Saturday, 28 July 2012

Dates in the Square - Wk 1 - Racism

The first of the 2012 "Dates in the Square" events, held on 25th July focussed on racism and included a short talk by Shad Ali (who suffered a vicious racist attack a few years ago yet forgave his attacker) and also by Cllr Alex Norris providing the reflection.

Shad Ali Mr Ali described how, back in 2008 he had intervened to stop a man hurling racial abuse at two women in the city centre. The man, schizophrenic Glenn Jackson punched Ali unconscious and then stamped and kicked him in the head, leaving him with injuries were so severe that Ali needed four metal plates inserted into his face to support shattered eye sockets.

Jackson was sentenced to a minimum of 5 years in jail.


Shad Ali describing his experience of being the victim of a racist attack

What was surprising was that Ali, who still has trouble breathing through his nose, forgave his attacker and has been trying to visit Jackson in jail to tell him that he is forgiven.Thus far, his application to visit Jackson have all been rejected. You can read more about Shad’s story here and also at the very interesting “4thought” site.

Councillor Alex Norris
The reflection from Councillor Norris was very passionate and heartening to hear. He bagan by saying that he believed in a “world class Nottingham” and that this required not only the right physical infrastructure such as roads, recreational facilities and jobs - but also a sense of community and caring in its citizens “You’re not world class if you have communities where neighbours are turned away from each other”.

He described how the council had a target of reducing hate crime by 25% by 2015 and added that the council wanted to do this not by making it harder to report hate crime, or by making people feel that it is not worth reporting hate crime - but rather by giving the people the confidence that if they reported hate crime it would be taken seriously. Because of this, he expected that “before it [hate crime] went down it would go up”.

Councillor Norris also pointed out the there had already been dramatic changes over the last few decades, pointing out that the constant stream of racism meted out to black football players 20 years ago has now become a very rare occurrence - and that, in large part this was due to the football fan community coming together and saying that this kind of abuse was not acceptable.

Councillor Norris described how some parts of the media contributed to creating distrust and fermenting hatred by way they portrayed minority communities. Commenting specifically on a recent story in the Daily Mail which claiming that Ramadan would add to traffic congestion, the councillor made some very heartfelt comments, saying “Shame on them, They know it’s not illegal but they also know that it they can put a little bit of hatred in peoples ears it would stop people getting together [as a community]“.

Councillor Norris describing his vision for a "World Class" Nottingham
Moving onto the demograhics of the council itself, Councillor Norris pointed out that “there are structural things that make it harder for someone who isn’t a white male” to reach the highest levels of the council and that this needed to be dealt with both on the “demand” side by ensuring that minorities are appropriately represented in the council and also on the “supply” side, but ensuring that all of Nottingham’s young people get the change to achieve all they can and compete effectively for these jobs.

Sajid Mohammed
Sajid is the chairnan of Himmah, who organised this event, and he spoke a few words to explain how the event was to encourage people to “”become friends with each other, to know each other, respect each other and to live in harmony in this great city”.

Bring a Tin
Himmah is supporting the work of Notts Refugee Forum and also the NG7 Foodbank, both of whom are providing non-perishable foods to some of the most needy in Nottingham. As part of this effort, Himmah are asking people who attend the events to “Bring a Tin” of food for donation to these two organisations.

The Daily Mail
It is perhaps worth mentioning a little more about the Daily Mail article that councillor Norris mentioned. Headlined “Ramadan 'will cause even more transport chaos during the Olympics as worshippers squeeze on to non-Games lanes' the article states the following:
“Every year during the month of August, vast crowds of worshippers descend on east London - one of the most concentrated Muslim communities in the country - for nightly prayer.”

In reality, the worshippers do not “descend” on east London - they live there. People generally attend mosques that are close to them, either walking or driving very short distances to get there.

More disturbingly, the article is illustrated with a picture showing Muslims praying in a small road, possibly a cul-de-sac, with the same “vast crowds” caption. The image clearly implies that it is typical for Muslims to block whole roads across East London during prayer times.

In reality, the image is from a completely different story, relating to a specific instance of a mosque that does not have sufficient space for worshippers, who then spill out onto the paved area outside. Indeed, so hidden away is the area that the original article has a quote saying “‘You wouldn’t know unless you were looking for it”

And one can see that the article has indeed managed to provoke ill feeling in its readers by looking at the comments (which the Daily Mail CHOSE to leave unmoderated). Here are a few examples:

“The colonisation of Britain continues.”

