Now showing items 31020-31039 of 49060

    • P2P Network Lending, Loss Given Default and Credit Risks

      Guangyou Zhou; Yijia Zhang; Sumei Luo (MDPI AG, 2018-03-01)
      Peer-to-peer (P2P) network lending is a new mode of internet finance that still holds credit risk as its main risk. According to the internal rating method of the New Basel Accord, in addition to the probability of default, loss given default is also one of the important indicators of evaluation credit risks. Proceeding from the perspective of loss given default (LGD), this paper conducts an empirical study on the probability distribution of LGDs of P2P as well as its influencing factors with the transaction data of Lending Club. The results show that: (1) the LGDs of P2P loans presents an obvious unimodal distribution, the peak value is relatively high and tends to concentrate with the decrease of the borrower’s credit rating, indicating that the distribution of LGDs of P2P lending is similar to that of unsecured bonds; (2) The total asset of the borrower has no significant impact on LGD, the credit rating and the debt-to-income ratio exert a significant negative impact, while the term and amount of the loan produce a relatively strong positive impact. Therefore, when evaluating the borrower’s repayment ability, it is required to pay more attention to its assets structure rather than the size of its total assets. When carrying out risk control for the P2P platform, it is necessary to give priority to the control of default rate.
    • Pacing in Time-Limited Ultramarathons from 6 to 24 Hours—The Aspects of Age, Sex and Performance Level

      Hagen Deusch; Pantelis T. Nikolaidis; José Ramón Alvero-Cruz; Thomas Rosemann; Beat Knechtle (MDPI AG, 2021-03-01)
      (1) Background: Compared with marathon races, pacing in time-limited ultramarathons has only been poorly discussed in the literature. The aim of the present study was to analyze the interaction of performance level, age and sex with pacing during 6 h, 12 h or 24 h time-limited ultramarathons. (2) Methods: Participants (<i>n</i> = 937, age 48.62 ± 11.80 years) were the finishers in 6 h (<i>n</i> = 40, 17 women and 23 men), 12 h (<i>n</i> = 232, 77 women and 155 men) and 24 h (<i>n</i> = 665, 166 women and 409 men) ultramarathons. The coefficient of variation (CV), calculated as SD/mean, was used to described pacing. Low scores of CV denoted a more even pacing, and vice versa. A two-way analysis of variance examined the main effects and interactions of sex and race duration on age, race speed and pacing. (3) Results: More men participated in the longer race distances than in the shorter ones and men were older and faster than women. Comparing the 6 h, 12 h and 24 h races, the finishers in the 6 h were the fastest, the finishers in the 12 h were the oldest and the finishers in the 24 h showed the most variable pacing. Furthermore, the faster running speed in the 12 h (women, r = −0.64; men, r = −0.49, <i>p</i> < 0.001) and the 24 h (r = −0.47 in women and men, <i>p</i> < 0.001) was related to less variable pacing. (4) Conclusions: These data might help runners and coaches to choose the the proper duration of a race and training programs for their athletes.
    • Pack for Sustainability: Navigating through Uncharted Educational Landscapes

      Ólafur Páll Jónsson; Allyson Macdonald (MDPI AG, 2021-12-01)
      The worlds of education and learning have for the last few decades been characterized by reactions to the detrimental human impact on the environment, which is measured on such a scale that scholars now refer to the present epoch as the Anthropocene. In order to develop ideas and practices that could guide us into place-based research and an emancipatory relationship between pedagogy and knowledge, the focus needs to shift from what to teach and why (Knowledge and Curriculum) and concern over how learning is evaluated (Assessment) to how we should teach (Pedagogy). The acronym PACK (Pedagogy, Assessment, Curriculum, and Knowledge) turned into the idea of packing for a trip into uncharted educational territory, taking with us several gadgets that might be useful. Our own journey emerged as a dialogue between a philosopher and a science educator. Building on experiences from global work to regional research and a university chairmanship for sustainability, we tried to pack some big ideas for educators to take along, helping them navigate the educational landscapes ahead.
    • Packaging as an Offline Method to Share Information: Evidence from the Food and Beverage Industry in the Republic of Korea

