Stress causes absenteeism at work

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The number of absenteeism caused by psychological complaints has increased. The main reason for these psychological complaints is stress at work. Stress caused by agression and violence or  too high pressure at work. Scientists have proven that long-term stress is bad for the human body. And when stress starts interfering with your ability to live a normal life for an extended period, the worse it is for both your mind and body. You feel fatigued, unable to concentrate or irritable for no specific reason. Chronic stress can also make existing problems even worse, in one study for example, half of the participants saw improvements in chronic headaches after learning how to stop the stress habit of ‘catastrophizing’ or constantly thinking negative thoughts about their pain.

Because of the increase of absenteeism caused by psychological complaints, employers face high staffing costs. Employers can prevent these costs by using the system of payroll. Payroll takes over your personnel administration and makes sure you don’t have to pay for your absent employees. Actually, your employees are in the service of the payroll company, so you don’t have to worry about their administration or insurances. This will prevent you from personnel costs you did’nt expect.

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Brain stimulation can help everyone to maths

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Arithmetic and mathematics: you are just good or not. You can even practice as much, without laying miss the insight. The science is now coming up with a solution to this problem: brain stimulation.

Obviously a real maths does not exist, but there is a place in the brains known for his influence on our mathematical ability. A place that simple and painless brain stimulation works better.


“With only five days cognitive training and brain stimulation we were able to make changes in cognitive and brain functions, lasting improvements” said Roi Cohen Kadosh of the University of Oxford. The study participants were still better count after six months. How it works exactly? That even the researchers do not really know. Nobody, With a new method of brain stimulation, transcranial random noise stimulation (TRNS) they stimulated the brains electrical vibrations. “The results suggest that the brain TRNS enables it to work more efficiently by the brain cells more synchronous firing signals,” the researchers say in their paper in Current Biology. That brain stimulation and not the training makes the difference is when a group that only received less training performed well after six months.


It … it seems that pigeons can count?

Mental arithmetic

Earlier, the same researchers even found a way people could complete. Simple arithmetic better This happened with another method of brain stimulation, namely transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) in which a current pulse brain cells constantly help perk or weakens. Results of this study was that the participants better new figures could remember. However, the new method is more striking results for the participants themselves: they notice better that it really works. It takes much more to numeracy: from the head count by addition, subtraction or multiplication to a series of numbers. Participants could do this faster. It’s not only learn new figures as in the previous method, but a more complex and challenging task that about twenty percent of people have trouble.

Cognitive potential

“With better integration of neuroscience and education can help people examine if their cognitive potential – and maybe more – to reach the area of ​​mathematics,” says Cohen Kadosh. And if this is possible, other cognitive functions in the brain actually ‘simpler’ than rely perhaps be improved.d1

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Idea and Reality

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“If you do not know where you are, it is rather difficult to find your way around. So play landmarks and ‘lieux de mémoire’ an important role in our lives.” Frans van der Reep sees businesses and citizens change their attitude towards ideology and reality.

“To see what’s in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle”. George Orwell

There’s a lot going on in (South) Europe. Crisis, massive (youth) unemployment, looming deflation, hunger and suicides for these reasons. At the same time there is a change in business logic and seem ‘mental models’ to change. Then the question arises how decision makers look at the world. We base politics and government still really reality or ideology, our own understanding of that reality.

To avoid ideological action is needed of what we see. Understanding This concept is, as I see it, the major challenge for the next decade.

We need to understand what we see. Mental and physical reference If too many changes too fast and that reference missing, replace ideology increasingly the reality as the basis for our decisions.

Physical and mental points of constancy

We need physical reference points, such as signs or tomtom to find our way to the airport, for example, or in the hospital. We always need to know where we are. Clues Why? If you do not know where you are, it is rather difficult to find your way. So play landmarks and ‘lieux de mémoire’ an important role in our lives.

We have physical reference points as the ‘m’ or ‘foot’ need to communicate. To measure distance and also to ‘feel’ away and the results of such measurements So we need. Emotional and mental reference If you see someone laugh, it should be that the other has fun and enjoy the situation. A safe conclusion for you

As our reference currency (euro), we need to pay our bills. This coin allows you to have. A ‘feeling’ of value The move to the euro may have had economic benefits, but also caused problems because people their reference point to the ‘sense of value’ saw change. Some of us have needed many years to get used to. To this new ‘Euro-reference point’

Ritual and cognition

‘Culture’ is also a set of reference points are understood: how we behave, the way we define a social situation, good and bad, beautiful or ugly. Reference to formal or non-formal internal programs (also known as “cognitions” or “frames”) and may take the form of rituals. Take for example the ritual that you discuss any business with others during the holidays, or if you do not start with the discussion of a particular topic for your first cup of coffee.

