Category: UCTV

Do 4.2 Million Children Really Need Ritalin?

8232In 2011, Dr. Sanford Newmark posed an important question: Do 2.5 million children really need Ritalin?

Nearly 3 years later, the number of children taking Ritalin has risen to 4.2 million.

Dr. Newmark, head of the Pediatric Integrative Neurodevelopmental Program at UCSF, specializes in the integrative and holistic treatment of children with autism and ADHD. While drugs such as Ritalin definitely serve a vital role in helping some children, he suggests that misdiagnoses, not allowing for normal variations in a child’s learning styles and abilities, and a growing “pill culture” may be causing doctors to over prescribe.

Instead, Dr. Newmark prefers an integrative approach that looks at the whole child in terms of friends, family, community, and school. In many cases, changes in diet, environment, and parental skills can have a significant positive impact on a child’s behavior – without the use of drugs.

“When we do make a diagnosis, it makes sense to explore non-pharmaceutical options before moving to psychostimulants. We have to be careful not to over diagnose ADHD and allow for many normal variations of learning styles and abilities.”

Watch Dr. Newmark in this UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine presentation:

Do 4.2 Million Children Really Need Ritalin? An Integrative Approach to ADHD, 2014 Update

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Playing Solomon: How Much is a Life Really Worth?

8232Placing a dollar amount on a life or an injury may sound heartless, but such is the work of Kenneth Feinberg, and very few of us envy him the job. By the time an organization calls him, the tragedy itself is oftentimes long over with. Its victims, however, remain. And it is Feinberg’s job to figure out a way to quantify their loss.

A man well-versed in tragedy, Kenneth Feinberg is the go-to attorney when it comes to compensation funds. He mediated the 1984 class action lawsuit brought by 250,000 Vietnam War veterans against the manufacturers of Agent Orange, and oversaw the compensation funds for 9/11 victims, the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, the 2012 Aurora movie theater mass shooting and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Currently, Feinberg is working with General Motors to vet the claims that are now being made as a result of a defective ignition switch that has so far been blamed for at least 13 deaths. In January, Feinberg spoke with UC Hastings law professor Evan Lee about the challenges he’s faced in the UC Hastings College of the Law and California Lawyer presentation “Legally Speaking,” a series of in-depth interviews with prominent lawyers, judges, and academics.

Tune in and watch Playing Solomon: How Much is Life Really Worth? with Kenneth Feinberg

Watch other Legally Speaking programs.

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Dirty Sexy Policy

Dirty-Sexy-PolicyDirty Sexy Policy brings together prominent scholars, attorneys, activists, regulators, and journalists to explore current challenges facing media.

Participants and speakers engage in lively discussion and debate through a moderated Q&A to explore content regulation of obscenity and indecency, structural regulation of broadband technologies, and the broader stakes that citizens and policy critics share.

Tune in for each of these shows on UCTV from the Carsey-Wolf Center at UC Santa Barbara.

Media Policy and Fetishism
Des Freedman, Professor of Media and Communication at Goldsmiths, University of London, talks about the relationship between media and power together with the political and economic contexts of media policymaking and regulation.

Communications Evolution, Revolution, and the Role of the Academy
Nicholas Johnson was the FCC Commissioner from 1966-1973. He fought for reform by battling the status quo in the broadcasting industry. He takes us from those turbulent times to these. Many of the issues are similar but there are more and different players.

The Politics of Infrastructure
From net neutrality to what broadband means, the politics of the infrastructure we rely on to move information is evolving. A panel of experts discusses the idea that everything should be delivered equally and at the same speed regardless of who is sending it. Though much of the infrastructure is invisible, it has big impacts.

Obscenity and Indecency
How are obscenity and indecency officially defined and what does it mean for the current digital age? How are policies different for adult films and why is the first amendment applied differently?

Content and Conduits
How fast is our internet and how fast could or should it be? Explore the common ground between content and infrastructure policy. What role do the media giants play and how should they be regulated?

Watch more programs from the Carsey-Wolf Center.

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Arrr – Here be pirates!

8232“To err is human, to arr is pirate.”

This quote (a personal favorite) cleverly illustrates one of many myths Hollywood has popularized about pirates: that all pirates talked like… well, like pirates. You know, “shiver me timbers,” “blow me down” and the like. Other popular myths include:

– All pirates were missing body parts.
– All pirate ships flew the Skull and Crossbones.
– Pirates buried their stolen treasure.
– Pirates were fond of rum and parrots.
– Sailors became pirates to pursue a life of crime.

And perhaps most enduringly: All pirates were “anarchistic maniacs,” a la Blackbeard.

Here be Pirates chronicles the efforts of UC San Diego history professor Mark Hanna to correct these and other misconceptions about buccaneers. In his Harvard doctoral thesis, several popular courses and ongoing research, Hanna paints a detailed and nuanced picture of pirates and privateers, perhaps less colorful than the Tinseltown version but no less fascinating.

One especially intriguing aspect of Hanna’s work focuses on the profound contributions of those wide-ranging mariners to the development of the natural sciences from the late 16th century through the early 18th century. Occasional pirates such as William Dampier made extensive studies of Pacific Rim flora and fauna, and influenced later scientists such as Alexander von Humboldt and Charles Darwin. To spotlight the efforts of these “citizen scientists,” Hanna worked closely with the Special Collections & Archives at the UC San Diego Library to create Unlikely Naturalists, a local component of the traveling exhibition Real Pirates!, currently on display at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Unlikely Naturalists features original journals and logbooks held in the Library’s world-renowned Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages, which comprises more than 2,000 works spanning nearly 300 years of maritime exploration and discovery.

In addition to first-hand study of materials from the Hill Collection and a tour of the Museum exhibition, Hanna’s students sailed on the Californian, a 1984 replica of an 1847 cutter operated by the Maritime Museum of San Diego. During a four-hour trip students were introduced to sail operations and shipboard life, including the vital importance of teamwork and following the captain’s orders with dispatch.

As Hanna notes in Here Be Pirates, we can’t literally travel back in time, but these resources and activities – first-hand study of primary sources, the Museum exhibition, and sailing on a tall ship – each contribute to fostering empathy, which is vital to the study of the early modern period.

“Always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate. Then always be a pirate.”

Watch Here be Pirates and browse other programs from the Library Channel.

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Contributed by Arts and Humanities Producer, John Menier

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Why are we violent?

786As CARTA co-director Ajit Varki so aptly put it in his concluding remarks, “It was an intellectually stimulating and fascinating but deeply disturbing symposium.”

From interactions in lions and our hominid cousins the chimpanzees, to our Pleistocene ancestors and early human cultures to modern society, CARTA gathered scientists across the spectrum from neurophysiology to sociology to bring their respective microscopes to bear upon the question of aggression within the human species, its role in our development, its causes and its consequences.

While the data are at times grim, disturbing and depressing, it is an important look at an inescapable (or is it?) feature of human evolution, the use of aggression and violence.

Hopefully, if one can remain dispassionate, we are led to ask, can it evolve out of us?

Watch the latest programs from CARTA on Male Aggression and Violence in Human Evolution to learn more.

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