Contributors: Ramos Pinto Oliveira da Silva, Pedro Ramos Pinto, Paidipaty, Poornima
... In September 2011 protesters occupied a park in New York’s financial district. The Occupy movement, spreading over many cities and several countries over that winter, made inequality its banner and did much to bring the issue to the foreground of public debate. Through a sophisticated combination of age-old protest tactics and social media use, Occupy denounced the injustice of the accumulation of riches and power by a small and unaccountable elite. In that sense, the object of the protests was not novel, but the way it was framed – the 99 vs the 1% - was (Gould-Wartofsky 2015; Ramos Pinto 2019). This highly successful slogan is derived from an abstract form of quantification of distribution of incomes, produced by professional economists and statisticians through techniques that are opaque to non-experts. As Daniel Hirschman has shown, the production of this kind of stylized fact – the accumulation of capital in the hands of a small segment of the population – requires the development of measurement conventions, data series and analytical techniques that result from the combination of, at the very least, the political will to measure them; the capacity of official bodies to assemble the data; and the interest of experts in analyzing it, even before they join the legion of facts and narratives that compete for public attention at any one time (Hirschman 2014). In recent years, quantification practices and their political and social implications have come under increased public scrutiny, including criticisms of GDP, ‘happiness’ indices, the ethical and social implications of big data or the rise of the quantified self (Davies 2015; Neff and Nafus 2016; Pilling 2018). Quantification has also become the subject of a growing number of historical studies, which cumulatively reveal the increasingly dominant role of numbers in society’s knowledge of itself since the middle of the eighteenth century (Porter 1986, 1995; Poovey 1998; Desrosières 2002; Prévost and Beaud 2015). The expansion of practices of quantification produced what Hacking called an ‘avalanche of numbers’ which were used to construct a vision of the economy and of the population (Hacking 1990, 45). The growth of social and economic knowledge was also accompanied by attempts to chart the deprivation produced by the business cycle (Bulmer, Bales, and Sklar 1991). O’Connor (2002) calls this ‘poverty knowledge’: techniques to identify, enumerate and explain deprivation deployed by states, philanthropists and social activists that produce visions of poverty and its causes, and guide interventions into the social sphere. The quantification of social knowledge spread throughout empires, producing ‘colonial poverty knowledge’ which influenced metropolitan practices and, later, global visions of welfare and poverty (Horne 2002; Speich Chassé 2011; Tilley 2011; Kalpagam 2014; Cooper 2015; Davie 2015). ‘Poverty knowledge’ can, and has been, used to make arguments about inequality. But it is not always knowledge about inequality if it focuses primarily on questions of absolute, rather than relative deprivation. One of the questions that underpin the approach taken by the articles in this special issue is to ask why ‘inequality knowledge’ has a more scattered history than knowledge about poverty, and at the same time why and how inequality surfaces as an object of interest and measure at particular times.
Contributors: Wieser, Penelope, Edmonds, Marie, Maclennan, John, Wheeler, John
... Distorted olivines of enigmatic origin are ubiquitous in erupted products from a wide range of volcanic systems (e.g., Hawaiʻi, Iceland, Andes). Investigation of these features at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai’i, using an integrative crystallographic and chemical approach places quantitative constraints on mush pile thicknesses. Electron back-scatter diffraction (EBSD) reveals that the microstructural features of distorted olivines, whose chemical composition is distinct from undistorted olivines, are remarkably similar to olivines within deformed mantle peridotites, but inconsistent with an origin from dendritic growth. This, alongside the spatial distribution of distorted grains and the absence of adcumulate textures, suggests that olivines were deformed within melt-rich mush piles accumulating within the summit reservoir. Quantitative analysis of subgrain geometry reveals that olivines experienced differential stresses of 3-12 MPa, consistent with their storage in mush piles with thicknesses of a few hundred metres. Overall, our microstructural analysis of erupted crystals provides novel insights into mush-rich magmatic systems.
