ERC’S New Secretary-General on Women in Science and “Fair Trade”

first_imgSpanish economist Andreu Mas-Colell, 65, took over on 1 July as secretary-general of the European Research Council (ERC), a relatively new science funding agency. In that position, he’s the representative of ERC’s Scientific Council, which sets scientific policy at the Executive Agency, the Brussels office that runs the funding body. Mas-Colell, who worked at the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard University for 23 years, has been a professor at Barcelona’s Universitat Pompeu Fabra since 1995, and was science minister for the region of Catalonia from 2000 until 2003.Mas-Colell arrives at a hectic time for the 3-year-old granting agency. On Wednesday, the Executive Agency reached “administrative autonomy,” a position that puts it at a greater distance from the European Commission. Next week, a blue-ribbon panel will unveil a crucial review of ERC’s structure and procedures. At the end of the month, ERC will issue the third call for its popular Starting Grants. In an interview this week, Mas-Colell stressed that ERC wants to do more help young researchers, especially women. The following questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.Q: You had a long academic career in economics. Why the switch to science administration?A.M.-C.: I worked in the United States until I was about 50 years old. You arrive at a point where it makes sense to devote time to the management of science, to try to facilitate the life of younger scientists. For me it was most attractive to do that in Europe. I feel very European, which is why I moved back to Spain. I have been very active in promoting science in Catalonia; the opportunity to do this at the European level is simply irresistible.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Q: Any new organization has growing pains. What have been the problems with ERC so far?A.M.-C.: The ERC has been growing at a dizzying rate, from two or three people to 200, in a few years. We have had to learn a lot along the way, and of course there have been many, many glitches—but I think they have been minor. We are making some adjustments, however. For instance, we’re hoping to introduce a new type of grant, Consolidators Grants, in addition to our Starters Grants and Advanced Grants.Q: What’s the reasoning behind that?A.M.-C.: Starters Grants are available for people up to 10 years after they obtained their Ph.D. But the review panels told us that there’s too much difference between people with, say 3 or 4 years of experience and those with 8 or 9. The latter group is more independent, and they tended to have a better chance of winning. As a result, the early starters didn’t have as much of a chance as they should have. By reserving a portion of the grants for them, we hope to change that.Q: The first two calls have been criticized because the vast majority of the grants went to scientists from northwest Europe and to men. Do you see that as a problem?A.M.-C.: It’s true that the twelve countries who recently joined the European Union had very low success rates. What can we do about it? Let me tell you what we can’t do: change the rules. We are driven by excellence, and that will not change. That said, I think the situation is bound to improve. Countries can use other forms of financing, such as the E.U.’s structural funds, to improve their scientific infrastructure. Spain has done that for over 15 years and Spain is not doing badly in the grants. Eastern Europe has a deep scientific tradition and there’s no reason to believe they are not capable of winning grants.The situation with women is different, and we need improvement. But you have to distinguish two different things: the submission of grants and the selection process. For the 2007 Starters Grants, 30% of the submissions came from women; it’s even a bit lower, 28.8%, in the 2009 round, whose numbers have not yet been announced. For the 2008 Advanced Grants, it was 14%. Those numbers are worrisome, and we will keep campaigning and networking to increase the percentage. As to the selection, 26% of the Starters Grants went to women, and 11.6% of the Advanced Grants.Q: Do you mean to say that there is no bias in the selection process?A.M.-C.: Well, the percentage of grants awarded to women is slightly lower than the percentage of submissions, and we worry about every percent. We’re doing a structural analysis, panel by panel, to make sure there is not any built-in bias in our system. I hope the change in the calls that I mentioned will also help. Perhaps by making more grants available for scientists with 2 to 6 years experience, the playing field will become more even for women. When you get to 8 or 9 years of experience, perhaps men have had more of a chance to build up a track record because they concentrate more on their work. But this is speculation on my part.Q: At a recent meeting, ERC President Fotis Kafatos said that the number of advanced grants would stay roughly the same from now on. Many scientists had hoped it would keep going up.A.M.-C.: Our resources will reach a steady state. From the very beginning, the ERC has regarded the cultivation of young talent as absolutely crucial to the future of European science. For example, if we want to bring back talent that’s currently abroad, it’s easier to do that in an early phase, when they haven’t yet consolidated their careers. But the number of advanced grants won’t go down.Q: You have lived in the United States for more than 25 years, How has that influenced your views on science policy?A.M.-C.: I suppose it has shaped them. First and foremost, I totally subscribe to the ERC’s vision of excellence-based research rather than using other criteria, such as geographic region. I know that will be good for Europe because I have seen that it’s good for the U.S. I also think it’s good to organize this at the European level; the National Science Foundation also operates at the federal level. But we’re still tiny compared to U.S. institutions. We’re about one-fourth the size of NSF, which is one-fifth the size of the National Institutes of Health. We’ll always be smaller than they are, but we need to become bigger than we are now.Q: Europe can become the Massachusetts of the world, you said in the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia. What did you mean by that?A.M.-C.: Demographic predictions say that in 2050, roughly 4% to 5% of the world population will live in Europe—that’s similar to the percentage of U.S. people living in Massachusetts. And yet Massachusetts is a reference for higher education and research, not just in the U.S. So it’s a legitimate ambition for us to become a central point for research and higher education. The accumulation of talent is going to be central in that. It’s perfectly normal that Europeans develop their careers outside of Europe, but it should be similarly natural that non-Europeans develop their careers here. There has to be a balance, and if possible a surplus.Q: You have also proposed the idea of “fair trade” in attracting talent. Can you explain?A.M.-C.: I was talking about recruiting scientists from the developing world. We should help them develop their careers, for instance by making it easy for them to travel and obtains visas. But the developing world needs its scientists too. We have to make sure that we set up and finance institutes in those countries, set up twinning arrangements with institutes in Europe, and so forth. For them, it should not be like stepping in an elevator and never going back. We have to think of this as creating corridors instead.last_img read more

