At one time, "The Three R's" (reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic) were considered the marks of a person who possessed at least a rudimentary education. How about as part of national education reform, we bring back that concept – and update it to include civics, economics, science, and technology? We could call it CRRREST.
Policy & Ethics
The Cleveland Clinic employs a crackpot – and physician – named Daniel Neides. He has been given a forum to share his supernaturally inaccurate thoughts with the public. He did just this in a recent opinion piece titled, "Make 2017 the year to avoid toxins (good luck) and master your domain: Words on Wellness."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been grooming selected journalists to give favorable treatment to government findings, and even FDA ad campaigns, by inviting them to elite briefings that other journalists could not attend – or did not know even existed – as long as these special friends in journalism played by a strict set of FDA-friendly rules, as detailed in an exposé by Charles Seife in Scientific American, which confirmed what outsiders had long suspected.
For Californians, 2017's arrival means they have a raft of new laws to worry about. Some are just pure social engineering. But others matter because other states, sympathetic to California's aggressive stance on controlling science and health choices, will lobby to do the same so that the Golden State won't be alone in showing "leadership."
Red Lawhern believes that the CDC is responsible for the mess that we're in. He contends the agency had an agenda, one pushed by cherry picking data from key studies.
The position of Science Czar is just one of thousands that President-Elect Trump must consider in the coming weeks. The incumbent, John Holdren, was a flawed choice. His fringe views on demographics and environmental policy, expressed in a book he co-authored with Paul Ehrlich (who notoriously wrote the now discredited The Population Bomb), should have disqualified him from the post.
Florida is in the middle of a major 'not in my backyard' brouhaha at the moment and biotechnology is at the center of the debate.
To refresh our minds with some cleansing thoughts after a punishing campaign season, let's focus on something America does really well: Science. To that end, the following remains true: The United States leads the world in Nobel Prizes, and our nation spends more money on research and development than every other country on Earth.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was founded with a noble goal - to put an end to environmental claims based on weak observational anecdotes, like Rachel Carson claiming that she knew people who sprayed DDT in their basement and died (1) or that cranberries were going to poison everyone.
Unbeknownst to David Seidemann, a Brooklyn College geology professor and ACSH scientific advisor, he was placed on a "hit list" by the academic politically-correct mafia. In an article for Minding the Campus, Prof. Seidemann recalls a chilling tale in which he was investigated by the administration for alleged misconduct.
French philosopher Joseph de Maistre is credited with saying, "Every country has the government it deserves." That may serve as a stinging rebuke to those of us who dwell in 21st Century America, where partisan gridlock, mutual distrust, and general nastiness have culminated in an election that has made history for all the wrong reasons.
How should scientists respond to the rising tide of anti-scientific sentiment in the world? The backlash against modern technology is widespread: Protests against genetic engineering, vaccines and "chemicals" are just some of the areas of concern. What can scientists do to address this problem?