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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes. Probably no one ever said the WWW or Science... Read More »


Picture this scenario: A politician is appointed to run NASA who thinks its budget is too high and then half its money and a third of its workforce is on its way to evaporating. Public support for a mission to Mars is nonexistent.

It must be in late 2015, after anti-science Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has control of NASA, if you read science media (and then whatever Huffington Post and Slate are).
If you want a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, you have probably been cautioned that academia, awash in Federal money promoting STEM careers, can maybe employ 15 percent of the PhDs in science they graduate.

The private sector still accounts for most of the basic research, almost all of the applied research, and certainly all of the technology, and they want you.
With organic food a $105 billion industry juggernaut, various groups are looking to don that health halo. Even frozen food.

If you don't think food can be "fresh" and "healthy" while still being frozen, you probably also do not believe organic food has more antioxidants and uses fewer pesticides and therefore are not the target market and you can stop reading.
In late 2008, the euphoria over electing a man who specifically said he wanted to put science back in its rightful place began to fade. The president-elect, it seemed, preferred the company of UFO believers, an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist and a guy who thought girls couldn't do math.

Groups like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration set the gold standard worldwide for science - but they are still soundly criticized. Every time the EPA clears a pesticide it is blasted because the studies it mandates are "industry-funded", which is required by law. As are trials for drugs.

For many people, the disclaimers about side effects of drugs at the end of television drug commercials (along with the omnipresent 'see our ad in Golf magazine' small print) are somewhat laughable - like with Proposition 65 'cancer-causing chemicals' here in California, when everything is a problem, nothing is - but they have a serious societal impact when the FDA says it.

A solid 12 years after most of its audience stopped watching "The West Wing", I decided to start - all 154 episodes. In the interest of transparency, I disclose I skipped two - one was a retrospective and one was nothing but a debate between two characters  that no one could care much about who were running for president to succeed the sitting president played by Martin Sheen. Real debates are boring enough but a fictional one written by one political side is really tedious.