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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 »

Vermont is still milking the slavery thing.

Yes, yes, you were first to ban it. It's easy to ban something you never had in the first place. That does not mean you are right in everything you ban and, let's face it, comparing GMOs to slavery is a little weird, even for Vermont.

Nonetheless, “We’re first again,” gushes organic farmer Will Allen in The Economist, which makes the rest of the country wonder if it is the organic farming or the Vermont air that makes people goofy.
American Council on Science and Health is an advocacy group consisting of hundreds of scientists, doctors and policy experts devoted to science outreach. They've been around since the 1970s, when the core of their original group, including Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug, the "father of the Green Revolution", wondered why there were no science groups that offset the wonks promoting fear and doubt about researchers.

Since then, they have gone where the data takes them. Co-founder Dr. Elizabeth Whelan has been attacked by both food fetishists and Big Tobacco for promoting inconvenient truths about science. Bipartisan disdain means they are probably right where they need to be.
Richard Somerville and Susan Hassol have some recommendations for how to improve science communication.
I'll tell you up front, I am not a big fan of chemicals.

It's not that I have chemophobia, or any science-phobia, I instead have that special sort of elitism that is available to people who have just been lucky enough to not need chemicals. I don't even like to take aspirin and I have that luxury because I haven't needed to take any drugs for a recurring condition, so it's really easy for me to embrace such naturalistic posturing.

If you want to find a hotbed of anti-science sentiment, sure, you could go to a cigar bar full of Republicans and mention that the temperature outside must be up because of global warming - and you would get lots of predictable responses, but you would not get someone claiming you were on the IPCC because they remembered reading your name somewhere this one time.

If you want to see true cluelessness coupled with denial of science, even the Republican National Convention won't do it - you have go to sites about food that are run by anti-science groups.
In 2009, President Barack Obama slightly eased restrictions on the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research that was first funded by his predecessor, President George W. Bush, but limited to specific lines. Using an executive order, Pres. Obama allowed for a few more lines to be created while still obeying President Clinton's Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which limited research on embryos.