In one of my FB posts I have mentioned that The Next Truth was leaving the door ajar concerning the gained the opportunity to go ON-AIR. Well, a few days back the first requests were send out what has started the process of recording and editing some of the very first Skype interviews.
Yesterday The Next Truth had the privilege to speak with Mrs. Chiara Chiesa who is an International Public Relation expert and Space Technology Commercialization Transfer advisor and recently has being selected as mentor, female model and ambassador for the Space4Woman Network of the United Nations for Space Affairs. UNOOSA United Office for Outer Space Affairs.
It was about 3 weeks ago that a friend of mine from the scientific community mailed me a highly interesting link what directed me to Chiara’s LinkedIn post what read that she is one of the 27 women, chosen between space professionals and space industry leaders from all over the world, who will engage in popular activities and, with personal stories, aim to inspire and mentoring girls and women to study STEM subjects and access the space sector.
And if that is not impressive enough, she is also the president and co-founder of INTERSTELLARS and fond of new technologies, sales advisor for Graphene-xt and PR and advisor for Walle mobility, which is a taxy-drone startup.
Chiara is one of the 1000 “Unstoppable women” who are changing Italy through innovation, list by StartupItalia and aims her focus on inspiring girls and women to pursue STEM and space careers.
* Stay tuned for the precise date of the first podcast to be broadcasted.
Learn From Experts and Out-Smart Your Parents and Teacher!
Finally! Your personal scientific magazine is online and you can ask your parents, or teacher, for you to purchase the 3th edition of Young People Science via MagCloud as a digital version or as a print version and show everyone the incredible cool stuff you have learned.
Young People Science has spoken with some super duper cool and friendly scientists and asked them to explain their field of work to you. Join these scientists as they explain through in-depth articles how satellites work, why people believe in creepy ghosts and take you on an adventures trip while tracking wild bears and study their behaviour.
But besides learning all about the exiting places scientists work in, you can also take a super fun Space Quiz with your friends, test you intelligence by solving cross word puzzles, read about what it’s like to be a fighter pilot and read about how the CIA have goofy doves working for them as…SPIES!
I hope you will enjoy this edition of Young People Science which is created just for you. And remember, science = fun!
For more cool scientific stuff follow us via Face Book and/or click on the link, hit the ‘LIKE’ button or…the ‘FOLLOW’ button as hard as you can and never miss an issue of “The Next Truth: Young People Science” https://www.magcloud.com/browse/magazine/1512517[Top]
By Maria Anna van Driel
As they say, trauma is a vivid nightmare that comes while we are in this state of being ‘awake’. Not only is it, for a myriad of people, difficult to overcome the psychological bruises which are accompanied with trauma, it also takes tremendous perseverance and resilience to overcome this invisible battle that is taking place day-in and day-out.
Not knowing how to cope with it, you knock on the door of a professional psychologist or psychiatrist who will then let you run into a new wall by telling you to act as a stereo-type victim as well as that you have to replenish your medicine cabinet and…they have the best recipes for you to suppress any nasty thought and/or spooky dream, which will wake you up screaming, you are about to experience in the future.
There is no doubt that, for some people, medication is a true working remedy but, as we all know, we are all unique individuals meaning, everyone has their own way in responding to a traumatic event. Even though Cliniclowns are doing incredible and important work, a professional psychologist and/or psychiatrist does not have to dress-up and/or act as such all the time but is seems that the above mentioned psychologist and psychiatrist have forgotten that positivity and laughter, for instance, do have a deeper and longer effect in losing certain tensions whereby this suffering suddenly has a transformative power.
We have all hear about stress and its inevitability, yet succumb to the displeasure when it strikes us. While resilience may help to withstand the pain to some extent, PTGO allows us to grasp the knowledge of using the pain to change our lives for the better.
When we think about it for a moment, it is remarkable to see that the brain is, somehow, capable of ‘choosing’ such a vivid form of processing the stress that is accompanied with PTSD. In this it would be an almost logical line of thought that this reality is as real as the sandwich you are eating during lunch…right?
This made me curious about PTGO. I read many articles concerning PTSD and PTGO during the last weeks and even had the privilege to speak with several Neuro-Psychologists and (clinical) Psychologists via Skype. The pro’s and con’s of medical and spiritual healing processes were indeed interesting topics to discuss as well as trauma being the main cause for a foggy/altered reality.
However, be in religion, poetry, philosophy, or literature, the general understanding of how pain can be beneficial is not a new concept altogether. The scientific field of positive psychology has embraced this process of thriving and calls it Post-Traumatic Growth Order (PTGO) better known as the self-improvement one undergoes after experiencing life challenges.