      Bulim Choi; Kang-Dae Lee (MDPI AG, 2019-11-01)
      With the growing participation by diverse stakeholders in the total flow of products, as seen with supply chains and logistics, it is becoming increasingly complicated to decide what information is to be shared and who is to be a partner. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of packaging as an offline method to share information in the total channel. This is because packaging improves communication among stakeholders and is normally part of the first contact between them and the product. Thus, it has the strategic potential to share product information that meets stakeholders’ needs. To accomplish this objective, we built a research framework that depicts four hypotheses and tested it with structural equation modeling (SEM). Data were collected by surveys and measured for statistical analysis. After identifying the role of packaging, we showed nine specific related variables and the information’s perceived effects on stakeholders and their directions and relative values. This will help future researchers to discuss packaging’s extended roles, the needs of information separation, and its priority to be shared to help executives develop packaging strategies as an offline means to share information. Additionally, as packaging is considered to be an information generator, it gives participants the opportunity to extend its roles and to assign additional information to the product along the offline flow of goods from manufacturers to end users.
    • Packaging Innovations to Reduce Food Loss and Waste: Are Italian Manufacturers Willing to Invest?

      Antonella Cammarelle; Mariarosaria Lombardi; Rosaria Viscecchia (MDPI AG, 2021-02-01)
      The target 12.3 of the 2030 Agenda by the United Nations (UN) calls for halving per capita global food loss and waste. In this regard, the Food & Drink industry (F&D) could play a crucial role in reducing food waste and improving food safety by adopting healthy and eco-innovation packaging. Thus, this paper aims to investigate the F&D manufacturers’ willingness to invest in packaging innovations, such as active, intelligent, and compostable ones to achieve the UN target. In order to reach the stated objective, a multiple case study methodology was developed and administered to a sample of Italian micro and small-medium entrepreneurs located in the Apulia region. Results show that many firms were aware of their need for packaging innovation and of the available technological opportunity. However, only the F&D manufacturers who showed a Real demand, according to a taxonomy approach which also considers the Potential and Latent demand for the innovation, were effectively prompt to invest. Finally, most of the interviewed manufacturers were willing to invest in at least one packaging innovation, choosing mainly between the active packaging and the compostable one.
    • Packaging-Related Food Losses and Waste: An Overview of Drivers and Issues

      Bernhard Wohner; Erik Pauer; Victoria Heinrich; Manfred Tacker (MDPI AG, 2019-01-01)
      Packaging is often criticized as a symbol of today’s throwaway society, as it is mostly made of plastic, which is in itself quite controversial, and is usually used only once. However, as packaging’s main function is to protect its content and 30% of all food produced worldwide is lost or wasted along the supply chain, optimized packaging may be one of the solutions to reduce this staggering amount. Developing countries struggle with losses in the supply chain before food reaches the consumer. Here, appropriate packaging may help to protect food and prolong its shelf life so that it safely reaches these households. In developed countries, food tends to be wasted rather at the household’s level due to wasteful behavior. There, packaging may be one of the drivers due to inappropriate packaging sizes and packaging that is difficult to empty. When discussing the sustainability of packaging, its protective function is often neglected and only revolves around the type and amount of material used for production. In this review, drivers, issues, and implications of packaging-related food losses and waste (FLW) are discussed, as well as the implication for the implementation in life cycle assessments (LCA).
    • Pain of Sustainability: Limiting the Number of Times Homeowners Can Receive Disaster Relief

