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  • Federated blockchain-based tracking and liability attribution framework for employees and cyber-physical objects in a smart workplace

    Ahmadi-Assalemi, Gabriela; Al-Khateeb, Haider; Epiphaniou, Gregory; Cosson, Jon; Pillai, Prashant (IEEE, 2019-04-11)
    The systematic integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) into the supply chain to increase operational efficiency and quality has also introduced new complexities to the threat landscape. The myriad of sensors could increase data collection capabilities for businesses to facilitate process automation aided by Artificial Intelligence (AI) but without adopting an appropriate Security-by-Design framework, threat detection and response are destined to fail. The emerging concept of Smart Workplace incorporates many CPS (e.g. Robots and Drones) to execute tasks alongside Employees both of which can be exploited as Insider Threats. We introduce and discuss forensic-readiness, liability attribution and the ability to track moving Smart SPS Objects to support modern Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) within a defence-in-depth strategy. We present a framework to facilitate the tracking of object behaviour within Smart Controlled Business Environments (SCBE) to support resilience by enabling proactive insider threat detection. Several components of the framework were piloted in a company to discuss a real-life case study and demonstrate anomaly detection and the emerging of behavioural patterns according to objects' movement with relation to their job role, workspace position and nearest entry or exit. The empirical data was collected from a Bluetooth-based Proximity Monitoring Solution. Furthermore, a key strength of the framework is a federated Blockchain (BC) model to achieve forensic-readiness by establishing a digital Chain-of-Custody (CoC) and a collaborative environment for CPS to qualify as Digital Witnesses (DW) to support post-incident investigations.
  • AdPExT: designing a tool to assess information gleaned from browsers by online advertising platforms

    Woensdregt, Joseph; Al-Khateeb, Haider; Epiphaniou, Gregory; Jahankhani, Hamid (IEEE, 2019-04-11)
    The world of online advertising is directly dependent on data collection of the online browsing habits of individuals to enable effective advertisement targeting and retargeting. However, these data collection practices can cause leakage of private data belonging to website visitors (end-users) without their knowledge. The growing privacy concern of end-users is amplified by a lack of trust and understanding of what and how advertisement trackers are collecting and using their data. This paper presents an investigation to restore the trust or validate the concerns. We aim to facilitate the assessment of the actual end-user related data being collected by advertising platforms (APs) by means of a critical discussion but also the development of a new tool, AdPExT (Advertising Parameter Extraction Tool), which can be used to extract third-party parameter key-value pairs at an individual key-value level. Furthermore, we conduct a survey covering mostly United Kingdom-based frequent internet users to gather the perceived sensitivity sentiment for various representative tracking parameters. End-users have a definite concern with regards to advertisement tracking of sensitive data by global dominating platforms such as Facebook and Google.
  • Application of cellular material in crashworthiness applications: an overview

    Baroutaji, Ahmad; Arjunan, Arun; Niknejad, Abbas; Tran, TrongNahn; Olabi, Abdul G. (Elsevier, 2019-03-29)
    Cellular foams are a modern class of materials with unique mechanical properties that have wide ranging engineering applications, in the areas of biomedical, acoustic and thermal insulation, and crashworthiness. Recently, foam materials have received increased attention for vehicle crashworthiness due to their lightweight and excellent energy absorption capabilities that allow significant weight reduction without compromising structural safety aspects. Accordingly, this paper reviews the crush and energy absorption behaviour of foam-filled structures that can be used for crashworthy design in transport engineering. In addition, the mechanical and dynamic properties of cellular material and their role on the crashworthiness performance of filled structure are discussed. Particularly, the influences of foam density and interactions, between the foam and the tubes, on the deformation mode of the filled structures are clarified. The advantages offered by the innovative foam material, which contains a density gradient, on the crashworthiness behaviour are also highlighted. Also, a brief summary of optimisation studies involving the use of foam-filled structures are presented. It was found that the cellular materials improve the crashworthiness performance when they are used as filler material in thin-walled energy absorbers due to their capability of altering the deformation mode to a more favourable one.
  • Acoustic performance of metallic foams

