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INSTITUTIONALIZED PERSONS: Persons who stay in institutions such as prisoners, mentally sick persons, aged persons. There are concerns about how freely they can express consent. (DM)

INSTRUMENTAL VALUE OF NATURE: The allocation of value to ecosystems and the natural environment as a reflection of the products and services they provide towards human activity and wellbeing. The instrumental value of nature is a rather more concrete concept for economists than any intuitively-derived intrinsic values. Even denying the environment its own inherent moral value, instrumental value alone should be sufficient to engender careful conservation and stewardship. (See BEQUEST VALUE, ENVIRONMENTAL VALUATION, INTRINSIC VALUE OF NATURE, OPTION VALUE, USE VALUE) (MP)


INSURANCE: To insure is to protect yourself against risk by regularly paying a special company that will provide a fixed amount of money if you are killed or injured or if your home or possessions are damaged, destroyed or stolen. Insurance is an agreement in which someone pays a company money and they pay costs if the insured person/group have an accident, injury, etc. (DM)

INTEGRATION: to bring together segregated social communities into equal membership of the whole of society. It is essential in any integration program that due recognition is given to the cultural settings in which kinship obligations, ethical values, religious beliefs, recreation may differ from the traditions of the wider community but are part of the whole community’s heritage. Tolerance and acceptance of difference is a social ideal which is often broken to a lesser or greater extent; for example, in the Australian Aboriginal experience kids were prevented from speaking their indigenous language and had to conform to European ways. (IP)

INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT: Integrated management is handling, direction and control which takes into consideration a broad spectrum of potentially relevant or affected components of the environment including physical, ecological, social, cultural and economic factors. This outlook requires a wide-ranging view (large spatial scales), a long-term outlook (large temporal scale) and an integrated or holistic perspective (broad conceptual scale). Such vision is often lacking in the two most powerful global management entities; for example corporate management focuses too closely on economic values, and political management has a short-term election-based outlook. Integrated management recognizes the connectedness of human activities and natural processes, and necessarily involves multidisciplinary cooperation. The increased complexity is however justified by favourable outcomes and benefits to sustainability. Socio-cultural requirements for integrated management include community dialogue and public participation taking into account the opinions and concerns of all relevant parties, sectors and stakeholders such as indigenous people, local residents and land users. Ecological considerations include recognition of the connections among species, ecosystems and bioregions, for example the continuity between terrestrial and marine environments. Management should consider secondary impacts or flow-on effects, and be at the scale of whole bioregions, ecosystems or catchments, unrestricted by political boundaries. (See ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT, BIOREGIONALISM, PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE, STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT, TOTAL CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT) (MP)

INTEGRITY: 1. the quality of being ethical, virtuous, and consistent; 2. wholeness, completeness. (RW)

INTELLECT: In many philosophies, the soul is said to consist of the emotions, on one hand, and the intellect on the other. The intellect is responsible for pure, abstract, rational thought. ARISTOTLE (q.v.)believed that the gods, and MAIMONIDES (q.v.) believed that God and the ANGELS (q.v.) are purely intellectual beings which love and look after us to the extent to which we exercise our intellects. Modern neurobiology is raising the question whether our intellectual activities are performed by a spiritual soul or can be explained in terms of the workings of a physical brain. (FL)

INTELLECTUAL: Pertaining to thought, or an intelligent thinking person. The intellectual often likes ideas and debate, and although may be a trained expert in a particular field, can spiral off into varied broad subjects. The responsibility of the public intellectual is to highlight injustice and show social leadership. (See EXPERT) (MP)

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: That area of the law involving patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and plant variety protection (See INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS). (DM)

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: the primary purpose for creating intellectual property rights is to provide an incentive for creating new inventions (See INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY). (DM)

INTELLIGENCE: Intelligence refers to the ability of the mind to handle and process information. Human intelligence is made up of a number of capacities, including logical deduction, reasoning, inference, analogy, abstract thought, perception, comprehension, memory, creativity, learning from experience, application of knowledge, problem solving, recognition of importance and adaptability of response. In addition, there are multiple recognized types of intelligence, including verbal, logical, mathematical, spatial, kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and emotional intelligences. This diversity illustrates the difficulties inherent in the measurement of intelligence. The intellectual environment of the young determines whether they are able to reach their genetic potential for brainpower. Of course humans are not the only intelligent agents on the planet, with various animal and artificial intelligences having different comparative strengths and functions. (See ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT,) (MP)

INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT: Controversial age-adjusted quantitative measure of intellectual performance. An IQ of around 100 is average. Much of the controversy has centred around the extent to which IQ is genetically determined (see EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, GENETIC DETERMINISM).(MR)

INTELLIGENT AGENT: An autonomous software program or expert system which independently carries out its own specialized task or service. An intelligent agent may for example collect information of certain criteria from the internet, or learn to filter news or advertising according to user habits and preferences. (See ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, EXPERT SYSTEM) (MP)


INTENSIVE CARE UNITS: Hospital units providing continuous surveillance and care to critically ill patients. (DM)

INTER- : Combining prefix from Latin inter meaning ‘between’, ‘among’. (See INTRA-, META-, MULTI-, PRE-, POST-, TRANS-) (MP)

INTERACTION: Includes communication or inter personal contact between investigator and the subject between two or more persons. Private information includes information about behavior that occurs in a context I which an individual can reasonably expect that no observation or recording is taking place and information which has been provided for specific purposes by an individual and which the individual can reasonably expect will not be made public e.g. the patients" medical record. (JA)


INTERDICTION: 1. Law: A legal act or decree which commands, prohibits, forbids etc., culturally connected to Roman Law and interdiction as practiced by the Roman Catholic Church. 2. International Relations: Forceful disruption, isolation or interception, for example military interdiction of enemy movements or supply lines, or coast guard interdiction of planes or ships suspected of carrying contraband or illegal arms. (MP)

INTERDISCIPLINARY: (Inter- "between") An issue or approach which bridges between disciplines or across professions. Often new ideas or problems may be found in the less-explored regions between established areas of academic knowledge, and usually ethical and sustainable development issues require involvement of more than one profession. (See INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT, MULTIDISCIPLINARY, TRANSDISCIPLINARY) (MP)

INTERFERING WITH NATURE: A common objection to much modern BIOTECHNOLOGY (q.v.), especially GENETIC ENGINEERING (q.v.), is that it interferes with nature. This then raises the issue as to when interfering with nature is good and when it is not. Few people argue that all instances of interfering with nature (e.g. the prevention of diseases through sanitation and vaccination) are bad, though what precisely is 'natural' is itself open to controversy. (MR)

INTERFERON: There are a number of types of these proteins in the body which are produced by cells as a reaction to infection by a virus. (DM)

INTERGENERATIONAL EQUITY: Equity between generations is one of the central defining principles of Sustainable Development. The ability of future generations to meet their needs should not be compromised by the actions of the present generation. (See INTRAGENERATIONAL EQUITY, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT) (MP)

INTERLEUKINS: Protein messengers between leukocytes in the body, some of which are also now made by genetic engineering for therapeutic use. (DM)

INTERMEDIARY: Someone who carries messages between people who are unwilling or unable to meet. (DM)

INTERNAL MEDICINE: The branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the internal organ systems of adults. (DM)

INTERNATIONAL BIOETHICS SURVEY: A survey conducted by Darryl Macer and colleagues in 1993 in different countries about ordinary citizens opinions and ideas when answering bioethics dilemmas. It introduced the field of descriptive bioethics. Results are in the book Bioethics for the People by the People (Eubios Ethics Institute, 1994). (DM)

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: With 120 nations voting for its Rome 1998 statute, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was open for business in 2002. Many of the indictments against Americans for actions during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have been deflected by their non-recognition of the ICC. (See CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, GENEVA CONVENTIONS, GENOCIDE, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW, JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL, JUST WAR THEORY, NUREMBERG TRIALS) (MP)

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW: A synthesis of current potentially enforceable international human rights regulations. This synthesis aims at an acceptable system of 'universal' laws which find a non-culturally relative balance, for example between individualist and collectivist global value systems. The international element was added to law with the Nuremberg Charter after the horrors of World War II. Many of the philosophical values behind international human rights law are outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN in 1948 accompanied by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Attempts at the regulation of war have tried to restrict justification for the resort to war, and failing that, to restrict the conduct of war. International war law found expression in the Geneva Conventions (1949) and Protocols (1977). Numerous UN Conventions and International Human Rights Treaties have since been widely signed, but have proven relatively toothless as international law without ratification into national laws and broad political subscription to specific treaties. The USA has had a poor record in this, requiring a two-thirds Senate majority for ratification. With international humanitarian law so difficult to enforce amongst the myriad treaties, national laws and truth commissions, a global legal system was required to deal with universal human values and horrifying war crimes. To this end the Hague War Crimes Tribunals (1993) and International Criminal Court (2002) have been established. Current and upcoming trials will also trial these institutions, and serve as some of the first strong legal disincentives for world leaders whose power creates war or suffering. (See CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, ETHNIC CLEANSING, GENEVA CONVENTIONS, HAGUE CONVENTIONS, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT, LIEBER CODE, NUREMBERG TRIALS, UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS) (MP)

