Science Education & Policy

dinner-at-mcdonalds-1440401The War on Fast Food hasn't led to the health care bonanza overzealous regulators assured us would result - but that hasn’t stopped them from opening another front on Happy Meals.


People with life-threatening or incurable diseases may be willing to try experimental drugs and unproven treatments. Credit: juicyrai/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

By Tina Cockburn, Queensland University of Technology and Bill Madden, Queensland University of Technology

As we approach the August bank holiday and a three-day weekend, it is worth reassessing the amount of time we devote to work. What if all weekends could last for three or even four days? What if the majority of the week could be given over to activities other than work? What if most of our time could be devoted to non-work activities of our own choosing?

To even pose these questions is to invite the criticism of Utopian thinking. While a fine idea in principle, working fewer hours is not feasible in practice. Indeed, its achievement would come at the expense of lower consumption and increased economic hardship.

 Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co.Natural American Spirit has discovered how to gain market share; tout the organic, all-natural status of its product.

It must be healthier, right?

Not when it comes to cigarettes, but it has been very good strategy for the company to do what organic food and soap corporations have done so well - frame the discussion so that their process seems physically and ethically superior to "conventional." 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is about to be sued because they have not banned fracking.

Natural Resources Defense Council and vassal fundraising groups say oil and gas companies might be dumping drilling and fracking waste in ways that threaten public health and the environment. Might be? They have no evidence but are suing anyway? Don't be shocked, the NRDC spends its $100 million per year primarily on lawyers and they have to be doing something with them.

fat-shadow-man-949285-mA total of 25 states weigh public school students to monitor obesity rates. In 10 of these states, parents are then notified.

Democrats (myself included) enjoy ridiculing Republicans who deny the scientific consensus behind climate change. But we then deny the inconvenient truth behind our own preferred climate policies: they will have regressive impacts on the poor and middle class.

The Energy Information Agency (EIA) projected in May that President Obama’s new Clean Power Plan (CPP) will lead to retail electricity prices 3%-7% higher for the nation as a whole in 2020-25, before falling to “near-baseline” levels in 2030. Yet speaking in the White House on August 3, the president denied the CPP would “cost you more money.”

Even before President Obama announced the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan on August 3 to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, there were a number of legal challenges to block the law at its proposal stage – none of them successful. Earlier this year, the DC Circuit court told opponents, which included a coal company joined by twelve states, that their arguments were premature.

Now that the rules are final, the new court challenges will come fast and heavy. The legal arguments against the plan will be focused on two issues.


Following the British Medical Association's plan for a 20% sugar tax to subsidize the cost of fruit and vegetables - which some pundits must believe contain no carbohydrates - another group have added their voices to such scientization of politics in BMJ.


There is an economic and political battle taking place in America over the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods. In 2015, 19 US states considered GM food labeling legislation and three States, Connecticut, Maine and Vermont have passed mandatory GM labeling laws.

The US House on July 23 passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling bill (HR 1599), which will move to the Senate and, if passed, will prohibit both state-level legislation regarding GM labels and the labeling of products that contain GM ingredients.

Proponents of HR 1599 argue that GM labels will act as a warning. Another reason people oppose labeling is that they say scientific evidence has shown GM foods are safe.