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Feb 20, 2006

Innovation between society and technoscience: Research perspectives and experience

Via STS Italia 

First National Conference of STS Italia – Italian Society for Science and Technology Studies

9th-10th June 2006

Tiscali Auditorium, Cagliari (Sardinia)

Organizing Committee: Davide Bennato (Università di Roma “La Sapienza”), Alessandro Mongili (Università di Cagliari), Federico Neresini e Giuseppe Pellegrini (Università di Padova), Giuseppina Pellegrino (Università della Calabria).

Scientific Advisory Board: Davide Bennato (Università di Roma “La Sapienza”), Massimiamo Bucchi (Università di Trento), Luca Guzzetti (Università di Genova), Alessandro Mongili (Università di Cagliari), Federico Neresini (Università di Padova), Giuseppe Pellegrini (Università di Padova), Paolo Volontè (Università di Bolzano).

Sponsored by: Regione Autonoma della Sardegna – Assessorato per gli Affari generali, Dipartimento di Ricerche Economiche e Sociali dell’Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Banco di Sardegna, Tiscali SpA.

STS Italia is a research network which connects Italian scholars and academics interested in studying science and technology at both theoretical and empirical level.

The approaches and research perspectives pursued in the network consider relationships among science technology and society as a thick texture involving heterogenous actors, and reject any deterministic prejudice about the role of technoscience in society.

Research interests characterizing STS Italia concern theoretical and empirical analysis of science and technology in different contexts (from ‘laboratory studies’ to socio-technical networks; ftrom public perception of biotechnologies to domestication of technologies in everyday life).

STS Italia is inspired by the STS approach (Science and Technology Studies), which constitutes an inter- and trans-disciplinary field well known and institutionalized in Europe and the U.S.

The aim of STS Italia is to promote exchange, discussion and to strengthen the debate on science technology and society inside and outside Italian Universities.

The conference aims to attract a wide audience and broad participation, bringing together researchers engaged in investigating science and technology issues and willing to share their experience during plenary sessions and parallel workshops of the event. Younger researchers and Ph.D. students from University and other research centres are particularly welcome.

Provisional conference program
Plenary session 1
“STS: an international perspective. The state of the art in Science and Technology Studies”

Plenary session 2
“Technoscientific innovation and society: the Italian context”
Parallel workshops
“Research fieldwork and beyond: STS in Italy”

Suggested topics for abstracts:

  • Theory, practices and normativity: the coordinates of the theoretical debate (social construction, actor-network, socio-technical networks and so on);
  • Technosciences and democracy (governance, risk, public communication of science, ethics and development of technologies);
  • “Ongoing processes” (biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, information infrastructures, internet/intranet, e-learning);
  • Science, technology and gender;
  • Communities of Practice, tacit knowledge and academic science;
  • Practices of scientific knowledge, research policies and science crisis;
  • Science, technology and social change.

The conference will be held at the Tiscali Campus Auditorium, “Sa Illetta”, SS 195 km 2,300, 09122 Cagliari, 2 kms. far from Cagliari city centre.

The abstract deadline is 9th April 2006
The acceptance of abstracts selected by the scientific advisory board will be communicated to authors by 10th May.

Participation to the conference is free (no registration fees). Partial coverage of travel and accommodation expenses for undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students will be provided. Requests for support will be selected by the Organizing Committee.

To send an abstract, download the form from www.stsitalia.org and send it via e-mail to alessandro.mongili@tiscali.it or by Snail mail to the following address:
Federico Neresini c/o Dipartimento di Sociologia – Università di Padova, Via Cesarotti 10/12, 35123 Padova

Jan 25, 2006

Course in computational neuroscience

Via Neuro-IT mailing list 

August 7th – September 1st  2006, Arcachon, France

The Advanced Course in Computational Neuroscience is for advanced graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are interested in learning the essentials of the field. We seek students of any nationality from a variety of disciplines, including neuroscience, physics, electrical engineering, computer science, mathematics and psychology. Students are expected to have a keen interest and basic background in neurobiology as well as some computer experience.

The course has two complementary parts. Mornings are devoted to lectures given by distinguished international faculty on topics across the breadth of experimental and computational neuroscience. During the rest of the day, students are given practical training in the art and practice of neural modelling, largely through the medium of their individual choice of model systems.

