The book's title, Contested Commodities,as well as her primary thesis commodification is dangerous to personhood and community are both literally derivative of the economic model. Radin concedes pride of place to the very economic model she sets out to circumscribe. That choice engages her primarily in deconstruc- tion and critique and allows gaps and twists to distort the affirmative For example, although Radin advances some of her own theories of personhood, usually in counterpointto commodification, she turns to other scholars, especially MarthaNussbaum, to accomplish what would seem to be a central project for her-to define full and robust personhood.
Radin operates mostly at the level of high ab- straction, supplemented by concrete detail, but she provides less mid- level analysis than is needed. She also critiques more than constructs, a characteristic that likely flows from placing commodification rather than personhood at the center of her work. For example, she does not discuss what settings, policies, and values advance human flourishing, what noncommensurate value is and how it should be treated, or why commodification rhetoric is more destructive in some contexts than in others. Characterizingher desired state as a negation of a model she rejects is costly in anotherway.
Radin explains: Complete noncommodification and complete commodification can be seen as largely hypothetical end points of a continuum of possible meanings and correspondingpolicy choices. I think we should recognize a continuum reflecting degrees of commodification My instinct, by contrast, is that human flourishing is likely a characteristic independent of the degree of commodification.
I see each as mappable on its own distinct high-low continuum. Treating the problem as one of variation along a single continuum, Radin describes an alternativeshe labels as "incomplete commodifica- tion," by which she means a mixture of commodification and non- commodification. Not only Of course, an interaction may be high on one characteristicand low on the other, the situation that Radin's schema handles most effectively.
And Radin's analysis might persuade us that the high-on-one-means-low-on-the-otherpattern may be frequent. Nevertheless, while Radin's constructallows her to recognize varied degrees of commodification, it precludes her from understanding situa- tions that decouple human flourishing and commodification. For ex- ample, someone might only limitedly employ commodification rhetoric or engage in market exchange, but might also have a life depleted of characteristicsthat would likely be called human flourishing.
Commodi- fication is not the only enemy of human meaning and community. Alternately, someone else might have a highly commodified under- standing of many or even most things, but might also invest great en- ergy and meaning in particularcommodifiable transactionsor relations that provide currentsatisfaction in her life. For example, consider the following.
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A job might provide deep personal satisfaction to an individual and still be understood as some- thing that should bring a good salary; can be replaced by some other, roughly similar job; and can be departed from without fundamental damage to the self. Indeed, the primaryideology of professions empha- sizes exactly this pairing. Professionals lawyers, doctors, etc. The timeliness of the issues Radin discusses is evidenced in major contempo- rary debates over whether the professions, particularlymedicine, are be- coming too business-oriented to the exclusion of the traditional twin ideal of service.
I argue, then, that society can have a solid, capacious, and reasona- bly well-functioning economic market and also have a high degree of human flourishing. Likewise, it can have a command economy or one in shambles, and also have very low levels of human flourishing freedom, identity, selfhood, choice, etc. Radin does not see these pos- sibilities, because she has committed herself to a polarity between hu- man flourishing and commodification. I also argued then that Radin failed to give sufficient attention to the problematic role played by gender in her main examples of incomplete or contested commodi- fication.
In Western history, the traditional dichotomization of public the polis and the market and private noncommodified spheres im- posed drastic limitations on women, depriving them of independent market activity or wealth. That dichotomy mandated unpaid child- rearing and home care, subjugatingwomen to husband-dominantpower relations in the family,23 and excluded them from the marketplace. In her original article, Radin illustratedpolicy analysis based on her thesis by discussing the problems of prostitution,baby-selling, and sur- rogacy.
Even so, her selection of such "gender-loaded" examples seems at best odd. It certainly has potential to skew her illustrative perspective. As Reva Siegel25and others26have made clear, women's sexuality and reproduc- tive roles have been central to their sex-based oppression. Radin un- questionably knows and is responsive to such gender discrimination analyses.
In illustrating how her theories would affect policy analysis and gender politics, Professor Radin introduces what she calls the "double See generally Reva B. See generally Radin, supra note 2. See generally Reasoning From the Body, supra note Indeed, she has herself written in that field. The double bind means that short-run effects often contradict long-term goals. Ideal states, when imaginable at all, are barely visible on the far horizon, while non-ideal realities press close at hand.