      Michael R. Greenberg; Marc D. Weiner (MDPI AG, 2014-07-01)
      A sustainable future for communities that are highly vulnerable to natural hazard events means not locating new sensitive land uses, requiring existing land uses to be retrofitted in order to obtain insurance, and implementing other restrictive policies. Our objective was to measure the willingness of U.S. adult residents of New Jersey, a state devastated three times by major tropical storms in 1999, 2011, and 2012, to agree with a very restrictive policy—placing a limit on the number of times homeowners may receive financial disaster relief from natural hazard events. Using random digit dialing for landline (65%) and cell phone (35%), the authors collected 875 surveys of New Jersey residents in 2013, four months after Hurricane Sandy devastated much of New Jersey. Fifty-nine percent of respondents agreed with this painful policy. They disproportionately were older males who were fiscally conservative, and they took this stance despite personally believing that global climate change-related natural hazard events are real and are a threat. In New Jersey and other states, officials and others responsible for securing public agreement with these programs face a difficult challenge of implementing these programs because of public mistrust of state and federal government as initiators and implementers.
    • Painting-Emotion Matching Technology Learning System through Repetition

      Taemin Lee; Sanghyun Seo (MDPI AG, 2019-08-01)
      People’s interest in paintings has increased as artists have easier access to an audience. However, at times, laypersons may not understand the significance of a painting. With the development of computer science, it has become possible to analyze paintings using machines, but some limitations remain. In this paper, we present a learning tool to help analyze the sensitivity of a given painting. To this end, the proposed system provides users with the ability to predict the emotions expressed by a painting through repeated learning of a matched painting. Using this learning tool, users can improve their ability to understand paintings.
    • Pairing Co-Creation with Food and Wine Experiences—A Holistic Perspective of Tourist Experiences in Dão, a Portuguese Wine Region

      Mariana Carvalho; Elisabeth Kastenholz; Maria João Carneiro (MDPI AG, 2021-12-01)
      The literature increasingly recognises the value of food and wine tourism for destinations’ competitiveness. Given the scarcity of conceptual and empirical studies on co-creation within this field of special interest tourism, this paper aims to enhance the understanding of how visitors and supply agents co-create value in food and wine experiences, by analysing such experiences in the Portuguese wine region Dão. For this purpose, a qualitative study was undertaken, analysing visitors’ and tourism agents’ perceptions regarding five food and wine experiences: food and wine pairing, wine tasting with food pairing, harvesting, a culinary workshop and a wine workshop. The discourse obtained via in-depth semi-structured interviews from sixteen visitors and three supply agents was content analysed, supported by QSR NVivo 12. The results show that dimensions of the conceptually defined co-creation experience were, indeed, perceived in the visitors’ discourse, namely interaction (the most prominent in wine tasting and harvesting), active participation, engagement and personalization (the latter least reported). Sensorial engagement emerged from the discourse as an additional dimension that deserved attention. The agents’ perspective confirmed the importance of these dimensions in experience design. This paper identifies theoretical and managerial contributions for destination management organisations, wine tourism agents and marketers, as well as relevant paths for future research in this field.
    • Pairwise Voting to Rank Touristic Destinations Based on Preference Valuation

      Francisco E. Cabrera; Manuel Amaya; Gustavo Fabián Vaccaro Witt; José Ignacio Peláez (MDPI AG, 2019-10-01)
      This paper presents a novel approach for ranking tourist destinations based on the eigenvector method for pairwise voting (EMPV). The proposed approach relies solely on pairwise comparisons instead of direct-vote polling. The EMPV method was tested over a real-world case application to rank various tourist destinations in the Costa del Sol region, Spain, and its outcome was compared against a polling approach using a Likert-type scale. Results show that the EMPV and the Likert-based approach provided different rankings of preferred tourist destinations. Furthermore, both the EMPV and the Likert-based approaches shared the same preference patterns per ranking position, thus confirming that the reported predilection of the tourist is independent of the measurement approach. Finally, results show that the ranking produced by the EMPV methodology was highly related to the real number of visitors of the Costa del Sol tourist destinations, surpassing the Likert-based approach in both ordering and value similarities.
    • Pakchoi Antioxidant Improvement and Differential Rhizobacterial Community Composition under Organic Fertilization