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Mexican scientists feel the Trump effect

first_imgEconomic turmoil could also harm industries that support innovation in Mexico. Many Mexican scientists and engineers work in auto manufacturing, aerospace, and pharmaceuticals. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on cars assembled in Mexico, which has already prompted Ford to abandon plans for a new factory in San Luis Potosí. If foreign companies that have been hiring Mexicans with advanced degrees stop doing business in the country, “that would be a true disaster,” says Luis Herrera-Estrella, director of LANGEBIO. “It would cause terrible unemployment in Mexico.”Geography made us cousins. This is like breaking up a family.Carlos Gay, National Autonomous University Amid nationwide calls to support Mexican businesses and boycott U.S. firms, Lorenza Haddad sees a glimmer of hope. A Mexican geneticist who studied in the United States, she’s the CEO of Código 46, a new company in Cuernavaca that plans to offer genotyping services for personalized medicine to Mexican clients starting next month. “The way Mexico has been talked about lately, it puts us on the map a lot more than before,” she says.Chilly relations may also change the calculus for promising young Mexican scientists planning to go abroad. Like scientists from countries targeted by Trump’s immigration order, Mexican researchers who normally would come to the United States for graduate training or postdocs say they may find a warmer welcome elsewhere. In 2016 Conacyt awarded 1550 grants to graduate students and researchers studying in the United States, making it the No. 1 destination for Mexican scientists abroad. Santiago Rábade, who is working toward his master’s degree in earth sciences at UNAM, says that many peers are now considering pursuing degrees in the European Union or Japan—“where there is less anti-Mexican sentiment.” Rábade says he still plans to apply to doctoral programs at U.S. universities, but he is uneasy. “I’m making a major life decision. Is the United States really a good place to be for 5 years?” he asks. “It no longer seems like a friendly place.”“Geography made us cousins,” says UNAM climate scientist Carlos Gay. “This is like breaking up a family.”Additional reporting by Jeffrey Mervis. MEXICO CITY—For Andrés Moreno-Estrada, the news was welcome but the timing, terrible. Moreno-Estrada, who hunts for genetic variations linked to disease, recently learned that he had won a 13-million-peso grant from Mexico and the United Kingdom to sequence DNA from blood samples in a public health biobank. But 13 million pesos isn’t what it was before Donald Trump assumed the U.S. presidency. When the population geneticist at the National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity (LANGEBIO) in Irapuato, Mexico, submitted his proposal in November 2015, the exchange rate was 16 pesos to the dollar, and his grant would have been worth $812,500. Now, the rate is 21 pesos to the dollar. “There’s no way I can do what I committed to,” he says, unless he raises more money.The fall of the peso, provoked in part by Trump’s insistence on building a border wall and making Mexico pay for it, is one contributor to the waves of angst sweeping through the Mexican science community. “Every time Trump tweets something about Mexico, the peso takes a hit,” says Daniela Robles-Espinoza, a cancer geneticist who is outfitting a new lab at the International Laboratory for Human Genome Research in Juriquilla, Mexico. As the dollar value of grants shrinks, so does buying power: Mexican scientists purchase most of the research materials and equipment they use from the United States. The peso depreciation also strains Mexican scientists hoping to travel to international conferences or publish in journals that require publication fees.Trump’s harsh stance toward Mexico has made scientists here nervous about the fate of U.S. funding for cross-border collaborations. “The worry is that [Trump] will limit, or perhaps end, some of the academic exchange we have,” either through new regulations or by cutting off money for collaborations, says Jaime Urrutia-Fucugauchi, a geophysicist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) here and president of the Mexican Academy of Sciences. The U.S. National Science Foundation currently supports about 200 projects with Mexican collaborators. Mexico’s National Council for Science Technology (Conacyt) said in a statement that “it is an opportune moment” to expand collaborations with other countries including the European Union and China.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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Dopamine may have given humans our social edge over other apes

first_imgMale chimpanzees signal their aggression when they display their big canines, in contrast with humans, who show small canines when they smile. Sergey Uryadnikov/shutterstock.com Humans are the ultimate social animals, with the ability to bond with mates, communicate through language, and make small talk with strangers on a packed bus. (Put chimpanzees in the same situation and most wouldn’t make it off the bus alive.) A new study suggests that the evolution of our unique social intelligence may have initially begun as a simple matter of brain chemistry.Neuroanatomists have been trying for decades to find major differences between the brains of humans and other primates, aside from the obvious brain size. The human brain must have reorganized its chemistry and wiring as early human ancestors began to walk upright, use tools, and develop more complex social networks 6 million to 2 million years ago—well before the brain began to enlarge 1.8 million years ago, according to a hypothesis proposed in the 1960s by physical anthropologist Ralph Holloway of Columbia University. But neurotransmitters aren’t preserved in ancient skulls, so how to spot those changes?One way is to search for key differences in neurochemistry between humans and other primates living today. Mary Ann Raghanti, a biological anthropologist at Kent State University in Ohio, and colleagues got tissue samples from brain banks and zoos of 38 individuals from six species who had died of natural causes: humans, tufted capuchins, pig-tailed macaques, olive baboons, gorillas, and chimpanzees. They sliced sections of basal ganglia—clusters of nerve cells and fibers in a region at the base of the brain known as the striatum, which is a sort of clearinghouse that relays signals from different parts of the brain for movement, learning, and social behavior. They stained these slices with chemicals that react to different types of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and neuropeptide Y—which are associated with sensitivity to social cues and cooperative behavior. Then, they analyzed the slices to measure different levels of neurotransmitters that had been released when the primates were alive.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Compared with other primates, both humans and great apes had elevated levels of serotonin and neuropeptide Y, in the basal ganglia. However, in line with another recent study on gene expression, humans had dramatically more dopamine in their striatum than apes, they report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Humans also had less acetylcholine, a neurochemical linked to dominant and territorial behavior, than gorillas or chimpanzees. The combination “is a key difference that sets apart humans from all other species,” Raghanti says.Those differences in neurochemistry may have set in motion other evolutionary changes, such as the development of monogamy and language in humans, theorizes Kent State paleoanthropologist Owen Lovejoy, a co-author. He proposes a new “neurochemical hypothesis for the origin of hominids,” in which females mated more with males who were outgoing, but not too aggressive. And males who cooperated well with other males may have been more successful hunters and scavengers. As human ancestors got better at cooperating, they shared the know-how for making tools and eventually developed language—all in a feedback loop fueled by surging levels of dopamine. “Cooperation is addictive,” Raghanti says.Lovejoy thinks these neurochemical changes were already in place more than 4.4 million years ago, when Ardipithecus ramidus, an early member of the human family, lived in Ethiopia. Compared with chimpanzees, which display large canines when they bare their teeth in aggressive displays, A. ramidus males had reduced canines. That meant that when they smiled—like male humans today—they were likely signaling cooperation, Lovejoy says.However, it’s a big leap to prove that higher levels of dopamine changed the evolution of human social behavior. The neurochemistry of the brain is so complex, and dopamine is involved in so many functions that it’s hard to know precisely why natural selection favored higher dopamine levels—or even whether it was a side effect of some other adaptation, says evolutionary geneticist Wolfgang Enard at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany. But he says this painstaking research to quantify differences in neurochemistry among primates is important, especially as researchers study differences in gene expression in the brain. Raghanti agrees and is now writing a grant to study the brain tissue of bonobos. By Ann GibbonsJan. 22, 2018 , 3:10 PM Dopamine may have given humans our social edge over other apeslast_img read more

