Lies, damn Lies and Statistics [Audio]
Speaker(s): Ben Page | Ben Page is Chief Executive of the polling company Ipsos MORI. Named one of the "100 most influential people in the public sector" by the Guardian, he has directed hundreds of surveys examining service delivery, customer care and communications working with both Conservative and Labour ministers and senior policy makers across government, leading on work for Downing Street, the Cabinet Office and the Home Office. This event is part of the POLIS Media Agenda 2012 series.
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Light Me Up
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Author(s): Canan Çakırlar,Canan Çakırlar,Canan Çakırlar

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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

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Learning outcomes

During this unit you will:

  • learn some basic definitions and terminology associated with differential equations and their solutions;

  • be able to visualize the direction field associated with a first-order differential equation and be able to use a numerical method of solution known as Euler's method;

  • be able to use analytical methods of solution by direct integration; separation of variables; and the integrating factor method.


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1.3: Summing vectors given in geometric form

The following activity illustrates how the conversion processes outlined in the preceding sections may come in useful. If two vectors are given in geometric form, and their sum is sought in the same form, one approach is to convert each of the vectors into component form, add their corresponding components, and then convert the sum back to geometric form.

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1.4.6 P is for Provenance

The provenance of a piece of information (i.e. who produced it? where did it come from?) may provide another useful clue to its reliability. It represents the 'credentials' of a piece of information that support its status and perceived value. It is therefore very important to be able to identify the author, sponsoring body or source of your information.

Why is this important?

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4.2.1 Eco-efficiency = money in the bank

Business can profit from taking the environment into account (generally called eco-efficiency). Poor environmental performance is seen as a reflection of poor business practice in general. Eco-efficiency promotes the economic benefits of energy and materials savings, at the same time being first to market with new technologies or products. Since business sustainability lobbies promoted eco-efficiency in the early 1990s, the creed has gained rapid acceptance, and with good cause. There
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1.4.2 Engaging with multiple perspectives

A systems approach begins when first you see the world through the eyes of another.

(Churchman, 1968, p. 231)

The Ulrich reading is an extract from an article written in honour of another systems philosopher, C. West Churchman. Also drawing on Churchman's influence, Jake Chapman sums up two qualities of systems thinking in terms of ‘gaining a bigger picture (going up a level of abstraction) a
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6.2 (a) ‘Cleaning-up’ fossil and nuclear technologies

This means mitigating some of the adverse ‘environmental’ consequences of fossil and nuclear fuel use through the introduction of new, ‘clean’ technologies that should substantially reduce pollution emissions and health hazards. These include ‘supply-side’ measures to improve the efficiency with which fossil fuels are converted into electricity in power stations; cleaner and more efficient combustion methods; the increasing use of ‘waste’ heat in combined heat-and-power scheme
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3.2 Fossil fuels

So what are the principle energy systems used by humanity at present, and how sustainable are they?

Until quite recently, human energy requirements were modest and our supplies came either from harnessing natural processes such as the growth of plants, which provided wood for heating and food to energise human or animal muscles, or from the power of water and wind, used to drive simple machinery.

But the nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw a massive increase in global energy us
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2.3 Social valuation: towards ecological citizenship

An important practical question is whether the standard tools of economics are adequate for describing and monitoring sustainable development. If we consider either the Brundtland ‘essential needs of the poor’ condition for sustainability, or the idea that we ought to try to secure a certain level of quality of life for future people equivalent to that of some people today, it would appear that economics will not be enough by itself. This is because each of these concepts demands more tha
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1.1 Natures and environments

The title of this unit is deliberately ambiguous. From one standpoint, the assertive dominant emphasis on nature in ‘nature matters’ is one that rings true amongst many environmentalists. What matters in environmental responsibility is what might widely be referred to as nature. This unit might be expected to be about how to argue the case for prioritising nature above other concerns. However, if instead the assertive emphasis is placed on matters, you may anticipate that th
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4.3 Dutch elm disease

Not all change is a direct result of human intervention. Sometimes changes can occur over which we have little control. One such example is the case of Dutch elm disease (so-called because most of the early studies of the disease were carried out in Holland, although the disease was first observed in France in 1918). The disease is caused by a fungus, Ceratocystis ulmi, that has the elm, Ulmus procera, as its only habitat and food source. Spores of the fungus are carried by the
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