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News Article | May 17, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Education -- and girls' education in particular -- is often cited as one of the key pathways out of poverty, but in many parts of the world women and girls still face significant barriers that prevent them from attending school. Now, a field study in Malawi reveals psychological factors played an important role in whether girls attended school, even under conditions of extreme poverty and deprivation: Girls were significantly more likely to attend class when they were intrinsically excited about school and learning, even when they struggled with a lack of basic resources at home. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. "We are prone to think that giving girls a reward for going to school will increase their motivation. Instead, our results indicate that stimulating their intrinsic joy of learning is a stronger predictor of their actual school going behavior, even under conditions of severe poverty," says researcher Marieke van Egmond of the University of Hagen in Germany, lead author on the study. Even though a significant part of the global population lives under conditions of poverty, empirical psychological research with people living in poverty around the world is rare. Studies like this one are vital to determining whether theories and findings obtained in Western, industrialized settings hold for people who are exposed to very different life circumstances. "In general, girls really want to go to school, enjoy learning, and go to great lengths to do so. In psychological terms, they are intrinsically motivated," van Egmond explained. "Poverty and social dynamics, however, work against them. Cultural beliefs and attitudes reinforce the idea that girls won't use their education or that they are not smart enough to continue with school. In other words, they don't feel like they belong in school, they don't feel competent and lack power." To better understand the psychological factors that can help marginalized girls stay in school, van Egmond teamed up with the international development non-profit Theatre for a Change (TfaC) and researchers from One South to conduct a field study. TfaC's program focuses on empowering marginalized girls through school-based girls clubs. Study participants included 642 girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 22 years old living in rural Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa that ranks 170 out of 188 on the United Nation's 2016 Human Development Index. Participants were randomly selected from girls attending schools in Theatre for a Change school programs. Interviews for the study were conducted by a specially trained team of 24 bilingual (English and Chichewa) female interviewers. The interviewers surveyed the girls about their intrinsic and extrinsic motivations for attending school, their health, and how frequently they didn't get enough to eat, didn't have enough clean water, lacked medicine or medical treatment, or lacked any cash income. The researchers measured school attendance by looking at the number of days that girls had attended school over the month of February 2015. School attendance was significantly higher among girls who were intrinsically motivated to attend school -- those who said they enjoyed school and learning for its own sake -- regardless of the level of resource scarcity that the girls were exposed to. Extrinsic motivation -- that is, going to school because it is expected or normative -- did not predict school attendance. The results suggest that interventions that target aspects of intrinsic motivation, such as a sense of competence and autonomy, may be as effective as economic approaches in achieving behavioral change, as long as fundamental structural barriers (such as access to pens and paper) are overcome. "The take home message is that development projects that aim to increase the school attendance of girls in impoverished settings need to not only aim for female empowerment, but for creating environments in which girls feel that they belong and feel able to learn as well," van Egmond says. "This will stimulate the girls' intrinsic motivation to go to school, which is a strong predictor of their actual attendance." Such interventions could ultimately lead to wide-ranging benefits, as research suggests that attending school provides lifelong health and economic advantages to women and girls, including higher incomes, better health care, and better education for ensuing generations. Yet, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, there are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary schools worldwide. Van Egmond and colleagues plan on extending this research to other countries in the sub-Saharan region in order to see if the patterns observed hold in different cultural contexts.