The first week of the course introduces students to essential neurobiological concepts and to the most important techniques in modelling single cells, networks and neural systems. Students learn how to solve their research problems using software packages such as MATLAB, NEST, NEURON, XPP, etc. During the following three weeks the lectures cover specific brain areas and functions. Topics range from modelling single cells and subcellular processes through the simulation of simple circuits, large neuronal networks and system level models of the brain. The course ends with project presentations by the students.

A maximum of 30 students will be accepted. There will be a minimum fee of EUR 500 per student (depending on the course’s funding) covering costs for lodging, meals and other course expenses. Also depending on funding, there will be a limited number of tuition fee waivers and travel stipends available for students who need financial help for attending the course. We specifically encourage applications from researchers who work in the developing world. These students will be selected following the normal submission procedure.

Applications, including a description of the target project must be submitted electronically (see below) and should be accompanied by the names and email details of two referees who have agreed to furnish references. Applications will be assessed by a committee, with selection being based on the following criteria: the scientific quality of the candidate (CV) and of the project, the recommendation letters, and evidence that the course affords substantial.

More information and application forms can be obtained from here

International Symposium on Artificial Brain with Emotion and Learning

via Neuro-IT mailing list 


Bio-Inspired Models and Hardware for Brain-like Intelligent Functions

August 24-25, 2006, Seoul, Korea

This symposium aims to bring together international researchers from the cognitive neuroscience and engineering communities for biologically-inspired models and system implementations with human-like intelligent functions. The previous meeting was held as a post-IJCNN Symposium on Bio-Inspired Models and Hardware (BIMH2005) at Montreal, Canada, on August 5, 2005.

Although artificial neural networks are based on information processing mechanisms in our brain, there still exists a big gap between the biological neural networks and artificial neural networks. The more intelligence we would like to incorporate into artificial intelligent systems, the more biologically-inspired models and hardware are required. Fortunately the cognitive neuroscience has been developed enormously during the last decade, and engineers now have more to learn from the science.  

In this symposium we will discuss what engineers want to learn from the science and how the scientists may be able to provide the knowledge.
Then, mathematical models will be presented with more biological plausibility.
The hardware and system implementation will also be reported with the performance comparison with conventional methods for real-world complex applications. A panel will be organized for the future research directions at the end.

This symposium will promote synergetic interaction among cognitive neuroscientists, neural networks and robotics engineers, and result in more biologically-plausible mathematical models and hardware systems with more human-like intelligent performance in real-world applications.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

.    Models of auditory pathway
.    Models of visual pathway
.    Models of cognition, learning, and inference
.    Models of attention, emotion, and consciousness
.    Models of autonomous behavior
.    Hardware implementation of bio-inspired models
.    Engineering applications of bio-inspired models

Visit the conference website for detailed information



Jan 24, 2006

International Conference Series on Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies

Musikhuset Esbjerg, Centre for the Performing Arts and International Conferences, Denmark, 18-20 September 2006

From the conference website




The purpose of the sixth International Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies is to provide a forum for international experts and researchers to present and review how advances in the general area of Virtual Reality can be used to assist people with Disability. This international conference will encompass all aspects of technology used in Virtual Reality systems. Papers are sought in which technical innovation is backed up by evidence of original and practical implementation, or which promise practical implementation in the very near future. Presentations which include video material and/or experimental systems are particularly welcome. Facilities for presenting such material will be available at the conference.

The research presented at the conference will be published in a peer reviewed Proceedings which will be made widely available. It is hoped that the conference will act as a focus for international collaboration.

ICDVRAT 2006 follows on from the success of the conference series: Maidenhead, UK (1996), Skövde, Sweden (1998); Alghero, Sardinia (2000); Veszprém, Hungary (2002); and Oxford, UK (2004). Full papers presented at all previous conferences are available here. Final abstracts from all papers accepted for ICDVRAT 2006 will be made available at the same site at the time of the conference with Full Proceedings book and CDROM archive available to delegates at the conference itself. Papers from 2006 will be made available online in Spring 2007.