      Jianli Liao; Jun Ye; Yun Liang; Muhammad Khalid; Danfeng Huang (MDPI AG, 2019-04-01)
      A high level of antioxidants in organic-produced vegetables has been attributed to soil conditions; however, little is known about the relationships between antioxidants and rhizobacteria under different fertilization treatments. A pot trial for pakchoi (Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis L.) was conducted under greenhouse conditions with: (1) control; (2) chemical fertilizer; and (3) organic fertilizer. The responses of the plant, soil properties, and rhizobacterial community were measured after 45 days of cultivation. Fertilization increased soil nutrient levels and pakchoi productivity and the reshaped rhizobacterial community structure, while no differences in rhizobacterial abundance and total diversity were observed. Generally, most plant antioxidants were negatively correlated with inorganic nitrogen (N) and positively correlated to organic N in soil. The genera of Arthrospira and Acutodesmus contained differential rhizobacteria under chemical fertilizer treatment, which are known as copiotrophs. In addition, the addition of a chemical fertilizer may stimulate organic substance turnover by the enrichment of organic compound degraders (e.g., Microbacterium and Chitinophaga) and the promotion of predicted functional pathways involved in energy metabolism. Several beneficial rhizobacteria were associated with organic fertilizer amended rhizosphere including the genera Bacillus, Mycobacterium, Actinomycetospora, and Frankia. Furthermore, Bacillus spp. were positively correlated with plant biomass and phenolic acid. Moreover, predictive functional profiles of the rhizobacterial community involved in amino acid metabolism and lipid metabolism were significantly increased under organic fertilization, which were positively correlated with plant antioxidant activity. Overall, our study suggests that the short-term application of chemical and organic fertilizers reshapes the rhizobacterial community structure, and such changes might contribute to the plant’s performance.
    • Paleohydrogeology of the Karstic System of Fuentetoba Spring (Soria, Spain): An Interdisciplinary Approach

      Eugenio Sanz Pérez; Cristina Fonolla; Ignacio Menéndez Pidal; Pablo Rosas Rodriguez (MDPI AG, 2021-06-01)
      As a preliminary phase in the conservation and sustainable management of a karst system in Fuentetoba, Soria, Spain, an interdisciplinary study was carried out to determine its hydrogeological evolution. The hydrogeological history of this aquifer system began during the late Miocene, where discharges were driven by paleo-emergences in the moor, and associated conduits were developed under phreatic (or vadose) conditions—for example, the upper syngenetic galleries in the main known karst cave (Majada del Cura cave). Later on, the nearby karstic massifs, a general flattening of the relief, occurred during the Quaternary Period, during which the karstic base level had been in decline. The aquifer flow was then derived and modified towards the Fuentetoba spring from the earliest stages through the galleries of the aforementioned cave. The observations made in this cave indicate the existence of a unique type of hydrogeological organization. The hypogean network is the result of the excavation of the same water flow that has been entrenching and abandoning the vadose regimen toward the free regimen. The dating of the tuffaceous buildings, associated with the emergences, indicates that since almost the Middle Pleistocene, flow lines have converged in the Fuentetoba spring, inducing a high grade of karstification in the saturated zone of the syncline basin. Moreover, a major drainage conduit was developed by dissolution. During the late Upper Pleistocene, an essential component of the groundwater flow had been derived towards the source of the Mazos River spring. Tufa and paleogour datings in caves indicate that the aquifer has undergone different climatic stages during the latest Quaternary and, therefore, different feeding and recharge processes. These tufas and paleogours are interrelated as well, as they are associated with the warm stages during the most recent Quaternary, according to the regional context, when there was less natural recharge. The simulation of the springs’ flow enabled an approximate quantification of the variation in the aquifer’s hydraulic balance during the different climatic stages. For example, during the last glaciation, the natural recharge was impacted by snowmelt and increased by 160%.
    • Palestine Energy Policy for Photovoltaic Generation: Current Status and What Should Be Next?