News Article | May 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Education -- and girls' education in particular -- is often cited as one of the key pathways out of poverty, but in many parts of the world women and girls still face significant barriers that prevent them from attending school. Now, a field study in Malawi reveals psychological factors played an important role in whether girls attended school, even under conditions of extreme poverty and deprivation: Girls were significantly more likely to attend class when they were intrinsically excited about school and learning, even when they struggled with a lack of basic resources at home. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. "We are prone to think that giving girls a reward for going to school will increase their motivation. Instead, our results indicate that stimulating their intrinsic joy of learning is a stronger predictor of their actual school going behavior, even under conditions of severe poverty," says researcher Marieke van Egmond of the University of Hagen in Germany, lead author on the study. Even though a significant part of the global population lives under conditions of poverty, empirical psychological research with people living in poverty around the world is rare. Studies like this one are vital to determining whether theories and findings obtained in Western, industrialized settings hold for people who are exposed to very different life circumstances. "In general, girls really want to go to school, enjoy learning, and go to great lengths to do so. In psychological terms, they are intrinsically motivated," van Egmond explained. "Poverty and social dynamics, however, work against them. Cultural beliefs and attitudes reinforce the idea that girls won't use their education or that they are not smart enough to continue with school. In other words, they don't feel like they belong in school, they don't feel competent and lack power." To better understand the psychological factors that can help marginalized girls stay in school, van Egmond teamed up with the international development non-profit Theatre for a Change (TfaC) and researchers from One South to conduct a field study. TfaC's program focuses on empowering marginalized girls through school-based girls clubs. Study participants included 642 girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 22 years old living in rural Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa that ranks 170 out of 188 on the United Nation's 2016 Human Development Index. Participants were randomly selected from girls attending schools in Theatre for a Change school programs. Interviews for the study were conducted by a specially trained team of 24 bilingual (English and Chichewa) female interviewers. The interviewers surveyed the girls about their intrinsic and extrinsic motivations for attending school, their health, and how frequently they didn't get enough to eat, didn't have enough clean water, lacked medicine or medical treatment, or lacked any cash income. The researchers measured school attendance by looking at the number of days that girls had attended school over the month of February 2015. School attendance was significantly higher among girls who were intrinsically motivated to attend school - those who said they enjoyed school and learning for its own sake - regardless of the level of resource scarcity that the girls were exposed to. Extrinsic motivation - that is, going to school because it is expected or normative -- did not predict school attendance. The results suggest that interventions that target aspects of intrinsic motivation, such as a sense of competence and autonomy, may be as effective as economic approaches in achieving behavioral change, as long as fundamental structural barriers (such as access to pens and paper) are overcome. "The take home message is that development projects that aim to increase the school attendance of girls in impoverished settings need to not only aim for female empowerment, but for creating environments in which girls feel that they belong and feel able to learn as well," van Egmond says. "This will stimulate the girls' intrinsic motivation to go to school, which is a strong predictor of their actual attendance." Such interventions could ultimately lead to wide-ranging benefits, as research suggests that attending school provides lifelong health and economic advantages to women and girls, including higher incomes, better health care, and better education for ensuing generations. Yet, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, there are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary schools worldwide. Van Egmond and colleagues plan on extending this research to other countries in the sub-Saharan region in order to see if the patterns observed hold in different cultural contexts. Co-authors on the research include Andrés Navarrete Berges and Tariq Omarshah of One South and Jennifer Benton of Theatre for a Change. Theatre for a Change Malawi received funding from the U.K. Department for International Development. The current project was funded within the framework of the Girls Education Challenge (Reference No. 8329). All materials have been made publicly available via the Open Science Framework. The complete Open Practices Disclosure for this article is available online. This article has received the badge for Open Materials. For more information about this study, please contact: Marieke Christina van Egmond at mvanegmond8@gmail.com. The article abstract is available online: http://journals. The APS journal Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology. For a copy of the article "The Role of Intrinsic Motivation and the Satisfaction of Basic Psychological Needs Under Conditions of Severe Resource Scarcity" and access to other Psychological Science research findings, please contact Anna Mikulak at 202-293-9300 or amikulak@psychologicalscience.org.


Habibi T.L.,Institute of Statistics | Machdi I.,Institute of Statistics
Proceedings - 2014 International Conference on ICT for Smart Society: "Smart System Platform Development for City and Society, GoeSmart 2014", ICISS 2014 | Year: 2014

Parallel approaches have been proposed in wide areas for improving the system performance. The proposal introduces three approaches to process statistical data tabulation. First, task parallelism to exploit the use of multi-cores in shared memory architecture is developed according to a bushy tree query plan for decomposing tasks. Each decomposed task is allocated to a processor core such that the workloads among processor cores are nearly balanced. Secondly, data parallelism to utilize available interconnected PCs is developed according to master-slave paradigm. Data distribution adopts a simple Round Robin approach to achieve workload balance and no data dependency among PCs. Lastly, hybrid parallelism is proposed to combine the former approaches for optimizing the use of available processor cores in interconnected PCs. The experimental results shows considerably good performance in terms of parallel time execution, speed up and efficiency. © 2014 IEEE.


