Transplanting Technology: Dr. Michael DeBakey and Cold War Technology Transfer (updated)

Circulating Now from NLM

Heidi Morefield, MSc, will give the annual Michael E. DeBakey Lecture on May 24, 2018 at 2:00 ET in the Lister Hill Auditorium at the National Library of Medicine. Ms. Morefield is a doctoral candidate in the Department of the History of Medicine at  The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland and a 2017 NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellow in the History of Medicine. Follow her on Twitter @heidimorefield. Circulating Now interviewed her about her research and upcoming lecture.

Circulating Now: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do?

An informal outdoor portrait.Heidi Morefield: I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. My dissertation focuses on the history of “appropriate technology” in global health. I trace the concept from its early intellectual roots through to its implementation in American foreign aid…

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Book – Russia’s foreign policy – change and continuity in national identity, Andrei P Tsygankov

Just started to read – to try to understand promotion of Russia!s cultural identity in context of international relations – have borrowed from Roehampton uni library – this is 4th edition published 2015.

More recent articles from Tsygankov:

Photo of book cover

#bruneldigitalexams – digital assessment – updated

Presentations now available online

Will update & republish this post throughout today

Brunel (use Blackboard) had HEFCE grant for evaluating pilot – using Uniwise (has open API, can integrate with Moodle):

In Scandinavia, exams are any type of summative assessment, in UK, generally means timed exams.

Dr Simon Kent, Brunel – digital exams

Previously low engagement with electronic submission/exams. Pilot in Engineering & Physical Sciences, up to 3k students.UG & PG. How to scale – tech problems easier to fix than organisational ones. HEFCE grant received during scaling. 18 BYOD exams early 2018, going to 25 in a couple of weeks time.

students don’t want to prepare, staff don’t want too much change but like exams,  admin staff positive until system goes live but like post exam processing

Broadly going successfully – lessons/issues include power, wifi,laptop loans, tech support.

Increased political pressure – less resources, want high standards without additional funding. Initiative overload for staff & students, digital assessment not just another thing to do.

Creating a new electronic management of assessment workflow:

Dr Torben K Jensen, Aarhus university

21 employees in Centre for Teaching & Learning. Blackboard. Use wiseflow (Uniwise) and Blue for evaluation. 750 flows / written exams per semester. Excuse crappy photo – their evaluation so far:

Research philosophy – students work as researchers – exercises, projects, supervision, feedback.
MCQ rare in Denmark

By 2023 –  uni cautious strategy – 20% in class, 57% TEL, 20% blended, 3% fully online

Using same learning objects/ activities in learning & assessment – including multimedia

Am asking around today to see if anyone using animations in life sciences assessment – just curious at this point re practicality, possibly Norway at the moment

If new generations never writing by hand, is it useful to assess this way,  couple of presentations later on this.

Aarhus have lowered economic and admin costs,  saved over DKK 1m per year.

Dr Liz Masterman, Oxford

Handwritten vs typed exams equivalence, incl

Difference? Did literature review 2000 onwards, 35 articles – themes:

Student impact & anxiety about change of tool, tech failure, writing fluency, cognitive processing

Typing proficiency greater effext than computer experience

Staff perceptions – legibility errors more visible in typed scripts, empathy re poor handwriting; typed answers shorter; marking – studies 10 yrs old – skim reading, navigation, public/private annotations, no significant diff in severity, accuracy.

Higher marks typed vs handwritten not signicantly different.

Keystroke tracking, useful for evaluation but data protection.

Trial at Oxford last week, Inspera – 4 exams, 70 UG & taught masters students. Formative – Theology, computing, Mock exams – law, finance, some BYOD, some uni supplied, all typed exams. Evaluation in progress.

