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Title: Toward a productive definition of technology in science and STEM education.
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Contemporary issues in technology and teacher education
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National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract Expert testimony varies in scientific quality and jurors have a difficult time evaluating evidence quality (McAuliff et al., 2009). In the current study, we apply Fuzzy Trace Theory principles, examining whether visual and gist aids help jurors calibrate to the strength of scientific evidence. Additionally we were interested in the role of jurors’ individual differences in scientific reasoning skills in their understanding of case evidence. Contrary to our preregistered hypotheses, there was no effect of evidence condition or gist aid on evidence understanding. However, individual differences between jurors’ numeracy skills predicted evidence understanding. Summary Poor-quality expert evidence is sometimes admitted into court (Smithburn, 2004). Jurors’ calibration to evidence strength varies widely and is not robustly understood. For instance, previous research has established jurors lack understanding of the role of control groups, confounds, and sample sizes in scientific research (McAuliff, Kovera, & Nunez, 2009; Mill, Gray, & Mandel, 1994). Still others have found that jurors can distinguish weak from strong evidence when the evidence is presented alone, yet not when simultaneously presented with case details (Smith, Bull, & Holliday, 2011). This research highlights the need to present evidence to jurors in a way they can understand. Fuzzy Trace Theory purportsmore »that people encode information in exact, verbatim representations and through “gist” representations, which represent summary of meaning (Reyna & Brainerd, 1995). It is possible that the presenting complex scientific evidence to people with verbatim content or appealing to the gist, or bottom-line meaning of the information may influence juror understanding of that evidence. Application of Fuzzy Trace Theory in the medical field has shown that gist representations are beneficial for helping laypeople better understand risk and benefits of medical treatment (Brust-Renck, Reyna, Wilhelms, & Lazar, 2016). Yet, little research has applied Fuzzy Trace Theory to information comprehension and application within the context of a jury (c.f. Reyna et. al., 2015). Additionally, it is likely that jurors’ individual characteristics, such as scientific reasoning abilities and cognitive tendencies, influence their ability to understand and apply complex scientific information (Coutinho, 2006). Methods The purpose of this study was to examine how jurors calibrate to the strength of scientific information, and whether individual difference variables and gist aids inspired by Fuzzy Trace Theory help jurors better understand complicated science of differing quality. We used a 2 (quality of scientific evidence: high vs. low) x 2 (decision aid to improve calibration - gist information vs. no gist information), between-subjects design. All hypotheses were preregistered on the Open Science Framework. Jury-eligible community participants (430 jurors across 90 juries; Mage = 37.58, SD = 16.17, 58% female, 56.93% White). Each jury was randomly assigned to one of the four possible conditions. Participants were asked to individually fill out measures related to their scientific reasoning skills prior to watching a mock jury trial. The trial was about an armed bank robbery and consisted of various pieces of testimony and evidence (e.g. an eyewitness testimony, police lineup identification, and a sweatshirt found with the stolen bank money). The key piece of evidence was mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) evidence collected from hair on a sweatshirt (materials from Hans et al., 2011). Two experts presented opposing opinions about the scientific evidence related to the mtDNA match estimate for the defendant’s identification. The quality and content of this mtDNA evidence differed based on the two conditions. The high quality evidence condition used a larger database than the low quality evidence to compare to the mtDNA sample and could exclude a larger percentage of people. In the decision aid condition, experts in the gist information group presented gist aid inspired visuals and examples to help explain the proportion of people that could not be excluded as a match. Those in the no gist information group were not given any aid to help them understand the mtDNA evidence presented. After viewing the trial, participants filled out a questionnaire on how well they understood the mtDNA evidence and their overall judgments of the case (e.g. verdict, witness credibility, scientific evidence strength). They filled this questionnaire out again after a 45-minute deliberation. Measures We measured Attitudes Toward Science (ATS) with indices of scientific promise and scientific reservations (Hans et al., 2011; originally developed by National Science Board, 2004; 2006). We used Drummond and Fischhoff’s (2015) Scientific Reasoning Scale (SRS) to measure scientific reasoning skills. Weller et al.’s (2012) Numeracy Scale (WNS) measured proficiency in reasoning with quantitative information. The NFC-Short Form (Cacioppo et al., 1984) measured need for cognition. We developed a 20-item multiple-choice comprehension test for the mtDNA scientific information in the cases (modeled on Hans et al., 