Anang Y.,Yamanashi University | Anang Y.,Institute of Statistics | Watanabe Y.,Yamanashi University
CEUR Workshop Proceedings | Year: 2016

Considering software architecture concurrently and iteratively with software requirements, has been illustrated as a way to increase productivity and stakeholder satisfaction in the twin peaks model software development process. Because this model exposed only the tip of the iceberg, and lacks of concrete definitions and techniques, an approach of utilizing this model in the real world has been proposed by applying the concept of the product development process based on Quality Function Deployment. In this paper, we will go further of giving more detail about how to define the requirements along with software architecture. In order to provide a method to define a robust software architecture but to be adaptable to the presence of changing requirements, we apply layering concept to the software requirements analysis and architectural design.


Vergis R.,Institute of Cancer Research | Corbishley C.M.,St Georges Hospital | Thomas K.,Institute of Statistics | Horwich A.,Institute of Cancer Research | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics | Year: 2010

Purpose: Established prognostic factors in localized prostate cancer explain only a moderate proportion of variation in outcome. We analyzed tumor expression of apoptotic markers with respect to outcome in men with localized prostate cancer in two randomized controlled trials of radiotherapy dose escalation. Methods and Materials: Between 1995 and 2001, 308 patients with localized prostate cancer received neoadjuvant androgen deprivation and radical radiotherapy at our institution in one of two dose-escalation trials. The biopsy specimens in 201 cases were used to make a biopsy tissue microarray. We evaluated tumor expression of Bcl-2, p53, and MDM2 by immunohistochemistry with respect to outcome. Results: Median follow-up was 7 years, and 5-year freedom from biochemical failure (FFBF) was 70.4% (95% CI, 63.5-76.3%). On univariate analysis, expression of Bcl-2 (p < 0.001) and p53 (p = 0.017), but not MDM2 (p = 0.224), was significantly associated with FFBF. Expression of Bcl-2 remained significantly associated with FFBF (p = 0.001) on multivariate analysis, independently of T stage, Gleason score, initial prostate-specific antigen level, and radiotherapy dose. Seven-year biochemical control was 61% vs. 41% (p = 0.0122) for 74 Gy vs. 64 Gy, respectively, among patients with Bcl-2-positive tumors and 87% vs. 81% (p = 0.423) for 74 Gy vs. 64 Gy, respectively, among patients with Bcl-2-negative tumors. There was no statistically significant interaction between dose and Bcl-2 expression. Conclusions: Bcl-2 expression was a significant, independent determinant of biochemical control after neoadjuvant androgen deprivation and radical radiotherapy for prostate cancer. These data generate the hypothesis that Bcl-2 expression could be used to inform the choice of radiotherapy dose in individual patients. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Lee S.-P.,Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology | Chao A.-K.,National Tsing Hua University | Tsung F.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | Wong D.S.H.,National Tsing Hua University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Quality Technology | Year: 2011

A modern semiconductor manufacturing line is made of hundreds of sequential batch-processing stages. Each of these stages consists of many steps carried out by expensive tools, which are monitored by numerous sensors capable of sampling at intervals of seconds. The sensor readings of each run constitute profiles, which can include extremely drastic changes. The heterogeneous variations at different profile points are mainly due to on-off recipe actions at specific points. In addition, the analysis of these profiles is further complicated by long-term trends due to tool aging and short-term effects specific to the first wafer in a lot cycle. Statistical process control methods that fail to take these effects into consideration will lead to frequent false alarms. A systematic method is proposed to address these challenges. First, a reference profile is determined for each sensor variable that describes the on-off actions. Next, level shifts of these profiles in each step are established to capture and remove intrinsic variations due to long-term aging trends and the short-term first-wafer effects. The residuals are used to formulate a health index, and this index can be used to monitor the health of the equipment and detect faulty wafers efficiently.