"Too much to expect this to be treated the same way Christians would be treated.More special treatment."

"I bet you they use the Olympic lanes and nobody will say a word. How many of them will be insured too?"

Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Speech is a wonderful right, and something to be cherished - but we also have a freedom to challenge. And when publications like the Daily Mail adopt a policy of drip feeding negative stories about a particular minority, and no-one in authority challenges them - we are heading to a dark place.

Until Councillor Norris’s comments, BFTF had never heard any politician condemn this kind of article, which leaves one with the feeling that politicians think that the Muslim community will just have to put up with this kind of one-sided reporting. Week in. Week out.

You can check what the Daily Mail published for yourself by going MailOnline and searching for articles with the word "Muslim" over the last 30 days. But be warned, the resulting stream of headlines will look like a page from a far-right website.

And what the Daily Mail reports matters, because it is the worlds leading online newspaper, reaching 45million people in December 2011 alone.

BFTF has asked a local MP for evidence that the Labour Party has challenged the Daily Mail on its output, thus far without success. Incidentally, that same post gives an example of what a waste of space the PCC is.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Food Banks in Nottingham

The most up-to-date list of Foodbanks is perhaps the one kept by NCVS at the link below :

http://www.nottinghamcvs.co.uk/news/article/foodbanks-nottingham-guide

Foodbanks typically ask for donations of non-perishable items like:

Rice, Pasta, Tinned Tomatoes/Veg/Fish/Fruit

Baked Beans, Packet Noodles, Chick Peas, Cooking Oil, Tea Bags,

Long Life Milk, Sugar, Cereals, Toilet Rolls, Toothpaste etc


Benefit delay and benefit re-assessment cause people across the UK to go hungry. Almost 40% of foodbank clients last year experienced benefit delay, often for the most tenuous of reasons. See www.stupidsanctions.tumblr.com for some examples.

Useful contact details:
Hope Nottingham co-ordinate the Trussell Trust food banks in Nottingham.
www.hopenottingham.org.uk

Advice Nottingham network:
www.advicenottingham.org.uk/agencies

For those interested in further reading around food banks, see here and here

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Charming stuff from the School Council

No3 Son has been a member of his school council this year and brought home all his council related paperwork at the end of term today.

The comments from the meetings were often really charming and showed how thoughtful the children were. BFTF hopes that it is ok to print just a few of them to give you a feel for the kind of thing they discussed. Each class had a representative on the council. It's worth remembering that all of these ideas came from the (primary school) children themselves:

27 April : Class 5 think it would be a really good idea to raise money for school by bringing in toys and games we no longer play with and selling them.
Class 3 have been discussing the possibility of helping the elderly people in the area. School Council thought about a tea or coffee morning. They think it would be a valuable experiecne for the elderly and children alike.

16 March : Class 9 mentioned that football is causing problems for the bowlers in cricket (during lunchbreak). The school council discussed this and thought that maybe some of the "run-ups" are far too long.
Class 3 asked whether there was an alternative to ordinary taps in the toilets - something that may help us to save water.

10 February : Class 4 would like a designated handstand wall.

Date N/A : Class 4 complined about the cricket position because the left handers are free to hit it where ever they like, whereas the right handers have to hit it straight. This is not fair and Class 4 would like to move the postion.
Class 6 stated that teachers push in line to get flapjacks and children want this to stop.
Class 10 asked why Yr3's can't be referees.

4 November :Class 3 (Yr5+6) asked to be allowed to do show and tell. They feel it is important to share work just like they younger Year 3 and 4 do.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Are Bank policies causing more burglaries?

Banks are important social institutions, and have a number of roles to play in creating a safe and prosperous community. One of these roles is to provide, for a reasonable fee, with a place for customers to store their valuables. Banks have managed to do this through two world wars, through baby booms and through the economic hardships of the 1970s.

But, for reasons BFTF cannot understand, the last few years have seen many banks remove this facility for customers. Entirely predictably, this has had the result of making burglars rich as they prey on households that are now forced to store their valuables at home.

BFTF became aware of this issue after reading a report at the BBC and also one in the Guardian and raised this at a recent local residents meeting in April (with the result that both the council and the Police have agreed to consider how they can challenge local banks on this issue.

By August, having raised the issue again, been told that the council would challenge local banks, but not having received any feedback that they had done actually done so - decided to spend an hour or two asking Banks in the town centre myself, with the following results:

Barclays
Said they don't provide a safekeeping service as they "just don't have the space".



