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The Age of Social Media has been an eye-opening experience. As a friend of mine once noted, "Social media has made us realize that our neighbors are a bunch of jerks."

Of course, he's absolutely right. One of the bigger surprises (for me, anyway) is the realization that some of the people that we looked up to as children are also a bunch of jerks. And some of those people are K-12 teachers.

Recently, I had the misfortune of encountering a former Oregon high school environmental and marine science teacher on Facebook by the name of John Borowski. In his spare time, he blogs for politically extremist websites, including an anti-Semitic one called...

At first glance, Russian trolls and the activist group Organic Consumers Association seem to have no connection whatsoever. But appearances can be deceiving.

Far from just meddling in American democracy, Russian trolls are meddling wherever and whenever they can to cause societal strife. Radio Free Europe reports that Russian trolls may have contributed to the massive measles outbreak in Europe in 2018, which sickened 82,000 people and killed 72, by spreading anti-vaccine propaganda.

This is consistent with stories that were reported a few months earlier, which concluded that...

1. None of you are naive, so it won't surprise you to learn that in Manhattan, there is a definitive political skew, which bleeds over into what science they accept. And in academia there is a skew so overt it can only be discrimination. And in journalism there is a political skew so overt it's both of the aforementioned.

So it won't surprised you to learn that Dan Fagin (email dan.fagin@nyu.edu), Charles Seife (email charles.seife@nyu.edu), and other "professors" in the NYU Journalism group, are defending the vaccine and agriculture deniers at Organic Consumers Association and their puppet sites. It also won't surprise you to learn that the...

I like comedy news host John Oliver. He was among the top nine funniest guys in the first season of "Community" and he even won an Emmy when Jon Stewart made the jokes of Oliver's colleagues sound hilarious. So I was excited on Saturday when I got to send an email to our Board of Trustees and the staff at the American Council on Science and Health giddy that Oliver, host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight", was going to do a hit piece on us.

Maybe it's not a hit piece, maybe he is pro-vaccine, one replied, and is going to applaud our work on that. Or cheer our dismantling Dr. Oz and his supplement empire (along with half his audience) in 2015. Or note how we helped cause smoking in the US to collapse...

1. Tech Times seeks to inject some science into police violence discussions and uses our work to do it. In the ongoing debate over gun ownership, a lot of papers are produced but not all of them make sense. "Virtual lives lost" is one such metric. Like virtual water, virtual money, and virtual emissions, pretend assets can't be utilized. If someone dies young, is is correct to assume they will live to be 80? Not really, which is why average life expectancy is a flawed notion. And if a paper is publicized in the political The Guardian, even more suspicion is warranted. To offset their bias, John Diente used the non-partisan work of Dr. Alex Berezow, who showed the paper Guardian gushed about...

One of the problems with science communication is that we are always a day or two behind the mass media. The general pattern is this:

  1. Bad research is published or a crazy person makes a crazy claim.
  2. The mass media gets a hold of it, and broadcasts it all over the world.
  3. Sane people are alerted to this nonsense, who then have to craft an evidence-based response. That takes a substantial amount of time and effort and, as a result, a lie circles the globe before the truth gets its shoes on.

A preemptive solution is ideal. Science communicators should hunt down kooky conspiracies, then take them behind the barn and shoot them before they have the opportunity to gain a substantial following. But here's the catch: How does one identify which...

In October 2017, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) added to the weight of evidence they care more about media attention than science by publishing a "Letter" claiming that glyphosate was detected in urine. Their media bait worked. For example, a journalist at TIME rewrote the press release and used Paul Mills, the lead author and adjunct at a California university for a quote, without bothering to use Google for five seconds and learn his degree came from Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, which teaches transcendental meditation and yoga and is...

1. Just a week after we taunted anti-science activists for collaborating with Russian propaganda outlets to undermine US agriculture supremacy - those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes against sugar beets now, eh, comrades? - we were at it again, which means Russia Today and Sputnik will be hammering away at their political sympathizers in the organic food and solar power industry to hack our Wikipedia page and send out Tweets noting that 35 years ago we got a small grant from Chevron, or whatever they are doing to try and undermine science this week.

Like a batboy living in a cave, it used to be the...

In the 1990s, a term began to become propagated around the science community; watermelons. These were people who were 'green on the outside but red on the inside'. And those people were the new generation of environmentalists. Essentially, unlike their ancestors in environmentalism, they did not care about people, they only cared about tearing down institutions, like companies and universities and the free market itself. 

That movement only gathered steam through the early part of this century, once science media went into decline while environmental activism shot past the billion dollar mark on its way to the $2 billion it's at now. 

It's little surprise that the Russians have worked with the leaders of anti-science groups to leverage their "useful idiots" in the...

At Iowa State University Crop Bioengineering Center's annual meeting, a team of scholars showed their research validating what the scientific community has long suspected - that some anti-GMO groups are either sending information to Russian propaganda sites to assist in their efforts to undermine American agricultural dominance or they are acting as what Joseph Stalin called "useful idiots" by promoting concern about America's food supply.

GMOs are genetically modified organisms, where a gene has been moved from...