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Radin, a pragmatist,patiently teases apart the double bind's strands of paradox and confirmation, conflict and convergence, the near and far term, oth- ers' arguments and her own to arrive at necessarily tentative and revis- able policy recommendations. Radin's complex and layered approach illustrates a pragmaticmethod of problem-solving that is itself a signifi- cant contributionindependentof the substantive work.
In her analysis of particularinstances of the double bind, Professor Radin often notes that commodification of sexuality and reproduction has the short-term benefit of increased economic and social power for women. But she usually finds this the weaker argumentcompared to the preservation of her longer term ideals of human flourishing. To pre- serve these ideals, Radin recommends that prostitution remain incom- pletely commodified. She believes it ought to be decriminalized, but that contracts should remain unenforceable, and that advertising, inter- mediary distribution networks, and "free market entrepreneurship" should continue to be prohibited.
She also concludes that arrangements for collaborative reproduction such as surrogacy should remain non- commodified and market inalienable. With power gained through this and other methods, women will not only affect choices about human flourishing, but they will also shape how markets operate and are conceptualized.
Admittedly, this view is easier for me because I believe commodification and human flourishing are more compatible and less polarized than Radin does. Yet, the frequency with which she acknowledges that her theoretical schema does not point a clearly desirable direction, or that both commodification and noncom- modification have severe drawbacks,30or that some other issue, such as subordination, confounds or at least clouds the analysis, suggests not only that the issues are complex they are , but also that the variable she highlights may be less powerful than she claims.
For example, in her segment on prostitution,Radin notes that both commodification and noncommodificationinflict harmin the instanceof sexuality. Although her position is not wholly clear, she seems to see commodification as a more pressing problem than either inequality or subordination. For example, she says, "We might Yet she also deftly notes the hypocrisy in much advocacy that would ban commodification of aspects of per- sonhood: "[W]e can hardly cure the problem of objectification by try- ing to ban the exchange without addressing the subordinationthat made the exchange seem desirable.
Because I believe that subordinationis the more significant problem, and also that personhood can be compatible with commodification, I would prioritize subordina- tion as the focal problem. Given her large canvas, Professor Radin necessarily paints with a broad brush. Even accepting that, her analysis regarding surrogacy seems manipulated, the argument unpersuasive. For example, in dis- cussing various reproductive techniques, she coins the term "commis- sioned adoption" to describe what she acknowledges is a hypothetical situation, one in which a woman would be commissioned to get preg- nant and to surrender the child for adoption after birth.
She also de- scribes paid adoption, or baby selling, and urges that neither commissioned nor paid adoption should be allowed. She characterizes paid surrogacy as "a special case of commissioned adoption," and ar- gues that surrogacy differs little from either commissioned or paid adoption because "[b]oth are adoptions for which consideration is paid. Despite her assertion to the contrary, paid adoption and surrogacy are actually quite different.
In ordinary adoption transfer at or near the time of birth , the birth mother has a child that she does not want and may be ill-equipped to raise in monetary or caregiving terms. Her intentions about the child may be muddy, or she may have nothing As a route to procreation, ordinary sexual relations are not often deliberated. She may not have expected or wanted to become pregnant. Or, she may have been receptive to par- enthood but have expected to share rearing tasks with her partner- hopes that are now disappointed. Her decision to "give up" the baby is often made against a backdropof being "stuck" or "trapped" against her wishes.
By contrast, the surrogate typically makes arrangements at arms length. She is not under the immediate pressure of pregnancy and childbirth; no child has yet been conceived. Although the surrogate may be subject to financial or other pressures, she generally has greater freedom to deliberate than the woman who consents to adoption, espe- cially if the surrogate is competently advised by someone familiar with the issues and pitfalls of this arrangement.