    Arjunan, Arun; Baroutaji, Ahmad; Praveen, Ayyappan S.; Olabi, Abdul G.; Wang, Chang J. (Elsevier, 2019-03-29)
    Metallic foams are among the most promising class of materials due to their unique mechanical properties combining low mass with high stiffness, excellent energy absorption, and vibroacoustic damping. Consequently, noise control using methodically engineered metallic foams has received increased attention from both industrial and scientific community. Accordingly, this paper aims to present the mechanism of sound absorption along with the experimental and theoretical procedure that can be used to classify metallic foams. Additionally, the influence of design parameters on the resulting sound absorption coefficient of closed and open-cell metallic foams are explored. While Aluminium foams used to dominate the literature when it comes to acoustics, recent studies have reported Nickel-Inconel superalloy and Copper foams as having superior sound absorption coefficients.
  • Development of a novel method utilising dissolution imaging for the measurement of swelling behaviour in hydrophilic matrices

    Ward, Adam; Walton, Karl; Mawla, Nihad; Kaialy, Waseem; Liu, Lande; Timmins, Peter; Conway, Barbara R.; Asare-Addo, Kofi (Elsevier, 2019-04-10)
    A variety of imaging techniques are currently used within the field of pharmaceutics to help understand and determine a wide range of phenomena associated with drug release from hydrophilic matrix tablets. This work for the first time aims at developing an appropriate testing imaging methodology using a surface dissolution imaging instrument (SDI2) for determining the swelling of whole compacts using hypromellose as a model hydrophilic matrix former. The influence of particle morphology (CR and DC grades) and two compressional forces (5 and 15 kN) on the initial swelling behaviour of hypromellose were investigated. The results showed that a lower absorbance of 50 mAu with a wider measurement zone proved successful in determining the edge of the gel layer and growth measurements in real-time with high level of details under flow. Despite the differences in the morphology of the grades of hypromellose tested, it was however discovered that gel growth was statistically similar between them which may be attributed to their similar chemistry. This novel method also highlighted differences in the hydrated polymer’s appearance which may have been as a result of differences in porosity and solid fraction. This information is of great importance to a formulator as gel growth plays a crucial role in determining drug release from polymer compacts.
  • Mobility cost and degenerated diffusion in kinesis models

    Gorban, Alexander N.; Çabukoǧlu, Nurdan (Elsevier, 2018-07-05)
    A new critical effect is predicted in population dispersal. It is based on the fact that a trade-off between the advantages of mobility and the cost of mobility breaks with a significant deterioration in living conditions. The recently developed model of purposeful kinesis (Gorban & Çabukoǧlu, Ecological Complexity 33, 2018) is based on the “let well enough alone” idea: mobility decreases for high reproduction coefficient and, therefore, animals stay longer in good conditions and leave quicker bad conditions. Mobility has a cost, which should be measured in the changes of the reproduction coefficient. Introduction of the cost of mobility into the reproduction coefficient leads to an equation for mobility. It can be solved in a closed form using Lambert W-function. Surprisingly, the “let well enough alone” models with the simple linear cost of mobility have an intrinsic phase transition: when conditions worsen then the mobility increases up to some critical value of the reproduction coefficient. For worse conditions, there is no solution for mobility. We interpret this critical effect as the complete loss of mobility that is degeneration of diffusion. Qualitatively, this means that mobility increases with worsening of conditions up to some limit, and after that, mobility is nullified.
  • The production and application of hydrogels for wound management: a review

    Gupta, Abhishek; Kowalczuk, Marek; Heaselgrave, Wayne; Britland, Stephen T; Martin, Clare; Radecka, Iza (Elsevier, 2018-12-15)
    Wound treatment has increased in importance in the wound care sector due to the pervasiveness of chronic wounds in the high-risk population including, but not limited to, geriatric population, immunocompromised and obese patients. Furthermore, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is rapidly growing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global diabetic occurrence has increased from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014. As diabetes becomes a common medical condition, it has also become one of the major causes of chronic wounds which require specialised care to address patients’ unique needs. Wound dressings play a vital role in the wound healing process as they protect the wound site from the external environment. They are also capable of interacting with the wound bed in order to facilitate and accelerate the healing process. Advanced dressings such as hydrogels are designed to maintain a moist environment at the site of application and due to high water content are ideal candidates for wound management. Hydrogels can be used for both exudating or dry necrotic wounds. Additionally, hydrogels also demonstrate other unique features such as softness, malleability and biocompatibility. Nowadays, advanced wound care products make up around $7.1 billion of the global market and their production is growing at an annual rate of 8.3% with the market projected to be worth $12.5 billion by 2022. The presented review focuses on novel hydrogel wound dressings, their main characteristics and their wound management applications. It also describes recent methodologies used for their production and the future potential developments.
  • Supporting the development of skills for extended practice in biomedical science – pasta, vegetables and mushy peas!

