The American Association for the Advancement of Science is one of the foremost pro-science organizations in the world. Not only does it advocate for good science and science policy, it publishes Science, the prestigious journal read globally by millions. Unfortunately, AAAS has gotten a bit weird in recent months.
When pharmaceutical companies jack up prices, it irritates everybody. And when people are irritated, politicians take the opportunity to do some grandstanding to win votes. Just a few days into its term, the House Oversight Committee in the new Congress has already launched an investigation into drug pricing. Is that justified? Not really.
Anyone who believes that vaccines cause autism shouldn't be in a position of authority. The fundamental problem with someone making such a claim is not that s/he is wrong. Instead, it reveals someone who's conspiratorially minded and lacks critical thinking skills. That's not the sort of person who should be in charge of anything important.
Food labels serve one purpose, and one purpose only: To provide nutritional information to consumers. The process by which a food is produced is not relevant to its nutritional content or safety profile. Therefore, products made using animal cell culture techniques absolutely should not require special labeling.
Scientific journals discriminate against industry scientists, unless, that is, they happen to work for the environmental or organic industries. Those scientists don't have to follow the same rules governing the disclosure of conflicts of interest that everybody else does.
U.S. public health agencies struggle to endorse an obvious solution to a true public health menace. Hopefully, the UK Parliament will provide a much-needed boost to the forces of common sense.
Plastic pollution in the ocean is almost exclusively due to the actions of Asia and Africa, not the United States. Banning straws and plastic bags will do nothing to solve the problem.
Europeans, who overwhelmingly claim to accept the science consensus on climate change, deny a far stronger consensus on biotechnology and believe GMOs are a crime against nature because a gene has been precisely modified by scientists.
A hot rock massage and herbal tea might make you feel nice, but they don't actually cure anything. Pointing that out in China, however, might land a person in jail.
Instead of treating our energy policy like salad toppings at a buffet, let's just go full steam ahead on the one thing that could meet all of the world's energy needs right now: Nuclear power.
The Occupy movement fizzled out because it stood for nothing. But don't look now: The March for Science is flirting with the same dubious fate.
Every year, 5.6 million children under the age of 5 die. That's roughly the same size as the entire Atlanta metropolitan area. Imagine a city that size filled only with children aged 4 and younger. Now, imagine that city being wiped off the map. Every year. That's the scope of the problem that global poverty presents.