Indeed, all parties to collaborative repro- duction can have greater intentionality about their decisions than is available to most mothers relinquishing a child for adoption. Radin pays little or no attentionto the differences between surrogacy and paid adoption. Eliding these same distinctions was the basis for the New Jersey Supreme Court's finding in the Baby M case that surrogacy con- tractswere illegal. In her discussion of surrogacy, Radin slides too quickly over an- other problem as well. She claims that even if one rejects the analogy to paid adoption, alternate characterizations of surrogacy as a service rather than as the selling of a good, the baby, are not persuasive.
She asserts that the drive to protect male genetic lineage is the "more plau- sible" interpretationof covert motivations for surrogacy than the alter- natives offered by dissenters. For example, she cites Johnson v. Calvert39in her discussion of race and class subordination.
Of course, many early surrogateswere not well advised and did not adequately deliberate. I believe that is more the result of the surrogacyagreementsbeing forced "underground"as illegal or immoral than of the natureof the arrangementper se. RADIN,supra note 1, at Radin is correct that preoccupation with male genetic lineage is linked to gender hierarchy, but she uses that argument to dismiss- inappropriately,I believe-the facts regarding artificial insemination by donor AID.
The numbers of AID children dwarf the numbers con- ceived by surrogacy. She argues that male lineage and dominance raise the specter of genetics overpowering relationship as a source of parent-child con- nection. In urging that this cluster of concerns provides adequate rea- son to oppose payment within collaborative reproductive arrangements, Radin plays fast and a bit loose with a series of interrelated but also highly complex and independent issues. Among other problems, this approach leads her to give inadequate weight to either the numbers or the ideological significance of AID.
In AID, men are paid for sperm "donations"and they give up pa- rental claims to resulting children. In assessing social damage associ- ated with reproductive policy, the problem of men detaching from children is as serious as is treating women as baby machines. Further- more, the damaging assumption that men can get paid for everything while women should act altruistically and be paid for almost nothing connected to their gender roles is very much alive and well. Radin's chain of logic connects the evil of gender subordinationto protection of male genetic lineage to collaborative reproduction agreements in order to argue that surrogacy and other reproductive arrangementswithin her category of commissioned adoption should remain outside the market realm.
The chain is weak. PerhapsProfessor Radin uncritically selected those feminist arguments against surrogacy that support her commodi- fication thesis without adequately probing the counterargumentsherself. Another context, that of recent legal issues within the rapid-growthindustries of biotechnology and medicine, pro- vides a different illustrationof the same critique. For centuries, society, culture, and the law have made rough but deep divisions between things sacred and things profane.
The archetype of the sacred is classically life-especially human life-itself. The ar- chetype of the profane, by contrast, is typically the market and the This content downloaded from Biotechnology spans this partition, re- vealing the division as too brittle and rendering it obsolete. The very phrase itself bridges: the "bio" part expresses the "life" side of the old dichotomy, while "technology" suggests the hard-edged objectifica- tion, fungibility, and scaleable qualities that Radin uses to define commodification.
The term biotechnology arises from the commerciali- zation of elements and forms of life. After commercialized chemistry and instrumentalphysics, science has recently arrived at big-time busi- ness biology. Nor can the trend be reversed, nor would most observers want it to be, despite responses of ambivalenceand cognitive dissonance that most of us experience in the face of patentedgenes, marketed gam- etes, gene therapy, transferredpre-embryos, and engineered DNA.
The new frontiers of medical research and practice lie now in commercial genetics and biochemistry. The necessity for money and market to stimulate innovation and dissemination requires protection of proprie- tary interests to make treatmentand cure available to large numbers of people. Social invention will need to blend life processes with markets, contracts, and ownership. The case of Moore v. Regents42illustratesthe starknecessity of finding a way to accommodate both Radin's noncommodified, human- istic worldview and the market-commodity-alienability model she cri- tiques.
Only if these two poles are separated on two independent continua-allowing integrationof more complex variations of relation- ship-will we be able to incorporate both and reduce the zero-sum conflict that is built into Radin's cognitive map. In Moore, suit was brought by a man who had his cancerous spleen removed by a doctor who was conducting research on human blood antigens that might be useful in fighting cancer.