Jan 20, 2006

Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society

The 34th Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) will take place in Boston from the 1st through the 4th of February.
Details can be found on the INS website on the webpage for the meeting.

Jan 18, 2006

Positive Technology in the HITSphere!

I am proud to announce that Positive Technology has been included in the HITSphere, a network of premium weblogs that write content about the healthcare, medical, and clinical informatics and IT industry. HITSphere is a project of Shahid N. Shah, owner of the blog healthcareguy.com, one of the most visited healthcare IT blog worldwide
The goal of the network is to  reach a large readership of influential healthcare technology professionals.
Read more about the HITSphere, the healthcare IT blogosphere
Nominate a health IT blog if you don't see your favorite one in the HITSphere

Jan 17, 2006


Heather Chaplin and  Aaron Ruby are the authors of a new book - Smartbomb - which explores the epicenter of the videogame revolution. The book provides also a critical examination of the role played by the military in fostering the development of this field.


Read some reviews of Smartbomb

Visit the book website

Jan 16, 2006

19th IEEE International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems

From the  website

CBMS 2006 will be hosted by Brigham Young University and held at the Red Lion Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. CBMS 2006 is co-sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society (Technical Committee on Computational Medicine, TCCM) and the College of Engineering at Texas Tech University.

CBMS 2006, the 19th IEEE International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems, provides an opportunity for discussion on many topics related to computer-based medical systems. Here you can find more of the who, what, when, where and how of the symposium.

CBMS 2006 will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. 


Jan 15, 2006

International Journal of Biotechnology: Special Issue on IT

Thanks Giuseppe 


The International Journal of Biotechnology has announced a special issue on: “The Role, Impact and Diffusion of Information Technology in Biotechnology and Life Sciences”

Guest Editor: Dr. Angel J. Salazar, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

From the journal website 

The aim of this special edition is to provide strong insights about the role, impact and diffusion of information technology across the whole value chain in biotechnology and life sciences. Technological developments such as bioinformatics and the internet, and more recently, grid and web services, are seen as core technologies enabling the creation of powerful scientific and healthcare regional networks. Technology is enabling new ways of working and is reshaping drug discovery, development and clinical trials, as well as the demand side such as electronic prescribing and computer-assisted evidence-based medicine. This special edition will provide the opportunity to attract, review, elaborate and disseminate selected articles related to state-of-the-art applications of information technology and their impact at firm, regional and industry levels. The scope will include the socio-economic, strategic and organisational impact and diffusion of information technology infrastructure, applications and services. In addition, the editor welcomes articles investigating the significance of specific firms’ innovation management capacities, and the regional, national and international conditions and policies contributing to the diffusion of information technology-based innovation. Subject Coverage Suitable topics include, but are not limited to:

• Articles mapping trends of information technology developments in drug discovery and development, and healthcare/life sciences
• Articles assessing the socio-economic, strategic and organisational impact of information technology
• Articles investigating firms’ innovation management capacities at the firm-level and the regional network-level conditions contributing to information technology-based innovation
• Articles depicting diffusion scenarios of information technology-enabled innovation in biotechnology and life sciences • Articles investigating strategic, institutional and organisational drivers and barriers for adoption and diffusion

Jan 13, 2006

Games and culture

Via pasta and vinegar

Games and culture is a new academic journal about interactive media:

Games and Culture: A Journal of Interactive Media is a new, quarterly international journal (first issue due January 2006) that aims to publish innovative theoretical and empirical research about games and culture within the context of interactive media. The journal will serve as a premiere outlet for ground-breaking work in the field of game studies.

Games and Culture’s scope will include the socio-cultural, political, and economic dimensions of gaming from a wide variety of perspectives, including textual analysis, political economy, cultural studies, ethnography, critical race studies, gender studies, media studies, public policy, international relations, and communication studies. Other possible arenas include:

- Issues of gaming culture related to race, class, gender, and sexuality
- Issues of game development
- Textual and cultural analysis of games as artifacts
- Issues of political economy and public policy in both US and international arenas


The fist issue is available online

Jan 12, 2006

2nd Call for Abstracts - 11th Annual CyberTherapy Conference

June 13 to 15th 2006 in Gatineau (Canada)

