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This isn't the Green Revolution Dr. Norm Borlaug had in mind

Women farmers in Rwanda's hills. Credit: Neil Dawson/UEA

Agricultural policies aimed at alleviating poverty in Africa are making things worse, because instead of using science to allow equal opportunities to compete, wealthy environmental NGOs and the International Monetary Fund instead make it difficult for small farmers to compete - and small farmers are 90 percent of people in some African countries.

The willingness of remote elites in political movements to fund resources through despots means actual small farmers in Africa instead fear better crops; the government could just seize and reallocate their land, and so only a relatively wealthy minority have been adopt "approved" modernization.

Obviously egalitarian improvements like genetic modification, rather than tools approved by bureaucrats, could be of great benefit, but the other pincer on culture is anti-science behavior by groups like Greenpeace, which scare farmers about the benefits of science.

If you wake up and want to read ACSH right away, it may be in your DNA

A genome-wide association study has identified 15 genetic variants associated with being a morning person. Being a morning person is linked to differences in circadian rhythm, which have previously been linked to medically relevant traits such as sleep, obesity and depression.

Seven of the loci associated with morningness are near genes previously known to be involved in circadian rhythm, including HCRTR2 (linked to narcolepsy), FBXL3 (shown to have extended circadian period) and VIP (found to prolong REM sleep).

Psychology has a diversity problem

But it's not what you think. Psychology is 70 percent women, so that isn't the issue, instead the problem is a shocking lack of cultural diversity, and it prevents fair treatment of all people.

Mean responses on nine policy issues, as surveyed by von Hippel and Buss. Mean responses on nine policy issues, as surveyed by von Hippel and Buss.

Writing at the Association for Psychological Science, psychologists Jonathan Haidt and Lee Jussim note that psychology has little actual diversity, regardless of efforts to incorporate more race, nationality and gender. When political discrimination is the norm, the problems in representing all of a country's population are obvious. They note:

  • Academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it.
  • The lack of political diversity undermines the validity of psychology.
  • The under-representation of independents and conservatives in psychology is due to a combination of hostile climate and discrimination, which also brings self-selection.

They find that the mean score on nine social policy items such as abortion and gun control is 314:1 for one side. They say that means there is almost nobody to the right of the center line, which explains some of the more ridiculous claims psychologists have made in the last 15 years. There has been no one to challenge politically valenced claims by the field about people they clearly discriminate against.