Science Education & Policy

Colleges and universities in the United States remain among the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the world. But, concerned about rising costs and the job prospects of young men and women with undergraduate degrees, Americans these days tend to view education as more of a business proposition.

As a result, conversations on the broader value of a liberal arts degree have been overshadowed. Furthermore, an awareness of the shortcomings of graduate education, especially in PhD programs, and its implications for higher education as well as for American society in general have been entirely absent in these conversations.

Though England, Scotland and Wales hold the top three spots as the most violent countries in the developed world, in America the ability to obtain a gun until after you have committed a crime leads even the ultra-violent UK to claim America needs to change.

Many in America contend guns do not cause crime any more than spoons cause obesity and instead point to the mental health - and drug-use to combat it - relationship. There haven't been any mass shootings that have occurred which did not involve mental health drugs.

Donald Spector, inventor and Chairman of the Board of New York College of Health Professions, believes that technology could be used to curb violence better than gun bans, which are the reason why the UK has so much crime.

Here at the American Council on Science and Health, we meticulously avoid politics because science, in its purest form, is a quest for the truth while the essence of politics is lying well, preferably without getting caught. And, even if you do get caught, it probably doesn’t matter, since lying is part of the job description.

Hence, our mission is, by definition, incompatible with political discussion or debate.

This, however, does not mean that if a public figure, elected or not, is using his or her soapbox to spread bad science or medicine, that we won’t go after them. And we do so emphatically, since the bigger the audience that an individual commands, the more harm they can do.

People with health insurance are more likely to have their high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure correctly diagnosed--and to have these chronic conditions under control--than similar uninsured people, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Should the government tell you what mayonnaise to buy?

Liberals and conservatives would probably agree that freedom is paramount when it comes to sandwich spreads, this is America, after all, but everyone across the ideological spectrum would also agree that some common definition of terms would be called for if someone brought a “cake” and it turned out to be a “vegetable loaf.”

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.