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF): Is a UN specialized agency, founded at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 to secure international monetary cooperation, to stabilize currency exchange rates, andto expand international liquidity - access to hard currencies. (DM)

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION: The International Space Station is the current and future operational version of previous space stations such as the Soviet MIR (1986-) and the first US space station Skylab (1973-79). An example of global cooperation and friendship, it serves as an example of the use of space for peace and international benefit. (See SPACE EXPLORATION) (MP)

INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: Movement of inventions and technical know-how across national borders.

INTERNET: What became the Internet was originally developed as ARPANET by the US Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), discontinued in 1990 to give way to civilian utilization of the Internet after the end of the Cold War. The Internet is a networked collection of individual computers, hierarchically nested into an international telecommunications system. Computers are connected by the common Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and accessed via hypertext links. The material composition of the Internet is really only hardware for memory storage, copper, coaxial and glass wires, radio-waves and microwaves. (See CYBERIA, CYBERSPACE, EMAIL, TRANSLATION SOFTWARE, VIDEO CONFERENCING, VIRTUAL REALITY, WORLD WIDE WEB) (MP)



INTERNET PRIVACY: If your computer is connected to the internet, then the internet can, with a little know-how, also look inside your computer. Various intranets, firewalls, encryptions, virus detectors and other security software try to keep the back-door closed and your activities confidential. But the web is littered with personal data, and spy software can collect traces of internet information. The integration of mobile phones with internet functions has brought chat-room predators a step closer. New connectivity and processing power has also ignited citizen privacy issues in relation to government security, corporations and ‘Big Brother’. (See BIG BROTHER, CYBER CRIME, FIREWALL, HACKER, INTRANET) (MP)

INTERPROFESSIONAL RELATIONS: The interaction of two or more professionals from the same or different fields. Related issues include medical etiquette, and the physician nurse relationship. (DM)

INTERSPECIES FERTILIZATION: Fertilization usually occurs within the same species, but it is sometimes possible for fertilization to occur between gamtes of different species. Usually the embryos formed in that way will not develop. (DM)

INTERVENTION: Includes both physical procedures by which data are gathered (e.g Venipuncture) and manipulations of the subjects" environment that are performed for research purposes. (JA)

INTRA- : Combining prefix from Latin intrā meaning ‘within’ (sometimes used in opposition to either inter ‘between’ or extra ‘outside of’). (See INTER-, META-, MULTI-, TRANS-) (MP)


INTRAGENERATIONAL EQUITY: Equity among those within the current generation. The economic benefits and environmental impacts of development are often not distributed fairly between nations or within them. It has been noted that the central concept of Sustainable Development - a fair go for future generations - should hold equally for the current generation. Intragenerational equity is therefore a hypothetical goal of sustainability which addresses these injustices of resource distribution. (See INTERGENERATIONAL EQUITY, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT) (MP)

INRANET: An internal web servicing an organization, similar in function to the Internet but not accessible from it. Corporate data, business plans, research agendas and meetings are conducted and stored within the confines of their intranet. Intranet architecture often allows internal users access to the Internet, but is protected from outside penetration by firewalls. (See FIREWALL, INTERNET PRIVACY, TRANSPARENCY) (MP)

INTRAUTERINE DEVICE (IUD): Contraceptive device inserted through the cervix into the uterine cavity. The origin of the IUD dates back to antiquity when Arabs used to prevent conception in their saddle camels on long journeys by introducing a round smooth stone into the uterus; the camel then repulsed the advances of the male as if she were pregnant. The first generation of modern IUDs, designed and produced in the late 1950s, were unmedicated devices produced following the development of the biologically inert plastic polyethylene. During the 1970s medicated or bioactive IUDs were developed which carried substances such as metallic ions (copper acting as a spermicide) or hormones. These medicated devices were developed to reduce the incidence of side effects and to increase their contraceptive effectiveness. (See CONTRACEPTION). (DM, IP)

