In public health crises such as the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in West Africa in 2014, the key role in saving the lives of infected people is played by the management and dissemination of scientific and medical knowledge. After the World Health Organization (1) has announced that no confirmed cases of the Ebola virus disease were reported in the week to October 4, 2015, we wanted to analyze various communications and communication strategies concerning the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Our argument is that for effective health communication strategies in public health crises it is crucial to respond to local contexts and to take them into account on various levels. We are going to lay out our argument using illustrative examples.
Failure probability estimation under additional subsystem information with application to semiconductor burn-in
Previous research showed that pop music bands in the Western world have sometimes included science imagery in their lyrics. Their songs could potentially be helpful facilitators for science communication and public engagement purposes. However, so far no systematic research has been conducted for investigating science in popular music in Eastern cultures. This study explores whether science has been regarded as an element in the creation of popular mainstream music, and examines the content and quantity of distribution through an analysis of mainstream music lyrics, to reflect on the conditions of the absorption of science into popular culture. The results indicate that expressions related to astronomy and space science feature very prominently. Most of the lyrics are connected to emotional states and mood expressions and they are only very rarely related to actual issues of science. The implications for science communication and further research are discussed in the final section.
Probabilistic Thinking and Probability Literacy in the Context of Risk
The aim of this paper is to develop and synthesise ideas about probabilistic thinking and highlight the considerations by illustrating how the concept of probability is entrenched with the concept of risk. We use a hermeneutic way of argument, relate the ideas to the mathematical and philosophical background of probability, and illustrate our ideas by examples that relate probability considerations to risk. Special features of competing intuitions and strategies link probabilistic thinking to its roots in psychology, to the paradigm of causality, to its empirical expressions, and to thinking and decisions. Higher-ordered probabilistic thinking is described by the categories of the theoretical character of probability, conditional probability, and by the construct of probabilistic evidence. The robustness of probabilistic misconceptions is explained by an archetypical way of thinking. The peculiar logic of decisions adds to probabilistic thinking. Finally, the purpose of probability is declared as central issue for teaching and understanding probability. Throughout, the connection of probability to risk enhances probabilistic concepts and reveals a twin-character of probability and risk.Keywords: Probabilistic thinking, Probability literacy, Risk literacy, Mathematical thinking, Theoretical character of probability, Probabilistic evidence, Conditional probability, Archetypical strategies, Logic of decisions, Insurance contract.