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PBA Finals: Mike Harris, Aces stay positive despite 2-0 hole

first_imgRead Next Palace: Robredo back to ‘groping with a blind vision’ Spain braces for some 500 violent fans for Copa Libertadores ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ In spite of Washington’s sanctions, Huawei sells more smartphones than ever Australia appoints 76ers coach Brett Brown for Tokyo Olympics Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PHcenter_img Hotel management clarifies SEA Games footballers’ kikiam breakfast controversy Alaska was in control for most of the game and headed into the fourth quarter with a 65-61 lead but it went into a pitiful shooting performance going 2-of-20 from the field the whole final period.The Hotshots, who shot 5-of-13 from the field, outscored the Aces 16-6.“It all comes down to execution and that’s exactly what I expected coming into this, they (Magnolia) are a great team, they’re a great defensive team,” said Harris, who put up 22 points and 12 rebounds but turned the ball over seven times.“They challenge me a lot more on the court than most teams had done this year and they really forced me to move the ball and focus on passing so I really like that it’s a challenge I’m ready to take.”ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games You can now mix and match your Bitmoji’s clothing MANILA, Philippines—The odds are certainly stacked against Alaska after falling 2-0 in its seven-game series against Magnolia in the PBA Governors’ Cup finals Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT The Aces absorbed a 77-71 loss against the Hotshots in a game they could’ve held on to win, but the final buzzer sounded on them and import Mike Harris knows the only thing they can do is move on.Harris knows the situation they’re in but the Aces can’t afford to be embroiled in any negativity.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief“You take it one game at a time, so you know our job is to come back, refocus tomorrow and be ready for Game 3,” said Harris. “All we need to do is win one and that changes the whole thing.”“We can’t get down on ourselves, I’m not down on myself. I’ve been in this situation before so I like the situation, this is a precious situation.” LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

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8 Productivity Tips for Business Travelers