Santander
Said they don't provide a safekeeping service.


Yorkshire Bank
Said that they had stopped providing a safekeeping service some nine years ago as the insurance costs were no longer affordable.


NatWest
A very polite customer service representative here said that they were honouring existing committments but not offerning a service to any new customers, for "space and insurance" reasons.


HSBC
Alone amongst the banks that BFTF visited, it was HSBC that offered a safekeeping service (for a reasonable fee) to customers who used HSBC as their main current account.


So what should people do?
With so few banks now offering a safekeeping service, BFTF wonders what people should do and hopes to ask the Police for their advice...

UPDATE (03 Sep 12):
Passed on the above information to the council representative who had been at the residents meetings, asking "With most banks having decided to remove this public service facility, who - specifically - should people turn to for safekeeping of jewellery, war medals, house deed etc."

UPDATE (07 Jan 13):
Sent email to council representive asking them if there was any feedback yet from Police on the representatives question to them "is there any correlation between lack of safety deposit boxes and thefts

UPDATE (Jun 2016):
Eventually gave up asking the council representative. Asked for this issue to be raised at a Police Advisory Group, feedback was that the response was not clear. Following yet another spate of burglaries of asian households recently, sent the email below to a senior Policeman that attended a community event.

"Regarding the recent spate of burglaries targeting jewelry in asian households, I think a factor here is that banks have abdicated responsibility for providing a place of safe storage for valuables by stopping the provision of this service at their branches. With the entirely predictable result that asian households are being targeted in jewelry burglaries. I would like the Police to state publically that the banks are failing in their duty and would like to Police to ask the banks to reinstate this facility. And I would like to know what SPECIFIC recommendations the Police and Council have for storing valuables away from the home."

Monday, 16 July 2012

Hiding behind "commercial confidentiality"

BFTF recently heard some very sensible comments about how private companies should behave when undertaking taxpayer funded contracts and thought the infoworth sharing. . .

For example, G4S have recently failed to deliver the number of Olympic security personnel they were contracted to. Regarding this issue, Margaret Hodge MP, from the Public Accounts Committee, made the following comments in a conversation with reporter John Manel on the Radio 4 "PM" programme of Friday 13th Jul:

MH:"What none of us know is how that contract was designed, whether there was a penalty clause in it. Clearly we will have to pursue that point and this brings us to a wider point. More and more, the government chooses to use private companies to deliver public services, and this was a service funded by the taxpayer. It is absolutely imperative that we have total transparency so that you can really make sure that you are not getting ripped off and you are getting value."

JM:“. . neither LOGOC not G4S would talk to me about any penalty clauses, saying that the contract is “commercially confidential” but a Home Office spokesman told me that there are financial penalties if “performance targets” aren’t met"

MH:"Let me just say this first thing : Where public money is being used, hiding behind commercial confidentialty is simply not good enough. If you are a private company that chooses to take a contract that is funded by the taxpayer, you have to be open about this. You cannot hide behind commercial confidentiality and we the taxpayers must know whether we are getting value or whether we are getting ripped off."

JM:"You say this is public money, but whenever I talk to the Home Office it insists this is a contract signed by LOCOG which is a private company."

MH:"LOCOG is a private company that receives public money. This is presicely my point. You cannot have privat ecompanies bidding and securing public contracts and then refusing to be accountable for the way they spend tax-payers money. It is simply not on and not acceptable."

Separately in the programme, Prime Minister David Cameron also commented on the issue, saying “I am absolutely sure that if companies don’t deliver on their contracts they should be pursued for that money”

Friday, 13 July 2012

View from No3 : Celebration of Sport

Some comments from No3 son about the "Celebration of Sport" school sports event he participated in this week:

First we were on so we did an obstacle course. There was a hurdle and a sack that we had to go through, it was dark in the sack but I tried to handle it. Then we did some basketball. I tried to hit it but I missed so when my school cheered I used that as confidence to help me on.

Now football! I tried my best and so I scored. The egg and spoon race was good for my team because we were very goot at it. Luckily, no-one dropped the egg.

Now that we had finished it was the medal ceremony. In third place was Poland. second p;ace was India, first place was France. I was devastated that we didn't win a medal but the good thing was we got to have something to eat.

Now other people were doing different sports, e.g. long jump, 60m sprint, seated throw etc.

In the Yr3 Girls category we had one bronze medallist. The Yr 3 boys did good enough to get a bronze medal but it was close to a silver. Yr 4 girls and boys were miserable because they had no medals.