Procter E.,Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine | Strapazzon G.,Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine | Strapazzon G.,International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine ICAR MEDCOM | Dal Cappello T.,Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine | And 4 more authors.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports | Year: 2014

Backcountry recreationists account for a high percentage of avalanche fatalities, but the total number of recreationists and relative percentage of different recreation types are unknown. The aim of this study was to collect the first comprehensive survey of backcountry skiers and snowshoers in a region in the European Alps to quantify adherence to basic prevention and safety practices. Over a 1-week period in February 2011 in South Tyrol, Italy, 5576 individuals (77.7% skiers, 22.3% snowshoers) in 1927 groups were surveyed. Significantly more skiers than snowshoers could report the avalanche danger level (52.5% vs 28.0% of groups) and carried standard rescue equipment (transceiver, probe, and shovel) (80.6% vs 13.7% of individuals). Complete adherence to minimum advisable practices (i.e., an individual being in a group with one member correctly informed about the danger level and carrying personal standard rescue equipment) was 41.5%, but was significantly higher in skiers (51.1% vs 8.7% snowshoers) and in individuals who were younger, reported more tours per season, traveled in larger groups, and started earlier. A transnational survey over a complete winter season would be required to obtain total participation prevalence, detect regional differences, and assess the influence of prevention and safety practices on relative reduction in mortality. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Patriarca F.,Hematology | Einsele H.,University of Würzburg | Spina F.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Bruno B.,University of Turin | And 10 more authors.
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation | Year: 2012

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) using reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) is a feasible procedure in selected patients with relapsed multiple myeloma (MM), but its efficacy remains a matter of debate. The mortality and morbidity related to the procedure and the rather high relapse risk make the use of allo-SCT controversial. In addition, the availability of novel antimyeloma treatments, such as bortezomib and immunomodulatory agents, have made allo-SCT less appealing to clinicians. We investigated the role of RIC allo-SCT in patients with MM who relapsed after autologous stem cell transplantation and were then treated with a salvage therapy based on novel agents. This study was structured similarly to an intention-to-treat analysis and included only those patients who underwent HLA typing immediately after the relapse. Patients with a donor (donor group) and those without a suitable donor (no-donor group) were compared. A total of 169 consecutive patients were evaluated retrospectively in a multicenter study. Of these, 75 patients found a donor and 68 (91%) underwent RIC allo-SCT, including 24 from an HLA-identical sibling (35%) and 44 from an unrelated donor (65%). Seven patients with a donor did not undergo allo-SCT for progressive disease or concomitant severe comorbidities. The 2-year cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality was 22% in the donor group and 1% in the no-donor group (P < 0001). The 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 42% in the donor group and 18% in the no-donor group (P < 0001). The 2-year overall survival (OS) was 54% in the donor group and 53% in the no-donor group (P = 329). In multivariate analysis, lack of a donor was a significant unfavorable factor for PFS, but not for OS. Lack of chemosensitivity after salvage treatment and high-risk karyotype at diagnosis significantly shortened OS. In patients who underwent allo-SCT, the development of chronic graft-versus-host disease had a significant protective effect on OS. This study provides evidence for a significant PFS benefit of salvage treatment with novel drugs followed by RIC allo-SCT in patients with relapsed MM who have a suitable donor. © 2012 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.


Chen Y.-T.,Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology | Lin C.-Y.,Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology | Tsai P.-W.,Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology | Yang C.-Y.,Institute of Statistics | And 3 more authors.
Eukaryotic Cell | Year: 2012

Candida albicans is a major fungal pathogen in humans. In C. albicans, secreted aspartyl protease 2 (Sap2) is the most highly expressed secreted aspartic protease in vitro and is a virulence factor. Recent research links the small GTPase Rhb1 to C. albicans target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling in response to nitrogen availability. The results of this study show that Rhb1 is related to cell growth through the control of SAP2 expression when protein is the major nitrogen source. This process involves various components of the TOR signaling pathway, including Tor1 kinase and its downstream effectors. TOR signaling not only controls SAP2 transcription but also affects Sap2 protein levels, possibly through general amino acid control. DNA microarray analysis identifies other target genes downstream of Rhb1 in addition to SAP2. These findings provide new insight into nutrients, Rhb1-TOR signaling, and expression of C. albicans virulence factor. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


