Reports and Proceedings
About one in six doctor’s office visits by older Americans no longer takes place in an actual doctor’s office, but rather online or over the phone, a new analysis of telehealth visits billed to Medicare in the past two years finds.
Only very few people in Switzerland feel highly excluded – including mostly foreigners, less educated people, young people as well as older people. Some in the French- and Italian-speaking regions do not feel fully integrated into society either, according to a recent study conducted by the Institute of Sociology at the University of Zurich.
The Flow Component Testing Facilities (FCTF) at Southwest Research Institute have expanded safety and performance testing capabilities to include hydrogen valve testing.
Despite recent declines, the U.S. incarceration rate is a global outlier, far outpacing other countries worldwide. It is part of a criminal justice system that is predominantly hostile to Black Americans. In this special issue of Science, “Criminal Injustice,” a Perspective, a Policy Forum, an Editorial and four Reviews evaluate the injurious legacy of nearly 50 years of mass incarceration in the United States. The experts explore mass incarceration’s deep-rooted history, its far-reaching and disproportionate effects on Black Americans and poor communities, and why the public continues to tolerate and encourage such a harmful and punitive system. “Such research is critical to understand how we got here, and to inform and inspire change,” write Science senior editor Brad Wible and Science editor Tage Rai.* In one Review, Joshua Page and Joe Soss illustrate how public and private groups have turned U.S. criminal justice institutions into a vast network of revenue-generating operations, which include collection of fines, fees, forfeitures, prison charges, and bail. The authors describe the current criminal justice system as a predatory institution, akin to payday lenders or high-interest credit card companies, and show how it’s been engineered to extract wealth from Black Americans living in poor communities and transfer it directly to other parties. Another Review by Hedwig Lee and Christopher Wildeman outlines evidence that illustrates mass incarceration’s far-reaching impacts on the families and communities of the incarcerated. They show that over the last 50 years, family member incarceration has become common for American families, and that this reality is greatly racially disparate. What’s more, incarceration can have broader impacts on the individual’s family’s health, education, and behavior, as well as causing other disadvantages. The authors suggest that policy interventions that prevent the need for incarceration are one of the most effective ways to enhance family and community wellbeing. In a third Review, Christopher Muller argues that understanding the incarceration of Black Americans today requires tracing its history back to the end of slavery in the mid 19th Century. From this historical perspective, Muller highlights a link between the exploitation of Black Americans and labor demand. According to the author, throughout history, Black Americans have been exploited as laborers and kept out of prison when labor demand is high. However, when labor demand is low, or when Black Americans are seen as a threat to White labor markets, incarceration increases. In the final Review, Julian Rucker and Jennifer Richeson explore why the criminal justice system has become increasingly characterized by racial inequality over the last half-century. In this review, Rucker and Richeson describe the psychological underpinnings of how many White Americans have come to tolerate and endorse a system so embedded in structural racism, despite having largely liberal values. According to the authors, deep-seated cultural beliefs about the nature of racism uphold the racial hierarchy within the criminal justice system. While the authors show that acknowledging structural racism reduces support for racial inequality in the justice system, the research suggests that many Americans appear to be willfully ignorant of structural racism in American society. In addition to the Reviews, a Policy Forum and Perspective explore other facets of the current criminal justice system, including the role of technology companies in policing, and the socioeconomic causes of social unrest and violence. An Editorial by Sean Joe, professor of social development at Washington University in St. Louis, discusses issues of racial oppression. *Note: Tage Rai is now an assistant professor in the Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego.
Why is swift action to protect the climate so important and what is the scientific basis for calculations on causes and consequences of climate change? The Leopoldina explains this in its "Factsheet Climate change: causes, consequences and possible actions". In the first two chapters of this publication, the currently available knowledge about the causes and consequences of climate change has been summarized in an easy-to-understand format. The connections and data are illustrated in graphics, with concise explanations.
On 13 October, Janika Leoste, a postgraduate of the School of Educational Sciences of Tallinn University, defended her doctoral dissertation on "Adopting and Sustaining Technological Innovations in Teachers’ Classroom Practices – The Case of Integrating Educational Robots into Math Classes".
Researchers from the University of Surrey, University of Plymouth, and Natural England found that people who watched nature videos on social media reported that the content supported their overall mental wellbeing.
- Frontiers in Psychology
Employers could undo the progress made over the last 18 months and deepen workplace inequalities if organisations fail to override the deep-rooted perceptions of ‘office culture’, a leading think tank has warned. New research, led by the Work Foundation and the Chartered Management Institute, finds that ‘traditional’ views of the workplace still stand which could exacerbate already existing inequalities in the workplace.
A new life-cycle analysis of potentially low-greenhouse-gas options for producing hydrogen in Europe finds that only hydrogen produced using renewable electricity can be effectively zero-emission, and that hydrogen pathways involving fossil fuels, even with carbon capture and storage, have greenhouse-gas (GHG) intensity high enough to make it unlikely they can contribute to meeting the European Union's climate targets. The analysis appears as the European Union is revising its Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), which governs development of renewable energy across all sectors of the economy in Europe. The revision is part of the EU's "Fit for 55" package of measures to deliver on the European Green Deal, the EU's wide-ranging proposal to drive net GHG emissions down 55% by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) Nitrogen Blowdown Facility has succeeded at recreating the intense conditions of a gas event, making it possible to test subsurface safety valves’ (SSSV) ability to withstand associated gas flow rates at high pressures to prevent injury, loss of life and environmental effects.
On International E-Waste Day 2021, leading experts are calling on households, businesses and governments to get behind efforts to get more dead or unused plug-in or battery-operated products to facilities where they can be either repaired or recycled to recover a king’s fortune in valuable materials and reduce the need for new resources. This year’s mountain of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) will total about 57.4 million tonnes -- greater than the weight of the Great Wall of China, Earth’s heaviest artificial object.