The Yr 5 girls and boys were celebrationg because they had gold medals in the 60m sprint.




Image Source : Wikipedia

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Papers Behind Paywalls

The government, presumably, wants a public that is educated and engaged with current scientific issues. Scientists certainly want this. And a big chunk of the public also wants this.

But when an ordinary member of the public tries to find an academic article that has been referenced by a news story or a university department, what they often find is that the paper in question is stuck behind a paywall.

So the member of the public stays ignorant of the research. Critically, this means they cannot effectively challenge media or government reports that misrepresent research (Daily Mail, I'm looking at you).

BFTF has decided to keep a log of the instances if finds itself stuck on the plebs side a of a firewall, with the intention of using the resulting examples as evidence in what will be a VERY TECTCHY email to those in Government who can change the situation.

MAR-2013
While trying to write a post about a lecture on fossils, found that relevant research is out of reach of ordinary citizens (but not anti-science creationist groups)
Relevant paper : Terminal Developments in Ediacaran Embryology, Butterfield, N. J. (2011) Science, 334 (6063). 1655 -1656.

FEB-2013
A blog, ironically about the relationship between the public and science, references a paper entitled "Blowin’ in the wind: Short-term weather and belief in anthropogenic climate change" (published in the AMS Journal Weather, Climate, and Society 2013). But when BFTF tried to find the paper, it was hidden behind a paywall.

FEB-2013
Trying to get hold of this paper, which was very relevant to a recent talk at Cafe Sci
Stobart, R. and Wijewardane, A. "Exhaust System Heat Exchanger Design for Thermal Energy Recovery in Passenger Vehicle Applications". IMechE, VTMS 10, Vol. 2011, Vehicle Thermal Management System Conference, Warwick, UK, 2011

JUL-2012
While trying to write a post about the nano-motor research being undertaken at the University of Oxford (and which featured at the 2012 RS Summer Exhibition), wanted to find out more about the mechanisms involved, the paper below might have helped, but I'll never know as it is stuck behind a paywall.
Direct observation of stepwise movement of a synthetic molecular transporter.
Wickham SFJ et all. Nature Nanotechnology 6,166-169.

JUL-2012
Whilst trying to write a post about a public lecture on nanotechnology in Healthcare, had the following issues in finding information:

Double Nanoparticle Layer in a 12th Century Lustreware Decoration: Accident or Technological Mastery?
Philippe Sciau et al., 2009, Journal of Nano Research, 8, 133
Wanted to find out more about the science of lusterware, but the paywall means that I can’t

Materials: Carbon nanotubes in an ancient Damascus sabre.
M. Reibold et al Nature 444, 286 Published online 15 November 2006
Wanted to find out more about the microstructure of Medieval Damascus steel, but the paywall means I couldn't.

Preparation of lotus-leaf-like polystyrene micro- and nanostructure films and its blood compatibility.
J. Mater. Chem., 2009,19, 9025-9029
Wanted to read about synthetic hydrophobic materials, but the paywall means that I couldn't.

Activation of complement by therapeutic liposomes and other lipid excipient-based therapeutic products.
Adv. Drug Delivery Rev. V63, Issue 12, P1020–1030.Janos Szebenia et al
Wanted to read about the mechanism used in one of drugs mentioned in the talk - but the paywall means that I couldn't.

Self-assembly of a nanoscale DNA box with a controllable lid
Nature 459, 73-76 (7 May 2009)
Wanted to read about a box made from DNA mentioned in the talk, but paywall means that I couldn't.

JUL-2012
A visit to the outstanding Summer Exhibition at the Royal Society saw BFTF intrigued by a display by the People of the British Isles DNA mapping project. Wanting to find out more, BFTF visited their website. Finding it a bit light on information, clicked on "Papers related to the People of British Isles project" and then on the rather interesting looking "The peopling of Europe and the cautionary tale of Y chromosome lineage R-M269"
SLAM - A paywall hits BFTF in the face. Guess I'll just have to stay ignorant.

Monday, 9 July 2012

View from No3 : Royal Society Summer Exhibition

Some comments from No3 son about his visit to the Royal Society's Summer Exhibition in London:

First we looked at how smaller bubbles have a different sound that bigger ones. I thought I was hearing things, I was fascinated it was so understandable.

Moing on it was very emotional to feel how it's like to be an elderly person. It must be hard to drink a cup of tea when your hand is shaking but I go the hang of it. I think this might be the best experience in my life.