News Article | October 28, 2015
Site: www.nature.com

The Islamic civilization lays claim to the world's oldest continually operational university. The University of Qarawiyyin was founded in Fes, Morocco, in ad 859, at the beginning of an Islamic Golden Age. Despite such auspicious beginnings, universities in the region are now in dire straits, as demonstrated by a report we have authored, released this week (see go.nature.com/korli3). The 57 countries of the Muslim world — those with a Muslim-majority population, and part of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — are home to nearly 25% of the world's people. But as of 2012, they had contributed only 1.6% of the world's patents, 6% of its academic publications, and 2.4% of the global research expenditure1, 2 (see 'Quarter deck'). There have been only three Nobel laureates in the sciences from OIC countries; today these nations host fewer than a dozen universities in the top 400 of the many world rankings, and none in the top 100. To assess this situation, for the past two years we have led an international non-governmental and non-partisan task force of experts, formed by the Muslim World Science Initiative. The task force was chaired by Zakri Abdul Hamid, science adviser to the prime minister of Malaysia. It included a dozen experts and scholars — including policymakers, vice-chancellors, professors, and science communicators — from around the world. Our work confirmed many widely known problems, as highlighted by reports such as the Royal Society's 2014 Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation2. For example, OIC countries on average invest less than 0.5% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on research and development (R&D). Only Malaysia spends slightly more than 1% (the world average is 1.78%; most advanced countries spend 2–3%). Students in the Muslim world who participate in standardized international science tests lag well behind their peers worldwide, and the situation seems to be worsening3, 4. Our report highlights an even more problematic situation. University science programmes are using narrow content and outdated teaching methods. In most OIC countries, students are channelled into science or non-science streams around the age of 14, and their education thereafter is completely binary: science and technology students receive little in the way of humanities, social-science, language or arts education, and vice versa. Only one university in the region offers a programme in 'science and technology studies': the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. To become beacons in society, OIC universities need to revitalize their teaching methods and meld science with liberal arts such as history and philosophy. For universities to become truly meritocratic, they must develop new ways of assessing faculty members to reward valuable research, teaching and outreach. And for this to happen, governments must give universities more autonomy. Our task force gathered data on science production for the 20 OIC countries that together have represented more than 90% of OIC scientific productivity over the past two decades. From the period 1996–2005 to 2006–15, most countries doubled or tripled their production of science papers. Qatar's output rocketed by a factor of 7.7, and Iran's by 7.6. But the number of scientific papers produced remains below the average of countries with similar GDP per capita. We found an average of 4.2 papers per dollar of GDP per capita for our OIC sample in the most recent decade, compared to an average of 8.6 for a group of 4 peer countries such as Brazil, Spain, South Korea, South Africa and Israel (see Supplementary Information). Papers from these OIC countries are cited less frequently than those from other nations. The average was 5.7 citations per paper for 2006–15, compared with 9.7 for South Africa and 13.8 for Israel, countries with a comparable GDP per capita. A list of the 100 most-cited papers since 1900 has none with a lead author from a Muslim-majority nation (see Nature 514, 550–553; 2014). Scientific research must be relevant and responsive to society's intellectual and practical needs. This dual goal seems to be out of sight — and often out of consideration — for most academic institutions in the region. For scientists and engineers to be creative, innovative and able to engage with questions of ethics, religion and the wider social purpose of research, students must receive a broad, liberal-arts-style education5. A few institutions attempt to relate their students' learning to their cultural backgrounds and contemporary knowledge. In the early 1970s, Tehran's Sharif University of Technology began a rich programme melding Islamic history, philosophy and culture with science and engineering. Its graduate programme in the philosophy of science remains the only one in the OIC that we are aware of. It is perhaps no coincidence that the most recent Times Higher Education world university rankings named Sharif University as the top Iranian university and number eight in the OIC. In recent years, US-style liberal-arts establishments have been set up in the region, modelled on the long-running and respected American University of Beirut and the American University in Cairo. One such is the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which this year ranked seventh in the QS Rankings of universities in the 22 Arab countries. Fully home-grown and self-funded and with no formal affiliation with a US institution, the AUS requires science and engineering students to take roughly one-third of their required 40 or so courses in