The idea of Post Traumatic Growth Order is a popular one and describes how survivors of traumatic events cannot only heal from their trauma, but may actually grow into a stronger, more driven, and more resilient person because of their trauma.
With evidence-backed examples, the astonishing and eye-opening articles of experts, which can be read in this month’s issue of The Next Truth, will delve a little deeper than what we have known so far about trauma. They will help you in understanding the essentials of PTGO, how to weather it and how to apply this in our lives.[Top]
Behavioral expert and Psychologist Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin Weighs In
By Maria Anna van Driel, www.nexttruth.com
It was inevitable! The threat of the corona virus pandemic has gripped the world population. The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 was, according to Wikipedia, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019, and was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020. As of 24 March, more than 414,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in more than 190 countries and territories, resulting in more than 18,500 deaths and more than 108,000 recoveries. But besides the clinical picture of COVID-19 and the myriad news broadcasts spreading an avalanche of information on how to reduce the process of becoming sick and how to prevent the virus spreading, there is also a psychological effect. An effect what is most likely finds its source in the isolation that has imposed on people and will remain visible for a longer period after COVID-19 is so abundantly present in our lives.
How do people perceive the risks of this novel threat? What are the psychological effects of the isolation we are experiencing? To gain both a deeper insight in these questions and a clearer view on the latest research developments of today’s pandemic I reached out to an expert on public behavior during risky times and decision-making from the Netherland, Prof. Wändi Bruine de Bruin, PhD.
Prof. Bruine de Bruin moved to USC from the University of Leeds (United Kingdom), where she directed the Center for Decision Research and held a Leadership Chair in Behavioral Decision Making. In January 2020 she imitated the new position of “Provost Professor of Public Policy, Psychology, and Behavioral Science” at the University of Southern California (USC) where her research aims to understand and inform how, across the life span, people make decisions about their health, their well-being, and their environmental impacts.
‘At USC, Prof. Bruine de Bruin explains, Provost Professors are appointed by the Provost in recognition of their contribution to multiple academic disciplines.’ ‘It feels great to get this recognition and that interdisciplinary research is valued so much at the University of Southern California. In my view, important societal problems cannot be resolved by looking at them through the narrow lens of just one academic discipline.’
Together with her colleagues at the USC, she is conducting a national US longitudinal survey to track people’s risk perceptions of and experiences with COVID-19, as well as economic and mental health consequences. But when Prof. Bruine de Bruin started her career, applied and interdisciplinary research was often frowned upon – because it was thought to not make sufficient theoretical contributions. In this she disagrees, given that insights from other disciplines can help improve on theories and methods for testing theories.
‘Needless to say, my first semester at USC did not turn out the way I had anticipated’, Prof. Bruine de Bruin adds. ‘Fortunately, my USC colleagues are also wonderful to work with over Skype, Zoom, phone, and email.’
Nowadays she has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers on these topics, in journals targeting psychology, public policy, health, and environmental science. She is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Experimental Psychology:Applied, the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, Decision, Medical Decision Making, the Journal of Risk Research, and Psychology and Aging.
‘We have come a long way in showing that interdisciplinary research can lead to new insights – with both practical and theoretical implications’, Prof Bruin de Bruin states proudly.
To become more familiar with the work of Prof. Wändi Bruine de Bruin you can visit the Website of the University of Southern California, https://priceschool.usc.edu/people/wandi-bruine-de-bruin/
Welcome Professor Bruine de Bruin. I appreciate the time you are taking for letting us peer into your career as a provost Professor of public policy, psychology, and behavioral science and your psychological view on this frightening topic of COVID-19.
Q: Can you tell the readers of The Next Truth a little bit about yourself? Who is Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin?
Prof. Bruine de Bruin: I grew up on a flower farm in the Netherlands, and was the first in my family to attend university. I received a BSc in psychology and an MSc in cognitive psychology from the Free University in Amsterdam. My family wasn’t sure how to feel about my chosen path, but that changed when I got into the PhD program in Behavioral Decision Research at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States.
Q: What inspired you to step into the science of psychology and behavioral science?
Prof. Bruine de Bruin: I originally wanted to be a therapist, so I went to the Free University in Amsterdam to study clinical psychology. However, the initial classes I was taking on that topic did not involve a lot of discussion of the evidence base for their approaches. I was much more attracted to the psychology of judgment and decision making, which was taught as part of cognitive psychology, and offered a more rigorous approach for identifying potential problems, developing interventions, and testing their effectiveness. Although a lot of the research in that field focused on studying decision problems in the lab, with undergraduate students as participants, I thought it had great promise for understanding and informing people’s decisions about real-world issues, such as those related to their health, finances, and environmental impacts.