Image Source : Wikipedia

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Emotions of No3

No3 son was writing a poem recently and, to encourage him, BFTF ofered to put it on the blog if it was written neatly.

It was, so here goes :

I feel,
As bright as a bulb,
As smart as uniform,
As quiet as a mouse,
As loud as a class,
As hard working as mother nature,
As sharp as a sword,
As fast as a hare,
As soft as snow,
As sticky as blu-tack.




Image Source : Wikipedia

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Hope and Homelessness Commission Report

Nottingham Citizens for Sanctuary today released their report on destitution in Nottingham at a packed event held at St Nicholas Church in central Nottingham.

Entitled “Homelessness and Hope”, the report summarises the work of a six person commission who surveyed the extent of destitution amongst those seeking sanctuary over a three month period. The report was based on over 100 interviews with destitute asylum seekers and received dozens of expert testimonies.

The aims of the commission were twofold : to ensure that vulnerable people did not suffer unnecessarily and that tax payers money was used effectively by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS )

The Commission report identified three main areas of concern, which are listed below, together with a relevant testimony and some of the reports recommendations :

The state of Asylum Support Service accommodation provision.
“On March 20th 2012 G4S won the contract to provide NASS accommodation in Nottingham and across the East Midlands. The details of the contract specify high standards of service, while at the same time the total value of the contract has fallen significantly…“There has been some excellent work done, particularly by the local authority, yet we have identified instances where the service has been woefully inadequate - little better than a taxpayer funded giveaway for shoddy landlords.”

Testimony : “The house was virtually uninhabitable. There were fluids dripping from the bathroom coming directly into the kitchen cooking area. . . the stench from the fluids made me sick...after a year our housing officer explained that the landlord had refused to undertake the necessary repairs”

Recommendations : Frontline personnel should receive training to ensure they have an understanding of the asylum process from the viewpoint of the client.
A welcome service should be set up to orientate new arrivals.

The extent and severity of destitution in Nottingham
“We were shocked then to discover 26 children currently living destitute in our city, 22 of whom were receiving no support from Nottingham City Council’s Children’s Services.”

“74 of the 105 households had been destitute, those households that are or had been destitute contained 69 children “

Testimony : “At that time the conditions we were living in were terrible - I was surviving with my two children on £5 per week - we could only afford bread, sugar and tea. I could manage on one slice of bread per day, my oldest son on two. For my youngest son I used to boil the bread in water to make a porridge so that it would last longer.”

Recommendations : Unused or undesriable property should be made available to those who are destitute in the city.
A protocol should be defined to ensure that Childrens Services deal with destitute children appropriately, thus saving indirect costs.

Problems faced transitioning to normal life after receiving leave to remain.
"If individuals receive a positive decision they are given 28 days before the termination of NASS support in which to arrange their transition and integration into mainstream British society, if the decision is negative this period is reduced to 21 days...It is currently recognised by most public authorities that “transition is not being got right”"

Testimony : For one month I was homeless. With no support I had to sleep outside: I tried to sleep in the mosque and was refused, I slept in a park outside Broadmarsh Centre under the bridge or spent all night in the bus station. There was nowhere for me to wash my face and I had to wait till the shops opened before I could go to the toilet. There was nowhere for me to shower for over two weeks.”

Recommendations : Relevant agencies should, as a matter of urgency, develop a pilot comprehensive transition process for those receiving positive decisions.



The launch of the Hope and Homlessness Commission Report

The event at St Nicholas’ was attended by Gail Adams, from the UKBA and Jules Bickers from NASS accommodation contractor G4S, both of whom were asked to make a series of commitments by the commission.

What was surprising to BFTF was the extent to which UKBA and G4S accepted the proposals for improvements made by the commission and the way in which they shared many of the aims that the commission had - to provide a sufficiently good, efficient and timely service to those seeking sanctuary and to ensure that taxpayers money was not wasted. Both agreed to provide written responses to the commissions questions within 2 months.

Gail Adams commented positively on the fact that she had been involved in the work of the commission, saying that "Progress is best made when we work together."

Commenting on the commissions proposal for a "welcome pack" for new arrivals, Gail commented that "todays turnout is testament to how supportive you are in Nottingham to such a proposal."

She also mentioned that the "Regional Strategic Migration Partnership" was a good place to discuss many of the proposals being discussed, as key stakeholders were already a part of this organisation.

Regarding the quality of accomodation, Gail stated that "the tax payer does not pay for poor accomodation... but we need to know where [poor housing is]".

