Nobel laureate discusses the value of research and practice

first_imgI had been interested in international development and cared about this issue — I know that Esther and Abhijeet, my co-laureates feel the same way — in part because of how I was raised as a child by my parents who believed that we have certain obligations to help address injustices in the world.I was a social studies concentrator as an undergraduate and benefited immensely from that program. People who work in international development very quickly realize the interdisciplinary nature of the problems.I took more economics classes over time, and I took a class with [a professor] at the precursor to CID — the Harvard Institute for International Development — who worked in Kenya. Through him, I applied for funds — as I assume many of you will — to do my senior thesis research over the summer in India and in Sri Lanka. I received the funds, went to Sri Lanka, went to the library and the government offices to look up the records on the program I was studying, and diligently wrote them all down. Then at the end of that summer, I got the chance to visit a village and I realized what I’d been missing out on the rest of the summer. Having done that, I realized that if I wanted work in this field, it was important for me to spend more time in developing countries.Listen to the full event on CID’s podcast “Michael Kremer in Conversation with Harvard Students.” International development work requires, and is naturally suited to, teams of people with very different subject matter backgrounds … from economists to public health specialists, education specialists, and psychologists. Depending on the project, it also involves very deep interaction with government workers, NGO workers, and ultimately the clients of the research — students in a school or farmers — who are motivated by certain issues and will offer valuable insights. What’s perhaps unusual about this field is that we feel we’re all working toward a common goal.On Kremer’s origins as a development economist: International development needs scholars from a variety of backgrounds and the input of practitioners, Nobel Laureate Michael Kremer told the audience at a special event organized by Harvard’s Center for International Development.The event took place on Nov. 5 at the Smith Center’s public auditorium. Throughout the evening, Kremer’s insights, the questions posed, and the diversity of expertise represented in the room came together to send a clear message. Kremer’s work testifies to the synergistic relationship between research and practice: Efforts to affect real change in the world are most fruitful when the academic exercises of theory and experimentation are undertaken alongside and directly informed by policymakers, practitioners, and the research beneficiaries themselves.Below are some excerpts from Kremer’s talk, lightly edited for length and clarity.On an inclusive approach to poverty reduction:center_img Read Full Storylast_img read more

Field house portion of athletic facility open for use after two years

first_imgAfter roughly two years of renovations on the Angela Health and Wellness Center, the field house portion of the building is open for use.Director of athletics Julie Schroeder-Biek said in an email that the new athletic facility will be a hub for campus community.“I think [students] will really love the versatility that the building offers,” she said. “They can come to Angela to work out, participate in intramurals, club sports, PE classes, attend a sporting event and support the varsity teams, visit the Health and Counseling or BAVO offices or they can just meet a friend or professor for coffee or lunch.”The field house is currently open to students who enter from the north side by the athletic fields, she said. The rest of the building is still blocked off for finishing touches before fully opening in January next semester.“We have some limited hours available for open gyms in the field house portion of the building that includes the track,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We have been using the field house for our volleyball team’s practices and games, and our basketball team has started their practices in there as well.”Schroeder-Biek said the improvements that come with the renovated portion of the building include a better design for more functional space. The new addition onto Angela has more than doubled the building in size, she said.“It adds on our Health and Counseling Department and BAVO to the south side of the building, while our new athletic staff suite with expanded athletic training room are added onto the north side of the original building,” she said. “There will be larger restrooms and locker rooms for students, faculty and staff as well. The field house addition with the elevated one-tenth mile track will be used by so many for fitness, open gyms, varsity practices and club sports.”Richard Baxter, director of campus and community events, said the facility was designed with the vision of catering to students’ minds, bodies and spirituality.“Our primary focus is providing an education for the whole being,” Baxter said. “That’s what Holy Cross education has been about since Fr. Moreau founded the order and set about to establish education as a goal and educating the whole person. That’s the intent of the facility — that’s been the intent of the institution and our outward buildings reflect that.”Baxter said the most striking thing about the facility for him is the view of campus from inside the building.“You can actually participate in campus beauty while you’re standing in there,” Baxter said. “There will be two primary entrances — one on the north which faces the athletic fields and one on the south end that you will be able to look out and see the tower of Le Mans. Then, it will open out onto the quad they’ve created, that President Cervelli actually designed herself.”Baxter said additional perks of the renovation are the new lights and the new configuration of the lacrosse field, the soccer field and the softball field. He said these renovations allow sports teams to now practice past sundown.“They can actually have games at night if they choose, which helps them prioritize their time in a more efficient way,” he said. “They had to squeeze in all their training before the sun went down because they would be out there in the dark; now they are able to practice well into the evening if they choose.”Senior Perla Ocádiz said the renovation has been happening since her sophomore year, and she looks forward to seeing the final product.“I haven’t looked at the new building, but I am happy that it is finally opening up and excited for the brand-new equipment,” Ocádiz said.Tags: Angela Athletic Facility, renovations, saint mary’slast_img read more