      Tamer Khatib; Amin Bazyan; Hiba Assi; Sura Malhis (MDPI AG, 2021-03-01)
      Most of the consumed energy in Palestine comes from Israel. Meanwhile, the Israeli government controls the amount of electricity for Palestinians due to political reasons. This has led to many electricity shortages, prompting the Palestinians to invest in grid connected photovoltaic systems to mitigate electricity shortages. However, the lack of experience and loose energy policies have negatively affected the electricity distribution network in Palestine. Thus, this paper aims to discuss the current energy policy model for photovoltaic generation in Palestine and the challenges facing it. Moreover, 15 photovoltaic systems are selected in this research for technical and economical evaluation, to first show the typical performance of photovoltaic systems in Palestine, and second, to prove that there are failure cases in many systems due to a number of behavioral and structural barriers. Finally, the paper proposes a suggestion of unbundling transmission lines in the region to address the current critical status of photovoltaic investment in Palestine. As a result, the typical average yield factor of photovoltaic systems in Palestine is in the range of 1368–1816 kWh/kWp per year with a payback period of 5.5–7.4 years. However, the percentage of failure for the installed systems is found to be 47%. Meanwhile, the low awareness and lack of non-technical information are the main behavioral barriers, while grid infrastructure, lack of technical standards and staff training as well as loose and discouraging policies are the most dominant structural barriers.
    • Pandapipes: An Open-Source Piping Grid Calculation Package for Multi-Energy Grid Simulations

      Daniel Lohmeier; Dennis Cronbach; Simon Ruben Drauz; Martin Braun; Tanja Manuela Kneiske (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
      The increasing complexity of the design and operation evaluation process of multi-energy grids (MEGs) requires tools for the coupled simulation of power, gas and district heating grids. In this work, we analyze a number of applicable tools and find that most of them do not allow coupling of infrastructures, oversimplify the grid model or are based on inaccessible source code. We introduce the open source piping grid simulation tool pandapipes that—in interaction with pandapower—addresses three crucial criteria: clear data structure, adaptable MEG model setup and performance. In an introduction to pandapipes, we illustrate how it fulfills these criteria through its internal structure and demonstrate how it performs in comparison to STANET<sup>®</sup>. Then, we show two case studies that have been performed with pandapipes already. The first case study demonstrates a peak shaving strategy as an interaction of a local electricity and district heating grid in a small neighborhood. The second case study analyzes the potential of a power-to-gas device to provide flexibility in a power grid while considering gas grid constraints. These cases show the importance of performing coupled simulations for the design and analysis of future energy infrastructures, as well as why the software should fulfill the three criteria.
    • Pandemic or Environmental Socio-Economic Stressors Which Have Greater Impact on Food Security in the Barishal Division of Bangladesh: Initial Perspectives from Agricultural Officers and Farmers

