Fox, Reason, Capitol Hill, And More Outreach Last Week

By Hank Campbell — Apr 24, 2018
Here's some of what we've been up to in the past few days, in the media and around Washington, DC.

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 at all of energy.

2. In Reason and in various other places they syndicate, Bart Hinkle assures readers it's okay to dial back on the scaremongering. Well, unless you are in mainstream media and rely on it for pageviews. We are invoked when it comes to hysteria about trace chemicals in vaping (which are meaningless, especially compared to the legitimate toxic compounds in cigarette smoke) but read the whole thing to learn that you are more likely to be killed by a feral cat than an illegal immigrant.

3. I was on Capitol Hill last week, with Rep. Lamar Smith at the National Association of Scholars debut of their new white paper on the reproducibility crisis in science, with Scott Gottlieb, MD, at a subcommittee hearing on FDA funding - where politicians simultaneously told him he was doing a great job and he deserved more funding...and he would get it if he would just change one thing about the great job he is doing to be more like what each individual member of Congress wanted. I was also at the Center for Excellence in Education Congressional Luncheon, with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and numerous members of Congress who care about science education.

And I got to spend some time with Nobel Laureate Dr. John Mather, who is the guiding science hand at the James Webb Space Telescope and received the Nobel prize with George Smoot for their work on the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite, which is why everyone still talks about the Big Bang Theory.

4. On the SETI program Big Picture Science Radio Show, Alex Berezow, PhD, was called on to fact check the 314 Action group, which claims to endorse pro-science candidates for office, but can't seem to find any Republicans, and even challenged Dr. Berezow to 'find me that unicorn', meaning they didn't think any candidate could be a Republican and be pro-science. Meanwhile, voting and science correlations clearly show that when it comes to food, energy, ane medicine, Democrats are far more likely to be in denial of the science consensus, instead believing in organic food as a way to feed the world, that modern medicine is harmful, and that the developing world should not get air conditioners if they can't run on solar power.

5. Somehow each year Environmental Working Group gets coverage in the New York Times and other publications where their readership overwhelmingly buys organic food, and every year scientists debunk their claims about the ability to detect a pesticide being cause for concern, while nutrition experts are aghast that a corporate funded litigation group is so driven by greed that they'll encourage parents to not feed kids fruits and vegetables unless it's manufactured by their donors and clients. Thanks to our work, plenty of sites are now puncturing that mythology. Eventually even NYT will stop embracing shoddy science just because it makes elites in Manhattan and Frisco feel good to read.

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