2011, and McAuliff et al., 2009). Participants were shown 20 statements related to DNA evidence and asked whether these statements were True or False. The test was then scored out of 20 points. Results For this project, we measured calibration to the scientific evidence in a few different ways. We are building a full model with these various operationalizations to be presented at APLS, but focus only on one of the calibration DVs (i.e., objective understanding of the mtDNA evidence) in the current proposal. We conducted a general linear model with total score on the mtDNA understanding measure as the DV and quality of scientific evidence condition, decision aid condition, and the four individual difference measures (i.e., NFC, ATS, WNS, and SRS) as predictors. Contrary to our main hypotheses, neither evidence quality nor decision aid condition affected juror understanding. However, the individual difference variables did: we found significant main effects for Scientific Reasoning Skills, F(1, 427) = 16.03, p <.001, np2 = .04, Weller Numeracy Scale, F(1, 427) = 15.19, p <.001, np2 = .03, and Need for Cognition, F(1, 427) = 16.80, p <.001, np2 = .04, such that those who scored higher on these measures displayed better understanding of the scientific evidence. In addition there was a significant interaction of evidence quality condition and scores on the Weller’s Numeracy Scale, F(1, 427) = 4.10, p = .04, np2 = .01. Further results will be discussed. Discussion These data suggest jurors are not sensitive to differences in the quality of scientific mtDNA evidence, and also that our attempt at helping sensitize them with Fuzzy Trace Theory-inspired aids did not improve calibration. Individual scientific reasoning abilities and general cognition styles were better predictors of understanding this scientific information. These results suggest a need for further exploration of approaches to help jurors differentiate between high and low quality evidence. Note: The 3rd author was supported by an AP-LS AP Award for her role in this research. Learning Objective: Participants will be able to describe how individual differences in scientific reasoning skills help jurors understand complex scientific evidence.« less
  2. Abstract
    <p>PLEASE CONTACT AUTHORS IF YOU CONTRIBUTE AND WOULD LIKE TO BE LISTED AS A CO-AUTHOR. (this message will be removed some time weeks/months after the first publication)</p> <p>Terrestrial Parasite Tracker indexed biotic interactions and review summary.</p> <p>The Terrestrial Parasite Tracker (TPT) project began in 2019 and is funded by the National Science foundation to mobilize data from vector and ectoparasite collections to data aggregators (e.g., iDigBio, GBIF) to help build a comprehensive picture of arthropod host-association evolution, distributions, and the ecological interactions of disease vectors which will assist scientists, educators, land managers, and policy makers. Arthropod parasites often are important to human and wildlife health and safety as vectors of pathogens, and it is critical to digitize these specimens so that they, and their biotic interaction data, will be available to help understand and predict the spread of human and wildlife disease.</p> <p>This data publication contains versioned TPT associated datasets and related data products that were tracked, reviewed and indexed by Global Biotic Interactions (GloBI) and associated tools. GloBI provides open access to finding species interaction data (e.g., predator-prey, pollinator-plant, pathogen-host, parasite-host) by combining existing open datasets using open source software.</p> <p>If you have questions or comments about thisMore>>
  3. After attending this presentation, attendees will gain knowledge in the strategy to achieve high-throughput and simultaneous analysis of cannabinoids and appreciate a validated LC-UV method for analysis of twelve cannabinoids in hemp oil. This presentation will first impact the forensic science community by introducing three fast LC separations of twelve cannabinoids that can be used with either UV or mass spectrometric (MS) detection. It will further impact the forensic science community by introducing a validated LC-UV method for high-throughput and simultaneous analysis of twelve cannabinoids in hemp oil, which can be routinely used by cannabis testing labs. In recent years, the use of products of Cannabis sativa L. for medicinal purposes has been in a rapid growth, although their preparation procedure has not been clearly standardized and their quality has not been well regulated. To analyze the therapeutic components, i.e. cannabinoids, in products of Cannabis sativa L., LC-UV has been frequently used, because LC-UV is commonly available and usually appropriate for routine analysis by the cannabis growers and commercial suppliers. In the literature, a few validated LC-UV methods have been described. However, so far, all validated LC-UV methods only focused in the quantification of eleven or less cannabinoids. Therefore, amore »method able to simultaneously analyze more cannabinoids in a shorter run time is still in high demand, because more and more cannabinoids have been isolated and many of them have shown medicinal properties. In this study, the LC separation of twelve cannabinoids, including cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVA), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC), delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (Δ9-THCA A), delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), has been systematically optimized