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Scientists to keep ban on military research at universities – The Asahi Shimbun (Ryoko Takeishi | March 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 14, 2017

A Science Council of Japan (SCJ) committee has proposed continuing a ban on military research by universities and other institutes, a stance based on remorse over such studies under Japan’s wartime government.

The proposal, hammered out on March 7 after a series of meetings, will likely be adopted as the council’s official statement after a vote in a general assembly session in April.

Speculation has been rife over whether the SCJ, the country’s representative body of scientists, would stick with the traditional ban after the current government increased subsidies for military-related research.

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Predictive Analytics in Higher Education: Five Guiding Practices for Ethical Use (Resources | March 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 9, 2017

Five Guiding Practices for Ethical Use

….Guiding Practice 1: Have a Vision and Plan
….Guiding Practice 2: Build a Supportive Infrastructure
….Guiding Practice 3: Work to Ensure Proper Use of Data
….Guiding Practice 4: Design Predictive Analytics Models and Algorithms that Avoid Bias
….Guiding Practice 5: Meet Institutional Goals and Improve Student Outcomes by Intervening with Care

Colleges are under increasing pressure to retain their students. Federal and state officials are demanding that those who enter their public institutions— especially students from underrepresented groups— earn a degree. Over two dozen states disburse some state funding on how many students an institution graduates, rather than how many it enrolls. Students and families are more anxious than ever before about crossing the degree finish line, as the financial burden of paying for college has increased significantly in recent years. And retaining students is becoming more crucial to the university bottom line. As recruiting and educating students becomes increasingly expensive, colleges hope to balance the resources they use to recruit students with revenue generated when those students are retained.

Because of these pressures, institutions have begun analyzing demographic and performance data to predict whether a student will enroll at an institution, stay on track in her courses, or require support so that she does not fall behind. Using data in this way is known as predictive analytics. Analyzing past student data to predict what current and prospective students might do has helped institutions meet their annual enrollment and revenue goals with more targeted recruiting and more strategic use of institutional aid. Predictive analytics has also allowed colleges to better tailor their advising services and personalize learning in order to improve student outcomes

Manuela Ekowo and Iris Palmer (2017) Predictive Analytics in Higher Education: Five Guiding Practices for Ethical Use. New America.

Researchers Failed To Tell Testosterone Trial Patients They Were Anemic – Shots Health News from NPR (Richard Harris | February | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 2, 2017

There’s a lesson about one of the testosterone studies released this week that has nothing to do with testosterone: The study on how testosterone affects anemia was designed with an ethical lapse that nobody noticed until the study was complete.

That’s surprising because it was designed and carried out by a couple of dozen of well-regarded scientists. Their protocols were reviewed by 12 university institutional review boards, whose job is to evaluate the ethics of an experiment. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health, and the trial was overseen by a watchdog data safety and monitoring board.

But all of those safety features fell short this time.

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Artificial Intelligence Could Dig Up Cures Buried Online – Wired (Bahar Gholipour | November 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on February 21, 2017

THIS SUMMER, RIVA-MELISSA Tez was searching online for research that might help her father. He’d gone into a coma after suffering a stroke, and she wondered what the latest recommendations said—whether playing music to him in his native language could keep him connected to this world, or if giving him Prozac could boost his chances of recovery as it had done for mice in a study last year. Doctors are so busy saving lives, she thought, that they couldn’t possibly keep up with all the papers published every day.

Her concern is shared by doctors, who wonder what they could be missing in the 2.5 million scientific papers published every year. Popular sites like MedCalc and UptoDate are useful tools for doctors to consult diagnostic criteria and double check on treatment guidelines. But there’s plenty of room for improvement, and some believe artificial intelligence could be a solution to science overload: machine learning assistants to read incoming papers, distill their information, and highlight relevant findings.

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