first_img 3.9★ Flight Controls Software Engineer My Job Tank Santa Clara, CA 23 hours ago 23h N/A Behavior Technician – Big Bear (Inland) Autism Spectrum Therapies Big Bear City, CA 23 hours ago 23h 2.7★ 23 hours ago 23h Diesel/Gasoline Mechanic Tri Motor Sales Inc Oak Harbor, OH 3.3★ Jane Hurst is a content manager from San Francisco. She is a business writer and writing coach. Find Jane on Twitter.8 Best Practices for Successful Remote Workers 23 hours ago 23h Browse Open Jobs Speech Language Pathologist Part Time SNF – Lee, MA – Lee Healthcare RehabCare Lee, MA 23 hours ago 23h N/A When you are on the road a lot for business, it often seems like you aren’t getting as much done as you should be. But, just because you are traveling frequently, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be as productive as if you were in the office every day. You just have to look for ways to be able to do your work when you are on the road. With today’s technology, working while traveling has never been easier. You can connect from pretty much anywhere, and you can get a lot done while you are on the road. Here are some productivity tips for anyone who travels frequently for business.Be Prepared for DowntimeWhen you are traveling for business, make sure that you always have a laptop or tablet with you, so you can work from anywhere. Scope out Wi-Fi hot spots ahead of time, so you will know where you can get a connection and be able to do your work, no matter where you are traveling to. You might also want to look into getting a Wi-Fi card, which will let you have an Internet subscription for your mobile device. Even if you can’t connect to free Wi-Fi, you will still be able to connect and stay productive.Forget about Multitasking It is time to get out of the mindset that multitasking helps you to get more done. Sure, it may seem like you are doing a lot, but what you are really doing is a whole lot of nothing. When you are multitasking, you aren’t putting all of your concentration on any one task, so nothing is being done to the best of your ability. Whether you are in the office or on the road, stop multitasking, and simply concentrate on doing one thing at a time, and doing it well. You will be a lot more productive in the long run by not multitasking.Buy an External Phone ChargerWhen you are working on the road, it is more important than ever to know that you can be in contact with clients, your employer, your team, etc. This means that you need a reliable wireless device that is constantly charged. An external smartphone charger is a great investment because it will ensure that your device is always charged when you need it, and you can contact anyone at any time, check and send emails, etc. These devices only cost around $30, and it is more than worth it to prevent the inevitable “Sorry I missed your call; my phone died” conversation with your CEO.11 Companies That’ll Pay You to TravelUpdate Your Tech If you are using old technology, it can really slow you down a lot, especially if you are on the road. But, you don’t have to go out and spend a fortune on new tech devices. You can save a lot of money by purchasing refurbished devices. You can even sell your old tech at websites such as Gadget Salvation, and use the money towards the new devices you need in order to stay productive while you are on the road. Find things like newer laptops, iPhones, and a whole lot more, and save a lot of money while you are at it.Take Wi-Fi Enabled Flights You probably spend a lot of time on airplanes, and this can seem like a real time-waster. But, if you are taking flights that are Wi-Fi enabled, you can get a lot of work done while on those long flights. These flights may be a bit more on the costly side, but when you think about how productive you could be, the additional fees are definitely worth it. You will have many uninterrupted hours of time to get a lot of work done, and when you arrive at your destination, you won’t be stressed out about all of the work that didn’t get done, because you already did it.Take Breaks It is important to take breaks in order to keep from burning out. So, put down the laptop for a little while, and go for a walk. If you are in a new area, this is a great chance to explore and see new things. Take a couple of hours for yourself, and you will be surprised at just how refreshed you are, and ready to get right back to the work that needs to be done.11 Employees Share Their Best Work Productivity HacksWork Offline There are a lot of to-dos that can be done without the use of the Internet. So, if you know that you are going to be in areas where Wi-Fi is sketchy at best, plan for it. Take work along that you can do offline, whether it be planning business strategies, organizing notes, finishing projects that don’t require any additional research, etc. You might be surprised to learn at just how much you can get done without ever logging on to the Internet. Even if you are away on a camping trip, you can get a lot of work done and be productive.Be Careful about Social Media Use It is a good idea to avoid using social media first thing in the morning. You’d be surprised at just how much time you waste on social media and checking email, and before you know it, the morning is over, and you haven’t accomplished much of anything. Start getting into the habit of checking social media and emails a bit later in the morning. Even better, schedule times to do these things, and then do not do them when you are trying to get other things done. The less time you spend on social media and email, the more productive you are going to be in the long run. 2.8★ Customer Service- General Labor Waldan Enterprises Inc. Fort Wayne, IN Part-time Evening Associate Crew Carwash Lafayette, IN 23 hours ago 23h RN – Kettering Medical Center – 5NW ICU Step Down – Full Time – Nights – **$12,500 Sign-On Bonus Kettering Health Network Kettering, OH Lead Plumber Central MO All Service Plumbing Lake Ozark, MO 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h N/A 2.7★ Registered Nurse Mercy Saint Louis, MO 23 hours ago 23h 3.6★ Per Diem Speech Language Pathologist Kindred At Home Cottonwood, AZ 4.8★last_img read more

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This Language Will Help You Land (More) IT Jobs

first_img 4.5★ 3.8★ 5.0★ 4.0★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Python Developer CompuGain Corporation McLean, VA 23 hours ago 23h N/A Senior Python Backend Engineer FareHarbor San Francisco, CA If you’re a programmer, you’re probably always looking to improve your skillset and beef up your resume. IT recruiters certainly see programmers who inadvertently limit their job search options by focusing on the same languages, year after year. If you’re thinking about learning a new language soon, a good bet would be Python. Here’s why Python would be the best investment in your career right now.1. It’s useful to a wide range of employers. Learning Python widens your job search options because it’s a language that many companies want to use across various industries. This might be at least partially because it’s free and lowers overhead costs. Python isn’t just big in the tech space (which is, of course, huge in itself), though. It’s also used in hot job sectors like Science, Medicine, Finance (Fintech), Retail, and Entertainment.How to Be Ready for Personality Tests in the Tech Hiring Process2. Employers like it because it’s trendy. Python works for so many of the trends employers want to participate in right now. It’s a language that works for Scrum and Agile development, which is much more popular than Waterfall. It’s also a language that works better for open-source technologies, which many innovative, progressive employers want to use. Lastly, Python is a trendy language among employers because it gets frequent updates. Employers never see it as a stale, archaic language.Beyond Silicon Valley: Tech Jobs & Companies Hiring Throughout The U.S.3. It appeals to programmers, which appeals to employers. Employers, especially in the tech space where it’s a job seeker’s market, want to pick languages that attract top talent. Make yourself a more viable job candidate by playing into this trend and adding Python to your arsenal. Python attracts programmers right now for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s easy to learn (partially because it’s so readable– it includes English words). It’s also being taught more and more frequently in universities and colleges. Secondly, it’s popular among programmers who want an alternative to the highly corporate, controlled .NET, as it’s open source. Lastly, IT staffing companies find that Python appeals to programmers because it’s a craftsmen’s language. It allows programmers to really show off their skills and demonstrate a deep mastery that other, less flexible languages don’t allow. 3.6★ 23 hours ago 23h 3.5★ Software Quality Engineering Lead 4G Clinical Wellesley Hills, MAcenter_img 23 hours ago 23h Senior Python Data Analyst CACI International Washington, DC Software Engineer – Python Cisco Systems Milpitas, CA 23 hours ago 23h Available Python Jobs 23 hours ago 23h Python Developer Crypsis Washington, DC 3.8★ 4.2★ Software Engineer-(Java+Python+SQL) CyberCoders Arlington, VA Analyst Python Developer Stoovo Remote Software Engineer – Java/Python/AWS Capital One McLean, VA N/A Samantha Keefe is an Interactive Marketing Manager at AVID Technical Resources. AVID Technical Resources is a leading information technology recruiting company with offices around the country. Data Scientist Confidential Dallas, TX See more Python jobslast_img read more

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How to Ask Your Boss for Feedback (And Actually Get What You Need!)