Contributors: Pounds, Steven
... In recent decades, scholars have both used Jesus’ crucifixion as a criterion of historicity and employed the rhetoric of a “crucifiable Jesus”– suggesting that some historical reconstructions of Jesus more plausibly explain his crucifixion than others. This dissertation tests the grounds of these proposals, whilst offering its own reconstruction of a crucifiable Jesus. It first investigates primary source depictions of Roman crucifixion and focuses upon the offences for which crucifixions were carried out. As a first level conclusion, it determines that, in a formal sense, a bare appeal to crucifiability or to a criterion of crucifixion does not yield what it purports to deliver because a wide range of offences were punishable by crucifixion. Moreover, sometimes victims of circumstance were crucified. However, in a less strict sense, this dissertation determines that the concept of crucifiability does retain some value if the particular situation and context of Jesus’ crucifixion are taken into account. In Roman orderings of crucifixion during peacetime, consideration was usually given to culpability, and a basic hearing was often given. Accordingly, Pontius Pilate was probably a typical governor who ordered Jesus’ crucifixion on the basis of a customary charge according to Roman penal convention. This dissertation goes on to propose that the types of gospel conflicts that are usually isolated by scholars in accounting for a crucifiable Jesus are better seen as complimentary rather than rival explanations for his crucifixion. The so-called temple cleansing, though not a large enough event to singularly explain the crucifixion, could plausibly fit with other economic conflicts within Jesus’ life. Jesus’ religious conflicts with his Jewish contemporaries perhaps explain some general animus towards him but not his Roman execution. Jesus’ condemnation of élites explains the hostility of Judaean and Roman powerholders towards him but not the titulus on the cross. Lastly, it is determined that a royal messianic acclamation of Jesus inspired by the implications of his activities likely explains his crucifixion as “King of the Jews”. As a final conclusion, this dissertation proposes that in the future, scholars should replace the language of ‘criterion’ with the language of historical ‘control’ when speaking of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Communicating the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of government policies and its impact on public support: A systematic review with meta-analysis
Contributors: Reynolds, James, Stautz, Kaidy, Pilling, Mark, van der Linden, Sander, Marteau, Theresa
... Low public support for government interventions in health, environment and other policy domains can be a barrier to implementation. Communicating evidence of policy effectiveness has been used to influence attitudes toward policies, with mixed results. This review provides the first systematic synthesis of such studies. Eligible studies were randomised controlled experiments that included an intervention group that provided evidence of a policy’s effectiveness or ineffectiveness at achieving a salient outcome, and measured policy support. From 6,498 abstracts examined, there were 45 effect sizes from 36 eligible studies. In total, 35 (N = 30,858) communicated evidence of effectiveness, and 10 (N = 5,078) communicated evidence of ineffectiveness. Random effects meta-analysis revealed that communicating evidence of a policy’s effectiveness increased support for the policy (SMD = .11, 95% CI [.07, .15], p < .0001), equivalent to support increasing from 50% to 54% (95% CI [53%, 56%]). Communicating evidence of ineffectiveness decreased policy support (SMD = -.14, 95% CI [-.22, -.06], p < .001), equivalent to support decreasing from 50% to 44% (95% CI [41%, 47%]). These findings suggest that public support for policies in a range of domains is sensitive to evidence of their effectiveness, as well as their ineffectiveness.
Development and optimization of a hybridization technique to type the classical class I and class II B genes of the chicken MHC
Contributors: Kaufman, Jim, Potts, Nicola D, Bichet, Coraline, Merat, Laurence, Guitton, Edouard, Krupa, Andrew P, Burke, Terry A, Kennedy, Lorna J, Sorci, Gabriele
... The classical class I and class II molecules of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) play crucial roles in immune responses to infectious pathogens and vaccines, as well as being important for autoimmunity, allergy, cancer and reproduction. These classical MHC genes are the most polymorphic known, with roughly 10,000 alleles in humans. In chickens, the MHC (also known as the BF-BL region) determines decisive resistance and susceptibility to infectious pathogens, but relatively few MHC alleles and haplotypes have been described in any detail. We describe a typing protocol for classical chicken class I (BF) and class II B (BLB) genes, based on a hybridization method called reference strand-mediated conformational analysis (RSCA). We optimize the various steps, validate the analysis using well-characterized chicken MHC haplotypes, apply the system to type some experimental lines and discover a new chicken class I allele. This work establishes a basis for typing the MHC genes of chickens worldwide, and provides an opportunity to correlate with microsatellite and with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing for approaches involving imputation.
Contributors: Dougherty, Matthew Ryan
... This dissertation is an investigation of the prospects for thinking of ethical virtue as a kind of skill in light of the discussions of ‘knowledge-how’ that begin with Gilbert Ryle. Chapter 1 offers an account of Ryle’s interest in the notion of knowledge-how as partially underpinned by the hope that ethical virtue might be well-understood as a kind of skill. The chapter concludes, however, by noting that he eventually gives up on this idea, coming to believe that virtue requires a certain kind of care which skill does not. The remaining chapters can then be seen as an attempt to take up Ryle’s project of understanding virtue as a kind of skill by engaging with recent work on know-how, on the skill analogy in virtue ethics, and on care and commitment. Chapter 2 concerns what knowledge-how is knowledge of. It argues that knowledge-how is well-understood as knowledge of the standards, norms, or rules of an activity. This view is defended against arguments from recent ‘anti-intellectualists’ and ‘intellectualists’. Chapter 3 then argues that understanding knowledge-how as rule-knowledge is helpful for seeing that there are different senses of “knowledge-how”, some of which amount to skill and some of which do not. It also attempts to turn the debate about know-how back toward what Ryle understood as ‘Intellectualism’ – viz., the view that human intelligence essentially amounts to thinking, rather than the view that ‘know-how’ can be ascribed with a “that”-clause. Chapter 4 then turns to the skill analogy and the history of objections to the idea that virtue is a skill. This chapter argues for a reinterpretation of the skill analogy. It argues that the analogy is properly understood not as comparing virtuous individuals to individuals with mere practical skill (as is standardly thought) but, rather, as comparing virtuous individuals to good occupants of skill-involving roles – individuals distinguished, amongst other things, by their commitment to a craft that is in part definitive of their identity. In general outline, such an interpretation agrees with Ryle’s contention that virtue requires not only practical know-how but also care. Chapter 5, however, returns to the point at which Ryle had given up on virtue being a skill and asks whether the kind of care or commitment needed for the skill analogy might itself be a distinctive kind of skill. The aim in this chapter is to make plausible that such commitment is a skill and, hence, to make plausible that virtue might be thought of as consisting of a suite of skills.
