Clear all

233 results found

reorder grid_view

Future Africa Early Career Research Leader Fellowship: A reflection on the early career research leaders for Africa's future

May 3, 2022

It is with great appreciation that the University recognises the support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY). Through the Early Career Research Leader Fellowship (ECRLF), it provided a nurturing opportunity to twelve promising early career researchers from ten tertiary institutions in six countries across East, West and Southern Africa, as well as the Indian Ocean island country of Mauritius, over the past three years.This publication showcases the success stories of each of these postdoctoral fellows, and subsequently the successful interventions of their UP mentors, facilitated through Future Africa, to fill a critical gap in the African research capacity development ecosystem.

NeuroArts Blueprint: Advancing the Science of Arts, Health, and Wellbeing

March 30, 2022

Scientific studies increasingly confirm what human beings across cultures and throughout time have long recognized: we are wired for art. The arts in all of their modalities can improve our physical and mental health, amplify our ability to prevent, manage, or recover from disease challenges, enhance brain development in children, build more equitable communities, and foster wellbeing through multiple biological systems.Most of us do not need rigorous research to recognize that arts and aesthetic experiences allow us to feel better; our own life experiences tell us that engaging with art, either as maker or user, can help us thrive. Why, then, have we developed the NeuroArts Blueprint: Advancing the Science of Arts, Health, and Wellbeing, a broad-reaching initiative designed to showcase the scientific evidence that explains these phenomena?The answer is that we have not developed the systems and strategies to use the extraordinary asset that is at our disposal to its fullest potential. We need a Blueprint to guide us through the vast body of knowledge that is accumulating across multiple disciplines, to identify collaborative opportunities to collect many kinds of evidence, and to employ these learnings in systematic and sustainable ways so that we can ease some of the most intractable problems that humanity faces. 

Science of Wellbeing

February 7, 2022

In the zeitgeist of the twenty-first century, "wellbeing" occupies a special place. It is an ideal of personal and communal living, as well as a concept to help us move beyond the tired old categories of progress — such as money, fame, and the gross national product.But despite the noble sentiment around redefining our perception of wellbeing, what exactly it is and how we should measure it remains elusive, and certainly not for lack of effort. The last thirty years have seen a huge rise of investigations into wellbeing in the social sciences and humanities. This academic work has been institutionalized, with new journals, professional societies, and research centers. It is now making successful inroads into the worlds of public policy, commercial self-help, and HR management.But has this latest wave of effort been a success?This research paper on The Science of Wellbeing, co-authored by philosopher Anna Alexandrova and public policy scholar Mark Fabian, dives deep into this question. Alexandrova and Fabian first discuss the state of wellbeing research across key disciplines before turning to look at current and emerging trends – including measurement, impact of wellbeing public policy, and integration of wellbeing theories and perspectives. 

Global Connections: Emerging Science Partners

January 27, 2022

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences' initiative on Challenges for International Scientific Partnerships (CISP) was formed to assess where international collaborations are key for U.S. interests and to identify solutions to the challenges they face. This initiative has taken a broad view of international scientific collaboration as extending across scientific disciplines and scales and as encompassing all regions of the globe. As scientists raise the alarm on risks from a warming planet and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact lives and economies, this initiative has become only more convinced that a coordinated, collaborative science and technology (S&T) enterprise is essential to address the global challenges facing all of us. Key imperatives for international collaboration are presented in the initiative's first report, America and the International Future of Science, while principles for successful international collaboration on large-scale initiatives are presented in the subsequent report, Bold Ambition: International Large-Scale Science.Global Connections: Emerging Science Partners focuses on scientific partnerships between scientists in the United States and scientists in countries with emerging scientific enterprises. These countries are largely classified as Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and Least-Developed Countries (LDCs) based in the Global South, including in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, and the Middle East and North Africa. Of particular focus in this report are countries that have been identified by The World Academy of Sciences as "S&T Lagging" and are specifically seeking to boost science capacity for development.

Allen Institute 2021 Annual Report

January 24, 2022

Whether it's classifying the billions of neurons that make up our brain, tracing the lineages of our development or understanding the detailed ins and outs of our cells, Allen Institute scientists are making the unknown known — and ultimately helping us to understand what it means to be human.