first_img 3.8★ Senior Software Engineer/Team Lead Brightfield Group Chicago, IL Senior Lead Engineer Brightfield Group Chicago, IL 2.4★ N/A See more Remote jobs Chief Operating Officer Support.com Sunnyvale, CA 23 hours ago 23h Available Remote Jobs Office Manager Skybox Security San Jose, CA Applications Engineer KUKA Robotics Shelby Township, MI 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 3.8★ 23 hours ago 23h USER SUPPORT – MAC/PC AnswerWare Arlington, VA I recently read an interesting stat from Price Waterhouse Cooper that indicated nearly 60% of polled employees said they would like feedback from their bosses on a daily or weekly basis. More interesting than that, for employees under age 30, the desire for regular feedback flow jumped to 72%.Being a CEO for nearly 20 years, and having managed millennial workers for a good part of that time, I agree with these findings. But what has bothered me for the longest of time is the fact that so few employees, millennials or not, know how to effectively ask for feedback and then use that feedback constructively to improve their performance.It’s important to the success of one’s career trajectory to get constructive feedback frequently along the way.  Feedback will help you meet expectations and avoid the miscommunications that waste everyone’s time and put your prospects for growth at risk.I’ve found that employees who effectively solicit feedback from management, and implement that criticism wisely, inevitably end up becoming the top performers in their fields. So, based on my experience managing some of digital marketing’s most promising talents, here are my guidelines for getting and using the feedback that will open pathways to a bright, productive future.#1 Ask at The Appropriate Time and PlaceI’m all for giving employees candid feedback about their performance, but I can’t believe the ridiculous times and places I have been asked for it. I’ve been asked while getting lunch on line at the local deli, during company holiday parties, at my desk after a sales call that didn’t go so well, even while washing my hands in the lavatory!The best way to solicit feedback from your manager is to set up a time with them and when they know that’s the topic of the meeting.  Email them.  Explain that you want to make sure you are meeting expectations and looking for ways to improve your work performance. Ask for a 15 minute appointment when you can discuss it.Whatever you do, don’t impulsively query your boss just because you run into them in a public space.  Do not interrupt their day. Don’t put them on the spot in front of others.  Set something up ahead of time.  And if they don’t reply to your first email (trust me, bosses get A LOT of emails and its easy for some items to fall through the cracks) do a follow-up email a few days later, just to make sure they got your request.Giving Feedback the Right Way#2 Go in With a Specific Agenda and Document the FeedbackWhen the time comes to have your appointed feedback session, limit your discussion to three or four specific areas. These can be critiques about your core competencies, performance on recent projects or other opportunities where you can apply or expand your skill set. The idea is to keep things simple.  Make your inquiry about performance clear and specific, not vague and general. At the same time, don’t bombard your boss with a list of 20 items. That would be draining. Focus on the several areas where you most want your manager’s input.Be sure to take notes during the meeting.  Make it a listening session and concentrate on accurately transcribing your manager’s comments. Shortly after the meeting, while the discussion is fresh, follow up with an email.  Be proactive.  Outline the actions you are going to take to enhance your performance. Keep it succinct.  And keep it strictly between you and your manager; don’t go copying Human Resources or your boss’s boss with your email, unless specifically directed to by your manager.8 Habits of Employees That Get Promoted#3 Put the Feedback to Work Too many times I remember having really positive and constructive feedback session with an employee, a meeting they initiated, only to never hear from them again.  It’s like they receive the feedback, but have no clue how to apply it to their work situation.  That’s why it’s crucial to set up a timeline, so you can start tracking your improvement. Set a goal. Make it 30 days, the end of the quarter, by the end of a business initiative. Whatever, but make sure you set a time frame.  Consciously implement the areas of improvement identified during your feedback session and make a note of what did or didn’t work for you. Then, after the time you allotted yourself, send your boss an email outlining your progress. Include specific instances when you stretched your skills or otherwise brought discussed improvements to the work process, and make note of the results.Having the feedback session is not the goal in itself. You must show your boss (and yourself) that you are capable of implementing recommended changes to your behaviors at work, and that those changes contribute positively to the larger enterprise.9 Companies That Offer Incredible Professional Development Programs#4 Make Feedback an Ongoing ProcessUltimately, your goal should be to make feedback an ongoing process. In my company, we have forgone the typical 6-month review model many businesses follow. Those types of reviews can be intimidating, and they’re not frequent enough to catch bad habits before they form.  Instead, we make providing feedback a fluid process that can happen at any time.  At the end of a project, at the end of a week.  It’s major part of our work culture to provide one another with instant feedback, whether it’s praise or constructive criticism.So whether your company has formal review times or no review times at all, make it your priority to solicit feedback, not only from your managers, but from your co-workers, clients and vendors. Make it a regular process and continuously shape your performance based upon the constructive criticism you receive.Gabriel Shaoolian is a career growth expert, former marketing executive with 20+ years’ experience, and Founder of DesignRush, a digital destination to inspire creativity, featuring best designs by industry, spotlight interviews with top designers, trends, events & breaking news. Truck Wash Bay Technician & Detailer CR England – Remote Office Casa Grande, AZ 5 Critical Mistakes that Could Destroy Your Careercenter_img N/A 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Part Time Faculty Grantham University Lenexa, KS 3.0★ 23 hours ago 23h Full Stack Developer root9B, LLC Colorado Springs, CO 23 hours ago 23h 4.5★ 23 hours ago 23h N/A 23 hours ago 23h 3.2★ Browse Open Jobs Commercial Facilities Multi-Unit Manager Camelot Facility Management Solutions Plano, TX 3.7★ Browse More Jobslast_img read more

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Chelsea insist Conte and club rowing in same direction

first_imgChelsea insist manager Antonio Conte and the club are rowing in the same direction.There’s claims Conte could quit Chelsea over disagreements regarding their summer market plans.However, a club spokesman last night denied sacking Conte had been discussed by the board.He insisted: “We are working to secure the transfer targets agreed by the board and Antonio.”last_img

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Bayern Munich rival Man City for Tottenham fullback Kyle Walker

first_imgBayern Munich are joining the battle for Tottenham fullback Kyle Walker.The Sunday Express says Manchester City are this week expected to make an offer for the £45 million-rated England right-back.The Bundesliga giants have been keeping close tabs on him for the last few months.Carlo Ancelotti needs to replace club legend Philipp Lahm who is retiring this season.The Italian boss believes that Walker, who would cost him £150,000 a week in wages, would fit perfectly into his squad.last_img