The doctor-researchersought informed con- sent from Moore for the surgery. Moore alleges, however, that the only information he received about research was a generic consent form agreeing to medical research on tissue removed during surgery or post- operatively. Yet, Moore alleged, the researchers had targeted his par- ticular blood antigens, had applied for a patent on an immortal cell line based on Moore's body products well before they stopped taking tissue samples from his body, and ultimately sold a license to use the cell line to a major pharmaceuticalcompany in exchange for large amounts of money and stock options.
Most people feel a powerful intuition that something significant is wrong here, but the legal analysis of the rights and wrongs was far from easy. Moore's lawyers sued for conversion of property, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to disclose, failure to obtain informed consent, I Timothy Informed consent and fiduciary duty involve the protection of core constitutional and com- mon law values-reliance on a trustedconfidante and protection of per- sonal autonomy and bodily integrity. These emphasize what Radin would likely categorize as non-commodified values.
On the other hand, the tort of conversion protects ownership interests in property, or what Radin would classify as an example of "commodification. Writing for the majority, Justice Panelli rejected the approach taken by the intermediate court of appeal that had char- acterized the issue as one of conversion of property. Panelli relied on concerns that such a characterizationcould obstruct medical research and on statutes that limit the ownership and control of bodies.
They argued that the approaches to protecting Moore's interests adopted by the majority and concurring opinions did not, and probably could not, effectively vindi- cate those interests. That standard asks whether a reasonable patient would have consented to the surgery had he known the facts that were not disclosed.
Because the surgery was necessary to save Moore's life, he could not likely demonstrate any damages under the routine informed consent action. Yet there remains a powerful intuitive sense that while Moore would likely have consented to the surgery, he was nevertheless injured by having cells taken from his body for use in a commercial venture that had not been disclosed to him. In Radin's terms, the majority's decision in Moore chose less commodified approaches focused on protecting trust in fiduciary rela- tionships rather than more commodified property-like approaches that would force the monetization of the interest violation.
The dichotomy Both dissentingjustices wrote stronglyin supportof the conversion theory as the only real way to protect Moore's monetarypropertyinterests. As Justice Broussardput it: Far from elevating these biological materialsabove the marketplace,the majority's holding simply bars plaintiff, the source of the cells, from obtainingthe benefit of the cells' value, but permitsdefendants,who, allegedly obtainedthe cells from plaintiff by improper means to retainand exploit the full economic value of their ill-gotten gains free of their ordinary common law liability for conversion.
He entreats us to regard the human vessel-the single most venerated and protected subject in any civilized society-as equal with the basest commercial commodity. He urges us to commingle the sacred with the pro- fane. Radin would probablyhave treatedMoore as a problem of incom- plete commodification, or one of noncommodified harm that requires monetary compensation not as a scalar measure of the harm but as a symbolic public recognition of wrongdoing and invasion of rights.
Would all rights and wrongs have the same symbolic monetary value? Or would we rankthe severity of an injury, or the neediness of the victim, or the wealth and culpability of the defendant in monetary terms? If my speculation about Radin's approach is valid, it seems very close, both functionally and in terms of justification, to the way that pu- nitive damages now function or that a judgment for non-economic harm is ordered. The difference is primarily that in ordering such a payment, Radin would use language about restoring moral balance ratherthan about "compensation," which is commodification rhetoric.
I do not think many people are confused by commodification rhetoric into thinking that pain and suffering resulting from, for example, a se- vere injury is really equalized by damages, i. Thus, Radin's themes applied in this context seem to have little significance. Justice Arabian, and perhaps the majority as well, make an analogous error. Yet, the facts of Moore demand a map that recognizes and remedies both commodified and noncommodified as- pects of the problem in a coherent and integratedfashion. Analogous discomfort about cognitive mapping is apparent in other biotechnology cases like Davis,48 regarding whether and how a collection of frozen embryos should be divided during a divorce, and Chakrabarty,49 regarding patentability of an engineered living organ- ism.
It is also revealed in the furor over NIH patenting of genes,50 hu- man and animal cloning,"5the development of an "engineered" animal species such as the Harvardoncomouse,52and others. If nothing else, the extraordinary amounts of money and progress that will be entwined with components and preservationof life prevent us from continuing to think of these arenas as either sacred or profane. They are both. Radin complexifies bipolarity by recognizing intermediate points of "incomplete commodification.
