Policy & Ethics

As divisive as we are, I think we can all agree that our institutions and corporations are not held accountable for their actions. To my right are those concerned with the CDC, WHO, and social media censorship; to my left are those who want to hold the Bigs, tobacco, or food, and federal and state policy accountable. Governmental agencies are hard to pin down because the bureaucracy means everyone and no one is to be held responsible. Because they are legal “individuals,” corporations can have their feet held to the fire by lawsuits. But thanks to a rivalry between Delaware and Texas over who is the most “corporate friendly,” we have corporate’s “Get Out of Jail” free card – the Texas two-step.
Once upon a time, novel conceits of humanoid creation were strictly relegated to the world of fantasy or the imagination. Frankenstein’s monster resided peacefully alongside Mr. Hyde and the Headless Horseman in the pages of storybooks, and the Golem remained buried in Talmudic lore. If there was any moralizing, it was – don’t go there. No longer. Last month the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy devoted an entire issue to the ethics and philosophy of head transplants. What does this recent symposium tell us about our moral and ethical compass?
The evidence is in: genetic engineering promotes sustainable farming, vaccines save lives, and nuclear energy is our best hope of powering society in a changing climate. But the question remains, how do you convince a generally skittish public to embrace the science behind these technologies? Our answer: make a movie.
Some thoughts on the "debate" between Drs. Jeff Singer and Ardianne Fugh-Berman. Such as it was. The video is now available. Have a strong stomach.
Two thousand people a week are dying from (almost entirely) illegal street drugs. While at the same time prescriptions for legal pain medications have been cut by half in the past decade. The FDA’s solution? Postage-paid envelopes for people to return the extra pills they don't have. It's almost funny. Just don't laugh until it hurts.
A few years ago, transgender athlete Lia Thompson was the 462nd-ranked men’s swimmer in the country. Today, Thompson is No. 1 nationally in the women’s division. Does Lia have an unfair advantage? What does the science say?
As with many current problems, the issue of gun control and solutions to gun violence is heavily nuanced and multi-layered. So is the science. Let’s go behind the headlines and take a look.
Barry Bonds has an asterisk next to his name because he used muscle-enhancing steroids. President Clinton earned an asterisk because he used another human as a humidor. Will Smith applied for his when he slapped Chris Rock. An asterisk after your name signifies some notable exception, usually bad. I have questions.
Science Magazine editor-in-chief H. Holden Thorp recently declared that researchers need to get off the sidelines and into the gun-control debate. His call to action was wrong in every possible way.
On Episode 4 of the ACSH Science Dispatch Podcast, we examine the need for COVID boosters and the increasingly irrelevant concept of herd immunity. We then dive into an incendiary discussion about the social-justice-inspired effort to deny the dangers of obesity. Finally, is there a "cancel culture" in science?
Robert Popovian, Pharm.D., MS, Founder of the strategic consulting firm Conquest Advisors (and also a member of the ACSH Scientific Advisory Board) and colleagues take on the important topic of generic drug prices, a sore spot for many Americans. Here is a summary of their latest article titled "U.S. Consumers Overpay for Generic Drugs." Dr. Popovian was formerly Vice President, U.S. Government Relations at Pfizer.
A new study sheds light on a worrying trend at the Food and Drug Administration: the agency appears to be funding low-grade vaping research and using it to justify strict e-cigarette regulation.