using a Phenomenex Luna Omega 3 µm Polar C18 150 mm × 4.6 mm column with regard to the effects of the type of organic solvent, i.e. methanol and acetonitrile, the content of the organic solvent, and the pH of the mobile phase. The optimization has resulted in three LC conditions at 1.0 mL/minute able to separate the twelve cannabinoids: 1) a mobile phase consisting of water and methanol, both containing 0.1% formic acid (pH 2.69), with a gradient elution at 75% methanol for the first 3 minutes and then linearly increase to 100% methanol at 12.5 minutes; 2) a mobile phase consisting of water and 90% (v/v) acetonitrile in water, both containing 0.1% formic acid and 20 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.69), with an isocratic elution at 75% acetonitrile for 14 minutes; and 3) a mobile phase consisting of water and 90% (v/v) acetonitrile in water, both containing 0.03% formic acid and 20 mM ammonium formate (pH 4.20), with an isocratic elution at 75% acetonitrile for 14 minutes. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the achieved LC separations, a LC-UV method is further validated for the high-throughput and simultaneous analysis of twelve cannabinoids. The method used the mobile phase at pH 3.69, which resulted in significant improvement in throughput compared to other validated LC-UV methods published so far. The method used flurbiprofen as the internal standard. The linear calibration range of all the cannabinoids were between 0.1 to 25 ppm with R2≥0.9993. The LOQ (S/N=10) of the cannabinoids was between 17.8 and 74.2 ppb. The validation used a hemp oil containing 3.2 wt% CBD and no other cannabinoids, which was reported by the vendor with a certificate of analysis, as the matrix to prepare control samples: the hemp oil was first extracted using liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) with methanol; cannabinoids were then spiked into the extract at both 0.5 ppm and 5 ppm level. Afterwards, the recovery, precision (%RSD) and accuracy (%Error) of the control samples were assessed and the results met the requirements by the ISO/IEC 17025 and ASTM E2549-14 guidelines.« less
  4. Abstract

    We present an analysis of the first 20 second cadence light curves obtained by the TESS space telescope during its extended mission. We find improved precision of 20 second data compared to 2 minute data for bright stars when binned to the same cadence (≈10%–25% better forT≲ 8 mag, reaching equal precision atT≈ 13 mag), consistent with pre-flight expectations based on differences in cosmic-ray mitigation algorithms. We present two results enabled by this improvement. First, we use 20 second data to detect oscillations in three solar analogs (γPav,ζTuc, andπMen) and use asteroseismology to measure their radii, masses, densities, and ages to ≈1%, ≈3%, ≈1%, and ≈20% respectively, including systematic errors. Combining our asteroseismic ages with chromospheric activity measurements, we find evidence that the spread in the activity–age relation is linked to stellar mass and thus the depth of the convection zone. Second, we combine 20 second data and published radial velocities to recharacterizeπMen c, which is now the closest transiting exoplanet for which detailed asteroseismology of the host star is possible. We show thatπMen c is located at the upper edge of the planet radius valley for its orbital period, confirming that it has likely retained a volatile atmospheremore »and that the “asteroseismic radius valley” remains devoid of planets. Our analysis favors a low eccentricity forπMen c (<0.1 at 68% confidence), suggesting efficient tidal dissipation (Q/k2,1≲ 2400) if it formed via high-eccentricity migration. Combined, these early results demonstrate the strong potential of TESS 20 second cadence data for stellar astrophysics and exoplanet science.

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  5. Understanding the origin and structural basis of the photoluminescence (PL) phenomenon in thiolate-protected metal nanoclusters is of paramount importance for both fundamental science and practical applications. It remains a major challenge to correlate the PL properties with the atomic-level structure due to the complex interplay of the metal core ( i.e. the inner kernel) and the exterior shell ( i.e. surface Au( i )-thiolate staple motifs). Decoupling these two intertwined structural factors is critical in order to understand the PL origin. Herein, we utilize two Au 28 (SR) 20 nanoclusters with different –R groups, which possess the same core but different shell structures and thus provide an ideal system for the PL study. We discover that the Au 28 (CHT) 20 (CHT: cyclohexanethiolate) nanocluster exhibits a more than 15-fold higher PL quantum yield than the Au 28 (TBBT) 20 nanocluster (TBBT: p-tert -butylbenzenethiolate). Such an enhancement is found to originate from the different structural arrangement of the staple motifs in the shell, which modifies the electron relaxation dynamics in the inner core to different extents for the two nanoclusters. The emergence of a long PL lifetime component in the more emissive Au 28 (CHT) 20 nanocluster reveals that its PLmore »is enhanced by suppressing the nonradiative pathway. The presence of long, interlocked staple motifs is further identified as a key structural parameter that favors the luminescence. Overall, this work offers structural insights into the PL origin in Au 28 (SR) 20 nanoclusters and provides some guidelines for designing luminescent metal nanoclusters for sensing and optoelectronic applications.« less