There are plenty of reference in social life. For example, things like your education, membership in Rotary-like clubs, concerts you will / will not visit or the newspaper you choose to read, can be understood as a social code, as a set of social reference points to which the other your social position can read.

We can not do without. My feeling is, even though I’m not an anthropologist, that this reference should not change too often. Such a change of the reference point or the rituals mentioned is really confusing and it takes time to get used to. To the new reference

That, for example, why the avant-garde artists often have difficulty selling their art: they do not sell art. What they sell is, in fact, a worldview, albeit on the basis of reference other than you and I probably have now. That is why the Bauhaus, now almost a century old still ‘modern’ look.

Resets in life

What about your reference in your life? Do you have them? Are you aware of them? Are you aware of what you believe? Important events in the life of a person are usually represented by a shift in personal reference. A divorce, serious illness, a sudden loss of a loved one, winning the jackpot millions. All these events can be viewed as a resetting of the individual reference points.

I will not systematically examine the benchmarks we all need in life, although I’m sure that a lot in the different aspects of our lives, even in her most intimate parts. My intention is to give you a sense of the importance of it, to describe how they help you and to discover when it comes to changing them our limitations.

Paralysis fear

Why this contribution on benchmarks and what is its importance? We experienced so many great changes in many aspects of our lives today, that many of us experience life as if there are no reference points. In the corporate world, in politics and even in everyday family life experienced many of us that we do not really know where we are or what we see, with the result that we dare derive from what we see and nothing to decide and no conclusions do nothing. We are then fixed. Paralyzed. We do not act and do not make decisions because we fear that they may be wrong.

I’ll give you an example of how changing reference affects communication. Communication is also dependent on clear benchmarks: if I do not know if you’re a friend who is planning to help or enemy focused on damage, will not be much exchange of thoughts, me you will not leave the comfort zone and will we develop a relationship.

To give you a concrete, practical example: the reason that video works is usually that we know each other. Established relationships have clear reference points. Where we lack reference, we lack understanding of what we see. Where reference is missing, as I see it, ideology is the replacement of reality as a basis for observations and decisions.

This is, I think one of the reasons why the European crisis is still unresolved. We base our economic and political measures on how we think the reality is put together and how things are going, rather than reality itself. George Orwell said it so well: “To see what is in front of us, is a constant battle.” Actually, I think European politicians are not willing to really see what is happening and are basically guided by ideology rather than reality. You know the result.

‘Context drives meaning’

If many reference points change in a short time, there is no stable context that gives meaning to facts. And without this context, there is no communication. Communication needs to interpret the facts. Context Without this communication, and without making it feel part of an understood reality of fear and uncertainty come into the picture and touches the sense of personal meaning for. With this uncertainty comes fear and sense of futility in the picture, as well as the ego, one of the human mechanisms to deal with anxiety.

Our mental models of reality change more slowly than the reality itself. This creates a lot of uncertainty. One of the big questions, as I see it, is whether we accept this new reality, or that we are hiding in ideology, and as it were escaping from how things are now. For example, the belief that healthy banks promote a healthy economy is just what it is, a belief. The belief that the annual government deficit must be less than 3% of national income lower is just what it is, a belief, an ideology.

I am convinced that this struggle between reality and ideology of the current major problems in many domains. Think of areas such as politics, business, marketing, science, education, food, energy, banking, the sustainability agenda, to name but a few. Examples

Rediscovery of Man

Politics based on how we like to think about reality, is not very effective and can be destructive. I would say look around you! I consider policies that lead to people committing suicide because they see no way out of this economic situation – or leads to food banks and children with hunger, also in the Netherlands – and policies aimed at creating poverty (“promoting dynamics labor “) as criminal.

Other examples? It seems that even ‘McKinsey’ and ‘Harvard’ and (other) consultancies the valuable role of man in business rediscover, after decades of cost via spreadsheet analyzes have advocated. Very good news!