    Smith, Sara; Karnik, Uttara; Kendall, Karen; Pugh, Abigail; Robson, Kelvin; Salmons, Nabeel; Khechara, Martin (Emerald, 2019-12-31)
    Purpose- Continual professional development is essential to foster and enhance professionals’ abilities. A wide variety of methods have been adopted to support professional learning for healthcare professions but many still focus upon a need to update knowledge and the learning of isolated competencies for practice. This paper reports upon a collaborative partnership that enabled the reframing of a professional development course away from this objectivist epistemology to foster pedagogically appropriate approaches nurturing the development of the knowledge and skills required for extended practice in specimen dissection. Design/Methodology/Approach – An action research approach informed this study which drew upon aspects of simulated learning, ‘creative play’ and ‘hands-on’ practice to nurture development of the knowledge and mastery of essential skills required for extended practice in dissection. A questionnaire allowed the gathering of quantitative and qualitative data from delegates. Open coding of delegate free text responses enabled thematic analysis of the data. Findings – Delegates reported upon a positive learning and teaching experience providing them with a unique opportunity to develop the essential skills and knowledge required to enhance their extended practice. Four key themes were identified from delegate feedback: legitimacy of learning experience; safe-space for learning; confidence as a practitioner; professional and social interactions. Originality/value – Research into skill development in this field is currently lacking. Findings highlight the value of a creative approach to professional development which enables individuals to master the skills required for practice. It also underlines the importance and value of collaborative partnerships. As allied health professionals advance and extend their roles professional development must move away from the didactic delivery of isolated topics and ensure that it offers legitimate learning experiences allowing skill development and technique mastery alongside knowledge enhancement.
  • 3D-Printed Polyester-Based Prototypes for Cosmetic Applications—Future Directions at the Forensic Engineering of Advanced Polymeric Materials

    Rydz, Joanna; Sikorska, Wanda; Musioł, Marta; Janeczek, Henryk; Włodarczyk, Jakub; Misiurska-Marczak, Marlena; Łeczycka, Justyna; Kowalczuk, Marek (MDPI, 2019-03-26)
    Knowledge of degradation and impairment phenomena of (bio)degradable polymeric materials under operating conditions, and thus the selection of test procedures and prediction of their behavior designates the scope and capabilities as well as possible limitations of both: the preparation of the final product and its durability. The main novelty and objective of this research was to determine the degradation pathways during testing of polylactide and polylactide/polyhydroxyalkanoate materials made with three-dimensional printing and the development of a new strategy for the comprehensive characterization of such complex systems including behavior during waste disposal. Prototype objects were subjected to tests for damage evolution performed under simulating operating conditions. The reference samples and the tested items were characterized by gel permeation chromatography and differential scanning calorimetry to determine changes in material properties. The studies showed that: polyhydroxyalkanoate component during accelerated aging and degradation in environments rich in microorganisms accelerated the degradation of the material; paraffin accelerates polylactide degradation and slows degradation of polyhydroxyalkanoate-based material; under the influence of an environment rich in enzymes, paraffin contamination accelerates biodegradation; under the influence of natural conditions, paraffin contamination slowed degradation; the processing conditions, in particular the printing orientation of individual parts of the container, influenced the material properties in its various regions, affecting the rate of degradation of individual parts.
  • The planarian Schmidtea mediterranea as a model system for the discovery and characterization of cell penetrating peptides and bioportides

    Jones, Sarah; Osman, Shaimaa; Howl, John (Wiley, 2019-02-20)
    The general utility of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, an organism with remarkable regenerative capacity, was investigated as a convenient three‐dimensional model to analyse the import of cell‐penetrating peptides (CPPs) and bioportides (bioactive CPPs) into complex tissues. The unpigmented planarian blastema, 3 days post head amputation, is a robust platform to assess the penetration of red‐fluorescent CPPs into epithelial cells and deeper tissues. Three planarian proteins, Ovo, ZicA and Djeya, which collectively control head remodelling and eye regeneration following decapitation, are a convenient source of novel cationic CPP vectors. One example, Djeya1 (RKLAFRYRRIKELYNSYR), is a particularly efficient and seemingly inert CPP vector that could be further developed to assist the delivery of bioactive payloads across the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells. Eye regeneration, following head amputation, was utilized in an effort to identify bioportides capable of influencing stem cell‐dependent morphogenesis. These investigations identified the tetradecapeptide mastoparan (INLKALAALAKKIL) as a bioportide able to influence the gross morphology of head development. We conclude that, compared with cellular monolayers, the S. mediterranea system provides many advantages and will support the identification of bioportides able to selectively modify the biology of totipotent neoblasts and, presumably, other mammalian stem cell types.
  • Parenteral provision of micronutrients to adult patients: an expert consensus paper