Nassau Farmers say it will take 60 Million to rebound from storm

first_img Related Items:#FarmersUnitedAssociation, #HurricaneMatthewdevastatesfarmers, #MagenticMediaNews Favorite Things – Police Cadet Corps Relaunched in The Bahamas Favorite Things – CCTV Launched in Jamaica, dubbed the “Jamaica Eye” Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, March 30, 2017 – Nassau – Farmers in The Bahamas have pull and are important because they reduce the importation of food by an astounding $1 billion dollars per year; that is why the Farmer United Association of Nassau believes its presentation to the Minister of Agriculture following the double devastation of Hurricane Matthew and contaminated feed which wiped out livestock will get them some assistance.The FUA has put the injection required at $60 million, telling media that to rebound it will take $30,000 per acre.  There is said to be 2000 acres of farm land in Nassau and 60-100 members of the FUA.  The farmers have organized themselves and president of the newly formed group, Caron Shepherd explained that the farmers are still trying to overcome issues with salt in the soil and the Ministry has yet to disclose if the tests on the feed to pigs and hogs was contaminated.Shepherd agreed that the $60 Million request was unprecedented and said the voucher offered to the farmers by Agriculture Minister, V Alfred Gray would likely be insufficient to replenish the farms.#MagenticMediaNews#FarmersUnitedAssociation#HurricaneMatthewdevastatesfarmers TCI: New Training Center opened by Hotel & Tourism Associationlast_img read more

Can smartphone apps diagnose illnesses No say experts

first_imgWith a barrage of smartphone health apps being launched globally — claiming to go beyond fitness or calorie checkers and spot mental illnesses or respiratory diseases — health experts stress that such digital applications can never be a replacement for a qualified, well-trained health service provider.An Australia-based digital health solution provider recently launched an app called ResApp that claims to diagnose respiratory diseases like pneumonia, croup and asthma with high accuracy through a cough into a smartphone. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Go to Apple App Store and you will find a plethora of apps claiming to diagnose depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are nearly 1,500 depression-checking apps out there but according to experts, apps can at best give information or help monitor diet and health parameters but if these claim to diagnose an illness, there are serious medico-legal issues in making such a claim.“Apps may guide a patient to consult an appropriate doctor. However, an app by itself is not adequate to make a diagnosis. Diagnosis of a medical condition is made by detailed history and examination followed by investigations. This expertise is gained after several years of training and a digital app is not a replacement at all,” emphasised Dr Vipul Gupta, head, (neurovascular intervention centre) at Medanta-The Medicity. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixGupta is soon going to launch an app called “Stroke and Neurointervention” — being developed with the non-profit Stroke and Neurovascular Intervention Foundation, where he is one of the founder members.The app will provide information to people about stroke awareness, prevention and treatment options. “The app will also have an emergency number to call. It will regularly update doctors about current treatments, latest advances and protocols and provide expert opinion on medical cases,” said Dr Gupta. When it comes to health apps, experts say that trust in health care cannot be created by answering merely a set of questions and getting an instant diagnosis as the variables are too high to be included in a single app.The key questions are: Is the app accredited by an agency or has the process been standardised by any council? Have double-blind clinical trials been performed on these apps for approval and do these prepare users for emergency situations? Are the people behind the apps health care providers or mere IT geeks who wish to monetise their efforts?“There is not enough evidence that such queries have been addressed when it comes to health apps. On the contrary, there is always an agreement clause which the user is made to click prior to use, absolving the app creator of any medical mishaps,” said Dr Amitabh Parti, unit head (internal medicine) at Fortis Medical Research Institute in Gurgaon.Dr Parti has come across many such tall claiming apps and found those misleading. “The efficacy of an app need to be subjected to multi-centric clinical trials and need to be assessed in varying clinical settings including individuals with many co-morbidities (more than one disease). We must realise there is no room for a redo in healthcare when it is a human life we are interfering with,” emphasises Dr Parti.Dr Rajeev Rathi, cardiologist at Max Super Specialty Hospital in the Capital, recently devised and launched an app to help a person find if he or she is suffering from a heart disease or not.Diagnosis in the field of mental health is largely clinical and questionnaires and apps at best can help with screening to help provide suggestions but not diagnosis.“It is important that applications are used for education and screening purpose and not for more and should aid in reaching experts to a larger population and make accessibility easier,” elaborates Dr Samir Parikh, director, department of mental health and behavioural sciences, at Fortis Healthcare.In a recent report in the scientific journal Nature, psychiatrist John Torous who chairs the American Psychiatric Association’s Smartphone App Evaluation Task Force, said: “Right now, it [apps] almost feels like the Wild West of health care.”last_img read more