Why do people and companies are guided by ideology as their guide for their actions? Opportunism? Stupidity? Uncertainty? The comfort zone? How about you? Rooted in ideology or reality?

Frans van der Reep Digital World is a lecturer at the college Inholland

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Wahn ‘switches scientists

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The Committee against nuclear waste in salt domes in the German Wahn, scientists approach that can indicate how dangerous storing the waste in salt domes. This has the action committee decided this week. At the consultation Wippingen, across the border from Ter Apel, Dutch also participated.

In July, there should be a report on the table with all sorts of data on the effects of nuclear waste in the short and longer term. A demonstration near the military training at Wahn, where the salt domes lie is still a step too far, says action leader Jan Deters-Meissner.

Last month came out in that Wahn image is as a repository for nuclear waste. Residents of the Emsland reacted shocked. Political parties, politicians and milieuorgansiaties raised the alarm and wanted the government in Hannover and Berlin directly know if Wahn actually in the picture. Answers one has received.

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Science still strong brand

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“After the pastor and the doctor is also the authority of the scientist no longer self-evident.” The Academy sees confidence in science decline. In a new report, the Academy of integrity advocates “sensible policy, radical recommendations are unnecessary.”

The Academy has prepared a report, at the request of former State Secretary Zijlstra, to examine the state of confidence in the integrity of science and how they can be reinforced. The Academy did not comment on individual cases but with a broad framework to look at these questions of trust and integrity.

“The scope of this report is to explicitly broader than just the issue of academic integrity and specific cases of fraud are also not addressed as such.”

Radical recommendations unnecessary

The Academy notes that confidence in science in the Netherlands is still high and therefore conclusions should not be drawn too quickly. “The discussion about the state of trust in science should also be conducted. With a certain nuance Blind is no need to trust and a certain degree of skepticism argued part of the science. Moreover, it seems the level of trust in the Netherlands are relatively high: science is still, in advertising terms, a ‘strong brand’. Sensible policy is desired, radical recommendations are unnecessary. ”

Distrust can have multiple backgrounds, but these are difficult to define “Healthy skepticism is not asking for corrective policy. On the other, distrust of hardened cynics, or mistrust based on ideological or religious motives are difficult to adjust. Where science by its actual organization or process runs the risk of losing its image of reliability, it is worth by policies to contain these risks. There are draw on developments such as the often assumed decline in confidence in science. “No reliable conclusions

Government must resist temptations

Nevertheless, warns the Academy of dangers. There are aspects that might bring. Independence of research in danger “The government should as a client of scientific research and advice to respect. The independence of science The government must resist the temptation firmly rigged guidance committees commissioned research and engage. “Asked advice

According to the Academy should be taken to ensure that the government hides behind the science. “Government and politics to make decisions without knowing as advisor to compromise. Therein itself On dealing with scientific advice to government-wide agreements are made. Appointment of a Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Adviser to the Prime Minister, following the example of Canada and England, the Academy will it “an experiment.

In this whole, there also play a special role for education. “The education – from primary school to PhD – can play an important role in promoting a realistic picture of science. In the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree of science education practice cases can be discussed on the basis of the Dutch Academic Integrity. In primary and secondary education, the emphasis should be on stimulating interest in the value of science. ”

Integrity: the case of the university

Science itself is primarily responsible for its integrity. Universities and research institutions have a duty to ensure the right conditions and circumstances. “This is not only to conduct, but also to the establishment of research programs and the internal organization of universities.”

“The latter includes the care of sufficient internal discussion, and checks on, good scientific practice (peer pressure). Should also sufficient space be made available for the careful execution of peer review. All this to the self-correcting and self-cleaning ability of science to keep. “to position

Crumbling image

However, external parties also play a role in maintaining and promoting trust in science. The financiers. “The pressure imposed by the financing system, brings with it risks for inflated claims and expectations for erosion of the image of independence and erosion of the self-correcting and self-cleaning ability.”