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​Former Blues boss Di Matteo: Chelsea might never be able to replace Terry

first_imgFormer Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo insists his former club may never find a replacement for John Terry.The former England skipper finished career with the Blues at the end of last season, having made 717 appearances in 19 seasons at the club. “Terry has been there 20 years,” said Di Matteo via The Mirror.”He was a leader in the dressing room, he was the reference point for many players, especially many new players. He represented the true feelings of Chelsea.”It’s going to take a bit of time for somebody to step in and take that kind of role.”I’m not sure if ever somebody will be able to do so, but certainly taking on the captaincy role and being that important for the team.”last_img read more

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Atletico Madrid fullback Filipe Luis: No Chelsea regrets, but…

first_imgAtletico Madrid fullback Filipe Luis insists he has no regrets over his year with Chelsea.The Brazil international never secured first-choice status at Stamford Bridge before returning to Atletico.”I am happier in Spain,” he said. “I do not regret going to Chelsea, I do not think I made a bad choice at the time, it was a short stay of only a year, but it was good to win the Premier League.”The adaptation was not what I wanted, and I was never a first-choice.”Atlético were always interested in my return and I really have a lot of attachment to the team, but I wanted to live that experience, the opportunity to play that competition that they say is the best.”It was a good experience and I faced very fast and strong players.”last_img read more

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New Crystal Palace boss De Boer: Inter Milan axe took me to movies

first_imgNew Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer admits he shut out the world after his sacking by Inter Milan.The Dutchman was appointed as Roberto Mancini’s successor last summer, but lasted only 14 games before being sacked.“I think when I was sacked by Inter, that was the first time I watched Netflix,” De Boer said after being appointed Crystal Palace manager.“I had all that time, so I saw Narcos, some good movies, Sherlock Holmes… I saw a lot more.”last_img

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Real Madrid want Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez to join Theo

first_imgReal Madrid are eyeing Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez.Marca says Theo Hernandez has already agreed to join Real Madrid this summer, but he could still be joined by his talented brother Lucas Hernandez if Los Blancos are persistent.An attempt to approach Lucas, however, was met with denial as the centre-back opted to stay with current club Atletico despite Zinedine Zidane’s side meeting his release clause in the region of 40 millions euros.Recently, the centre-back position has seen a severe shortage of value in the market with expensive options such as Marquinhos off-limits, and so, with bloomers such as Lucas around, the other team from the capital will be lurking.last_img read more

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IN DETAIL: Real Madrid include multi-clauses in Mariano Diaz Lyon sale

first_imgReal Madrid are insisting on several clauses in their sale of Mariano Diaz to Lyon.Both Real president Florentino Perez and Lyon counterpart Jean Michel Aulas have confirmed talks are underway over a permanent deal for Mariano.Cadena SER says Real will sell the striker to OL for €8 million and will also insist upon a buy-back clause.There is also a sell-on clause included, which will give Real a 40-50% cut of any fee generated from a future Mariano sale.The 23 year-old will join OL on a €1 million salary – four times his current Real wages.last_img read more

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Why me? Why now? What for?

first_imgI got fascinating comments on my anti-doom and gloom post after it was picked up by Grist, and then on the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog, which has a very interesting post on getting people to act. All these smart commenters got me thinking, so I revisited some recent research on people taking action for various causes. There were three considerations that were consistently pivotal to getting people to act: a personal connection to a cause, a sense of urgency (as happens during Hurricane Katrina or humanitarian disasters) and a sense of confidence that an organization would have a real impact on real lives. The urgency one is important – and so relevant to the gloom and doom discussion. So I’d like to add the following to the conversation. We need to make a call to action feasible, but we also need to make it irresistible by answering three questions for our audience.–Why me? Why is our issue personally relevant to our audience? What’s the personal connection we forge with them?–Why now? Why should they take action now, as opposed to later or never? (This is where consequences of inaction can have a place, as with global warming or pandemic flu, IF AND ONLY IF there is a feasible call to action to prevent the dire scenario. Tell what’s wrong, but then show how to make it right.)–What for? What impact will result? What lives will be saved, what credible goal will be achieved?Your message should be the intersection of these three things. “X” marks the spot!last_img read more

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Achieving MDG 5: More Health Workers Needed to Find Solutions for Vulnerable Women

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 21, 2010June 20, 2017By: Maureen Corbett, Vice President of Programs, IntraHealth InternationalClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The MHTF is soliciting reactions from the maternal health community to the newly released UN MMR data. Our hope is that, together, these comments will serve as a springboard for discussion and provide momentum towards MDG5.Last week, the United Nations released the newest estimate of maternal mortality, which shows an important 34% decline in the last two decades. More than 220,000 fewer women died of pregnancy-related causes in 2008 when compared to 1990. These new estimates reinforce the good news reported earlier this year by The Lancet, further confirming that maternal death and disability are not intractable problems.  Progress is possible. However, the new numbers also bring sharp focus to the global inequities, which for too many of the world’s girls and women mean they do not get the high-quality health care they need before, during, and after a pregnancy. This inequity is clear in the fact that the lifetime risk that a 15-year old young woman  in sub-Saharan Africa will eventually die of a pregnancy-related cause (1 in 31) is more than 1000 times that of a young woman in some developed countries (1 in 4,300). These wide disparities between developing and developed regions are unacceptable. If we are serious about achieving Millennium Development Goal 5, a 75% drop in maternal mortality by 2015, we need to more than double our efforts in the next five years.The UN press release accompanying the new report highlighted the four main causes of maternal death—postpartum hemorrhage, infections, hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortion. Each is preventable, treatable, or both. We know the technical interventions that are needed, including modern contraception, safe abortion, antenatal care, skilled attendance for labor and delivery, and postpartum care. We also know that strong health systems are essential for improving availability, quality, and access to these services. And, essential to the health system is the health workforce. Without increased attention and innovation around solving the problem of the critical shortage of skilled health workers, continued progress in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity will not be possible. The UN report sends a clear message.  Progress in reducing maternal mortality will only be achieved with increased national ownership, strong health systems, and a global commitment to recruiting, training, equipping, deploying and retaining, and supporting more motivated and productive health workers.During a recent trip to India, I learned more about India’s ASHA (accredited social health activist) program. This innovative program recruits female health workers from the communities they serve, and trains them to educate community members and serve as a liaison between the community and the health system. The program offers these women incentives through a “pay for performance” system. Colleagues pointed out, however, that in some of the most marginalized and isolated communities in India there are no ASHA workers because in some villages there are no women who meet the basic selection criteria for being an ASHA, which includes basic literacy. Because of this, these already marginalized communities do not have community health workers to offer even the most basic health care. Continuing to make progress in these communities and the many others that are isolated or marginalized requires us to get creative about how to reach all women with the package of services they need. Doing this starts with a global commitment to value all women’s lives—only then will we be able to galvanize the resources necessary to prevent their deaths.Share this:last_img read more