She also rejects any notion that total noncommodification would necessarily be optimal. But despite these subtleties, her basic polarity constrains her. It commits her to a game that is mainly zero sum: the more commodification, the less human flourishing. The lessons of the novel disputes now arising in biotech- nology are that human meaning and commodification not only can co- exist, but must, and must do so as independent rather than reciprocal variables. Moore's spleen implicated both fundamental human values and relationships trust in one's doctor, truth-telling, identity, autono- mous control over one's body and vast commercial potential captured in fungible, monetizable and objectified products.
Appreciating the individual nature of each hearing deficit, it will provide the means of diagnosing pathologies, not just the perceptual symptoms. IBiDT will suggest algorithms specific to the individual detailed patient profile and suggest therapeutic interventions specific to the listening situation. To achieve these aims, a multidisciplinary approach in which both auditory and non-auditory aspects of patient profiles and a computer model simulating the impaired auditory system will, together, transform diagnosis of hearing impairment from one concerned with audibility to one concerned with effective communication in any listening environment.
Binaural hearing is an ideal conceptual framework in which to investigate this approach as it increases greatly the number of possible pathologies, compared to unilateral diagnostics. The binaural hearing system is also ideal to investigate because it allows for large improvements in listening performance. Improvements from Individualized Binaural Diagnosis and Technology will have a large, positive impact on the increasing number of bilateral cochlear implant users many of them children , as well as on the many tens of millions of people who use hearing aids.
Project acronym ICAD. Summary Adaptation to climate variability and change represents an important challenge for the sustainable development of society. Informing climate-related decisions will require new kinds of information and new ways of thinking and learning to function effectively in a changing climate.
Adaptation research requires integration across disciplines and across research methodologies. Currently, we lack the critical understanding of which kinds of knowledge systems can most effectively harness science and technology for long-term sustainable adaptation. This interdisciplinary research programme aims to significantly advance knowledge systems to enable society to adapt effectively to an uncertain climate.
The programme is divided into two domains: 1 Understanding climate information needs across society and 2 The social status of techno-scientific knowledge in adaptation to climate change. The whole programme will be applied to the UK context given the sophistication of existing knowledge systems such as probabilistic climate scenarios and the progressive climate policy landscape that requires public authorities to regularly report on adaptation activities.
The first objective will be achieved through a targeted comprehensive survey of user needs across UK society. After mapping a selection of diverse adapting organisations, in-depth interviews will be conducted with 70 organisations. The interview protocol will: 1 explore the adaptation context; 2 assess the credibility, legitimacy and saliency of climatic and non-climatic knowledge systems; 3 assess the impact of uncertainty on decision-making; and 4 assess users expectations of what science can deliver. The second domain will use science studies to examine the construction, mutation and use of techno-scientific knowledge in adaptation to climate change.
Ethnographic research will be conducted through in-depth interviews with 50 experts working on the UK Climate Projections 09 and the Climate Change Risk Assessment. Researcher PI Teresa Pellegrino. Summary Radio and chemotherapy are the major clinical treatments for cancer.
However these treatments lack cell specificity and can have severe side effects against healthy cells, especially when used in combination. My goal is to develop a nanocrystal NC platform to merge radio and chemotherapy into a single entity that is more specific towards tumor cells. The first objective is to introduce post-synthesis reactions, namely cation exchange CE and intercalation INT reactions, as new protocols to replace or intercalate cations that are useful as radionuclides within the crystal lattice of water-soluble NCs.
Our goal is to establish protocols for the preparation of radiolabelled-NCs that will be easily translated to the medical practice for radiotherapy. They will include at least one semiconductor NC on which to perform radiolabelling protocols and one portion made of a superparamagnetic SP NC for magnetically triggered drug release. Finally, new types of heterostructures combining radio and chemotherapy will be tested, for the first time, in preclinical trials.
Researcher PI Valentina Bosetti. Summary Much has been said on how to reduce current anthropogenic emissions with the aid of a portfolio of existing technologies. However, stabilization of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses to a safe level requires that over time net emissions fall to zero.