Brunel poster

Athina Chatzigavrill, Geraldine Foley, LSE

Handwritten vs typed – student perceptions

3 pilots typed exams – formative essays:

2 with law – timed take-home using Examsoft, 1 with government – timed, on campus using BYOD

Found students mixed views of typing vs handwriting, tech support & training. Logistical issues e.g. wifi for BYOD ok for pilot but not necessarily scaling up

Writing speed & editing – bad handwriting like typed, some found easier to edit e.g. deleting, structuring but felt it involves more critical analysis when handwriting

Concerns about typing / eyes on screen continuously e.g. 2 hr exam. Concerns that examiners expect more if typed, want more practice, feedback.

Harder to find quiet space off campus. Temperature of exam rooms an issue and noise from simultaneous keyboard typing. Concern about power with BYOD, if laptop dies during exam…

Implementation considerations:

Each student needs power socket. Institutional wifi, data protection and security, students who can’t bring suitable device, international students with different devices, software.

Next step – law deot doing trial with Moodle submission,  Digiexam ipads & keyboards doing summative assessment this summer.

eProctoring – assessment of remote exam completion

Dr Rebecca Gill, Newcastle – expanding secure, online provision, now doing 16-20,000 students, 150 approx high stakes exams, running from pilot in 2010.

Use Blackboard and Wiseflow, piloting BYOD next month

Lock down using Respondus.

Have printed paper back up version of exam.

Constraints –

staff capacity,

physical space & timetabling – 7 venues, computing clusters, pressure on spaces that students use for revision,study


Tech – formulas, equations in Blackboard, version control, so have handwritten section of exams

Use optical mark reader – Speedwell, Numbas maths testing open source

Now looking at feasibility of BYOD – 85% say have Windows/Mac they can use. Students want technical check beforehand.

Doing full evaluation after pilot.

Dr Richard Walker, York – high stakes testing challenges

Lessons learnt:

Network failure, timetabling failure, server connectivity, latency, invigilators unfamiliar with exam protocol when hired on sessional basis

Manage risk – protocols and technology

Mitigate – exam design, support design & communication. Have mirrored VLE but stripped down to assessment essentials, lockdown browser, restrict access to server incl IP, exam duration/timing, specific accounts not normal student credentials. System restart prior to exam, priming caches – review exam & content. Randomisation, consideration of inout e.g. short & long answer vs mcq – hit on servers.

Put questions in blocks for weighting, difficulty. suppirt staff in question development & system training. Geoffrey Crisp, Australia

video tutorial for students, mature students esp disadvantage.

Alice La Rooy, Claudia Cox, Brunel

Pre exam support – email notifications and team visits stydents in final lecture before exams. Hold drop-ins for students. User help section including interactive quiz.

Wifi boosters in exam rooms, power supply for 30% of rooms max capacity

Non BYOD notify using a device declaration form, approx 20% students need. Simple startup guidelines on each desk, also have student associate learning technologists on site (sessional basis funding)

19% of students need power recharge during exam. Use Wiseflow to monitor effectiveness of exam e.g. track live student non activity.

Students who didn’t attend drop-in session expected people to set up their device for them.

Use of radio communication across different local venues

Suggestion that SALTs wear coloured Tshirts so easy to identify.

Gunhild Raunsgard, Marita Kristiansen – West Norway Uni, Norwegian School Economics

Digitisation of exams for student exams. Pilot 2014-2016, 3 FT admins.

National competitive tender process for 20 unis/colleges. UNINETT. Common student admin system across Norway.

Spring 2018: 43-55% digital written exams, 100% digital take home exams. Use Wiseflow.

Mix of BYOD. Now including maths, engineering, sciences due to dusplay of equations, formulas, images, calculations etc

All students have power sockets, emergency computers, easir with larger exam rooms. BYOD easier because can require by law that students bring their own device but can’t make requirement for international / exchange students.

Next step – automating appeals.

Mia Morkeby Johnson
, Uni college Copenhagen

20,000 digital exams in Wiseflow 2017

Started with midwifery, now biomedical science live in January 2018. Met with all academic staff, have to use by 2019 – when & how up to them – staff submitted details, preferred dates then planned centrally. Using BYOD.