    Blaauw, Renée; Osland, Emma; Krishnan, Sriram; Ali, Azmat; Allard, Johane P.; Ball, Patrick; Chan, Lingtak-Neander; Jurewitsch, Brian; Coughlin, Kathleen Logan; Manzanares, William; Menéndez, Ana Maria; Mutiara, Rina; Rosenfeld, Ricardo; Sioson, Marianna; Visser, Janicke; Berger, Mette M. (Wiley, 2019-02-27)
    Background:Micronutrients, an umbrella term used to collectively describe vitamins and trace elements, are essential componentsof nutrition. Those requiring alternative forms of nutrition support are dependent on the prescribed nutrition regimen for theirmicronutrient provision. The purpose of this paper is to assist clinicians to bridge the gap between the available guidelines’recommendations and their practical application in the provision of micronutrients via the parenteral route to adult patients.Methods:Based on the available evidenced-based literature and existing guidelines, a panel of multidisciplinary healthcareprofessionals with significant experience in the provision of parenteral nutrition (PN) and intravenous micronutrients developedthis international consensus paper.Results:The paper addresses 14 clinically relevant questions regarding the importance and use ofmicronutrients in various clinical conditions. Practical orientation on how micronutrients should be prescribed, administered, andmonitored is provided.Conclusion:Micronutrients are a critical component to nutrition provision and PN provided without thempose a considerable risk to nutrition status. Obstacles to their daily provision—including voluntary omission, partial provision, andsupply issues—must be overcome to allow safe and responsible nutrition practice.
  • Level of empowerment and decision-making style of women with epilepsy in childbirth age

    Turner, Katherine; Cutica, Ilaria; Riva, Silvia; Zambrelli, Elisa; Canevini, Maria Paola; Pravettoni, Gabriella (Elsevier, 2019-03-01)
    Objectives This research investigates level of empowerment, decisional skills, and the perceived relationship with the clinician, of women in childbirth age, also in relationship with clinical variables such as epilepsy type, seizure frequency, therapy, and pregnancy status. In particular, as concerning therapy, we were interested in women who take valproic acid (VPA), for its specific balance of risks and benefits, especially in pregnant women. Methods The sample is composed of 60 women with epilepsy (6 were excluded), who underwent a standardized clinical protocol for assessment of level of empowerment, decisional skills, and of their judgment about how they feel to be involved by their clinician in medical decision making. Results Overall, the sample does not show signs of low empowerment level nor of abnormal decision-making patterns. The type of epilepsy, the frequency of seizures, and the treatment type (VPA versus no VPA) do not impact on empowerment, on decision styles, nor on medical relationship, with the only exception of a specific decision style, the avoidant style, that is more frequent in women treated with VPA with respect to those taking other therapies. Interestingly, regarding VPA dosage, we found that women taking equal or more than 700 mg/day of VPA have lower scores on empowerment in all dimensions compared with women with a VPA dosage lower than 700 mg/day. Conclusions Shared decision making including improved decision quality, more informed choices and better treatment concordance, should be a central part of epilepsy care. In addition, for clinicians it would be useful to have specific tools to know if the patient has really understood the risks and benefits of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), particularly VPA, and all treatment alternatives.
  • Building information modelling (BIM) and the CDM regulations interoperability framework

    Mzyece, Dingayo; Ndekugri, Issaka E.; Ankrah, Nii (Emerald, 2019-12-31)
    Purpose Building Information Modelling (BIM) has received wide coverage within the research, academic and industry communities over the last decade. Yet, its degree of integration with various industry standards in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector varies extensively. An exploratory research approach explores the interoperability between the CDM Regulations and BIM Design/methodology/approach The research design comprised: (1) a methodical ëstate-of-the-artí review of extant literatureóexploring some 19 variables emerging from the literature review; (2) detailed content analyses of the current CDM regime (CDM 2015); and (3) conducting a ëtestí to map and determine the degree of interoperability between BIM and CDM. The study develops several meta-matrices, and a framework for BIM and CDM interoperability. Findings New insight reveals that BIM provides a systematic approach for the discharge of CDM obligations. The framework developed is easily transferable into BIM Common Data Environments (CDEs) and offers an expeditious discharge of CDM obligations. Research limitations/implications (if applicable) Some features of the developed BIM/CDM interoperability framework invite further tests to predicate the degree of discharge of CDM obligations. Duties related to provision of preconstruction information invite further research. Originality/value Little research provides insight into the interoperability of BIM and the Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations. Therefore, this study contributes to the knowledge relating to the degree of interoperability of BIM in construction systems, processes and standards
  • Extra low interstitial titanium based fully porous morphological bone scaffolds manufactured using selective laser melting