humanities, social sciences, language and communication. Habib University, founded last year in Karachi, Pakistan, also follows this model. Here, science and engineering students must take courses such as 'Understanding Modernity' and 'Hikma 1 & 2' — a two-course sequence that translates as 'traditional wisdom' — as well as many others that seek to create rounded rather than narrow engineering and science professionals. Other educational establishments should follow suit. Science classes themselves have serious problems. The textbooks used in OIC universities are often imported from the United States or Europe. Although the content is of a high standard, they assume a Western experience and use English or French as the language of instruction. This disadvantages many students, and creates a disconnect between their education and culture. To encourage the production of higher-quality, local textbooks and other academic material, universities need to reward staff for producing these at least as much as they do for research publication. Some basic facts are seen as controversial, and marginalized. Evolution, for example, is usually taught only to biology students, often as “a theory”, and is rarely connected to the rest of the body of knowledge. One ongoing study has found, for example, that most Malaysian physicians and medical students reject evolution (see go.nature.com/38cswo). Evolution needs to be taught widely and shown to be compatible with Islam and its culture6. Teaching the philosophy and history of science would help, too. The global consensus is that enquiry-based science education fosters the deepest understanding of scientific concepts and laws. But in most OIC universities, lecture-based teaching still prevails. Exceptions are rare. One is the Petroleum Institute, an engineering university in Abu Dhabi, UAE, where the faculty has created a hands-on experience with positive results on student interest and enrolment, particularly of women. Another problem is that faculty members rarely — if ever — receive any training or evaluation in pedagogy. This is true elsewhere in the world, but change is harder in many OIC nations. In most, curriculum changes, faculty appointments and promotions are set by ministry rules and decided by centralized commissions and bureaucracies. This leaves little room for universities to innovate. Universities in OIC nations need to be granted more autonomy to transform themselves into meritocracies that strive for scientific excellence and then lead rather than follow the winds of change towards greater transparency and meritocracy within their societies. Universities need to promote the right metrics, so that they do not inadvertently encourage plagiarism and junk science through pressure to publish. The region needs consistent data on science student and faculty profiles, curricula, pedagogy, language of instruction and so on, akin to what the Institute of Statistics of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization collects — but at a fine-grained, university level. This is a task that must be undertaken by national or transnational bodies, such as the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) or the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). We also call for reform of science curricula and pedagogy. Universities need to deliver more multidisciplinary, exploratory science education. A good start would be training for university teachers, with workshops on new tools and approaches. Barriers need to be broken between departments and colleges and new programmes constructed. Professors need to be free to teach topics that are not tightly regulated by ministries. There are grassroots efforts across the Muslim world to stimulate curiosity about science among students of all ages, operating without much government support. Ahmed Djebbar, an emeritus science historian at the University of Lille in France, has constructed an online, pre-university-level course called 'The Discoveries in Islamic Countries' available in three languages7, which relates science concepts to great discoveries and stories from the Islamic Golden Age. Such courses should be scaled up and shared by many institutions. Universities will need to implement reforms individually. We hope that the inspiration from a few islands of excellence will, in time, turn the tide of public and political opinion. There is precedent. In Pakistan, two private universities established in the 1980s — the Aga Khan University and Hospital in Karachi and Lahore University of Management Sciences — revolutionized medical and business education within a decade of their creation. Students elsewhere began demanding the standard set by these educational pioneers. The same can be done for science. Our task force is putting out an open call for universities across the Muslim world to join a voluntary Network of Excellence of Universities for Science (NEXUS), to be launched early next year. This peer group will be managed by the task force and housed in science adviser Zakri's office. We plan for NEXUS to run summer schools for university administrators, to monitor the progress of reforms at participating universities, and to issue a peer report card that will assess the performance of the universities in meeting milestones, thus recognizing and inspiring further improvements. True transformation will require much broader action from ministries, regulators and funding agencies, and these may be the most resistant to change. Without tough reforms, the dream of a scientific revival in the Muslim world will remain just that.

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