News and Views

The initiative began in earnest more than a decade ago when baseball's top executive was diagnosed with a severe case of melanoma. It gained momentum in recent years when a pair of Hall of Famers disclosed that they developed skin cancer after playing sunscreen-free for decades, unaware – like nearly all of their fellow ballplayers – of the danger in doing so.

Today, sun-protection messaging is accelerating, with major league teams making it a point to raise awareness among their fans, many of whom often sit for hours exposed to the strong summer sun. And now the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves are spreading the word (and the sunblock) with the recent installations of free sunscreen dispensers throughout their ballparks, constituting the latest advances in MLB's Play...

It appears new legislation in Oregon might be the key to bringing opposing political parties together. The state penalizes drivers — bicycle commuters cheered that —  but now they have created a special tax on cyclists too, and that has united the left and right in outrage.

Given that Oregon now boasts new or increased taxes on marriage, divorce, cars, and “sin taxes” like cigarettes, e-cigarettes, microbrews, cider and wine, a first in the nation tariff on bikes has stoked frustration — from small business owners, from the cycling community as well as those who feel there is no limit to what the government can tax in support of the so-called “nanny state.”

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Measles outbreaks create a lot of fear (and frustration) in people. 

That is, in part, because measles 1) is extremely contagious - one person will spread it to 90% of non-immunized people that they contact 2) can spread quickly in a population that is under-vaccinated 3) can lead to long-term health complications and/or death 4) is completely preventable due to an effective vaccine.

People suffering from measles seems ridiculous, given that the United States declared that measles was eliminated in 2000. 

However, falling vaccination rates in the United States have caused several recent outbreaks. In 2015, a nationwide spread that originated at the Disneyland Resort Theme Parks in California led to 147 cases. From these, there was one reported death - the first...

From afar I once watched – and was captivated, actually, by its oddity – as a deer stood before a planting of big, bright identical flowers and began eating.

He would bite into one, chew for a moment – and spit it out. Then he began eating the next, and spit that out. And then again, and again, repeatedly engaging in the same task as if each chomp was his first attempt. I was unable to intercede, but for some reason the occurrence stuck with me, stoking intrigue about a deer's thought process, and about animal cognitive ability in general.  

What was this deer thinking? How little brain capacity did he have that, in attempting to eat identical blooms, he'd have no recall of what he did seconds before? Or no smarts to realize that the next flower wasn't going to taste any...

A statement just released by Habitat for Humanity reveals President Jimmy Carter "has been working hard all week. He was dehydrated working in the hot sun and has been taken offsite for observation. He encourages everyone to stay hydrated and keep building." 

The National Health Statistics Reports generated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services attributed the annual death rate from weather-induced causes to be 2,000 per year between 2006-2010. Among them, 31% are the consequence of extreme natural heat, heat stroke, sun stroke or any combination. (See ...

News that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was scheduled to appear on FOX News's show "Tucker Carlson Tonight" this week raised concerns among those of us who follow the anti-vaccine movement closely.

RFK Jr. is a well-known and long-time vocal skeptic of vaccines. Although he does not classify himself as an "anti-vaxxer" or someone who is against vaccinating their children, this is disingenuous. His actions tell a very different, and dangerous, story.

Based on his appearances at events, for example, one sponsored by Jenny McCarthy's organization Generation Rescue, Kennedy shows his real colors. Generation Rescue was founded on the false pretense that vaccines cause autism. Kennedy also met with President Trump to request further investigation of the safety of vaccines. His main...

Somewhere along the way critical reasoning and a healthy dose of skepticism were supplanted by tacit acceptance as fact press releases and publications generated from academic institutions, those “perfectly” credentialed and arbitrarily deemed scientifically “pure.” To do so actually undermines the scientific method and potential advancement, discovery and innovation. It can also place the public in harm’s way.

Yet, with the current competition today, it is no surprise corner-cutting and mastery of how to get published has evolved statistical tricks for those in the know to optimize their chances. The latest example from Harvard will be discussed here. Since publishers are enabling these behaviors, arming the media and public with tools to separate the wheat from the chaff is...

Do you know Conway’s law?  “Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure.” Simply put, our design reflects how we act and communicate. I mention this because publishing of scientific articles continues to be roiled by concerns about reproducibility, bias, delays in publication, etc. An article in The Guardian, Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science, tells the origin story of today’s publishing industry and by applying Conway’s Law provides clues to the sources of the problems. I have abstracted a few salient points, but I...

There has rightfully been much public discussion on how to fight back against the scourge of fake news. We at ACSH attempted to shed some light on the issue by publishing a guide to detecting fake science news.

Perhaps just as troubling as the spread of fake news is the proliferation of non-news; that is, fluff pieces with little to no news value that seem aimed at generating clicks. The worthwhile goal of informing the public about relevant global events, which is presumably the entire point of journalism, has been replaced by entertainment.

Obviously, this isn't a new development, but it seems to have gone into overdrive in recent years. To stay in business, media...

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) is back in intensive care. He had been progressing after being shot last month by a lone gunman—having initially arrived at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in critical condition in shock and at “imminent risk of death.” The hospital released the following statement:

July 5, 2017, 10 p.m.

Congressman Steve Scalise has been readmitted to the Intensive Care Unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center due to new concerns for infection. His condition is listed as serious. We...