This year’s theme is Virtual Healing: Designing Reality

The Interactive Media Institute and the Cyberpsychology Lab of the UQO have announced the second call for abstracts for CyberTherapy 11. The submission deadline is February 20th 2006. The electronic submission form is now available at here

Guest speaker: Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Nobel Prize of Physics in 1991
Tentative title of his talk:  Contributions of Physics to Medicine
Preconference Workshops: June 12th, 2006
Conference: June 13th - 15th, 2006, Gatineau (Province of Quebec, Canada)
Cyberarium : June 13th, 2006

Jan 11, 2006

New issue: Journal of Consciousness Studies

Two new issues of Journal of Consciousness Studies. They include a hole range of articles including: book reviews, original articles, and continuing debates.




Jan 04, 2006

New issue of Psychnology journal

The new issue of the journal Psychnology is online and available full-text



This special issue focuses on digital divide - the unequal access to information and communication technology services and contents across the population.



Dec 22, 2005

International Symposium on Intelligent Environments - Cambridge, UK

Event Date: 5 April 2006 to 7 April 2006

The Intelligent Environments group at Microsoft Research Cambridge is pleased to announce our “International Symposium on Intelligent Environments”, to be held at Homerton College, Cambridge, United Kingdom on 5-7 April 2006. The symposium will bring together top researchers from a variety of disciplines, including artists, philosophers, computer scientists, designers and sociologists, to discuss and debate how intelligent environments can contribute to improving the quality of everyday life.

Symposium Chairs
• Tom Rodden - University of Nottingham
• Richard Harper - Microsoft Research

Program Committee:
• Emile Aarts – Philips Research
• Alan Blackwell - University of Cambridge
• Alex Brandle – Microsoft Research
• Yang Cai - Carnegie Mellon University
• Luca Chittaro - University of Udine
• Gillian Crampton Smith - CONVIVIO
• Bernard Burdek - HFG Offenback
• Geraldine Fitzpatrick - University of Sussex
• David Frohlich - University of Surrey
• Matt Jones – Swansea University
• Kristina Höök - SICS Sweden
• Hani Hagras - University of Essex
• Wendy MacKay - INRIA
• Ryohei Nakatsu - Kwansei Gakuin University
• Matthias Rauterberg - University of Eindhoven
• Albrecht Schmidt - University of Munich
• Naoko Tosa - Kyoto University
• Ken Wood - Microsoft Research

We define ‘Intelligent Environments’ as those that seamlessly incorporate the thoughtful and insightful use of computer technology to improve and enrich everyday life. We want to promote discussions that take a completely fresh view of the interaction between society and technology; rethinking how computer technology should be used in the future to maximise the benefits to individuals and society. We look forward to receiving insightful views on the significant research opportunities and challenges that we face, the effects on society and the way we live our lives, the possibilities, the limitations, what we have achieved so far and what challenges we have failed to address. The format of the event will include refereed papers, posters, demonstrations, workshops and panel discussions.

Keynotes speaker include:
Don Norman, François Pachet, Naoko Tosa

Call for Papers
We invite papers to examine and challenge the relationship between humans, society and technology in our changing world. We are especially interested in inspiring papers in the following areas:

-Computer-augmented living
-Designing intelligent devices for everyday life
-Improving social intelligence and supporting human habits
-Modeling and managing intelligent environments

Papers must be written in English and consist of no more than 10 pages, including references, appendices, and figures. Papers must include title, author names, affiliations, contact details, abstract, a list of keywords, body, and references. Papers can be submitted online via https://msrcmt.research.microsoft.com/ISIE/.

If you have any questions relating to the submission of papers please mail msriepi@microsoft.com. For all accepted papers at least one author must attend the conference and present the ideas contained in the paper.

The event will be held at Homerton College in Cambridge, UK.

Papers, Posters, Demos submission deadline: 13th January 2006

Marco Combetto
Research Program Manager
External Research Office Microsoft Research Cambridge (UK)
E-mail: marcomb@microsoft.com
Web: http://research.microsoft.com/users/marcomb
Fax:+44 (0)1223 479 9999

Dec 19, 2005

CHI 2006 Workshop: Designing for Collective Remembering - Montreal, Canada

Via Usability News 

Venue: Montreal, Canada

Dates: 23 April 2006

We invite position papers for the CHI 2006 Workshop entitled “Designing for Collective Remembering”. While much research has focused on capturing and sharing personal memories, less work has addresses collective memories and their remembrance. When memories relate to significant events impacting on an entire group or community and are shared amongst that group, they become collective. Such memories are usually rich, emotionally charged, better recalled by groups and can enhance the group’s sense of identity.