There is only one way that this can be achieved in a manner that is acceptable to the majority of the world's citizens: through some kind of technological revolution. This will be specifically important for Europe, given its leading position in climate negotiations and in the light of the Lisbon Agenda.
Technological breakthroughs will have an essential role in tackling the competitiveness issue that has gained great relevance lately in the policy debate. On top of this, technological transfers to Developing Countries could be the turning key to solve the logjam affecting international negotiations. The analysis will make use of empirical analysis of existing databases and will collect new data.
Simulation models will be used to produce quantitative grounded results. Project Towards Innovative cost-effective astronomical instrumentation. Researcher PI Emmanuel Hugot. Summary Enabling disruptive technologies has always been crucial to trigger revolutionary science discoveries. The daring challenges in astronomy and astrophysics are extremely demanding in terms of high angular resolution and high contrast imaging, and require extreme stability and image quality.
Instruments based on current classical designs tend to get bigger and more complex, and are faced to ever increasing difficulties to meet science requirements. This proposal has the clear objective to propose breakthrough compact optical architectures for the next generation of giant observatories. The project focus on the niche of active components and is structured in two main research pillars to I enable the use of additive manufacturing 3D-printing to produce affordable deformable mirrors for VIS or NIR observations, II pave the road for a common use of curved and deformable detectors.
Extensive finite element analysis will allow to cover the parameter space and broad prototyping will demonstrate and characterize the performance of such devices. Both pillars are extremely challenging, the fields of detectors and optical fabrication being driven by the market. We will then orientate the activities towards a mass production method. The pathway proposed here is mandatory to develop affordable components in the near future, and will enable compact and high performance instrumentation.
These high potential activities will dramatically reduce the complexity of instruments in the era of giant observatories, simplify the operability of systems and offer increased performance. Project acronym ICE. Project Laboratory and modelling studies of ice nucleation and crystallisation in the Earth's atmosphere. Researcher PI Benjamin Murray. Summary The formation of ice particles in the Earth s atmosphere strongly affects the properties of clouds and their impact on climate.
However, our basic understanding of ice nucleation and crystallisation is still in its infancy. Despite the importance of ice formation in determining the properties of clouds, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC was unable to assess the impact of atmospheric ice formation in their most recent report, because our basic knowledge is insufficient. In this proposal plans are described to establish a laboratory dedicated to improving our fundamental understanding of ice nucleation and crystallisation.
It is proposed to develop a series of laboratory experiments designed to quantify atmospherically relevant processes at a fundamental level. In work package 1 the role of glassy solids and ultra-viscous liquids in cloud formation will be investigated; in work package 2 the rate at which various mineral dusts nucleate ice in the immersion mode will be quantified; the phase of ice that deposits onto frozen solution droplets or heterogeneous ice nuclei will be determined in work package 3; and in work package 4 the laboratory data from work packages will be used to constrain ice nucleation in numerical clouds models in order to assess radiative forcings.
The instrumentation and modelling experience gained in this five year project will provide a lasting legacy and open doors to new research areas in the future. Researcher PI Guillaume Masse. Summary It is widely acknowledged that polar sea ice plays a critical role in global climate change. As such, sea ice reconstructions are of paramount importance in establishing climatic evolution of the geological past. In the current project, some well characterised organic chemicals biomarkers from microalgae will be used as proxy indicators of current and past sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
These biomarkers, so-called highly branched isoprenoids HBIs , possess a number of characteristics that make them attractive as sea ice proxies. Firstly, some HBIs are unique to sea ice diatoms, so their presence in polar sediments can be directly correlated with the previous occurrence of sea ice. Secondly, they are relatively resistant to degradation, which extends their usefulness in the geological record.
Thirdly, their relative abundance makes them straightforward to measure with a high degree of geological resolution. One component of this project will consist of performing regional calibrations of the proxies. Concentrations of selected biomarkers in recent Arctic and Antarctic sediments will be correlated with the sea ice abundances determined using satellite technology over the last 30 years.
The successful calibration of the proxies will then enable reconstructions of past sea ice extents to be performed at unprecedented high resolution. Sediment cores will be obtained from key locations across both of the Arctic and Antarctic regions and the data derived from these studies will be used for climate modelling studies.