Q: I spoke briefly to your colleague Professor Baruch Fischhoff and he made me extremely curious about the origin of your surname. Would you reveal to our readers what the peculiarity and history is of your surname?
Prof. Bruine de Bruin: My mother spent some time tracking our family history and it turns out that our last name is a mistake. “De Bruin” is a common last name in the Netherlands and it means Brown. At some point in my family history, someone added “Bruine” (which also means brown) to indicate the first name of their father. A lot of people think that our name indicates some kind of fancy heritage, but it was simply a mistake. My family has existed of farmers or farm hands for many generations.
My name is unique, but hard to spell. Even my co-authors have a hard time getting it right. I often get mis-cited as de Bruin, WB or with several other variations.
Q: If I understood correctly, you are originally from the Netherlands. How did you come to work as a collaborating professor at Carnegie Mellon University?
Prof. Bruine de Bruin: Gideon Keren supervised my masters thesis and he strongly encouraged me to apply to the PhD program at Carnegie Mellon University. I had never been to the United States, and wasn’t so sure that I wanted to live there. But I loved the idea of working with Baruch Fischhoff, whom I had cited heavily in my masters thesis. I got in, and have been working with Baruch ever since. (And I liked living in the United States much more than I thought I would. I lived in Pittsburgh for a total of 16 years, and live in Los Angeles now, after 7 years in Leeds, United Kingdom. I am still a collaborating professor at Carnegie Mellon today, although my main affiliation is now as Provost Professor at the University of Southern California.)
Q: The world has undergone a lock-down so to speak. What do you think will be the psychological and economical effect(s) of this global isolation?
Prof. Bruine de Bruin: In the baseline survey of our national longitudinal COVID-19 survey that we conducted in March 2020, when COVID-19 was starting to spread in the United States, we were already seeing the initial mental health consequences. Participants were reporting elevated levels of anxiety and depression, which are likely to worsen over time, as the health and financial consequences worsen.
Q: Are you in a quarantine area yourself? If so, how limited are your social activities at the moment and how do you experience this isolation?
Prof, Bruin de Bruin: My husband and I only recently moved to Los Angeles. I started my new job at USC in January of 2020. We were hardly settled in when the stay at home order went into effect in California. We had not even gotten around to buying a car yet – not that we need it now.
I have been working from home since March 10. I started earlier than was required by USC or the state of California, because I had been taking the bus to work, and it seemed wise to avoid public transportation.
Although I am not a pandemic flu expert, I had served on two expert panels on pandemic flu in 2005-2006, to contribute expertise in psychology and behavioral science. I had learned a lot about pandemic flu and non-pharmacological interventions such as social distancing.
We still go out for walks in our neighborhood, where the streets are quiet and it is easy to maintain a safe distance from others. Because we only just moved here from England, we very much enjoy the weather and the beautiful gardens in our neighborhood. I think those walks are keeping me sane. And, even though it may sound strange, all the work associated with the COVID-19 survey is also helping to keep my mind off worries about COVID-19.
Q: According to the website of World Health Organization; “Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.” Which impact has information as such on the decisions people make?
Prof. Bruine de Bruin: In our initial survey that we conducted in March 2020, we are not yet seeing a lot of differences between older vs. younger people, and people with vs. without diabetes, in terms of their tendency to step up their hand-washing and social distancing. I think that at that time, people were still unsure about how serious it was, and what to do.
We did find that older adult age was associated with reporting better mental health, despite older adults recognizing the greater case-fatality rate for their age group. This finding is in line with other research in the psychology of aging, which suggests that older adults experience less negative emotions, have better emotion regulation, and are less responsive to stressors.
It is possible that these findings will change as the epidemic continues, and people who are older and those with serious health conditions are disproportionally affected. I expect that our first follow-up survey will show more responsiveness to the information that has been released, in regards to greater risk perceptions and anxiety, and even more implementation of protective behaviors. We will also be examining how people with serious health conditions are faring.
Q: Racism or xenophobia seems to rise in people’s minds as soon as social media hints in the direction of a possible origin of a flu outbreak. It was only recently that the world was in a panic mode about Ebola, which originated in Africa. How do you think that a previous shock as such plays into how people are reacting today on the threat of the COVID-19?
Prof. Bruine de Bruin: Our survey had questions about discrimination and unfair treatment associated with COVID-19. In our initial analysis of data collected between March 10-16, we found that 14 percent of Asians and 10 percent of non-Hispanic blacks had such experiences, as opposed to 4 percent of non-Hispanic whites, 6 percent of Hispanics and 6 percent of people in other racial and ethnic groups.