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Study Demonstrates Far-reaching Impact of Maternal Deaths on Children in Tanzania

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 28, 2013February 16, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Maternal health advocates often point out that when a mother dies from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, her surviving family members, particularly her children are left to face a range of negative effects. And, indeed, substantial quantitative evidence from around the world has reinforced this claim: there is little doubt that maternal deaths are strongly associated with an increased risk of poor health, educational outcomes and economic status for their children. Further, the effects seem to be particularly acute for girls. However, gaps in knowledge remain: while it is obvious that mothers’ and children’s health are connected, it is not clear how these connections function.  A new study, “Costs of Inaction on Maternal Mortality: Qualitative Evidence of the Impacts of Maternal Deaths on Living Children in Tanzania,” by Alicia Ely Yamin, Vanessa M. Boulanger, Kathryn L. Falb, Jane Shuma and Jennifer Leaning published in PLOS One offers critical evidence on this gap  in knowledge. The researchers’  in-depth, qualitative approach provides crucial evidence on both the profound effect of a mother’s death on her surviving children, and sheds new light on the many connections between mothers’ and children’s well-being. The authors write: “The study illuminates the high costs to surviving children and their families of failing to reduce maternal mortality in this region and highlights potential pathways through which maternal mortality and maternal orphan morbidities are linked. Our findings are consistent with the existing literature on vulnerable children, but highlight the specific health and social impacts that a maternal death can have throughout the course of a child’s life and the all too frequent cycle of poverty and suffering that stems from the high cost of failing to prevent a maternal death and subsequent inaction to protect and support maternal orphans.”Throughout, they emphasize the critical role of underlying factors, such as poverty and inequitable gender norms in enhancing the health risks faced by women and children alike. The study is the first in a series led by the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights program on the Health Rights of Women and Children (HRWC), and supported by the Hansen Project on Maternal and Child Health, both of which are based at the Harvard University School of Public Health. The project aims to document both root causes and long-reaching impacts of maternal and child mortality in order to inform the development of evidence-based policy and advocacy at the national and global levels.Share this:last_img read more

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Top 10 reasons why Halloween is the perfect freelancer holiday

first_imgWitches… Vampires… Zombies… you after a weekend spent staring at computer screens: Halloween is nothing if not a celebration of pasty complexions. You’re perfectly free to eat candy all day long, and nobody gets to say a word about it. Which is… like every day, honestly. Candy eaten in front of a computer screen has no calories, right? Pumpkins are plentiful… and the perfect object for smashing when frustrated with an assignment. You can wear whatever ridiculous thing you want all day long, and nobody gets to say a word about it. Halloween is all about the Other, about thinking outside the box and turning things on their head – about being as odd and creative as possible. For all these reasons, Halloween is the perfect holiday for a freelancer like you! (Also, the sexy pirates. There are often sexy pirates.) Halloween – like your freelancing career – is all about embracing the frightening and the unknown.center_img Trick or treating is a lot like pitching yourself for work… There may be more slammed doors than full-size Snickers bars / high-paying gigs out there, but you just gotta keep on hustling. People are just annoying enough on Halloween to keep you at home and focused on upcoming deadlines. It’s a holiday that celebrates nocturnal creatures (like you trying to meeting a deadline). Conversely, handing OUT trick or treats is a perfect way to insure you get some human contact in your day.last_img read more

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7 habits of successful freelance writers