The business community should respect the independence and objectivity of science and to promote both in-house R & D and in public-private partnership, the Academy. “Big companies have often already fairly extensive codes. To the business task the good practices across the sector to enter. In public-private partnerships should, as with purely publicly financed research, the Dutch Academic Integrity to be. “Guiding

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Een model dat uniek is

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De term conceptuele model kan worden gebruikt voor modellen welke gevormd na een beeldvorming proces in de geest. Conceptuele modellen vertegenwoordigen de menselijke intenties of semantiek. Conceptualisering van observatie van het fysieke bestaan ​​en conceptuele modellering zijn de noodzakelijke middelen menselijk gebruik om te denken en problemen op te lossen. Concepten worden gebruikt om de semantiek tijdens verschillende natuurlijke talen gebaseerd communicatie over te brengen. Aangezien een concept zou toewijzen aan meerdere semantiek op zichzelf, wordt een expliciete formalisering meestal nodig voor het identificeren en lokaliseren van de beoogde semantische uit meerdere kandidaten tot misverstanden en verwarring in conceptuele modellen te vermijden.

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Scientists have a future with the Flemish government?

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Dear Minister Schauvliege

“The Flemish Parliament wants to be the center of a democratic Flanders and closely involve the citizens in the political process. To this end, it strives for maximum transparency and communication. “These are the first lines of the mission statement of the Flemish Parliament. We would have liked an appeal to this maximum transparency and communication.

In early 2012, you announced the easing of fox hunting in the special hunting. In the accompanying press release you put different things. Firstly, that the special hunting the fox to include poultry had to prevent damage – which you imply that extra fox is capable. Second, you stated that this expansion of hunting has come after unanimous opinion of the Mina Council (Environment and Nature Council of Flanders). And last, that this measure does not proscription means for the fox. This press release has been the occasion for a group of young people and students from various (mostly scientific) directions, to delve into your policy on hunting the fox.

We could refute. In this letter in a scientific way all aspects of your policy on fox hunting That information may be found on our website, but that’s what it for us not so much. It is the argument that you follow – or rather ‘not’ uses – when designing your policy. Legitimate scientific findings are ignored without any argument. In addition, it seems very likely that a strategy is used in which these findings are deliberately concealed. This way with scientific research and scientists are treated as employees of the Flemish government is unacceptable to us.

Or the scientific findings which we refer are legitimate, of course, is impossible to imagine without thorough investigation. On our website you can the general public in easily readable texts read what science says about sense or nonsense of fox hunting, you too. These texts are in part based on general ecology, like many members of ROBIN who have seen their education in the Flemish Universities and Colleges. Besides some additional (international) sources, is the bulk of the scientific information of your own Flemish research institute – the Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). You may use the legitimacy of any scientific source in question, but we think you will need this – to argue thoroughly -. As a politician That we are missing today in your policy.

We also suggest that the way to deal with scientists is unacceptable. This is not unfounded. In February 2011 a report was broadcast on the public channel ‘a’ with the title ‘Foxes Zones’. The Panorama program gave an overview of the various positions and proposed the scientific facts opposite. The authors of the report announced that a scientist of INBO not allowed to speak freely on the air. They also reported a full ban on speaking the Volt program (also on public television) in which organized a debate on hunting the fox. The same gag order was in force at a radio colleague and also a big debate organized by RSPB Vlaanderen and even in the Commission for Environment and Nature of the Flemish Parliament.

With the introduction of the special hunting was done one step further. Again scientific results show that this new policy can not be effective. And again we hear nothing of science institutions. Therefore we have chosen in our campaign for fox hunting as epitomizes scientific and political dishonesty. We believe there is strong evidence to believe that scientific findings are willfully ignored and even actively suppressed. When scientists carry no independent investigation or not speak freely about their own research, this is more for us a reason to be concerned about our future – our future as a scientist – as well as any employee of the Flemish government in any function.

We therefore propose the following questions explicitly and hope you will answer this as Minister of Environment and Nature and as a member of the Flemish Government:

- We still have a future with the Flemish government? Is there still a place for independent research?

- There is the silencing of scientists in terms of defending a policy?

Our educational asking these questions with us, as you can see on our website.

We get one hand like answered concretely, these questions but then we hope mainly to see. A practical proof With the current discussions surrounding the Hunt Opening Decision for the period 2013-2018 it seems the perfect opportunity to give a signal. We chose fox hunting as epitomizes this scientific and political dishonesty, so the abolition of the special hunting (and preferably even measures that go beyond that), would be a clear signal that you and the Flemish Government our question and sound science seriously take.

We hope to see you soon to expect a response.

Thanks in advance,

d3The students and youth of ROBIN, an association of young people and (science) students from various Flemish university towns, campaigning around political and scientific honesty

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“Thinking about science policy … ‘

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Robbert Dijkgraaf (M), Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Hans Clevers (L). Dijkgraaf passes in the baton after as president of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences have worked four years to Hans Clevers.