Jules Bicken, from G4S was also postive about the way the commission had conducted itself, commenting that, "we have appreciated the tone of the meetings we have held". He also appeared keen to ensure that G4S moved forward in terms of the quality of its service, saying "we hope we will, through our actions, show a committment to improved performance".



Destitute men, women and children are living in Nottingham

The whole event was a real testament to the power of community organising and the way in which meaningful dialogue can be undertaken with statutory organisations. It was particularly encouraging to see that UKBA and G4S were happy to agree to many of the committments that the commission asked them to sign up to.

BFTF looks forward with interest to seeing how the engagement develops over time.

In closing, one of the commissioners suggested that it listeners had been shocked by some of the testimonies they had heard, they should use their democratic rights to hold their elected councillors and MP's accountable for the way people were being treated in Nottingham.

The HOST project, where people lodge one of Nottinghams destitute people on a temporay basis was also mentioned as a project people might want to particiapte in.

And lastly, a number of volunteers are required to resource some of the initatives that the commission wish to set with UKBA and G4S.

The Commission was supported by a wide range of organisations including NNRF, NAT, the Red Cross, The Anglican Diocese of Nottingham and Southwell, the UNISON East Midlands Region, St Barnabas Catholic Cathedral, Himmah, Faith Action Nottingham and Refugee Action.

You can find the report here : http://www.citizensuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Homelessness-and-Hope-Report.pdf

Update 10th Nov 2014:
Quick rant:
It seems to BFTF that the debate on immigration is often presented either by those on the right (who ignore the UK's obligations, the fact that conflict drives refugee migration and that there are many injustices in the way the system works) and those on the left (who ignore that fact that some people lie when claiming asylum). This can make it hard to participate in the debate if ones position is somewhere in the middle ground.
Rant over

An interesting contribution has been made by Roda Madziva, Vivien Lowndes and Saul Becker at the "Making Science Public" blog. In two posts (here and here), the team investigate many aspects of the "Go Home Now" immigration vans used by the Home Office in 2013, including the history of migration controls in the UK, the reaction to the vans by other stakeholders, and the effect they had on those seeking asylum.

Something that struck BFTF while reading the posts was the question of why these vans had only been used to persuade failed asylum seekers to hand themselves in, why were there not also similar vans going round the richest parts of London suggesting that tax evaders should also 'fess up or face the prospect of doing some bird?

Or indeed a van parked up permanently outside the Houses of Parliament with a big sign urging MPs not to lie to the electorate.


Sunday, 1 July 2012

Climate Change is a "Wicked Problem"

NSB read a fascinating article on the "Making Science Public" blog at the University of Nottingham. Written by Professor Brigitte Nerlich, it compared the media coverage of the original (Rio) and current (Rio+20) climate change conferences, noting how the original conference had a large amount of positive coverage whereas the current conference has received scant media coverage.

But what really caught NSB's imagination was the description of Climate Change as being a "Wicked Problem".
A link to a Wikipedia article explained that the term "Wicked Problem" was originally coined to describe problems in social planning but had now become more widespread. Its defining characteristics are that :

1.The problem is not understood until after the formulation of a solution.
2.Wicked problems have no stopping rule.
3.Solutions to wicked problems are not right or wrong.
4.Every wicked problem is essentially novel and unique.
5.Every solution to a wicked problem is a 'one shot operation.'
6.Wicked problems have no given alternative solutions.

Examples being global climate change, healthcare, pandemic influenza and international drug trafficking.

Wicked problems have also been described from a social science point of view and it is here that one can see how they describe the issues facing climate change research with a rather uncanny level of accuracy:

1.The solution depends on how the problem is framed and vice-versa (i.e. the problem definition depends on the solution)
2.Stakeholders have radically different world views and different frames for understanding the problem.
3.The constraints that the problem is subject to and the resources needed to solve it change over time.
4.The problem is never solved definitively.

Winningly, climate change also falls into a special category of problems known as "Super Wicked Problems", so called becasue they have the following additional characteristics:
1.Time is running out.
2.No central authority.
3.Those seeking to solve the problem are also causing it.
4.Policies discount the future irrationally.

It's all thought-provoking stuff, and NSB is looking forward to using the term "wicked problem" with some regularity in the future. If the opportunity to describe something as "having a degree of wickedness" presents itself, well, that will certainly be a bonus.



For some strange reason, a sunset feels like a good metaphor
for the uncertainty of climate change

Image Source : Wikipedia

Attacks on Muslim Shrines (moved)