Policy & Ethics

Disparities in COVID-19 outcomes by race or ethnicity have often been reported, deplored, and attributed to socioeconomic factors. It’s clear that vaccination is the main tool for slowing the spreading of the virus; here we examine disparate vaccination rates by race and ethnicity. However, among such disparities, there is an important distinction between equality (sameness) and equity (fairness).
Uterine transplants are not new. The first successful uterine transplant was done in Sweden in 2013.  America boasted its first successful uterine transplant three years later at Baylor. But these were in cis-women born without a functioning uterus. Now, an Indian doctor is proposing uterine transplantation for trans-women. The reaction in the bioethics community is mixed.
Recent coverage in the Washington Post illustrates how the media (and even some in the scientific community) have exaggerated the risk COVID-19 poses to the elderly and downplayed the efficacy of vaccination in this age group.
On Episode 2 of the ACSH Science Dispatch Podcast, we examine New York City's now-defunct COVID vaccine mandate. Did it work, why or why not? We then dive into recent research showing that diet soda can help you safely lose weight, despite popular claims to the contrary.
ACSH has gotten into it (again) with Carey Gilliam, a self-inflated journalist who just won't shut up about glyphosate, even though no one cares what she has to say. This time my buddy Cameron English was the "target." Not that he needs it, but I come to his defense!
In order to preserve their "independence," a growing cadre of medical journals is refusing to publish any research conducted by vaping-industry scientists. It's a policy marred by hypocrisy that will exclude good science from the peer-reviewed literature.
Just over a year ago I wrote about the Biden Administration’s plan to ban menthol. As Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner stated [1], “Banning menthol—the last allowable flavor—in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly products.” A new study suggests that her statement with respect to those disproportionately affected is wrong. Let’s see what a new study concludes.
Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat of the tree of knowledge, lest “in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” [1] Adam and Eve did not die - not then, anyway. But now, with knowledge generated by whole genome sequencing comes proposed attempts to create the “perfect child.” Should that day come, I suggest, it would be the death of humanity.  
When discussing Hospital systems, non-profit is a tax status, not a revenue statement. In exchange for providing a range of “community” services, these institutions are tax-exempt. The Lown Foundation dishes the dirt on the profits and losses of some of our most prominent institutions.
To thousands of women gifted with childbirth through assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and their children - the practice can only be described as a godsend. The industry, including IVF facilities, with global revenues in the billions, I am sure, agrees. But perhaps technology has run away with itself before we’ve considered the full ramifications of the risks and conjured solutions for the abuses, some of which have come to light just this week.
President Eisenhower worried that we were creating a scientific/technologic elite that controls the narrative and stifles heterodoxy. But the digital age and the democratization of knowledge threaten the scientific "priesthood" – much in the way the printing press threatened the controlling interest of an earlier time. The priesthood must learn to adapt to a world where it no longer has a monopoly on specialized knowledge.
North Carolina State University recently cancelled a science-outreach event because the invited speakers have the wrong skin color. It's another example of academic institutions prizing a radical social agenda over education.