Q: Professor Bruine de Bruin, thank you so much for this interview. Do you have any additional advice you can give on how people can manage their anxiety around this novel virus?
Prof. Bruine de Bruin: A lot of people are feeling increased anxiety, which is normal under these circumstances. Some helpful suggestions from the field of psychology for reducing anxiety:
- Focus on the things you can control
- Limit exposure to anxiety-provoking news sources
- Do slow breathing exercises
- Be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up for being stressed and distracted
- Take care of your health
- Stick to a daily routine
- Connect with others (via the phone, Skype, or zoom)
- Seek professional help (via phone or telehealth) if your anxiety is too hard to deal with
For additional suggestions, please see the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html[Top]
As I have announced some time previous, the upcoming issue of The Next Truth (May) is discussing war traumas, behavioral science, how to help a loved one who is suffering from PTSD, alternative solutions for dealing with PTSD, among others.
During the past two weeks I have spoken with several Neuro-Psychologists and (clinical) Psychologists and read a myriad of articles concerning Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The pro’s and con’s of medical and spiritual healing processes were indeed an interesting topic to discuss as well as trauma being the main cause for a foggy/altered reality. Still, that one particular question seems to be hard to answer; “Is it possible for people to experience unexplained phenomena, aka the paranormal, while being under extreme psychological pressure for a longer period?” (Think of those traumas created by war-, sexual-, domestic violence, kidnapping, among others)
When we think about it for a moment, it is remarkable to see that the brain is, somehow, capable of ‘choosing’ such a vivid form of processing the stress that is accompanied with PTSD. In this it would be an almost logical line of thought that this reality is as real as the sandwich you are eating during lunch. Right?
How do ‘you’ explain this vivid effect what seems to have a tremendous impact on people’s thinking and behaviour?
– 3 till 5 explanations will be published in the issue of May and if that is not cool enough, the person whose answer is published will receive a free PDF version of the May edition. www.magcloud.com[Top]
Don’t Just Visit the Past, Experience It!
In the March/April issue of Young People Science several renowned scientists are letting you curl up on the couch with your favorite soda and a bag of potato chips while they take you on an incredible journey through “Human History”.
So fasten your seatbelts as you are about to step into an adventurous journey to the era of ancient Egyptian with the world-renowned Archeologist and Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, learn from Prof. McAndrew why it is that we love blood-curdling screams, and hear from Prof. Frederick L. Coolidge & Prof. Thomas Wynn how dreaming has changed human evolution, among others.
But you can also take a real fun quiz about Neanderthals, drive your parents crazy while following the instructions of how to build a bubble-powered rocket in the kitchen, read crazy facts about medieval castles and much more. History is FUN! www.magcloud.com[Top]
Can we sense what’s happening to loved ones thousands of miles away? Why are we, sometimes, certain of a caller’s identity the instant the phone rings? Do intuitive hunches contain information about future events? Is it possible to perceive information without the use of the ordinary senses? Can psychic or “psi” experiences be studied by science, or are they beyond the reach of rational understanding?”
There is absolutely no doubt about it that you have asked questions concerning the myriad unexplained events which seem to move in that particular spectrum we are not able to see with the naked eye. Many people believe that such “psychic phenomena” are rare talents or divine gifts. Others don’t believe they exist at all.
Even though these vivid nightmares of malevolent dark shadows are assigned to sleep paralysis, pre-cognitive knowledge to coincidence and ghostly figures to an abundant imagination and fear, there could be another rational explanation for these blobs and blips to overlap our (classical) reality. To get a clearer picture about what is it that we see fleeing from our peripheral vision, what has, or is, creating this variety in believes and how to pour all this in the research fields of parapsychology and cognitive science; The Next Truth contacted Dr. Neil Dagnall and Dr. Kenneth Drinkwater from the Manchester Metropolitan University.
Their upcoming research (Neuropsychological and Cognitive-Perceptual characteristics associated with Mediums and Psychics) as well as their previous research in the scientific fields of Psychology, Neuropsychology, Parapsychology and Cognitive Psychology, neither question the reality of these foggy realms nor the beliefs and/or experiences people have or had on the contrary! Together with their students, Dr. Dagnall and Dr. Drinkwater are studying the individual differences that exist between people to appraise cognitive processing and neurological correlates.
