Advocacy Science: Explaining the Term with Case Studies from Biotechnology
The paper discusses the use of term ‘advocacy science’ which is communication of science which goes beyond simple reporting of scientific findings, using the case study of biotechnology. It argues that advocacy science should be used to distinguish the engagement of modern civil society organizations to interpret scientific knowledge for their lobbying. It illustrates how this new communicative process has changed political discourse in science and general perception of the role of science in contemporary society
Many environmental stimuli present a quasi-rhythmic structure at different timescales that the brain needs to decompose and integrate. Cortical oscillations have been proposed as instruments of sensory de-multiplexing, i.e., the parallel processing of different frequency streams in sensory signals. Yet their causal role in such a process has never been demonstrated. Here, we used a neural microcircuit model to address whether coupled theta–gamma oscillations, as observed in human auditory cortex, could underpin the multiscale sensory analysis of speech. We show that, in continuous speech, theta oscillations can flexibly track the syllabic rhythm and temporally organize the phoneme-level response of gamma neurons into a code that enables syllable identification. The tracking of slow speech fluctuations by theta oscillations, and its coupling to gamma-spiking activity both appeared as critical features for accurate speech encoding. These results demonstrate that cortical oscillations can be a key instrument of speech de-multiplexing, parsing, and encoding.
This article discusses the evolution of government-nonprofit relations at the regional level in Russia against the background of national-level restrictions on NGOs. Russia recently also introduced supportive policies and the article aims to trace the regional administrations’ reactions to the dual realities of the federal government’s posture towards nonprofits. Considerable variation was found in regional government-nonprofit relationships as well as deviation from national policy stances. Using a subnational comparative framework, this article addresses a gap in the literature and lays the groundwork for future cross-national comparisons of subnational variations of government-nonprofit relations in other authoritarian and hybrid political regimes.
Due to weak state and administrative capacity, the Russian government has involved resource-rich non-state actors into policy-making since about 2005 and established numerous institutionalized platforms, networks, and forums. These networks mainly emerge on regional and local levels and are designed to generate policy advice, implement decisions, and contribute to output legitimacy. A crucial question is how the authorities govern and regulate these bodies under the terms of a hybrid regime. The paper sheds light on why and how state authorities interact with non-state actors and unravels functions and flavors of governance networks in Russia. Drawing on the empirical results of case studies on anti-drug policy conducted in the regions Samara and St Petersburg, the paper reveals that state dominance within networks is a significant characteristic, although authorities rarely apply explicit ‘hard’ tools of government onto collaborations with non-state actors. The paper also allows for theorizing on the role of governance networks in a hybrid regime.
Mainstream research on the roles and contribution of civil society in the EU is characterised by a strong focus on European civil society in Brussels. Studies looking at activities and roles of national CSOs in the European Union (EU) depart from mainstream analytical and conceptual perspectives and rarely talk to each other. The contributions of this special issue attempt to bridge empirical and analytical gaps between existing studies on European civil society beyond Brussels. They show that the involvement of national CSOs in EU policymaking and democratisation is broader and more diverse than is usually thought. They approach the object of study from an original analytical perspective: a research agenda inspired by sociological approaches. This agenda hinges on an interactionist and pragmatic analytical framework, a pluralist approach to causality and takes into account the peculiarities and effects of context. Moving beyond Brussels and adopting diverse analytical perspectives, the contributions provide new evidence on the diversity of functions, roles and responses of national CSOs to the EU, and the roles and motivations of national CSOs implementing EU policies.
In many Russian regions, new institutions have been created that are meant to enable the partnership between the legislative, the regional administration and civil society actors. These forms of institutionalized cooperation include permanent roundtables, consultative councils, regional or local grant competitions for social projects and the institutionalized cooperation in externally funded social projects. In addressing social problems, nonprofit organizations have often played a pioneer role and are today more and more accepted as partners of the state, while at the same time facing multiple barriers in terms of their institutional context, organizational development and participation in policy formation. Although regional and local administrations and civil society actors share many concerns about social policy issues, the level of real involvement of NGOs in policy formation in present-day Russia is often described as ineffective and insufficient. The underlying motivation of this paper is to identify the forms and degree of cooperation between governmental and non-governmental actors in addressing social problems and the participation of non-profit actors in shaping policy formation in Russia’s regions. The focus is on the sub-national level, as regional authorities bear the main responsibility for financing and implementing welfare policies. The paper thereby addresses the following question: What are the incentives, barriers and outcomes of nonprofit participation in service delivery and policy formation?
The nonprofit sector weakness in Russia is no doubt. The most frequently cited reasons - immaturity of still young civil society structures and the lack of public funding in the third sector. Meanwhile, the process of becoming a non-profit sector can hardly be accelerated. The growth of the federal and regional subsidies, will not provide significant improvements. The main problem lies in the structural characteristics and low efficiency of voluntary sector. In this case, if some structure of the nonprofit sector, such as condominiums, generally demonstrate some progress in recent years, the socially-oriented NGOs are still in stagnation. Public policy can only partly correct the current state and trends.
Hypoxia of trophoblast cells is an important regulator of normal development of the placenta. However, some pathological states associated with hypoxia, e.g. preeclampsia, impair the functions of placental cells. Oxyquinoline derivative inhibits HIF-prolyl hydroxylase by stabilizing HIF-1 transcription complex, thus modeling cell response to hypoxia. In human choriocarcinoma cells BeWo b30 (trophoblast model), oxyquinoline increased the expression of a core hypoxia response genes along with up-regulation of NOS3, PDK1, and BNIP3 genes and down-regulation of the PPARGC1B gene. These changes in the expression profile attest to activation of the metabolic cell reprogramming mechanisms aimed at reducing oxygen consumption by enabling the switch from aerobic to anaerobic glucose metabolism and the respective decrease in number of mitochondria. The possibility of practical use of the therapeutic properties of oxyquinoline derivatives is discussed.