      Sayeda Sabrina Ali; Md. Raju Ahmad; Jalal Uddin Mohammad Shoaib; Mohammad Aliuzzaman Sheik; Mohammad Imam Hoshain; Rebecca L. Hall; Katrina A. Macintosh; Paul N. Williams (MDPI AG, 2021-05-01)
      The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent protectionary lockdowns have had a dramatic impact on agricultural production globally. Barishal division is the ‘grain-basket’ of Bangladesh and a main rice cultivation centre within the country. This study captures perspectives on the environmental socioeconomic stressors impacting primary production in the coastal region of Barishal, and the impact of the first wave of the global pandemic. In our methodology, a cross-sectional survey is carried out amongst agriculture officers and farmers focusing on land management practices, environmental stressors, and the consequences of the pandemic on winter crop harvests and wet season production. A total number of 234 people participated, of which 31 were agriculture officers and 203 were farmers. Government officers completed an online questionnaire, while farmer responses were collected through Focus Group Discussion. The results show that despite the lockdown, 76% of responders claimed that they had harvested more than 80% of the cultivated winter rice. Other crops, such as fruits and vegetables, were less successfully returned. Despite food production pressures, land capacity was not fully utilised, with a significant/notable proportion of fields left fallow, principally due to periodic flooding events that sufferer concurrently from soil organic matter depletion. Upazila, not severely waterlogged, had salinity problems to contend with. While transportation restrictions and labour shortages were key constraints arising from the impact of COVID-19 on both agricultural production and post harvesting (processing, distribution, and utilisation). Current storage facilities for perishable produce, such as fruit, were found to be lacking, which further compounded access to such food items. The COVID-19 pandemic shocked agricultural productivity and food supply within the Barishal division. However, despite managing to return a successful rice harvest during the lockdown, it was found that the pre-existing environmental stressors arising from cyclones and flooding continued to be the primary threat to agriculture, even during a global pandemic. Our findings have been used to inform management options to increase resilience in the region.
    • Pandemic-Induced Qualitative Changes in the Process of University Studies from the Perspective of University Authorities

      Vida Navickiene; Valentina Dagiene; Egle Jasute; Rita Butkiene; Daina Gudoniene (MDPI AG, 2021-09-01)
      The pandemic COVID-19 period in education has brought many challenges to all organizations. The activities of the higher educational institutions are being affected and the situation may last for a long time. Under the current circumstances, it is important to shift to distance learning through online processes and improve educational processes at all organizational levels. Institutions have to ensure successful distance or remote learning process by identifying their opportunities, meeting challenges, and establishing the sustainable quality factors for remote or distance learning. This study aimed at identifying the pandemic-induced qualitative changes in studies that have occurred at the levels of university authorities, lecturers, and students. Universities of Lithuania were taken as a case study. The novelty of the research lies in the fact that the focus of analysis is not on the negative effects of the pandemic observed in higher education studies but on finding positive qualitative changes that are also of importance to future studies. Phenomenographic qualitative research strategy was chosen in the research and 15 in-depth semi-structured interviews with experts in university studies were conducted. Seven categories were distinguished during the research representing qualitative changes in studies at three levels—authorities, lecturers, and students. The discussed levels seemed to have a mutual effect on each other. The external motivation of leaders and the support and establishment of work and online study conditions encouraged both external and internal qualitative changes in studies from the perspective of lecturers as well as students.
    • Panel Econometric Analysis on Mobile Payment Transactions and Traditional Banks Effort toward Financial Accessibility in Sub-Sahara Africa

      Cephas Paa Kwasi Coffie; Hongjiang Zhao; Isaac Adjei Mensah (MDPI AG, 2020-01-01)
      The financial landscape of sub-Sahara Africa is undergoing major changes due to the advent of FinTech, which has seen mobile payments boom in the region. This paper examines the salient role of mobile payments in traditional banks’ drive toward financial accessibility in sub-Sahara Africa by using panel econometric approaches that consider the issues of independencies among cross-sectional residuals. Using data from the World Development Index (WDI) 2011−2017 on 11 countries in the region, empirical results from cross-sectional dependence (CD) tests, panel unit root test, panel cointegration test, and the fully modified ordinary least squares (FMOLS) approach indicates that (i) the panel time series data are cross-sectionally independent, (ii) the variables have the same order of integration and are cointegrated, and (iii) growth in mobile payment transactions had a significant positive relationship with formal account ownership, the number of ATMs, and number of new bank branches in the long-run. The paper therefore confirms that the institutional structure of traditional banks that makes them competitive, irrespective of emerging disruptive technologies, has stimulated overall financial accessibility in the region leading to overall sustainable growth in the financial sector. We conclude the paper with feasible policy suggestions.
    • Panel FMOLS Model Analysis of the Effects of Livestock Support Policies on Sustainable Animal Presence in Turkey