OPINION Terry Vrijenhoek of SciencePalooza makes a detour into the world he is the scientific adviser to the Prime Minister. Runs me, please?

It was not noticed me first, the short message calling for revolution in science policy. The Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) recommends a Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) to appoint, as reported the science section of the newspaper. Core task of GCSA: guide the government in decisions about science. Profile: symbol function, and public figure with an integrative influence on government policy on science and scientific advice.

A scientific adviser to the Prime Minister so, as in “big people countries’ such as England and Canada. Never before craved a reputable institution like the Academy as strong a trait d’union (connection) between politics and science. Now the possibilities for establishing a Dutch GCSA ‘new style’ investigation, as the Academy recommends in its report ‘confidence in science “that appeared last week. A revolutionary experiment, because research is usually not high enough on the policy to earn. Private person


I would like to take a walk in the world I am the GCSA. Runs me, please?

If I exit my room in college, I see right genetics professor sitting. With him I like fir on science, usually in response to the discussions or project updates. It generally begins thus my week. In The Hague, I have an office, but you will find me much. On Tuesdays and Fridays – my more or less fixed Hague days – I usually hang in and around the House, or the Dutch organization for Science Corpse Research (NWO), Agency, the Advisory Council for Science and Technology Policy (AWT) or the Rathenau Institute. Brussels, I am sometimes find, depending on developments there. I try to stick to the days in The Hague and at the university, but often kicking both scientific and policy conferences stop my weekly schedule quite confused. And so it should, because both science and policy require monitoring of current affairs. Fortunately I have a secretary of excellence, which will Mark R., Jet B. and Alexander P. – But also Hans C. and Robbert D. – Or in another booth if required. And otherwise I Turret step inside at all times. ‘Alexander,’ (because you do not think is going to happen? Something with science among Rutte), ‘which 7 billion (!) For fundamental research should remain in it. Perhaps the VVD tack when we do something for companies within that 3 billion for knowledge. ”

I dream a little further. The Academy’s opinion speaks of a GSCA ‘which will often mentioned in the media, and in that sense it can contribute to the public perception that the government is serious about science. ” I see Pauw & Witteman, a weekly column, and lectures by invitation – for scientists and policy makers. To professors’ briefly speak ‘me, even after I have briefed about the reactions to our thesis’ scientific results should have no influence on science policy. “Alexander in the coffee breaks Meanwhile remains science ever climb the social ladder. Since my installation as GCSA (by royal decree), proceed significantly more scientists in the public domain. The Dijkgraaf-effect, but without Dijkgraaf into view. VWO students flock to an academic career, alpha, beta and gamma. Yes, even HAVO strive again for a place at university.

Incidentally, I also bring another the right parties together. Health insurers may want anyway invest in early drug development. Scientific archrivals can best use each other’s stuff, as long as they do not have to see or speak, and they’re both better off each other. And where you Annemarie Jorritsma data for its Dutch Health Hub in Almere? Precisely, in the university hospital.


It is a great political science menagerie. Other countries follow the now English-Dutch-Canadian model, and also install GCSA’s. Summit between the European GCSA’s ensures that research money from Brussels or well-spent, and not just changing opportunity consortia. GCSA are also welcome guest at the annual economists ball in Davos, moderating the climate debate and provide public transport student cards at Richard Branson’s space travel company.

And then the GCSA circuit at a critical stage. The pioneer resigns, and there will be a sequel. Meanwhile GCSA position also sought after by die-hard career tigers and rapscallions. Moreover, the GCSA in Belgium let slip that he has more influence than in Brussels Mayor Thielemans of the Belgian capital. Infighting, culture of greed, and unclear deals lurk.

And indeed, my successor (not me, of course) appears very close ties to maintain. With the pharmaceutical industry He also spends more time abroad than strictly speaking would do, he has a permanent private driver, and he is better known in business and politics than scientists. How could we then – six years ago – can guarantee that the GCSA objective and visionary would continue, I would ask aloud. Elections? A selection committee? A GCSA-classroom? In any case, we should select intrinsic fascination with science, demonstrable political antennae, and community involvement. Sharper

And with that I’m back in the real world. Excuse me, I’m going to update my LinkedIn profile. Looking for some political antennae.

Terry Vrijenhoek attached to SciencePalooza.d2

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