This one-day workshop will offer an interdisciplinary forum of discussion for practitioners interested in designing technology for collective remembering and academic researchers in fields such as design, HCI, computer science, sociology, anthropology and information science. The workshop will facilitate discussions aimed at the development of a set of guidelines for designing systems for collective remembering. This includes designing for the experience of sharing one’s own memories, and for the experience of enjoying others’ memories.

Submissions in the form of four page position papers describing case studies of fully developed or prototype systems for collective remembering should be sent by December 18 to Corina Sas at c.sas AT lancaster.ac.uk. Theoretical approaches to design challenges for collective memories are also welcomed. Participants will be selected on the basis of the originality of their position paper and contribution to the workshop goals. The workshop will be organised as brief individual presentations, problem-based group learning activities, group presentation and full-group discussion of results.


Paper submissions December 18 2005
Notification of acceptance January 31 2006
Workshop April 23 2006

Dec 12, 2005

1st International Workshop on Physicality - Lancaster, UK

Via Usability News

Deadline: 10 January 2006
Source: UN, 7 December 2005

The 1st International Workshop on Physicality will take place in Lancaster on 6-7 February 2006.

This multidisciplinary workshop will bring together researchers who are interested in the way that physicality of digital artefacts influences their use, or in the way that digitality informs our understanding of the physical. Through invited talks, short research presentations, and group discussion we will discuss views on the fundamental nature of physicality and how this relates to design in areas such as ubiquitous and tangible computing, virtual reality and digital arts.

submission deadline for position papers: 10th January 2006.

Dec 07, 2005

Mobile Social Software: Realizing Potential, Managing Risks

Via Smart Mobs 

Workshop at CHI2006, Montreal, Canada, April 22-27, 2006

Deadline - 6 January 2006: Position paper to chi2006mososo@telin.nl

Social software has seen a tremendous jump in usage over the past few years and looks to take another significant leap forward as it becomes integrated into mobile devices we carry at all times. As designers of social software systems, we can now design for typical users who want to "do" social computing while they are in their social environments.

The goal for this workshop is to explore the research questions, coming directions, and relevant technologies surrounding expanded adoption of mobile social software. We plan to address issues in the following areas (see the workshop web page  for a full list of specific issues:

- How will mobile social software change existing social dynamics?
- How will location services and other new technologies change the game?
- What are the privacy risks and research challenges of these technologies?
- Next generation of mobile social software: What is it and when will we have it?
- How can we build a coordinated, cross-cultural research effort?

Nature focuses on computation and systems neuroscience

Via Action Potential

The December issue of Nature Neuroscience includes a special focus on computational and systems neuroscience highlighting research presented at the Cosyne meeting held this past March in Salt Lake City.


Here is the list of contributions included in the special focus:

A natural approach to studying vision pp1643 - 1646
Gidon Felsen & Yang Dan
Published online: 23 November 2005 | doi:10.1038/nn1608
Abstract | Full text | PDF (108K)

In praise of artifice pp1647 - 1650
Nicole C Rust & J Anthony Movshon
Published online: 23 November 2005 | doi:10.1038/nn1606
Abstract | Full text | PDF (159K)

Analyzing receptive fields, classification images and functional images: challenges with opportunities for synergy pp1651 - 1656
Jonathan D Victor
Published online: 23 November 2005 | doi:10.1038/nn1607
Abstract | Full text | PDF (514K)

