In The Media

1. The BBC was into poop - the still-ongoing trend of public serial poopers - and linked to work by Dr. Jamie Wells on it. That wasn't the only place this fad was noted

2. We met with HHS leadership to discuss how to better move the needle when it comes to both government and the public making decisions based on solid evidence. While we are critical of some decisions, we recognize that for the most part they want to do good...

On Saturday, June 2nd, 2018, I gave the commencement speech for the North Penn-Liberty class of 2018, 35 years after I graduated. While much has changed, the basic challenges young people will face have not. A number of attendees asked me for a copy and I didn't have a clean one, mine was half-typed, half hand notes, so it is presented below. At least as it was written. I went off book in a few spots, including at the end. So even at my age I have new things to learn: Like always listen to the experienced speechwriters.

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Thank you, Kaitlyn, for the terrific welcome, North Penn-Liberty graduates from California to New York cheered like crazy when we heard you and the rest of the team did so well at the STEM competition this year. Thank you,...

1. Tech Times seeks to inject some science into police violence discussions and uses our work to do it. In the ongoing debate over gun ownership, a lot of papers are produced but not all of them make sense. "Virtual lives lost" is one such metric. Like virtual water, virtual money, and virtual emissions, pretend assets can't be utilized. If someone dies young, is is correct to assume they will live to be 80? Not really, which is why average life expectancy is a flawed notion. And if a paper is publicized in the political The Guardian, even more suspicion is warranted. To offset their bias, John Diente used the non-partisan work of Dr. Alex Berezow, who showed the paper Guardian gushed about...

1. Dr. Alex Berezow set off a Seattle firestorm last week when he announced that misguided policies, which had led to a surge in homelessness (and therefore drugs and crime) had caused him to buy a house outside the city. In the Seattle Times, Alex notes his ongoing concern, and that when he asked the City Council member he voted for to provide insight on how they will address the problem, she compared him to Hitler. Not easy to take for a guy whose grandparents were fortunate enough to survive Germany under the Nazis.

Seattle used to pride itself being an equally nice but more practical version of Seattle. Now it is a very...

1. Governments love to pretend to accept science if it means more revenue for government employees, and nothing has been more prone to confirmation bias than that "sin" taxes are for the public good. Yes, they can correlate higher costs to lower uptake but that is simply government fiat handicapping the free market - there is not much evidence that sin taxes lead to better outcomes

Smoking is down, but it did not go down more because New York City dramatically increased taxes on cigarettes. Instead, in NYC the black market took over, then cops were told to enforce penalties on sales of "loose" cigarettes because revenue from cigarette taxes dropped, and a guy died on the street because he was selling them, to national outrage. Smoking went down because we...

1. In Fox News, Henry Miller, MD, and Alex Berezow, PhD, note the uncomfortable truth a whole lot of people attending science march did not want to admit before the second science march - it was first about being against Trump, second about being against Pruitt, third about being against Republicans, and finally about being for the science issues Democrats accept more readily than Republicans. So a whole lot of signs, a whole lot of anti-science environmental groups sponsoring stuff, and hardly a mention of agriculture (except organic food), medicine (except the alternatives to medicine) and no mention...

1. NPR used us to fact check the claims of a California judge who declared that coffee must come with a cancer warning - because the beans are roasted and IARC has declared everything a carcinogen. Various regional NPR sites also carried us. The links are at the bottom.

No one really pays attention to these warning labels in California by now - IARC has also declared bacon, tea and toast, plus the frying pan for the egg (so basically of breakfast) a carcinogen - but it's the trial lawyers who are behind this. In the 1970s, the litigation group Center for Science in the Public...

1. Just a week after we taunted anti-science activists for collaborating with Russian propaganda outlets to undermine US agriculture supremacy - those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes against sugar beets now, eh, comrades? - we were at it again, which means Russia Today and Sputnik will be hammering away at their political sympathizers in the organic food and solar power industry to hack our Wikipedia page and send out Tweets noting that 35 years ago we got a small grant from Chevron, or whatever they are doing to try and undermine science this week.

Like a batboy living in a cave, it used to be the...

Andrew Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety. The archetype of the puffy, rich, white 'haole activist from the mainland' that Hawaiians hate. Screenshot: Poisoning Paradise

I was on vacation in Europe earlier this week but five days before I left I had gotten an email asking if I might be willing to appear on a panel at a film festival called Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains (International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights), which was scheduled to be in conjunction with the March session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

I like films, I am all for human rights, and trains are easy in Europe, so it sounded like a fine way to spend a March 13th evening, but then I learned I was taking the place of a corporation called Syngenta (an agricultural science company, so they make seeds and chemicals) that is in Switzerland, and the movie the panel...

In the 1990s, a term began to become propagated around the science community; watermelons. These were people who were 'green on the outside but red on the inside'. And those people were the new generation of environmentalists. Essentially, unlike their ancestors in environmentalism, they did not care about people, they only cared about tearing down institutions, like companies and universities and the free market itself. 

That movement only gathered steam through the early part of this century, once science media went into decline while environmental activism shot past the billion dollar mark on its way to the $2 billion it's at now. 

It's little surprise that the Russians have worked with the leaders of anti-science groups to leverage their "useful idiots" in the...