Did demo sessions with 50 students, lecturer and TEL team. Students tried lockdown browser before these demos. Qs incl what happens if lose wifi etc

Invigilators arrive an hour in advance of exam and do training.

On exam day, open/startup – countdown clock to start of exam then enter password.

3% had system requirement issues on day

Bianca Dryer Hyre
, Uni college Lillbaelt, Denmark

In Denmark, no handwritten exams.

Efficiency savings. Driven by national finance law change and directive from Ministry of Education and Research. Increased demand for e assessment.

Savings increase in assignment submission, staff not a reduction but freed up academic time, some tasks handled by admins, GDPR friendly, better task management if someone off sick, better communication between students and staff, better quality, greater transparency.

Would like easier remuneration for assessors

Other comments from today

Noise of keyboards affecting others. One person going to do audio monitoring test for exam in early May.

Impero software mentioned. We have done some early testing in our team only with Safeexam Browser:

Re animations, no one currently using 3D animations in assessment questions but keeping an eye on authoring. Can do animated gifs (e.g.molecular binding for biomed) in Wiseflow. In Denmark, tried using chemical keyboard but no animations as yet. We discussed possibility of filming closeup of lecturer drawing during a lecture and using as video rather than asking them to learn an animation tool. They would also have a memory trigger if they attended or lecture captured – we don’t have video capture at the moment just audio & slides and not all lectures

Mixed exams with drawing section which could be scanned and handed in , Wiseflow can do but it is another manual task so takes longer or use webcam on exam computer to scan drawing.

Russian homework – hedgehog in the fog

My Russian teacher has recommended this as a way of getting more used to the pace of Russian – ёжик в тумане:

Prepositional case and cases in general next lesson. I have explained the water sanitation possible project re contacting university researchers and another non related exciting possible project so we will work towards those. I have done a few pages of self chosen homework to help her understand where I am with everything.

I will be going to a football and art exhibition at Rossotrudnichestvo Russian Cultural centre in Kensington next week so must start speaking Russian more – been too long since visited Russia and retreated into safety blanket of talking only with my teacher.

(UK) Please donate to Medical Aid for Palestinians

If you’re in the UK and horrified by what is happening today with the large number of people dying or injured, you can donate to Medical Aid for Palestinians who are a reputable UK charity.

You can also follow live updates below the pinned tweet at

Euro Taekwondo Championships 2018, Kazan

Strong performances from Team GB coming in across the board. Here’s Jade Jones winning, some nice kicking from her Turkish opponent Hatice Ilgun throughout. After initial early points, Jade came from behind making good use of fist and foot to tie 9-9 before golden point finished it.

Piano teaching update

I’ve bought a sheet music manuscript pad for things like scales.

I’ve written usual and unusual notation holding for 4 notes and holding for 1 note of all major scales.

The reason for unusual notation for left hand is to help with understanding the same starting place. This may not work!

We’ve started to cover timings and holding notes, touched on but not really covered sharp/flat notes so this is for practice in between lessons.

We’ve covered different hand clefs at start of each line. We’ve done a simple piano arrangement of Ode to Joy and the next hopefully familiar piece is a slightly less simple piano arrangement of Bach’s Prelude. Trying to use pieces that can easily hum between lessons so the tune sticks.

Bajiquan – core, standing, hips

One has to learn fundamentals through separate practice before Bajiquan can be applied a) correctly then b) correctly and flowing


  1. Standing – zhan zhuang and when time in gym will add back against wall, bend knees, hold a weight
  2. Core & hips opening (for now – yoga and see if works)

Ruskin lecture – Beate Howitt, Guild of St George

There’s a mini reunion of May Queens at the lecture, some of whom have not been to Whitelands since the 1970s.

May Queen festival not just about fun and education – trying to do the best you can in your own life.

Beate used to standing in front of children as a teacher. She was at Whitelands Womens college in Putney in 1950s. Everyone lived in as students.

