Saturday, August 24, 2013

union leader said errors in the introduction of the carbon price, but says he is not implying criticism of Julia Gillard

Kevin Rudd admitted mandate was to present the carbon tax in this term of government, which gives the center lines of the coalition of political crisis.

Speaking on ABC TV Insiders program on Sunday morning chain, Rudd said he was "the first to admit that in the past, [work] The government has a number of bad things, "and cited as an example:" I believe that our actions in the carbon tax were right and move me ... did not have a mandate to do so. "

also referred to its decision to resume shortly after the Prime Minister to bring forward the start of a variable price and the end of "tax" fixed carbon, saying: "A variable is the price best answer to an international market. "

former Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised during the election campaign of 2010, there would be a carbon tax under a government led (Labour promised an emissions trading system in an undefined time in the future).

has become the axis of the attack on the Coalition leader Tony Abbott after work agreed with the Greens and independents to start allowances trading scheme with a fixed price for three years, many said amounts to a tax on all but name.

But in the interview, before the launch of the Coalition Brisbane on Sunday morning, Rudd insisted he criticized his predecessor, and will not be done.

But he said Labour had got the big calls right, the economy, especially during the global financial crisis on the national broadband network in the health system and the hospital, schools and the national disability insurance scheme.

"These are great calls and many of Mr. Abbott received a call completely wrong," said Rudd.
Saturday after a backup Newspoll Guardian Lonergan notes that the seat of Griffith in Queensland, the Prime Minister is likely to be hijacked by the liberals.

investigation Thursday Guardian Lonergan showed Rudd drag his Liberal rival Bill Glasson 48-52 bipartisan basis preferred.
Saturday for the Australian weekend gave the same figures.
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Like humans, climate scientists have a vested interest in getting the right policy on climate change

We scientists talk to each other ... much. Usually it comes out or techniques that can help you better understand the world around us. Sometimes, however, we talk about how to communicate our science in the world. We believe that our research is essential to help everyone make better decisions today to protect the future of us all.

During one of those conversations that I had with a colleague, Dr. Andrew Dessler, we come to the question of how scientists should defend the public. In particular, we focus on recently published an article in the Guardian myopic. After our conversation. Dr. Dessler writes his thoughts below in the context of this blog. Take Andy ...

"In a recent post for The Guardian, Dr Tamsin Edwards says that scientists should scrupulously avoid promoting specific policies - even going so far as to say that it is a "moral obligation."

The basic argument of Dr. Edward is that the general public is too stupid to understand the difference between science and scientific defense policy conversation. While most members of the general public are not scientists who are experts in the research are the experts and to discern what the practical importance of the opinion of experts. Arguing that we filter what we say to the general public so as not to confuse them is patronizing and greatly underestimated their intelligence and abilities.

collect and interpret evidence." Certainly can not believe it, but this is wrong. Cognitive research has shown that views on climate science can be explained almost entirely by the values ??of a person - for example, their views on the role of government.

The skeptical argument that "scientists are political supporters" is nothing more than a post hoc rationalization for rejecting the expert opinion of the world scientific community, allowing skeptics to come a conclusion consistent with their values. While scientists have been promoting policies, skeptics simply think of another excuse to reject the advice of scientific experts. Blaming scientists skeptical of irrationality is hopelessly naive.

So what I think scientists should do? Firstly, I think it depends on each individual researcher to decide where to draw the line. If Dr. Edwards is uncomfortable talking about a carbon tax, then you definitely should not talk. When I speak in public about climate change, I feel comfortable saying that, as a citizen who happens to know a lot about science, I strongly support action to reduce GHG emissions. If people want more details, I can add that political experts agree that the key policy action we must take is a price on carbon, which can be achieved either a carbon tax or cap-and-trade.
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A university seeks to analyze the e-mails from students to staff to detect negative comments. Is this ministry, or "ethics of fear"?

few years ago, the library of the University of Huddersfield establishes a connection. They realized that the analysis of the electronic footprint left whenever a student stole the library, borrow a book or seen something online, and put them together with other student records not only could help improve library services, but also address more fundamental questions about how students learn. Using the library, for example, related to the way students and academic achievement?


The answer turned out to be emphatic. Charting library use against academic achievement found that students who do not use the library were more than seven times more likely to leave their degree they did.

from next school year, the collection and analysis of data will become a formal part of Huddersfield teaching and learning strategy. By collecting information about what students are doing, for example, if they attend classes and how they are executed, including their strengths and weaknesses, the university is that the staff and students more aware of what works - and act accordingly. This will impact on the design staff of how the program of studies, during the term of the plan and make decisions about the type of learning support needed by different groups of students or individuals .

"We are looking in terms of student achievement," says Cath Ellis, director of teaching and learning in the School of Music, Humanities and Media at Huddersfield. "How can we get more students outside the range of 2.1 to the first class? "


not the only university to develop the potential of the data. While students in the next Parliament will be better informed than any previous cohort of institutions that have chosen to participate through social networks and two new sets of key information that enables them to compare different aspects of college life, institutions also be better informed than ever about their students.

While universities have systematically collected information on student years - his family background books removed from the library - the rise of computers and improving digital skills now offer the opportunity to rebuild together. It could fundamentally change the way they operate institutions - as well as ethical and privacy challenging

"It's almost losing things, generated as a byproduct of communications, and previously had nothing to do with it," says Rob Englebright, head of the JISC program, which promotes the use of digital technologies in education. "Now we can watch and patterning."

What trends

universities choose to look, and how they use what they find, varies. Some use these so-called analysis of more effective marketing data, others to identify the most effective way to gather a research grant, others to manage staff performance, and much to help prevent school dropout.

one of the first institutions to use data to facilitate retention was Purdue University in Indiana, four years ago presented a semaphore set whenever the students enrolled in the website the course. He warned they were likely to fail (red light), with the behavior of the previous student. A red signal came up with suggestions on how to get back on track to green, participating in help sessions or more.

Since then, some British universities have developed similar systems, such as the University of Derby. It examines how students participate in the university in general, including not only the way they interact with the virtual learning environment, but also if they are the captain of the rugby team and their use of parking.

John Lamb, a student leader of Derby project experience, said: "The staff said that the information gathered would be invaluable help to understand that students come and face challenges.". She says they also help universities after committing students while being useful for writing academic references.

Ellis acknowledges that the idea also presents challenges for the staff, because data analysis monitors your behavior and that of their students. Also potentially increases their workload. She cites anecdotal evidence that some schools are bombarded with personal information about their students without help work out what it means or what to do with it, which raises questions about where the responsibility if nothing is fits on the form.

And while many students are encouraged to see that their behavior is not up to it, others do not. "Having these data and draw conclusions from it does not mean you need to show students or tutors, as it may do more harm than good," says Ellis. "We are still assessing the impact."

Englebright recognizes that look large datasets on "moral fear", because it affects how universities allocate resources. A danger is that they can identify the demographic groups most likely to give up and stop hiring, or decide not to spend money to support students who may leave.
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