In a previous article (Degli Esposti and Geraci. Bulletin of Italian Politics, 2011), we presented an historical survey of the university reform laws that took place in Italy in the last 30 years. On that occasion, we stressed how important is merit evaluation for academics and their institutions, especially in view of the much debated but not yet implemented ‘Gelmini’ reform with its long awaited new regulation for accessing academic positions (concorsi) and for determining individual weight in financial resource allocation among universities. Here, we present and compare several rankings used to evaluate the prestige and merit of Italian universities. We also consider alternative approaches to academic rankings that highlight peculiar aspects of the universities in Italy which cannot be reasonably accounted for by other international rankings. Finally, we propose a new approach that combines both national and international standing of Italian universities. It is hoped that this study will provide practical guidance to policy makers for establishing the criteria upon which merit should be assessed.
Authors:M. Pacenti, S. Dugheri, R. Gagliano-Candela, G. Strisciullo, E. Franchi, F. Degli Esposti, N. Perchiazzi, P. Boccalon, G. Arcangeli, and V. Cupelli
2-Chloroacetophenone (CA) is widely used as tear gas by law-enforcement agents, and by civilians for personal protection. Crimes involving robbery and rape using tear gas sprays have recently increased. Experimental and in-field evaluations have been performed to validate use of solid-phase microextraction (SPME) with a porous fiber for sampling and analysis of CA in air before analysis by fast gas chromatography-mass spectrometry equipped with a new device called a multi-fiber system. CA vapor was generated by use of a syringe pump in a dynamic system in which temperature, relative humidity, and air velocity were monitored. The theoretical sampling rate for time-weighted average and rapid-SPME were, furthermore, estimated by use of the Fuller-Schettler-Giddings diffusion coefficient and the theory of heat transfer, respectively, and were in accordance with experimental values. Concentrations of CA were analyzed in a military store containing tear gas canisters, to evaluate the risk. The results obtained in this field study showed values ranging from 0.206 to 2.46 mg m−3.