News and Views

The EPA posted a report online this week stating that glyphosate does NOT cause cancer. This is not the first time they have said this, and it will not be the last. 

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the United States, originally developed by Monsanto and sold under the name "Roundup." Not only has Roundup been used for the last 42 years, but glyphosate has been incorporated into hundreds of additional products for the last 16 years. 

Over the years, the EPA has vacillated on their classification of glyphosate's cancer-causing ability. According to them, it seems that glyphosate has become less carcinogenic over time. It was first labeled as a "possible human carcinogen" in the mid-80s. In 1986, glyphosate was downgraded to "not enough data to tell if it's a...

Claims that the “the science isn’t settled” with regard to climate change are symptomatic of a large body of ignorance about how science works. So what is the scientific method, and why do so many people, sometimes including those trained in science, get it so wrong?

The first thing to understand is that there is no one method in science, no one way of doing things. This is intimately connected with how we reason in general.

Science and reasoning

Humans have two primary modes of reasoning: deduction and induction. When we reason deductively, we tease out the implications of information already available to us...

Remember Amir Attaran? 

Of course you don't.

That said, perhaps we should take a moment to reflect on the Canadian professor's dire, pre-Olympic predictions about worldwide Zika virus transmission, and compare them to what actually occurred in the aftermath of the Summer Games in Brazil.

Which, so far, is nothing. Zero. Not a single case.

But more importantly, it might also be wise to consider that while Dr. Attaran was completely wrong in his assessment -- which, in some circles, could possibly paint him as an academic hysteric -- there are reasons to believe that his clarion call turned out to be notably, if inadvertently, beneficial to global health.

Consider the possibility that his warning could have actually contributed to greater Zika awareness...

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Zika: The mosquito-borne virus that causes microcephaly in newborns has taken the world by storm.  To date, more than 80 travel-related Zika cases have been reported, with new information surfacing daily. And yet, we still know very little about the virus, but what we do know is concerning.  For everything you need to know about the virus, we have compiled some of our reports below: