with TVM430, so special rules will be used to allow them to travel between junctions with the existing network and worksites, with the affected section of the line shut down while the movement takes place.Towards reliability modellingThe whole maintenance policy is geared to a proactive approach. Should a points failure occur, for example, URS will be able to check the history of all the affected components. The intention is to move towards reliability modelling so that ’issues can be addressed when they crop up rather than simply being reactive’. Jago adds that he will be able ’to identify when any link in the chain starts to weaken’. The intensity of maintenance is expected to be low in the early years as there will initially be just four trains/h on each track, although the line is in fact designed for 16 trains/h each way. Nonetheless, consideration is being given to major works such as changing turnouts. This will be a difficult operation as each turnout in the crossovers is 300m long. Jago says a spare left-hand and right-hand turnout will be kept available, but transporting it to the installation site ’may be a problem’.CAPTION: Completed tracks on the approach to the junction with Eurotunnel at Cheriton; signalling on this critical section is due to go live on May 5All Photos: Rail Link EngineeringCAPTION: Completed track in the 3·2 km double-track North Downs tunnel has deep ballast laid in troughs with a low central wall between the tracksCAPTION: Right: Installation of 25 kV 50Hz overhead line near Singlewell. Maintenance of the OLE will be carried out using Windhoff MPVs and road-rail vehicles normally stabled in the freight loops at Singlewell and LenhamCAPTION: Less than 1 km of Section 1 is on the level, and even the Medway viaduct is on a gradientUne politique active d’entretien appliquée à la CTRLLe mois prochain verra le démarrage des essais à grande vitesse sur la Section 1 de la ligne Londres – Tunnel (Channel Tunnel Rail Link, CTRL), puis la ligne de 70 km sera remise à Eurostar (UK) le 1er juillet. Comme il s’agit de la première ligne autorisée à 300 km/h construite au Royaume Uni, elle aura besoin de normes d’entretien ’d’un niveau élevé d’ampleur’, selon Chris Jago, directeur exécutif de Union Railways South, en comparaison avec le reste du réseau. URS inspectera l’infrastructure et donnera l’ordre à son entrepreneur Carillion de mener à bien des travaux spécifiques, selon les termes d’un contrat de dix ans signé l’an dernierProaktive Wartungsvorschriften für CTRLIm nächsten Monat werden erste Hochgeschwindigkeitsversuche auf dem Segment 1 der Kanaltunnel-Anbindung (Channel Tunnel Rail Link, CTRL) stattfinden, und die Strecke wird Eurostar (UK) Ltd am 1 Juli übergeben. Als erste für 300 km/h ausgelegte Strecke in Grossbritannien wird sie gemäss Chris Jago, Leiter von Union Railways South, einen Unterhalt-Standard aufweisen, welcher ’eine Grlast_img read more

Sammy urges regional support for West Indies women cricketers

first_imgTwo-time Twenty20 World Cup-winning captain, Darren Sammy, has urged fans to buy their tickets for the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup being staged in the Caribbean, and throw their full support behind the hosts who are defending champions.The 34-year-old, who is also a Cricket West Indies ambassador and has been promoting the November 9-24 tournament, on Monday purchased 50 tickets for each match-day of the St Lucia leg as a personal show of commitment.Over-the-counter tickets sales started on Monday morning in the three host territories – St Lucia, Antigua and Guyana – and Sammy was among the first patrons to secure his tickets.While the former Test and one-day captain did not disclosed who would be the recipient of the tickets, he said he would be donating to “the people of St Lucia.”last_img read more