To get more familiar with the research conducted by Dr. Dagnall and Dr. Drinkwater www.researchgate.net[Top]
By Maria Anna van Driel, www.nexttruth.com
Since the dawn of the space age, space-based technologies, namely communications satellites, enable global telecommunications systems by relaying signals with voice, video and data to and from one or many locations. But that is all set to change soon.
CONTEC’s President Dr. Sunghee Lee (45) and his 32-headed team of engineers, software developers and satellite image processors have set goal to master a tremendous challenge in constructing corresponding networks for their customers and cooperation companies.
They are working hard to develop laser-based space communications systems and the technology of launch and satellite application fields which are the key to ensure rapid and accurate transmission of information from Earth-based alternatives to, among others, spacecrafts orbiting around the Earth.
The Korean company CONTEC (Collaborative and Novel Technologies) was founded in Jan. 5, 2015 with only a dream and a deep passion for engineering and all that future space technologies has to offer. Driven by the idea of ‘space being infinitive’, the company has overcome the challenge in creating a company system in where competent individuals are matching its philosophy what has propelled a snowball effect in its growth.
So, whether it comes to simply phoning a friend or using your Skype app, some of our daily communication is, without a doubt, based on sophisticated networks, with data being transferred at the speed of light between different nodes. And while these Earth-based alternatives to space technologies are already possible, it seems that CONTEC has definitely the people and knowledge to go beyond sophisticated networks and build your future highway in communication…yesterday!
* * *
For more information on CONTEC, www.contec.kr
Or simply wait for the issue of April and the May/June issue of Young People Science in order to read the Q&A of Dr. Sunghee Lee 😊
This morning I read the tweet and blog post of Dr. Marc Wittman: “Letter from Italy: Treating the Virus with a Proper Time Perspective”. (The understanding of individual time psychology can help fight the pandemic) https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/sense-time/202003/letter-italy-treating-the-virus-proper-time-perspective
On his “Psychology Today” blog, Dr. Wittmann has posted a letter from his colleague Massimo Agnoletti, a Clinical Psychologist from Mestre, Italy, on how the coronavirus can be treated properly with the right time perspective.
Coincidence or not but I also have mentioned a few times the psychological effects in, for instance, the 3 minute video I posted two days ago. https://youtu.be/dgghDn-mUAo It is scary to see how this outbreak is effecting our thinking and thus behaviour… absorbing this avalanche of newsfeed is, seemingly, creating an out-of-balance behaviour by means of a stressy/forced brain activity. It almost sees as if we have slide into an odd form of survival mode.
However, I recommend you reading Dr. Wittmann’s blog post on the website of “Psychology Today” on the real effect(s) created by, among others, a psychological isolation. Indeed, our immune system has to deal with a second, invisible intruder!
Like all things in our world, they start small almost like a microscopic idea of nature itself. And with these myriad of microscopic evolutions incredible ideas are brought to live what has resulted, and is still resulting, in most amazing achievements!
Over the years I learned that many people are extremely hungry for absorbing the knowledge and the mind boggling complexity of the research conducted at universities and scientific institutes. Unfortunately, there are people who seem to think and work in the safe surroundings of what is already known and/or speak from written in text-books. Pseudoscience! It is utterly nonsense and b*llsh*t! Nothing more then superficial and meaningless words, gibberish talk! …are statements that are then uttered very easily, without any thought. But is that really fact? Are any new ideas and/or theories coming from challenging ‘known’ or ‘accepted’ knowledge really hypothetical nonsense?
Life is a cruel system, is it not? Or should I say society is? You work hard…really hard…for days, weeks, months… you put all your energy in your field and/or lab research, your calculations, or in finding the perfect words for your essay, thesis, book, article. During this period you slowly start to see a fabulous outcome. Yes…you are going to ace this for sure! Proudly you present the results of your hard work and then…reality kicks in. People say your calculations are gibberish, you have researched in the wrong direction and your book does not contain understandable grammar. SH*T!
Now you can throw all your notes out of the window from the highest building you can find and crawl into a deep and dark cellar hiding yourself from the world…getting consumed by this terrible feeling of disappointment. Okay, this sh*tty feeling is understandable but do really think you have failed? No, you did not!
And this determination and perseverance the world renowned contributors of The Next Truth are showing is what fires me up…time and time again! These people dare to challenge anything new, people who look into the world and say; “I believe in myself and I am not giving up!”
Yes… I am of the opinion that it is critical, absolutely critical, that our scientists and citizen scientists have to feel comfortable to undertake their work, to explore unconventional or controversial topics. They must be free to challenge the thinking of the day and to feel free to present uncomfortable or inconvenient truths, because THAT is how scientists push boundaries and pushing boundaries is, after all, what science is all about.[Top]