School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications

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    Our chemical cultural heritage: Hartung (1893-1979)
    NEL, P (Royal Australian Chemical Institute, 2010)
    The history and evolution of the chemical cultural heritage of Australia is discussed. The dream of Ernst Johannes Hartung for the establishment of a new purpose-built building for chemistry at the University of Melbourne was finally realized.
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    Our Chemical cultural heritage: Masson and Rivett (1885-1961)
    NEL, P (Royal Australian Chemical Institute, 2010)
    A new phase for chemistry at the University of Melbourne began in 1886, featuring David Masson and Albert Rivett, who also had instrumental roles in the birth of CSIRO.
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    Real Analysis in Paraconsistent Logic
    McKubre-Jordens, M ; Weber, Z (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2012-10-01)
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    Searle's wager.
    Levy, N (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2011-11)
    Nicholas Agar has recently argued that it would be irrational for future human beings to choose to radically enhance themselves by uploading their minds onto computers. Utilizing Searle's argument that machines cannot think, he claims that uploading might entail death. He grants that Searle's argument is controversial, but he claims, so long as there is a non-zero probability that uploading entails death, uploading is irrational. I argue that Agar's argument, like Pascal's wager on which it is modelled, fails, because the principle that we (or future agents) ought to avoid actions that might entail death is not action guiding. Too many actions fall under its scope for the principle to be plausible. I also argue that the probability that uploading entails death is likely to be lower than Agar recognizes.
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    Neuroethics: A New Way of Doing Ethics.
    Levy, N (Informa UK Limited, 2011-03-31)
    The aim of this article is to argue, by example, for neuroethics as a new way of doing ethics. Rather than simply giving us a new subject matter-the ethical issues arising from neuroscience-to attend to, neuroethics offers us the opportunity to refine the tools we use. Ethicists often need to appeal to the intuitions provoked by consideration of cases to evaluate the permissibility of types of actions; data from the sciences of the mind give us reason to believe that some of these intuitions are less reliable than others. I focus on the doctrine of double effect to illustrate my case, arguing that experimental results suggest that appeal to it might be question-begging. The doctrine of double effect is supposed to show that there is a moral difference between effects that are brought about intentionally and those that are merely foreseen; I argue that the data suggest that we regard some effects as merely foreseen only because we regard bringing them about as permissible. Appeal to the doctrine of double effect therefore cannot establish that there are such moral differences.
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    Impact of the European clinical trials directive on prospective academic clinical trials associated with BMT.
    Frewer, LJ ; Coles, D ; van der Lans, IA ; Schroeder, D ; Champion, K ; Apperley, JF (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2011-03)
    The European Clinical Trials Directive (EU 2001; 2001/20/EC) was introduced to improve the efficiency of commercial and academic clinical trials. Concerns have been raised by interested organizations and institutions regarding the potential for negative impact of the Directive on non-commercial European clinical research. Interested researchers within the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) were surveyed to determine whether researcher experiences confirmed this view. Following a pilot study, an internet-based questionnaire was distributed to individuals in key research positions in the European haemopoietic SCT community. Seventy-one usable questionnaires were returned from participants in different EU member states. The results indicate that the perceived impact of the European Clinical Trials Directive has been negative, at least in the research areas of interest to the EBMT.
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    Evaluating priority setting success in healthcare: a pilot study
    Sibbald, SL ; Gibson, JL ; Singer, PA ; Upshur, R ; Martin, DK (BMC, 2010-05-19)
    BACKGROUND: In healthcare today, decisions are made in the face of serious resource constraints. Healthcare managers are struggling to provide high quality care, manage resources effectively, and meet changing patient needs. Healthcare managers who are constantly making difficult resource decisions desire a way to improve their priority setting processes. Despite the wealth of existing priority setting literature (for example, program budgeting and marginal analysis, accountability for reasonableness, the 'describe-evaluate-improve' strategy) there are still no tools to evaluate how healthcare resources are prioritised. This paper describes the development and piloting of a process to evaluate priority setting in health institutions. The evaluation process was designed to examine the procedural and substantive dimensions of priority setting using a multi-methods approach, including a staff survey, decision-maker interviews, and document analysis. METHODS: The evaluation process was piloted in a mid-size community hospital in Ontario, Canada while its leaders worked through their annual budgeting process. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze the data. RESULTS: The evaluation process was both applicable to the context and it captured the budgeting process. In general, the pilot test provided support for our evaluation process and our definition of success, (i.e., our conceptual framework). CONCLUSIONS: The purpose of the evaluation process is to provide a simple, practical way for an organization to better understand what it means to achieve success in its priority setting activities and identify areas for improvement. In order for the process to be used by healthcare managers today, modification and contextualization of the process are anticipated. As the evaluation process is applied in more health care organizations or applied repeatedly in an organization, it may become more streamlined.