Contributors: Moulin-Stożek, D
Altering the availability of healthier vs. less healthy items in UK hospital vending machines: A multiple treatment reversal design
Contributors: Pechey, Rachel, Jenkins, Holly, Cartwright, Emma, Marteau, Theresa
... Background: Altering the availability of healthier or less-healthy products may increase healthier purchases, but evidence is currently limited. The current study aimed to investigate the impact of altering the absolute-and-relative availability of healthier and less-healthy products – i.e. simultaneously altering the number of options available and the proportion of healthier options – in hospital vending machines. Methods: An adapted multiple treatment reversal design was used, altering products available in ten vending machines serving snack foods and/or cold drinks in one English hospital. Machines were randomised to one of two sequences for the seven 4-week study periods: ABCADEA or ADEABCA. In Condition A (study periods 1, 4 and 7) the proportions of healthier products were standardised across all machines, so that 25% of all snacks and 75% of drinks were healthier. In Condition B, 20% of vending machine slots were emptied by removing less-healthy products. In Condition C, the empty slots created in Condition B were filled with healthier products. Conditions D and E were operationalised in the same way as B and C, except healthier products were removed in D, and then less-healthy products added in E. Sales data were obtained from machine restocking records. Separate linear mixed models were conducted to examine the impact of altering availability on energy purchased (kcal) from (i) snacks or (ii) drinks each week, with random effects for vending machine. Results: The energy purchased from drinks was reduced when the number of slots containing less-healthy drinks was decreased, compared to standardised levels (-52.6%; 95%CI: -69.3,-26.9). Findings were inconclusive for energy purchased from snacks when less-healthy snack slots were reduced (-17.2%; 95%CI: -47.4,30.5). Results for altering the number of slots for healthier drinks or snacks were similarly inconclusive, with no statistically significant impact on energy purchased. Conclusions: Reducing the availability of less-healthy drinks could reduce the energy purchased from drinks in vending machines. Further studies are needed to establish whether any effects might be smaller for snacks, or found with higher baseline proportions of healthier options. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03252158. Registered 17th August 2017.
Contributors: Calvi, Marco, Ainslie, Mark, Dennis, Tony, Durrell, John, Hellmann, S, Kittel, C, Moseley, Dominic, Schmidt, T, Shi, Yunhua, Zhang, K
... The Insertion Device group of the Paul Scherrer Institute has started an R&D program on a High Temperature Superconducting Undulator to reduce the period length and increase the undulators magnetic field well beyond the present capability. Simulation results for a 10mm period and 4mm magnetic gap staggered array of GdBCO bulks predict peak magnetic field above 2 T. Building on the existing working principle of undulator design and simulated performance, the first experimental results of a 5-period 6.0 mm gap short undulator measured in the new test facility available at the University of Cambridge will be presented together with details of the experimental setup and sample preparation.
Contributors: Zambito, Pascal Francesco
... The thesis investigates the history and functions of space concepts in Wittgenstein’s philosophy. It is based on a Kantian account which conceives of space not as a thing, but as an a priori framework which constitutes possibilities, not facts. The increasing abstraction and formalisation of geometry in the 19th century enabled Wittgenstein in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus to extend this formal account and to devise his concept of “logical space” as a universal and necessary manifold for all meaningful states-of-affairs. After his return to philosophy in 1929, he holds up the idea that necessity is not an extraordinary fact, but a feature of the logical framework which constitutes possibilities. Unlike in the Tractatus, however, he then speaks of spaces in the plural and highlights the differences between different “geometries” or “grammars”. I emphasise the plurality of Wittgenstein’s later space concept by presenting the various fields in which spatial terminology is used, as well as the similarity of these various instances by pointing out commonalities in the way in which they are used: the emphasis on possibility instead of truth, the distinction between “geometry” and “physics”(between logic and experience), but also the distinction between different kinds of geometries. These similarities allow me to recognise a number of concepts as closely connected to “space” – and thereby to one another – instead of highlighting their differences. Against views which argue for the complete disappearance of spaces and grammar in the late Wittgenstein’s philosophy, I suggest that these concepts are not dismissed, but transformed after the middle period. The reasons for this transformation are the increasing importance of time, notably the change from static spaces to more dynamic frameworks, and the acknowledgement of empirical factors in logic: instead of an ontological separation of logic and experience it makes more sense to speak of different grammatical roles.