    Bari, Klaudio; Arjunan, Arun (Elsevier, 2019-03-28)
    Lattice structure based morphologically matched scaffolds is rapidly growing facilitated by developments in Additive Manufacturing. These porous structures are particularly promising due to their potential in reducing stress shielding and maladapted stress concentration. Accordingly, this study presents Extra Low Interstitial (ELI) Titanium alloy based morphological scaffolds featuring three different porous architecture. All scaffolds were additively manufactured using Selective Laser Melting from Ti6Al4V ELI with porosities of 73.85, 60.53 and 55.26% with the global geometry dictated through X-Ray Computed Tomography. The elastic and plastic performance of both the scaffold prototypes and the bone section being replaced were evaluated through uniaxial compression testing. Comparing the data, the suitability of the Maxwell criterion in evaluating the stiffness behaviour of fully porous morphological scaffolds are carried out. The outcomes show that the best performing scaffolds presented in this study have high strength (169 MPa) and low stiffness (5.09 GPa) suitable to minimise stress shielding. The matching morphology in addition to high porosity allow adequate space for flow circulation and has the potential to reduce maladapted stress concentration. Finally, the Electron Diffraction X-ray analysis revealed a small difference in the composition of aluminium between the particle and the bonding material at the scaffold surface.
  • Assessment of web crippling design provisions for application to proprietary soldier beams

    Bock, Marina; Theofanous, Marios; Dirar, Samir; Raybone, Paul (Elsevier, 2019-04-01)
    Structures used for temporary works are lightweight so that they are easy to transport, erect and dismantle. Particular care should be taken in their design as local instabilities could arise due to their thin-walled nature. This article presents 12 tests on proprietary soldier beams subjected to two concentrate opposing loads applied simultaneously. The geometry of the proprietary beams feature cold-formed C-shaped sections with web holes connected back to back with internal spacers. In the absence of design rules for application to such members, the experimental results are used in the present investigation to assess the suitability of the provisions for the web crippling design of coldformed steel members as well as existing design methods from the literature, which account for the effect of perforations in the web. Experimental and predicted resistances are compared and design recommendations are provided.
  • Issues and challenges of smart cities governance: a systematic review

    Keshvardoost, Sina; Renukappa, Suresh; Suresh, Subashini; Al-Janabi, Razan (CIB, 2019-12-31)
    Smart governance is a key factor when considering the successful implementation of smart cities strategies. Smart cities create an extensive variety of issues and challenges that often poorly organised to deal with by their respective governments as they grow in size and complexity. Therefore, developed countries are creating their infrastructure on the basis of smart governance and sustainable development to improve the quality of life for more than a decade now. This paper explores through a systematic review of the key challenges and issues that governance of smart cities is facing on this network performance by focusing on the governance models, with a particular interest on how these can contribute to successful smart city network governance. However, the government departments seem not to engage the public in every activity they do. Sometimes due to security and political reasons they try to maintain a distance from the public; this shows the issues within the existing smart cities governance model. This paper concludes that although there are considerable smart city dossiers in literature, their governance model and structural variations development across regions is lacking.
  • Rabbit syndrome: update on aetiology and management for pharmacists, psychiatrists and dentists

    Reyad, Ayman Antoun; Girgis, Eriny; Mishriky, Raafat (Journalcmpr, 2019-03-28)
    Rabbit syndrome (RS) is an involuntary movement disorder, characterized by fast and fine movements of oral and masticatory muscles along the mouth vertical axis in the absence of tongue involvement. RS prevalence varies between 2.3% to 4.4% and could result from the administration of antipsychotics and antidepressants. In case of second generation antipsychotics, there is a reduced risk of RS compared with first generation antipsychotics with mainly isolated literature case reports especially with the use of risperidone as antipsychotic. RS affects only the buccal region, with the possible involvement of the basal ganglia, in particular the substantia nigra. The management of RS include reduction or change of the psychotropic treatment and use of anticholinergic medications such as trihexyphenidyl. Although RS is rare and easily treatable, it is essential that dentists and psychiatrists could distinguish this syndrome from other movement disorders such as tardive dyskinesia.
  • Encapsulation of 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol with tetraethyl orthosilicate for CO2 capture

