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Brian Hughes

The government have ordered a forensic excavation of the #TuamBabies site

It was unexpected, but the announcement was made today. The Irish cabinet have approved a decision by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to conduct a forensic excavation of the Tuam site:

The remains of children buried in unmarked graves at a former mother and baby home in Tuam, County Galway, are to be exhumed, identified and reburied.

The announcement was made by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone.

The site will be excavated in a bid to recover the remains. Forensic tests will be carried out to identify each child before “respectful” reburials. The Catholic-run institution housed unmarried mothers and babies from 1925 to 1961 and had high infant mortality.

There was an outcry last year when tests revealed “significant quantities” of human remains had been buried in “underground chambers” at the site.

Announcing the phased forensic excavation, Minister Zappone said: “I understand that this is a hugely important decision for all connected to the site in Tuam, most especially those who believe they may have a loved one buried there and those now living close to the site.”

“I am committed to ensuring that all the children interred at this site can have a dignified and respectful burial.”
The minister said operation would not be straightforward and said it presented “unprecedented technical and legal issues”.

But she added: “It is only by taking the right actions now can we truly demonstrate our compassion and commitment to work towards justice, truth and healing for what happened in our past and, most especially, for those who were previously abandoned.”

This appears to be exactly the outcome we called for but feared would be rejected (on grounds of squeamishness, church-deference, and, shabbily, costs).

At one stage it appeared that the authorities wanted to rustle up dissent in the local community in order to cloud the issue.

But ordinary people refused to fall for that.

Ordinary people made their feelings known in so many ways.

I am not naive and am well aware the devil will be in the detail.

But be in absolutely no doubt.

This is a HUGE victory.

More to follow.

Halloween MRI Special: Guts, Brain, Skeleton, etc (in fact, *my* guts, brain, skeleton, etc)

(From the archives)

Welcome. Mwa-hah-hah-hah-hah-ha!

Yes, it’s Halloween, a sort of Beta Christmas. And as is typical, local streets and shops are festooned with images of witches, pumpkins, ghosts, and — of course — skeletons. Because skeletons are scary, you see.

In an age of austerity, it is good to consider ways of cutting out unnecessary expenditure. With this in mind, I offer you here some home-grown guts and gore: namely, some MRI images of my own innards, all pimped up GIF-wise for your entertainment.

Get prepared…

…to be SCARED!

glOm (makeGIF)

For the especially confused, this is my chest and neck

You see? It’s true. I have no heart.

This one gives a side-on view of the above. Again, no heart:

glOI (makeGIF)

Somewhere in there are some prolapsed discs

And this last one’s my fave. It features pretty good detail on my upper spine, spinal cord, brain stem, and cerebellum:

glOp (makeGIF)

That beauty of a cerebellum is why I’ve such excellent
fine-motor co-ordinitoanjkbkjb

So what have we learned from all this? Well, MRI scans offer some pretty clear images of soft tissue inside the body, all by beaming some magnetic waves in there and measuring what happens (see here for more). Secondly, try to avoid growing old, if at all possible — your proneness to semi-random muscle-tears and spinal disc herniation just escalates. And thirdly, GIFs are fun, fun, fun!

Compliments of the season to you all…

‘Psychology in Crisis’ is now available

About the Author

Imprint: 2018
Psychology in Crisis
Author: Brian M. Hughes
Publisher: Palgrave, London

ISBN-10: 1352003007
ISBN-13: 978-1352003000

Click here to view on Palgrave Macmillan
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From the cover: Throughout the history of psychology, attempting to objectively measure the highly dynamic phenomenon of human behaviour has given rise to an underappreciated margin of error. Today, as the discipline experiences increasing difficulty in reproducing the results of its own studies, such error not only threatens to undermine psychology’s credibility but also leaves an indelible question: Is psychology actually a field of irreproducible science?

In this thought-provoking new book, author Brian Hughes seeks to answer this very question. In his incisive examination of the various pitfalls that determine ‘good’ or ‘bad’ psychological science – from poor use of statistics to systematic exaggeration of findings – Hughes shows readers how to critique psychology research, enhance its validity and reliability, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the way psychology research is produced, published, and promulgated in the twenty-first century.

This book is essential reading for students wanting to understand how to better scrutinise psychological research methods and results, as well as practitioners and those concerned with the replication debate.

Psychology in Crisis is an unflinching tour of the challenges of doing psychological science well. Brian Hughes describes six crises facing psychology that could make one think that all is lost. But it is not. At their core, the crises are illustrations of just how hard it is to study human behavior and, simultaneously, why it is worth doing. Hughes closes with a path toward a science that is robust, transparent, and self-skeptical to help accelerate discovery and ensure that psychology meets its potential as a scientific enterprise.” — Professor Brian Nosek, Professor in psychology at the University of Virginia and Executive Director for the Center for Open Science


Contents

Chapter 1 ‘The Same Again, But Different’: Psychology’s Replication Crisis
Chapter 2 ‘Black Is White’: Psychology’s Paradigmatic Crisis
Chapter 3 ‘Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width’: Psychology’s Measurement Crisis
Chapter 4 ‘That Which Can Be Measured’: Psychology’s Statistical Crisis
Chapter 5 ‘We Are The World’: Psychology’s Sampling Crisis
Chapter 6 ‘Fitter, Happier, More Productive…’: Psychology’s Exaggeration Crisis
Chapter 7 From Crisis to Confidence: Dealing with Psychology’s Self-Inflicted Crises
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