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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0® in 2006 and, since June of 2015, the President of the American Council on Science and Health.

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In the 'we need to make sure all people can abdicate any responsibility for their actions' department, a new study makes obesity exculpatory by determining that a mother's nutrition during pregnancy influences the child's risk of obesity many years later.

Whew.  And here you were worried too many pizzas would influence the risk of obesity.

The downside to epigenetics studies is that they run the risk of turning legitimate aspects of biology into the DNA equivalent of evolutionary psychology by making bizarre correlation-causation claims.
You may not know this, but the fourth most popular sport in Scotland, behind head-butting people and kicking them when they are on the ground, golf and caber-tossing, is skiing.

Skiing is so popular in Scotland a University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) climatologist believes they need to cover snow there in bubble wrap to make the skiing last longer - because there is so little sunshine.  And all the rain makes snow melt faster.

Aside: Seriously, why does anyone live there again?   There is a reason my ancestors left 150 years ago.
People may object to my calling for Ph.D. programs in Theoretical Phys Ed and Quantum Paleontology, but humor is not far off the mark.  Evolutionary psychology, for example, is practically self-ridiculing.   

But I was somewhat intrigued by recent research I saw about stress being a genetic issue and the person behind it called it theoretical evolutionary biology.    This concerns me on a few levels; first, evolutionary biology has detractors by a fringe religious minority obsessed with what Darwin did not know 150 years ago so slapping the word 'theoretical' in front of evolutionary biology will make people think 'made up', like people do about a lot of the more obscure physics ideas, which is more hypothetical than theoretical.
If you read this site, it won't surprise you to see me write that some people feel like the environment is more important than their fellow man.  I am not saying they all want to kill their fellow man, though some advocate forced birth control, while others just want us to "live small" - but by that they don't mean lower your carbon footprint they mean literally make your footprint smaller by genetically forcing people to be shorter.   
In the 1970s, the federal government mandated that only universities that adhered to racial quotas could receive federal money - as a result, nearly all U.S. universities today receive federal funding of some sort and all receive state money.
At the 1939 World’s Fair, Westinghouse, which had an interest in robotics even a decade before, unveiled two robot prototypes: a humanoid named Elektro and a dog named Sparko.

Elektro was able to walk, count and smoke cigarettes (which likely did not make his voice raspy, since he talked using a record player) while Sparko was able to sit up and bark.  Take that, G.E.!

elektro and sparko GE 1939 early robots