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Writers who tend to make a sustainable career for themselves share certain habits.Here are 7 of them:They readGreat writers not only read for pleasure in their formative and later years, filling their minds with great ideas and great voices. They also read like a writer, meaning that they use other great writers to teach them lessons about the craft. A writer who’s reading another writer won’t simply think, “wow, this is a great paragraph or sentence,” but will take things a step further, asking “what was it about this paragraph or sentence that worked?”Oh, and by the way, what can I steal/borrow/adapt/integrate/absorb/emulate/copy (“you say potato, I say potata”) in order to improve MY writing.A voracious appetite for reading will teach a writer about all the available options the craft presents, and allow that writer to find what works best for them. Reading taught me that I admire the ornate, often poetic prose style of F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I prefer to write in the lucid, humble, pared-down style of George Orwell.They don’t follow formulasWriters find a way to get from point A to B, and to bring their readers along with them. Creativity means you can do this in multiple ways, that you can surprise readers with humor, poetry, insights into the human condition, empathy, and more. Writers are challenged to make things new, to do things differently, constantly. If they don’t, readers get bored and stray to cute cat videos (we’re all weak when it comes to fluffy kittens).Content is everywhere and attention spans are shrinking. Creativity is needed now more than ever. Alas, most writers seem to be following a formula of what worked to get the most clicks last year or last month. Readers tire quickly, and last month has a shelf life of about two minutes. Bring readers something different, and you’ll have their attention.They learnThe world is moving so fast these days, and having the ability to adapt and learn new things is a core skill every writer needs. When I was a child, I dreamed of being a print journalist — and I did that. But now the world is different. Readers have moved away from print, along with advertisers and revenues. I’ve also moved away from print journalism, but continue to use my journalism skills as a brand storyteller. If you asked me six years ago what a brand storyteller was, I wouldn’t have known. I’m still learning, still adapting.Does the fast pace of change frighten me? You bet. Does it thrill me? Yep. Will I need to keep learning new things every single day, about myself, about others, about business, about the craft of writing? Yes, a thousand times yes.They networkThe idea of the writer working alone in a basement somewhere is long gone. Writers need to be out there networking, making connections with other writers, potential clients, editors, entrepreneurs, and everyone else. Writers are as much a part of the business community as everyone else, and they need to be skilled at building solid social and business relationships. A solitary writer isn’t just blocked in her career, but may face health problems too. You can’t permit yourself to be isolated.Others need you, and you need them. We have things to teach and learn, all of us. Go to events and talk to people. Try to listen 75 percent of the time and talk 25 percent of the time. Trust me, people remember listeners far more than talkers. Try to help someone by offering insights and your time. Don’t just look for “important” people — that shows you’re a user. Think sharing. Try to remember and use names, say “hi” to people in the elevator, smile and nod at strangers. This is all networking, and will not only pay financial “dividends” but can make you happier and healthier too.They work hard to meet client needsYou need to write well, of course, but you also need to work well with clients. Understand what your clients want. If you don’t know, try asking them. Brand storytelling is a service job — first you serve your readers, but you also serve your clients who seek to serve the same readers. Be responsive to requests. Do favors when you can.Approach every assignment with the same professionalism and drive. Just because you’re creative doesn’t mean you get to kick back and lord it over everybody. Be professional at the very least, and always be nice when you can. Your clients will appreciate it, and keep coming back to you. Nobody likes to work with a jerk, whether that jerk is a plumber, a personal trainer at the gym, or a prima donna writer.They restore themselvesWriters are people too, and can feel overworked and stressed out. Creativity requires actual thinking and executing upon ideas, and is draining on one’s mental energy. You need to take breaks that restore your energy and creative juices. For example, I might write for three hours in the morning. Then I stop for lunch. I typically write my hardest pieces in the morning. After lunch, I write something easier, which requires less research and thinking. This system has worked for me. If I’m feeling tired, I might sleep late and arrive at the office around 10am. I listen carefully to my body, tracking my energy and creativity. As a writer, I need these resources badly, so I need to restore after I’ve emptied the tank. I’ll go for a walk. Hike a mountain trail. Have a long lunch with a friend. Play a video game or listen to Bob Dylan. Go outside and listen to birds, or meditate, but do what you can to slow down, empty your tired brain, and remain creative.They know when to stop a list of seven habits, as I will do hereReaders are busy and have other things to do with their day. Now it’s your turn to share, dear reader: what habits keep you creative and energized?Comment below . . .Boston-based Chuck Leddy is a business writer and brand storyteller for B2B brands such as General Electric, ADP, Office Depot, Cintas, the National Center for the Middle Market, and many more. He’s also been published in print publications such as the Boston Globe and San Francisco Chronicle.last_img read more

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Selling your home? It could reduce your freelance taxes

first_imgNow is when the housing market heats up, as home sales generally peak in May and June. According to an ATTOM Data Solutions report, in the United States, June 28 is the best single day to sell your home, with an average price premium of over 9% for homes sold on that day.Even if you don’t sell your home within that window, you may still be able to take advantage of a tax break and reduce your freelance tax burden this tax year. This is because the IRS allows gains made on a home sale to be excluded in all or part from your taxable income if these rules are followed:Home ownership and use. In order to qualify for the exclusion, you must have owned the home and lived in it as your main home for at least two years during a five-year period ending on the date of the sale.Thresholds for excluding gains. If you sell your primary residence and have a gain from the sale, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of that gain from your freelance income. If you file a joint return with your spouse, you may be able to exclude up to $500,000.Reporting gains on your tax return. If you are excluding all of the gain from your sale, you don’t need to report the sale on your tax return. If you aren’t excluding all of the gain or you are choosing not to claim the exclusion you must still report it on your tax returnNo deductions for losses. If you have the unfortunate situation of selling your primary residence for less than what you paid for it, you cannot deduct the loss from your taxes, unfortunately.Main residence only. If you happen to own more than one home, keep in mind you can only exclude the gain on the sale of your main home. You have to pay taxes on the gain from selling any other home.Mortgage debt must be reported. If your sale includes any forgiven or canceled mortgage debt, it must be reported as income on your tax return (including any mortgage workouts, foreclosures, or other canceled mortgage debts).  In addition, if you had debt discharged after December 31, 2017, it can’t be excluded from your income unless you have a written agreement for the debt forgiveness dated before January 1, 2018.Keep in mind that there are some exceptions to these rules for some people with disabilities and specific members of the military, intelligence community and Peace Corps workers. However, if you are selling a home at any time this year, be sure to use this tax break to lower your freelance tax burden!Jonathan Medows is a New York City based CPA who specializes in taxes and business issues for freelancers and self-employed individuals across the country. He offers a free consultation to members of Freelancer’s Union* and a monthly email newsletter covering tax, accounting and business issues to freelancers on his website, www.cpaforfreelancers.com — which also features a new blog, how-to articles, and a comprehensive freelance tax guide.*Jonathan is happy to provide an initial consultation to freelancers. To qualify for a free consultation you must be a member of the Freelancers Union and mention this article upon contacting him. Please note that this offer is not available March 1 through April 18 and covers a general conversation about tax responsibilities of a freelancer and potential deductions. These meetings do not include review of self-prepared documents, review of self-prepared tax returns, or the review of the work of other preparers. The free meeting does not include the preparation or review of quantitative calculations of any sort. He is happy to provide such services but would need to charge an hourly rate for his time.last_img read more

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