An IndoRussian double portrait

first_imgDuring a panel discussion, in answer to the question whether or not one could make a collaborative film among the BRICS nations, Galina proposed a story idea on ‘Mahatma’ Haffkine – the doctor who invented the vaccine for cholera and the plague that helped a lot of Indians. He gained the respect of many and was given the title of ‘Mahatma’. Anton Chekov called him the ‘most unknown person in the world’ as he never gained worldwide popularity.What inspired you to be a film director? Also Read – Add new books to your shelfGalina: Look around and you’ll find many scenes suitable for filming. It is interesting to tell stories to people. My love and urge to be a storyteller, to some extent, drove me towards films. Some influences have been derived from theatre also, as I was basically a theatregoer, not a cinema goer.How did you bring in Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi in your movie?If you ask anybody in the streets of Moscow about Leo Tolstoy they’ll all say that Tolstoy was a great Russian writer, and if you ask them who Gandhi was, they’d say that he was a great Indian ‘writer’. But if you had asked this question 20 years ago, everybody would say he was a great Indian philosopher. Time shows the change in generation and their knowledge. The new generation is not much aware of Gandhi. But there is a monument, and a street named after him in Moscow which shows that Gandhi as an Indian philosopher and political person is very famous in our country.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe last year of Tolstoy’s life brought about some exchange of mails between him and Mahatma Gandhi where they discussed the ideas of non-violence. The movie is based on these mails. These mails are now preserved in Tolstoy Estate, in Yasnaya Polyana.An Indian Ambassador in Russia often used to visit that place. Once, we met at Yasnaya Polyana and he reminded me of the interesting story of the mails shared between the two great men. There is abundant literary material available on this topic. Many scientists and historians have been interested in this theme as well. He asked me if I was going to make a film on this topic, and I said ‘yes’ as that was a very interesting subject to express through cinema and so I made Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi: a Double Portrait in the Interior of the Age. The Indian Embassy and Russian museums have helped us. The museums provided us with the archive footages which had never been seen by anybody before. Please tell us about the making of the film.Tolstoy had actually helped me. He had described some very unusual stories and events in the mails to Mahatma Gandhi. The film is based on the documentary material but according to the laws of the filming it would be a fiction film. The dramatism and conflict in the film have been achieved though only one voice running throughout the film rather actors enacting, yet the dramatism is very strong. This is the secret of my film making. I am an awarded director in Russia as I know how to grab the audience’s attention (laughs). I have tried to portray the thoughts of these great minds.Among all the movies you have made till date, which is your favourite?Cinema and theatre are my fields of work. But to answer your question, all I could say is that my ‘last film’ is my favourite since it is still fresh in the memory.During a discussion revolving a film on Zimbabwe, I got reminded of the conflicts in both, Zimbabwe and Russia. In 1917, Russia, due to the post world war situation, saw a divide between the rich and the poor and in Zimbabwe, it was the white and black people against each other. Today it is Russian and Ukrainians against each other. Therefore, Leo and Gandhi are the thinkers who gave some answers to questions like how one could survive in this cruel world.Did you get inspiration of filmmaking from your mother?Anna: We have worked together in several films, I have been helping her with many films in the studio until I made my first film, which was also based on archive material and is called The Hall. It is based on a building in Moscow which had witnessed many crucial events in the country’s history. The whole story is told from the point of view of the building.last_img read more

Twitter Files for IPO

first_imgSeptember 12, 2013 Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowcenter_img 2 min read Twitter has filed to go public, though potential investors will have to wait a bit to get a sense of its financials.In a tweet, Twitter confirmed that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO,” Twitter said in its official feed. “This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.”Related: Fast Facts on Twitter’s Startup Buying SpreeIt filed secretly, taking advantage of the Jump-Start Our Business Startups, or JOBS Act, which allows companies to get a low-profile review from regulators before selling shares.Despite Twitter being well-known and much utilized – it has an estimated 400 million monthly users – the filing under the JOBS Act suggests the company booked less than $1 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year.The JOBS Act was designed to help emerging companies avoid some of the harshest scrutiny when going public. Critics, though, have suggested such scrutiny is helpful as investors evaluate whether to put money into these companies.It is unclear when Twitter will make its financial results public to potential investors, nor when it plans to actually sell its shares or at what valuation.Related: Easy Tips for Writing Better Tweetslast_img read more