from the world's big
Geoff Wardle is Director of Advanced Mobility Research at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Educated first as a vehicle engineer and then as an automotive designer at the Royal College of Art in London, Geoff has had extensive experience as a professional vehicle designer across four continents and remains a passionate car enthusiast. However, because of his career in the automotive industry, Geoff became increasingly concerned about the future sustainability of this industry, personal mobility and transportation in general. With more than a decade of full-time involvement with Art Center’s Transportation Design department, in California and in Europe, Wardle has been a continual advocate for transportation designers becoming far more concerned and involved with the many other disciplines that make up mobility in its entirety, particularly in the urban environment.
Question: Where did the idea for Futurama 2.0 come from?
Geoff Wardle: I withdrew from the automobile industry and was lucky enough to get involved in full-time design education, transportation design, which gave me room to think about the bigger picture of transportation. Then later on, I met with Dave. We were both working at Arts Center, we got involved with setting up a series of sustainable mobility summits at Arts Center, and the three of us decided that we needed to bring a lot of people together to talk about these issues of sustainable mobility. And in that process, which was a lot of fun and extremely interesting, we got to meet some extraordinary people both in transportation and experts in sustainability and within the government as well.
As a result of that, Dave and I were invited to go and testify before Congress in December 2008, at a House Select Committee on Energy and Dependence and Global Warming. The conversation was about whether or not to bail Detroit out, which was a hot topic at the time. And our testimony essentially was that, before you could decide what to do with the car industry, you really needed to have a long-term vision of what the whole transportation landscape was going to be in the U.S. to decide whether the car industry had any major relevant part to play in that. That’s the testimony we delivered, but it was very clear to us that actually the conversations going on around at the time were about whether cars should do 35 mpg instead of 27.5 mpg. So, we were a little bit dismayed at that, but we decided we needed to do something about this and we decided we needed to add some more far-reaching conversation into this whole topic.
We decided essentially to take our testimony and develop a white paper and as we did that, we realized that it was actually a huge task and rather than just talk about it we decided we’d take the bull by the horns and set up ongoing transportation to work on what we called the Futurama 2.0 Project.
Question: Who are the players that need to collaborate right now?
Geoff Wardle: Well, we’ve identified a large number of players who need to take part in that because the future of transportation, if we’re going to implement truly innovative, sustainable means of transportation for both people and goods, that are compelling and viable, which means people will really want to use them, that industry and business is convinced they can make good profit out of this, that it fits in with government’s long-term objectives, we have to bring all the stakeholders in the future of transportation to the table. So it’s not just people who design cars and buses and trains, it’s not just civil engineers who design the infrastructure and build the infrastructure. We have to understand what the urban planners are thinking, how a transportation integrates into the urban landscape. We need to know the economics of all of this is going to work. We need to know a lot about the psychology about how the people think at various levels. We need to have people represent all the different areas of transportation and distribution of goods and people. So, it’s pretty much everybody. And again, from a design perspective, this is if you like, a giant version of what we are used to doing in our day-to-day work.
Question: Should the public and private sectors work together on these challenges?
Geoff Wardle: Well I think, first of all, it’s essential that they do work together. That’s an imperative. Big picture is that government needs to be able to set the right policy and make policy clear that helps people who are planning for the future of transportation to know what the rules of the game are. At the same time, industry needs to know – business and industry and the providers of the transportation systems and services, need to understand that there is a viable economy built around this. So there has to be a dialogue. And that’s one thing that we want to do, we want to try to facilitate that dialogue.
Question: How can we go about building an open forum for ideas that prevents scientists from concealing research?
Geoff Wardle: Well, if we’re going to build a viable, compelling vision which the United States can get behind and support, it had better be a right vision. So as we go through this process, we will have to make sure that there is plenty of validation and research and modeling of these ideas and solutions to make sure that everybody has confidence that it’s the right thing to do.
We realized as we thought about how this was going to unfold that we would be able to collect a lot of data, examine a lot of different models which would require a large team of people who have become, if you like, experts on the mathematics and the viability of all of this. And a number of people who have given us advice and support on this journey so far have pointed out that compared to the building industry, there isn’t really any leads certification equivalent for transportation as there is in the building industry. So this is something that we are really interested in exploring to see whether that will go hand-in-hand with building the Futurama 2.0 vision.
Recorded on February 4, 2010
Geoff Wardle and Dave Meyers put together an organization that promotes openness and collaboration.
Join The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, July 14!
Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.
- Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
- Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
- The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Study findings<p>For the study, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05970-4" target="_blank">published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine</a><em>, </em>Flentje and her team evaluated survey responses from nearly 2,300 individuals who identified as being in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Most of the participants were white, while nearly 19 percent identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Multiple genders were represented with cisgender women (27.2 percent) and men (24.6 percent) making up a majority of the participants. Sixty-three percent had been assigned female at birth. For the most part, participants identified their sexual orientations as queer (40.3 percent), gay (36.5 percent), and bisexual (30.3 percent).</p><p>The JGIM study participants were recruited from the 18,000-participant <a href="https://pridestudy.org/" target="_blank">PRIDE Study</a> (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), which is the first large-scale, long-term national study focusing on American adults who identify as LGBTQ+. It conducts annual questionnaires to understand factors related to health and disease in this population. </p><p>Participants filled out an annual questionnaire (starting in June 2019) and a COVID-19 impact survey this past spring. Flentje noted that on an individual level, some people may not have experienced a big change in anxiety or depression levels, but for others there was. Overall, depression increased by a <a href="https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9" target="_blank">PHQ-9 score</a> of 1.21, putting it at 8.31 on average. Anxiety went up by a <a href="https://www.mdcalc.com/gad-7-general-anxiety-disorder-7" target="_blank">GAD-7</a> score of 3.11 to an average of 8.89. Interestingly, the average PHQ-9 scores for those who screened positive for depression at the first 2019 survey decreased by 1.08. Those who screened negative for depression saw their PHQ-9 scores increase by 2.17 on average. As for anxiety, researchers detected no GAD-7 change among the study participants who screened positive for anxiety in the first survey, but did see an overall increase of 3.93 among those who had initially been evaluated as negative for the disorder. </p>
Risks among gender and sexual minorities<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc3fd1ae68b77bbbf58a6995638d6d65"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EnUqDjCqg0A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The LGBTQ+ community is a vulnerable population to mental health concerns because of their fear of stigmatization and previous discriminatory experiences.</p> <p>Previous research by the Human Rights Campaign has found "that LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/general+population/" target="_blank">general population</a> to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/medical+leave/" target="_blank">medical leave</a>, and basic necessities during the pandemic," said researcher Tari Hanneman, director of the health and aging program at the campaign.</p> <p>"Therefore, it is not surprising to see this increase in anxiety and depression among this population," Hanneman said in the release. "This study highlights the need for <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/health+care+professionals/" target="_blank">health care professionals</a> to support, affirm and provide <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/critical+care/" target="_blank">critical care</a> for the LGBTQ community to manage and maintain their mental health, as well as their physical health, during this pandemic."</p>
What should health care providers do?<p>The authors of the study recommend that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders in members of that community—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.</p><p>As cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, the sustained social distancing, potential isolation, economic precariousness, and personal illness, grief, and loss are bound to have increased and varied impacts on mental health. Effective treatments may include individual therapy and medications as well as more large-scale coronavirus support programs like peer-led groups and mindfulness practices. </p><p>"It will be important to find out what happens over time and to identify who is most at risk, so we can be sure to roll out public health interventions to support the mental health of our communities in the best and most effective ways," said Flentje.</p>
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
- When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
- A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
- Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".