IHP news 522: Miscellaneous

By on May 17, 2019

Nature – Chinese investments fuel growth in African science


Africa has emerged as a major partner in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and that is paying dividends for science. So far, 39 African countries and the African Union Commission have signed BRI cooperation agreements, with others expected to follow….”

RAND Corporation (report) – Contemporary Asian Drug Policy – Insights and Opportunities for Change


“…Historically, countries in Asia have addressed illicit drug use and supply with harsh punishments, including compulsory treatment and the death penalty. The region has long espoused the goal of creating a drug-free society, a goal that has been abandoned in other parts of the globe for being infeasible. This report describes the illicit drug policy landscape for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) + 3 countries (China, Japan, and South Korea), which account for about 30 percent of the world’s population. The authors also present three case studies on the shifting drug policy landscape in Asia: (1) the violent crackdown on people who use or sell drugs in the Philippines, (2) Thailand’s move from a similar crackdown toward an alternative approach of reducing criminal sanctions for drug use and improving access to medication treatment and needle exchange, and (3) China‘s emergence as a major source of many new chemical precursors and drugs, like fentanyl, that are exported outside Asia.”…”

Devex – Here’s how people in Nigeria are avoiding vaccination


Excerpt : « …But although 1 in 5 people who contract yellow fever in Nigeria die from it, not everyone gets immunized — and some are finding ways to bypass the travel requirements, increasing the risk of the epidemic-prone disease spreading to other countries. One way to do it is to buy a falsified vaccination card, readily available at the airport for those who either don’t want to be immunized or don’t have enough time before they travel. The Nigerian government told Devex the cards are fake, while evidence at the airport suggests they are authentic but fraudulently obtained. Airport staff and travelers said the cards had been bought at the port health authority’s store, duly stamped and signed as a way of generating underhand revenue for staff. Devex was able to buy one for 3,000 Nigerian naira ($8.50) and no evidence of immunization….”

World Development issue (open access issue) – China and Brazil in African Agriculture

Edited by Ian Scoones (IDS) et al; https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/world-development/vol/81

Worth scanning.

AP – A growing number of states call porn a public health crisis


News from the US. “More than a dozen states have moved to declare pornography a public health crisis, raising concerns among some experts who say the label goes too far and carries its own risks….”

Bet Alabama is one of them.

Nature – Artificial intelligence is selecting grant reviewers in China


“An algorithm is being trialled by the National Natural Science Foundation in China to select researchers who can review project proposals. The tool is designed to make reviewer selection more efficient, faster and fairer.  The system is still under development and will use semantic analysis to match grant applications with potential referees. But some researchers warn that such an AI system could replicate human biases, rather than avoid them.”

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