The government introduced 2 year teacher training course and in exchange for a grant, had to commit to 2 years teaching.

May Queen core duties to be charitable works. In the first month had to start teaching. At end of 2nd term, asked to vote for May Queen. Secret ballot paper had to also write vital statistics, so that dress could be made.

Her tutor had created the last 27 years gowns, included during the war – no fabric. Embroidered name of Queen on white muslin.

Some students asked to collect flowers from Covent Garden. Had staves with cowslips attached to the top. Was anxious because invited guardians but they hadn’t arrived.

Her family were German, fleeing the war, living outside as refugees. Settled in a part of Germany that was allocated to British government. Played in streets without shoes, insufficient food and no books.

So told at 17 was not university material but was accepted by Whitelands.

She had been bullied in Uk schools prior to college because her family were foreign and they were called Nazis. However her sporting abilities won them over. Still felt that didn’t quite belong, couldn’t invite people over. In Germany 5 of them shared one room, in UK 5 shared one house. Helped in church, youth work.

Given books as part of May Queen. Became part of a community that had existed since 1880s. Very impressed by Ruskin and social reform outlook.

She wanted to try and make the world a better place, open young minds and inspire them to enjoy nature, learning. Was introduced to care home next door and started to help there occasionally.

Ruskin argued for boys and girls to be given same advantages. He wanted cultivation of moral, spiritual kind, arts, debating meaning of life, delight in nature. Children flourish woth independent, self-directed learning – includes tolerance, Compassion, respect.

Found teaching heartwarming. Helping children to learn to see e.g. through drawing. Education where the mind is liberated from preconceptions and dogma. The May Queen offered a life transforming experience and being accepted for whom she is, in her adopted country. Developed confidence and enriched life beyond measure.

And now for something completely different – May Day Festival at Roehampton

Whitelands is having it’s annual May day festival tomorrow which is very traditional. Students elect a King and Queen who get suitable robes made and it’s all good fun with returning May Monarchs from generations past. I’m not attending tomorrow but going to the Ruskin lecture this evening:

One of Ruskin’s Whitelands College May Queens: Her Personal Story”

Beate, who was May Queen in 1957, has had a life-long interest in Ruskin’s ideas. She will talk about her journey as a refugee from Nazi Germany, her memories of the day itself, and her reflections on the ways in which her election as the May Queen finally gave her a sense of acceptance and belonging in this country.

The testimony of a teacher who has followed the Festival for more than sixty years will give a uniquely personal insight into the strange tradition of Whitelands’ May Day, and inspire today’s students to appreciate how valuable this tradition is.

Whitelands history

Some pics:

Inner May Pole in the college

black and white photos of May MonarchsCollage of May Monarchs throughout the 2000s

Briefing Note: Update on the Salisbury poisonings

Tim Hayward

The following briefing note is developed by academics researching the use of chemical and biological weapons during the 2011-present war in Syria. The note reflects work in progress. However, the substantive questions raised need answering, especially given the seriousness of the political situation in the Middle East and UK-Russian relations. The authors welcome comments and corrections.

Authors: Professor Paul McKeigue (University of Edinburgh), Professor David Miller (University of Bath) and Professor Piers Robinson (University of Sheffield)

For correspondence: ; Working Group on Syria, Media and Propaganda (

Key points

  • The Skripals were exposed to a phosphoroamidofluoridate compound named A-234, of high purity indicating that it was most likely prepared for research purposes.
  • A-234 or similar compounds have been synthesized at bench scale by national chemical defence labs in Russia and the US in the 1990s, and more recently in Iran and Czechia. A small quantity of A-234…

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Victory Day с днём победы

This evening I went with my Ukrainian friend to Mazaika duo concert at Pushkin House in London. My friend was born in the Soviet Union and was used to celebrating Victory Day in Ukraine with parades.

They played and sang a Ukrainian song too. Amazingly talented couple.

Mazaika duo elsewhere: