Science Education & Policy

Environmental groups, who ordinarily love centralized government and social authoritarian mechanisms to block science and progress, have suddenly embraced the free market - well, when the free market is using social authoritarian mechanisms to block science and progress, anyway.

Last year, after review and stalling well beyond believability, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the AquAdvantage salmon, an Atlantic salmon that expresses a gene from a Chinook salmon and grows faster.

In Japan, where the suicide rate is quite high but guns are banned, they use rope. So it is accurate to state that rope ownership is closely tied to suicide rates in that country.

Using that same methodology, it is easy to do the same with guns and suicide. States with higher estimated levels of gun ownership had higher incidents of gun-related suicides, according to a new paper in the American Journal of Public Health which covers 33 years, from 1981 to 2013, and the authors claims is the most comprehensive analysis of the association between gun ownership and gender-specific suicides rates among the 50 U.S. states. 

Friends of the Earth, an activism group generally devoted to impeding science and progress, is excited that the Texas Clean Energy Project, a carbon capture and sequestration facility in Texas, has support from the Department of Energy that is set to expire.

Frenkel and his loverThe erotic video Rites of Love and Math caught my eye on a Colbert interview.

Books Small PictureThese tips will help researchers for whom English is a second language, and who work at universities and research institutes where the international publishing culture is still young. 

I was enthralled by reading the latest post by Greg Kotkowski on the Amva4NewPhysics blog. He has something to teach us all about how we should be rational and use our knowledge to address everyday problems, rather than follow the groupthink and be driven to take irrational measures.
Have a look at it and let me know if you liked it!

Video games are a favorite activity of children, yet any affect on their health is often perceived to be negative.

A new paper in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology looked for an association between the amount of time spent playing video games and children's mental health and cognitive and social skills, and found that playing video games may have positive effects on young children. 

The issue is not new. Scientific journals require articles to produce quantitative answers - of course, that's how you do science. And scientists usually rely on a formalism based on classical statistics to report those results: they report the probability of their data given some hypothesis. P-values, that is.
Deputy Attorney General, Sally Yates, made what might be considered a historic announcement at the recent annual gathering of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Las Vegas, Nevada.  

Summarizing the results of a multi-disciplinary review of forensic hair tests conducted by the FBI laboratory over many years, Yates claimed that 90% of those reviews showed evidence that FBI scientists erred during their court testimony - that perhaps FBI representatives overstated the significance of their findings or suggested that the forensic results were more incriminating than they actually were.  

“For those of us who believe in science,you simply cannot ignore what the scientific community is saying almost unanimously.”