Dec 06, 2005

Virtual Reality and Motor Disorders Symposium

“Virtual Reality and Motor Disorders” Symposium
April 27th, 2006, Laval (France)
Laval Virtual is historically the biggest convention for Virtual Reality (VR) in Europe. With its industrial exhibition and its live demonstrations, it offers the possibility to discover and to test a wide range of interfaces and VR-based applications. Laval Virtual is also a scientific conference VRIC 2006 (Virtual Reality International Conference). On April 26-27-28th, 2006, it offers multiple opportunities of meetings, exchange of ideas, information as well as the possibility to attend the presentation of the most innovative applications of the field with lecturers from about 15 different countries and international papers published in the symposium Proceedings.
The “Virtual Reality and Motor Disorders” Symposium is a component of VRIC 2006. It will be held on April 27th, 2006. This full day symposium is dedicated to all issues regarding Motor Disorders with Virtual Reality. 
Areas covered include:

    - Motor disorders due to nervous system injuries;
    - Motor disorders due to orthopaedic injuries;
    - Balance and gait disorders;
    - Wheelchair mobility.

Interest is given to the consequences of VR use on functional activities of daily living.
The “Virtual Reality and Motor Disorders” Symposium will propose a wide range of works carried out to examine the different facets of the question; will allow meetings and exchanges between experts of these different fields; and will present VR-based systems designed for the affected people.
Our guest speaker is Tamar Weiss, Director of the Laboratory for Innovations in Rehabilitation Technology (LIRT) at the University of Haifa, Israel.
Call for Papers

Laval Virtual will invite your latest ideas, realizations, demonstrations, results and evaluations through papers, demonstrations, and "Medicine and Health" Award. You will find all the information related to the Call for Papers or the Call for Demonstrations, as well as the rules for the Award competition, on the symposium website

        Submission of abstracts: January 27 th , 2006
        Notification of acceptation: February 10 th , 2006
        Submission of selected full papers: March 10 th , 2006
        Deadline for final revisions of full papers: March 24 th , 2006
If you need more information, please contact Evelyne Klinger (klinger@enst.fr), Scientific Chair of the symposium.

We are definitely looking forward to meet you personally at Laval Virtual 2006.
Evelyne Klinger, Simon Richir  & the Symposium’s Committee Program

Laval Virtual 8th International Conference on Virtual Reality


Dec 05, 2005

HCI 2006: Engage!

Via Usability news

11-15 September 2006
Queen Mary, University of London
The 20th British HCI Group conference in co-operation with ACM.

From the conference's website:
For the first time, the HCI conference is engaging with six core themes. These themes capture some of the established favourite ideas in the community as well as suggest new collaborations and approaches. The goal for you as a submitter is to engage with one of the themes in rich and unexpected ways. At the conference, we will be setting up discussions where you will have the opportunity to challenge and be challenged on how you have adopted the theme.

This year Volume 1 papers will printed as usual, and for the first time will be published electronically with the cooperation of the ACM, see www.acm.org

In line with changes in our field, we are putting an emphasis on useful and usable research. The British HCI conference is an international forum for academics and practitioners interested in how people and technology work together. We are making no distinction between practitioners and researchers. So we say, "Farewell, Industry Day -just come for the people and the ideas"

First deadline: 3rd February, 2006


The six themes have been developed in consultation with members of the HCI community. Submissions to the conference should engage with one of the themes below and respond to the theme?s question so that the sessions at the conference can foster lively and challenging debate. There are many ways to cut each category - theories, practice, novel interaction paradigms, and so on - our aim is to bring together different points of view on each topic for lively and coherent discussion at the conference.

1. Enthralling experiences: what draws people in?
- Performance, aesthetics, emotion, and creativity: powerful engagement can be a means or an end.
2. Interactions in the wild: how does technology breach boundaries?
- The border between chaos and control changes as interactions leave the desktop and go mobile.
3. Connecting with others: what happens around and through technology?
- Interacting with colleagues and friends is helped and hindered by the connecting technology.
4. Mind, body, and spirit: how does diversity impact?
- People are different, so interactions should span age, ability, culture and gender.
5. Interactions for me: what improves my experience?
- Technology can be dehumanising but it can also improve working and social life enormously.
6. At the periphery: how can we create ambient engagement?
- Disappearing technologies, such as ubicomp, mixed media, and ambient intelligence, still engage us even though we can?t directly interact withÿthem.

HCI 2006: Engage will be hosted by Queen Mary, University of London drawing on the eclectic mix of communities and practises of the East End of London to inspire an inter-disciplinary meeting of minds.
See conference's web site for full details