Last week, I had the opportunity to present at the Ecuadorian congress of urban studies at the university FLACSO (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales). It was a beautifully organised congress with a fantastic interdisciplinarity, including lawyers, architects, city planners… and also just a few people researching  health and ageing issues (maybe just me actually).

estudios urbanos

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Abstract: With the ageing of populations around the world, political activity of older people is increasingly becoming relevant to political science. However, little is known about the possibility of and rationale for politicisation in later life, especially among those who have never before been politically active. This article uses in-depth qualitative interviews with older participants in a successful protest against the closure of a charity-run day centre to investigate how and when such politicisation might occur. We find that in response to perceived extreme threat, and provided with high levels of support, frail older people with low levels of early politicisation actively participated in a protest that ultimately prevented closure of their day centre. Furthermore, older people are not a weak population, but were able to use their frailty as political tools for shaming decision-makers. The study reveals that despite low political activity throughout life, politicisation can be triggered for the first time in later life. Four key aspects are highlighted: in spite of poor health, which acts as a barrier, perceived threat seems an essential driver to politicisation. Catalysts, whether they are supporters or carers, act as an essential determinant to politicisation in this group. Finally, older people are capable of adapting their claim-making performances, including shaming strategies, to achieve the best outcomes, thus illustrating their potential power.

26713-atl
Source: teara.govt.nz
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With recent-ish news of the reinvention of space race with front runner Elon Musk, interest in the world beyond our blue planet has made a come back. The paradigm traveling alongside is no longer tinted with Cold War and atomic annihilation of human life , but rather environmental apocalypse and annihilation of human life. To a certain extent, colonizing another planet is a way to prepare for the collapse of society and in that regard, Elon Musk is the ultimate prepper!

mars_colony-580x416
Source: http://www.futurism.com
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I recently gave a presentation to doctors of the Hospital de Los Valles, Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ, Ecuador about Delphi panels and I thought I’d translate it into a blog post to keep a trace, but also because I am sure some have asked themselves the question. Indeed, many have encountered the term “Delphi” without really digging into what it means. This post aims to be brief and straight to the point and answer the following questions:

– What is a Delphi panel?
– What are Delphi panels applications in health?
– What is the position of Delphi panels within health evidence?


Source: http://www.hopeonthehorizon.org
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Several times, prospective PhD students have asked my opinion about whether they should start a PhD or not. I’d like to share one aspect – among many other – which supports commitment into a PHD: improved productivity.

Why am I writing a PhD? Throughout my now fairly long life as a PhD candidate (I am now five and a half years into it), I gave the answers I thought best: it teaches me to be responsible of a large scale project all by myself, I learn how to use new research methods and, among many other reasons, I learn about how I function as a human being – Oh, and I contribute to research, I was going to forget that one!

While they are true, these responses only answers part of the question. Why do I write a PhD? Not the part about motivations, but rather the so what part.

Here is something about me – about most of us: I procrastinate, i.e. I postpone to tomorrow what could be done today. And since primary school, we are taught that procrastination is evil. Just look up online the thousand pseudo solutions to fight procrastination.

9gag (source: 9gag)

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It all started one year ago, when I decided I wanted to purchase a small house in my native village in Western France. With the size of my wallet, I was not after anything big.

I found a little house by the church side. It looked cute and old-fashioned, just as I wanted it. I needed nothing else, so off I went to start negotiating. But – of course there was a but – a right-of-way provided by the neighbour was necessary to access the tiny property. My idea was that maybe I could negotiate the purchase of a tiny plot to manage a property without any right-of-way. And this is where the story starts.

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Source: Jonathan Guillemot
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