As a complement to these physico-chemical studies on sea ice, a second component of the project will investigate the use of these biomarkers for studying sea ice-biota interactions and, by examining the transfer of these chemicals through food chains, new tools for determining the consequences of future climate change on polar ecosystems will be established.
ERC FUNDED PROJECTS
Summary The high-latitude regions are experiencing some of the most rapid changes observed in recent decades: polar temperatures are rising twice as fast as the global mean and there are concerns about the impact of sea-ice and glacier retreat on global oceans and climate. The high-latitude North Atlantic is also a key region for ecologically and economically important natural resources such as fisheries. How these resources will change in the future depends strongly on the response of marine biogeochemical cycling of essential nutrients to increasing anthropogenic stress.
Diatoms are photosynthetic algae that are responsible for nearly half of the export of carbon from the sea surface to the seafloor, and they are a sensitive indication of the state of nutrient cycling. Diatoms are one of many organisms that precipitate biogenic opal, an amorphous glass made of silica hydrated SiO2 , to form protective skeletons, and one of the essential nutrients is therefore dissolved silicon Si in the form of silicic acid. The response of the silicon cycle to changing environmental conditions is critical for both carbon and nutrient cycling and it can now be addressed through high precision silicon isotopes, which is the focus of ICY-LAB.
The approach will be to capture the whole silicon cycle system in areas of marked environmental change using careful field sampling strategies - with research expeditions to coastal Greenland and the open ocean Labrador Sea - coupled with cutting-edge analytical methods. The results will lead to an unprecedented and cross-disciplinary view of nutrient cycling, biomineralisation, and the taxonomy and biogeography of siliceous organisms in an ecologically important region of the North Atlantic.
ICY-LAB is an exciting and novel project for which I am ideally placed to carry out, allowing me to develop a new method for looking at modern biogeochemical processes, adding to my existing palaeoclimate and biochemical expertise. Project acronym icyMARS. Project Cold and wet early Mars: Proposing and testing a new theory to understand the early Martian environments. However, the presence of liquid water on the surface of early Mars is difficult to reconcile with the reduced solar luminosity at 3. Atmospheric greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide ice clouds in the upper troposphere are suggested to provide over freezing temperatures, explaining some of this discrepancy, but these solutions have been probed to face numerous problems.
Here I propose to conduct interdisciplinary investigations in order to define and test a new hypothesis to understand the early environmental traits on Mars: that the young Martian surface was characterized by global mean freezing conditions, as predicted by climate models, and at the same time a vigorous hydrogeological cycle was active during hundreds of millions of years, as confirmed by geomorphological and mineralogical analyses.
The aim of this investigation is to comprehensively analyze the triggers, traits and consequences of a cold aqueous environment dominating the Noachian, studying the geomorphological, mineralogical and geochemical evidences that such a hydrological cycle would have left behind, and also proposing new paths for the astrobiological exploration of Mars on the basis of geochemical and geomicrobiological studies in cold aqueous environments. Mission-derived datasets will be used to test hypotheses through paleogeomorphological reconstructions, theoretical modeling and experiments in the laboratory.
Project Individual differences in Collective Animal Behaviour. Researcher PI David Sumpter. Summary One of the key challenges in scientific research is to link together our understanding of different levels of biological organisation. This challenge is fundamental to the scientific endeavour: from understand how genes interact to drive the cell, to how cells interact to form organisms, up to how organisms interact to form groups and societies.
My own and the research of others has addressed this question in the context of the collective behaviour of animals. Mathematical models of complex systems have been used to successfully predict experimental outcome. Most previous studies are however limited in one important aspect: individuals are treated as identical units.
The aim of the proposed research proposed is to investigate features which produce differences within the units. The model systems of our study will be sticklebacks, homing pigeons and house sparrows. Individuals can differ from each other on a range of time scales, from information acquired within the last few minutes, through socially learnt information, to genetically inherited differences. Through a series of experiments on each of the study species, the development of mathematical models which incorporate between individual differences, and novel forms of data analysis, we will begin to understand the role played by individual differences within groups.
We will look at the rules of motion for fish and birds; the role of personality in decision-making and how short term information differences improve decision-making accuracy.