INTRAUTERINE GROWTH RETARDATION (IUGR): is the most common term used to refer to the results of inadequate growth in the fetus. Another way is to describe the uterine growth-retarded infant as being small-for-gestational age, or small-for-dates which means a birth weight below the 10th percentile of intrauterine growth curves in general 2,500 g or less. In general, the lowest risk of neonatal death and the greatest likelihood of optimal physical and intellectual development is in children 3,000 g or more at birth; thus, normal intrauterine growth is considered a good marker for fetal wellbeing with the same being true for postnatal growth. A large body of information exists about factors associated with low birthweight, and the population most likely to be "at risk" many of the determinants relate to the helplessness engendered by vicious poverty cycles and include elements of physical and psychological stress. (See ADDICTION, PREMATURITY, SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME). (IP)

INTRINSIC belonging inherently to some thing by the very nature of its existence. Biodiversity is becoming an intrinsic component of the ethical debate; thus the ability for humankind to value the innate may prove to be one of the very keys to long-term survival. (IP)

INTRINSIC VALUE OF NATURE: Placing value and importance on ecosystems and physical environments which is completely independent of human experience. At the farthest end of the deep ecology spectrum, nature is considered priceless. For example, biodiversity has survival merit independently of whether or not it has cultural relevance or contains components useful to humans. (See BEQUEST VALUE, ENVIRONMENTAL VALUATION, INSTRUMENTAL VALUE OF NATURE) (MP)

INTRODUCED SPECIES: An exotic species which has arrived, often thrived, in a foreign environment. Introduced species may successfully compete with native species by invading habitat and ecological niches. Examples which resulted in damage to Australian ecosystems include the rabbit, fox, cat, cane toad, fire ant, lantana, bitou bush, water hyacinth, camphor laurel, many garden plants, plantation pines and for that matter most crops. It is a costly path once an introduced species has arrived, and for that reason Australia has a good quarantine system. Biological control has been semi-successfully used, for example myxomatosis and calcivirus against rabbits. With biological control care to avoid suffering (sterility control is better), and undue interactions with other parts of the ecosystem (the cane toad was originally envisioned a biological control!) Introduced species may not necessarily be pest species, depending on their amenity or impact. Debate continues over the divide between animal rights advocates and environmentalists on the issue of introduced species. (See BIOLOGICAL CONTROL, CANE TOAD, PEST SPECIES). (MP)

INTRONS: The DNA sequences interrupting the protein-coding sequences of a gene that are transcribed into mRNA but are cut out of the message before it is translated into protein. Compare exons. (DM)

INVASION DAY: A revealing colloquial term for public celebrations such as Australia Day (January 26) which commemorates first European arrival in 1788, Columbus Day (October 12) commemorating European arrival in America in 1492, Indonesian Invasion Day in East Timor (December 7) or similar anniversaries in other countries. The term is used by those in sympathy with the Australian Aboriginals, Amerindians and other indigenous peoples, for whom the beginnings of the destruction of their way of life is no reason to celebrate. (MP)

INVENTION: An original device, contraption, or process developed after study and experiment. Genetically engineered animals, plants, and micro-organisms have been recognized as patentable forms of biological invention in the United States, but this is not always the case in other countries, especially where animals are concerned. (DM)

INVERTEBRATE: An animal lacking a backbone. (RW)

INVESTIGATIONAL DRUGS: Drugs which have received US FDA approval for human testing but have yet to be approved for commercial marketing. These include drugs used for treatment while they still are undergoing clinical trials. (DM)

INVESTIGATORS: A US term for professionals engaged in biomedical or behavioral research.

INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT: Civil commitment to an institution such as a hospital for the mentally sick. (DM)

INVOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA: The killing of a patient who is suffering or is afflicted with an incurable disease or condition, for reasons of mercy, without that person's consent (See EUTHANASIA) (DM)

INVOLUNTARY STERILIZATION: Sterilization performed without the consent of the patient. (DM)

IONOSPHERE refers to the region of the upper atmosphere generally above 50 km up which is in a state of significant ionization (see BIOSPHERE, OZONE HOLE). (IP)

IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.



IRRIGATION: The supply of water to arigricultural fields and paddies. (RW)

ISEP: International Society for Environmental Protection.

ISLAM: (from the Arabic root s.l.m., meaning "submission to the will of God"). Initially, this term was applied in a generic sense to those who submitted to the will of God. Thus, Abraham and various other Biblical characters are referred to in the Quran (see QURAN) as professing Islam. Later, the term became more specified, referring to those who accepted the Quran and the prophecy of Mohammed in addition to the basic submission to the will of God. The most sacred text of Islam is the Quran. The Hadith (see HADITH) collections also contain important traditions and customs of Islam. The religious duties of Islam include: prayer, giving of charity, pilgrimmage to the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. (AG)

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