Building bridges to promote sustainable livestock systems: Opinions of stakeholders in Brazil towards gene editing of farm animals

November 9, 2021

*Do laypersons, farmers, and professionals involved with livestock production in Brazil have different opinions about applying gene editing technology to farm animals?*A survey was conducted to better understand their opinions of this biotechnology's potential and perceived benefits (particularly on animal welfare, disease resistance, resilience to external stressors such as hot climate, productivity).* The survey found that the acceptability of gene editing in farm animals is lower for the public and higher in farmers and persons in professions involved with livestock. According to those surveyed, the main concerns are: Unknown side effects; unsure of who will benefit; ethical limits of this biotechnology's use. On the other hand, improvements in animal welfare, farmers' quality of life, and productivity are the chief perceived benefits.* This report highlights three key messages and recommendations: 1) Those closely associated with livestock production are open to using biotechnology to solve problems they face, but lay citizens prefer production systems that they consider to be more natural and animal-friendly. 2) Most stakeholders agree that animal welfare legislation is important in livestock production in Brazil, and labeling should be required for gene-edited products. 3) Decisions of policies and actual use of gene editing in farm animals must be based on the results of open, informed dialogues that truly allow all stakeholders' voices to be heard, and facilitated by parties trusted by stakeholders such as scientists in universities.

The Relevance of Inequality Research in Sociology for Inequality Reduction

June 15, 2021

Social inequality is a central topic of research in the social sciences. Decades of research have deepened our understanding of the characteristics and causes of social inequality. At the same time, social inequality has markedly increased during the past 40 years, and progress on reducing poverty and improving the life chances of Americans in the bottom half of the distribution has been frustratingly slow. How useful has sociological research been to the task of reducing inequality? The authors analyze the stance taken by sociological research on the subject of reducing inequality. They identify an imbalance in the literature between the discipline's continual efforts to motivate the plausibility of large-scale change and its lesser efforts to identify feasible strategies of change either through social policy or by enhancing individual and local agency with the potential to cumulate into meaningful progress on inequality reduction.

Social Science–Based Pathways to Reduce Social Inequality in Youth Outcomes and Opportunities at Scale

June 15, 2021

Despite a recent call for an expanded research agenda that is more likely to produce tangible societal reductions in inequality, efforts to articulate how social scientists can actually pursue this agenda remain few and far between. The central question this article addresses is, What can social scientists do to deliver the forms of knowledge that may lead to a reduction of social inequalities in youth outcomes and opportunities at large scale? Drawing on conceptualizations of inequality that pay attention to mechanisms of distributional and relational inequality, and examples of initiatives from a diverse array of the social sciences, the authors delineate six pathways for the kind of research that may generate reductions in youth inequality at scale. The authors conclude with a set of proposals for what academic institutions can do to train and support researchers to carry out this research agenda.

Simons Foundation 2020 Annual Report

June 9, 2021

The Simons Foundation is pleased to present this copy of our 2020 annual report. Staying connected through Zoom, emails and conference calls, our grantees and scientists made groundbreaking advancements over the last year.

Bold Ambition: International Large-Scale Science

June 1, 2021

This report, Bold Ambition: International Large-Scale Science, describes the essential role of large-scale science initiatives, also referred to as megascience initiatives, for the U.S. scientific enterprise. It identifies best practices for building large-scale scientific collaborations in the future. 

The Science of Prayer: Opportunities and Limits

April 1, 2021

Am I alone? Can anyone hear me? Whether expressed in words or sensed emotionally, it is possible to imagine these questions as the beginnings of the first prayer. Likewise, it is easy to imagine that, once begun, the ways of praying quickly multiplied to include discrete thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, accompanied by physical objects, employed in specific locations, both built and naturally occurring. These experiential and physical developments accompanying the act of prayer, it turns out, are comparatively easy to measure and, in some cases, predict.More challenging is the effort to discern the origins and function of prayer. Some will argue that the impetus to pray comes from outside the person who prays; a divine or "cosmic" force inspires the act. Others will contend that the impulse arises purely from within the individual; it is fundamentally a form of self-talk. The stance adopted establishes the terms of investigation to be conducted and places limits around possible conclusions. This initial ambiguity is not resolvable by scientific researchers because their intellectual tools and conceptual language do not function effectively in this philosophical domain. Nonetheless, to sidestep these questions entirely is to miss the opportunity to systematically explore how these perspectives in and of themselves are amenable to scientific study.

What Education Leaders Can Learn About NGSS Implementation: Highlights From the Early Implementers Initiative

November 1, 2020

From 2014 through 2020, eight diverse school districts and two charter management organizations ran a substantial experiment with ways of implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in elementary and middle grades, called the California K - 8 NGSS Early Implementers Initiative. The Initiative certainly illustrated that a big financial investment can produce powerful change. However, even districts facing resource challenges may benefit from the lessons that were learned and the strategies that were developed by the Initiative.An external evaluation team has previously released a series of reports on what can be learned from the efforts of the Initiative districts. All reports are intended to be helpful to administrators at the school and district levels, education policymakers, and people charged with designing and/or delivering science professional learning. After briefly describing how the NGSS call for big shifts in science teaching and learning, this highlights report shares high-level, major learnings from the evaluation, distilled into only a couple dozen pages of main narrative. The report describes NGSS instruction as a powerful lever for equitable learning, explains how the Initiative made this kind of instruction happen, and describes the importance of the Initiative's ambitious professional learning for administrators.