    Rama, Sidra; Zhang, Yan; Tchuenbou-Magaia, Fideline; Ding, Yulong; Li, Yongliang (Springer, 2019-12-31)
    Carbon capture is widely recognised as an essential strategy to meet global goals for climate protection. Although various CO2 capture technologies including absorption, adsorption and membrane exist, they are not yet mature for post-combustion power plants mainly due to high energy penalty. Hence researchers are concentrating on developing non-aqueous solvents like ionic liquids, CO2-binding organic liquids, nanoparticle hybrid materials and microencapsulated sorbents to minimize the energy consumption for carbon capture. This research aims to develop a novel and efficient approach by encapsulating sorbents to capture CO2 in a cold environment. The conventional emulsion technique was selected for the microcapsule formulation by using 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol (AMP) as the core sorbent and silicon dioxide (SiO2) as the shell. This paper reports the findings on the formulated microcapsules including key formulation parameters, microstructure, size distribution and thermal cycling stability. Furthermore, the effects of microcapsule quality and absorption temperature on the CO2 loading capacity of the microcapsules were investigated using a self-developed pressure decay method. The preliminary results have shown that the AMP microcapsules are promising to replace conventional sorbents.
  • Basic model of purposeful kinesis

    Gorban, Alexander N.; Çabukoǧlu, Nurdan (Elsevier, 2018-02-05)
    The notions of taxis and kinesis are introduced and used to describe two types of behaviour of an organism in non-uniform conditions: (i) Taxis means the guided movement to more favourable conditions; (ii) Kinesis is the non-directional change in space motion in response to the change of conditions. Migration and dispersal of animals has evolved under control of natural selection. In a simple formalisation, the strategy of dispersal should increase Darwinian fitness. We introduce new models of purposeful kinesis with diffusion coefficient dependent on fitness. The local and instant evaluation of Darwinian fitness is used, the reproduction coefficient. New models include one additional parameter, intensity of kinesis, and may be considered as the minimal models of purposeful kinesis. The properties of models are explored by a series of numerical experiments. It is demonstrated how kinesis could be beneficial for assimilation of patches of food or of periodic fluctuations. Kinesis based on local and instant estimations of fitness is not always beneficial: for species with the Allee effect it can delay invasion and spreading. It is proven that kinesis cannot modify stability of homogeneous positive steady states.
  • The contribution of the European Society for Soil Conservation (ESSC) to scientific knowledge, education and sustainability

    Dazzi, Carmelo; Cornelis, Wim; Costantini, Edoardo A. C.; Dumitru, Mihail; Fullen, M.A.; Gabriels, Donald; Kasparinskis, Raimonds; Kertész, Adam; Lo Papa, Giuseppe; Pérès, Guenola; Rickson, Jane; Rubio, José L.; Sholten, Thomas; Theocharopoulos, Sid; Vasenev, Ivan (Elsevier, 2018-11-29)
    Soil is an integral component of the global environmental system which supports the quality and diversity of terrestrial life on Earth. Therefore, it is vital to consider the processes and impacts of soil degradation on society, especially on the provision of environmental goods and services, including food security and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Scientific societies devoted to soil science play significant roles in reducing soil degradation and promoting soil conservation by advancing scientific knowledge, education and environmental sustainability. The ESSC was founded on 4 November 1988, with the aims to: 1. Support research on soil degradation, soil protection and soil and water conservation. 2. Provide a network for the exchange of knowledge about soil degradation processes and soil conservation research and practises. 3. Produce publications on major issues relating to soil degradation and soil and water conservation. 4. Advise regulators and policy-makers on soil issues, especially soil degradation, protection and conservation. The societal challenges that can be addressed through better soil protection, advancing knowledge and scientific approaches to soil protection and sustainable management, mean the ESSC embraces the on-going development, application, review and constructive criticism of highly innovative scientific soil conservation methods. In this context, the ESSC analyses and publicizes the roles and functions of soil in natural and human-modified systems and the functional optimization of soils to ensure sustainable environmental protection. “The thin layer of soil that forms a patchy covering over the continents controls our own existence and that of every other animal of the land” (Rachel Carson (1962) in ‘Silent Spring’).

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