      Hilmi Erdal; Gülistan Erdal (MDPI AG, 2020-04-01)
      This paper studied the effects of livestock support policies applied in Turkey. The effects of the support policies were built upon the change in the cattle presence data. Full Modified Ordinary Least Square (FMOLS) model was used in the analysis. In the panel dataset which was created for the study, the time period was taken as the years between 2004 and 2014 and the cross-section was 26 sub-regions. The results of panel FMOLS test for both the total livestock supports and each support component presents important details. According to the results of the analyses, a 1.0% increase in livestock supports leads to a 0.3% increase in animal presence in Turkey. On the other hand, it is stated that the utilization rate of the support payments is high in the western regions, whereas it is comparatively low in the eastern and interior regions in Turkey although the appliance of the policies is carried out in the same way, since animal presence in western regions in terms of fertile races is higher. This situation reveals the importance of breeders of high conscience, educational level, and agricultural income besides organized associations and provincial organizations.
    • Paper Sensors Based on Fluorescence Changes of Carbon Nanodots for Optical Detection of Nanomaterials

      Evie L. Papadopoulou; Giulia Biffi; Anitha Senthamizhan; Beatriz Martín-García; Riccardo Carzino; Roman Krahne; Athanassia Athanassiou (MDPI AG, 2021-10-01)
      A paper sensor was designed in order to detect the presence of nanomaterials, such as ZnO and silica nanoparticles, as well as graphene nanoplatelets (GnP), based on fluorescence changes of carbon nanodots. Paper strips were functionalized with carbon nanodots using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as binder. The carbon nanodots were highly fluorescent and, hence, rendered the (cellulosic) paper stripes emissive. In the presence of silica and ZnO nanoparticles, the fluorescence emission of the carbon nanodots was quenched and the emission decay was shortened, whereas in the presence of GnP only emission quenching occurred. These different photoluminescence (PL) quenching mechanisms, which are evident from lifetime measurements, convey selectivity to the sensor. The change in fluorescence of the carbon dot-functionalized paper is also evident to the naked eye under illumination with a UV lamp, which enables easy detection of the nanomaterials. The sensor was able to detect the nanomaterials upon direct contact, either by dipping it in their aqueous dispersions, or by sweeping it over their powders. The use of the proposed optical sensor permits the detection of nanomaterials in a straightforward manner, opening new ways for the development of optical sensors for practical applications.
    • Paradigm Found? Immanent Critique to Tackle Interdisciplinarity and Normativity in Science for Sustainable Development

      Chad S. Boda; Turaj Faran (MDPI AG, 2018-10-01)
      The ambition of this two-part article is to argue for immanent critique as a research strategy in sustainability studies. We do this by picking up and developing two central, cross-cutting themes in sustainability research, namely interdisciplinarity and normativity. It is widely suggested that the problem-driven and solution-focused orientation in sustainability studies necessitates interdisciplinarity and an engagement with questions of normativity, each creating problems regarding how science is conducted. For interdisciplinarity, questions remain regarding by what scientific procedure rational (i.e., non-arbitrary) interdisciplinarity can be accomplished. For normativity, it is unclear whether normativity can be addressed scientifically, or only politically; in other words, can normativity be objectively incorporated in sustainability research, and if so, how? Ultimately, the paper asks and answers the following questions: when should a researcher move from one discipline to another in sustainability research and, how do we judge the validity of the normative values that are deemed necessary for sustainability? In Part I, we show the silences, gaps, vagueness and inadequacies of how these themes are currently addressed in sustainability science literature, and from this move to propose immanent critique as a potential strategy for dealing with them in a scientific manner. In Part II, we exemplify our strategy by applying it to re-construct the debate over sustainable development, by far the most prominent topical focus in sustainability science research, producing a novel systematized typology of sustainable development approaches in the process. We conclude with reflections on how this paper amounts to an initial contribution to the construction of a Lakatosian research programme in sustainability studies.