News and Views

The efficacy of birth control is not something that can be agreed or disagreed with. It is both a scientific fact and a key issue in women's health. 

Birth control works. It can and does prevent pregnancy and the ability to choose if and when a pregnancy occurs can make an enormous difference in the life of any and every woman.

If we consult the data, the effectiveness of birth control becomes obvious. Comprehensive data from the Guttmacher Institute states that of the 61 million U.S. women in their childbearing years (15–44), roughly 43 million of them (70%) are 1) sexually active and 2) at risk of unintended pregnancy (meaning that they could become pregnant without...

Supreme Court Justice Roberts is concerned about computer systems making judgments to assist judges in court. Concerned enough to ask a federal court to file a "friend of the court" brief on whether the Supreme Court should hear a case involving a man convicted of a crime whose sentencing was informed by a software program designed to evaluate his risk of recidivism.

The man appealed his conviction saying “his right to due process was violated by a judge’s consideration of a report generated by the software’s secret algorithm, one Mr. Loomis was unable to inspect or challenge.” 

Wisconsin's Supreme Court denied the appeal and the friend...

There's no doubt that Stephen Hawking is one of the most brilliant scientists to have ever lived. There's also no doubt that he enjoys giving his opinion on topics of which he knows absolutely nothing.

A few years ago, Dr. Hawking got into trouble for claiming, "Philosophy is dead." It was a strange thing for a theoretical physicist to assert, not only because theoretical physics has direct implications for philosophy but because the entire scientific enterprise is predicated upon epistemology. (That's the philosophical discipline that seeks to answer one of the most important questions humanity has ever asked: How do we know what we claim to know?)

Dr. Hawking has also...

RT is the Kremlin's propaganda outlet in the United States and around the world. As such, it broadcasts "news" (mostly, the fake variety) that advances the agenda of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

One such agenda is undermining American dominance in science and technology, and RT has played its part by serving as a constant source of misinformation. The report released by the Director of National Intelligence on Russia's interference in the U.S. election concluded that RT is spouting anti-fracking propaganda as a way to undermine the natural gas industry in the United States. Why? Because fracking lowers the prices of fossil fuels, which severely harms Russia's economy....

After decades of steady declines taking place year after year, in 2015 we witnessed a hefty spike in the number of fatal car crashes on the nation's roads with more that 30,000 Americans losing their lives.

Meanwhile, technology continually marches on, presenting consumers a series of new safety features – as well as the prospect of the holy-grail of automobile engineering – the self-driving car.

Safety-conscious Americans would surely be looking to add more "auto" – as in automatic – to their automobile, yes?

On the contrary, for the most part.

As it turns out, the majority of U.S. motorists are increasingly steering clear of cars that drive themselves.

Except for one age-group of adults, drivers are even more distrustful of self-driving cars then...

You've got to hand it to naturopaths when it comes to self-promotion.

On the heels of an incident in which a naturopath killed an otherwise healthy woman by administering an IV of turmeric (or the compound derived from turmeric - curcumin,) naturopaths are filling the hallways of Capitol Hill, working to convince lawmakers to allow them to do that... to more people.

This weekend, students and practitioners of naturopathy from all over the country make their annual trek to Washington DC to first, learn how to lobby and second, lobby in support of naturopathy. 

The weekend is referred to as the DC Federal...

It has been a gruesome few weeks for United Airlines. After making international headlines for dragging a paying customer off a plane, it earned yet more notoriety when a giant bunny died on one of its flights. 

This led Business Insider to research which airline was the worst when it came to pet deaths. Its investigation led to the brutal headline: "United had more pet deaths in 2016 than any other major US airline."

Ouch! But is it true? Technically yes, but statistically no. And it's the statistics that matter, not the raw numbers.

Here's the original graphic Business Insider created:

...

To put it mildly, many people are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new rechargeable battery for portable electronic devices – one that doesn't blow up unexpectedly.

Among them are the millions who purchased cell phones from Samsung – which now hopes it's solved the problem before its next rollout – as well as e-cigarette users whose devices are banned on many commercial airlines.

However, there's another prominent group navigating these same waters, but they're employing a can-do attitude while showing determination to see change. Its officials are not waiting for the electronics industry to deliver a safe, dependable risk-free battery – and they now...

Doximity [1], a social network of physicians, released its first annual survey of physician compensation and once again highlighted what they describe as a gender gap in physician payment.

“The average national gender gap among physicians is 26.5 percent less per year, meaning that on average, female doctors make $91,284 less than what the average male doctor makes. This topline number factors in all specialties examined, and regional differences.”

The flaw in their analysis is in their methodology 

“We also controlled for ... their self-reported average hours worked per week.”

In essence, they report on a...

Today, the Financial Times announced that Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, is raising money to launch a new media outlet, called Wikitribune. According to the article, readers will pay a voluntary monthly subscription fee to fund journalists who will write stories with help from community members. The goal is to fight back against fake news.

Any effort to fight fake news is noble and should be applauded. But, if Mr. Wales believes his new venture will be the solution to fake news, it will fall short for at least four reasons. 

First, "fake news" will never be eliminated because pure objectivity is impossible. Imagine trying to answer this question...