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Science Left Behind: The Anti-Vaccine Update Update

Last week I did an update on the anti-vaccine situation in America compared to 2012, when my book...

Why Do Random Walks In Evolution Lead To The Same Place?

An interesting experiment published in Science placed baker's yeast ( Saccharomyces cerevisiae)...

Science Left Behind 2014: The Anti-Vaccination Update

Science Left Behind, a book I co-authored in 2012 with Dr. Alex Berezow, covered the ways that...

Are Republicans Responsible For The Lack Of An Ebola Vaccine?

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, has a $29 billion per year...

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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 »

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Talk of a 'secret sauce' in decision-making and charges that government groups like the Environmental Protection Agency are politically motivated are not new. Every president has its opposition party contending that the administration is manipulating science to suit its agenda - in the 1990s, Democrats got it for scuttling the Superconducting Super Collider and gutting the NIH and NASA while a decade later Republicans were called anti-science for limiting federal funding for human embryonic stem cells to existing lines.

No one voted or did not vote for a candidate because of the SSC or hESCs, they were simply talking points to confirm decisions.


Why would anyone bake bread and then turn around and toast it?

I lived in a Pennsylvania house heated by wood. The idea of using our manual labor, in the form of wood, to toast bread was silly - but we owned an electric toaster. Somehow, being removed from the direct labor equation made toasting more acceptable, though our ancestors thought it a pastime for the idle rich.
Spend any time in American science media and you may find some of them are pretty far out of the political mainstream; so far out, they may not even be friends with anyone who has not always voted the same way as them.

So it's unsurprising that much of science media once perpetuated the claim that 'science votes Democrat.'  Humans are fallible and confirmation bias is sneaky. As was apocryphally attributed to New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael after the 1972 Presidential election and a Richard M. Nixon landslide victory, "I don't know how Nixon won. No one I know voted for him." (1)
George Clooney used to copy my haircuts.

People who knew me in the 1990s always marveled at my classic, parted-on-the-side, immaculately coiffed style. It was retro, just like the term "marvelous' is today. Prior to that, I had a classic Caesar no-part look. He showed up in the television show "E.R." sporting that and I dismissed it as coincidence but when he then jumped onto my "Mad Men without the goop" look, I became suspicious and switched again, to a slicked-back "1980s martial arts villain" look, before changing to what I have now; a random part, more California, less Northeast serious. When you are young, it is a struggle to be taken seriously in the physics and engineering world but I am older now, so it's all cowboy boots and casual.


Science 2.0 fave Ora TV has a fun show-you-should be-watching-if-you-are-not-already-watching called Dweebcast, where host Andy Riesmeyer covers all things nerd.

They have begun a new segment called The Science Of Sci-Fi, and they asked Science 2.0 to help pick the perfect person to talk about...human cloning: Joanne Manaster, Lecturer in Biology at the University of Illinois and all-around science advocate jumped into the fray.

Endocrine disruptor.

No one knows why Hypospadias, a birth defect where the urethral opening is abnormally placed, became more common among Swedish boys in recent decades. Before 1990, it happened in 4.5 per 1,000 boys, and after that increased to 8 per 1,000 boys.

Researchers looked at past attributed causes (in epidemiology, they find two curves that go the same direction and attribute causation), such as low-birth weight, being born a twin, or being born from in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive, but the curves did not match.

Maybe it was less reported in 1973. No one can say. So they created a new cause out of thin air: endocrine disruptors.