Science Education & Policy

In the summer of 2012 I wrote Celiac: The Trendy Disease For Rich White People, which annoyed a few people with celiac disease but a whole bunch of people who had latched onto a fad and craved medical or scientific legitimacy in doing so.

Late nights are not great for most people and especially roe children, according to a new paper. 
Teenagers who go to bed late during the school year are more prone to academic and emotional difficulties in the long run, compared to their earlier-to-bed counterparts.

The scholars analyzed longitudinal data from a nationally representative cohort of 2,700 U.S. adolescents of whom 30 percent reported bedtimes later than 11:30 p.m. on school days and 1:30 a.m. in the summer in their middle and high school years. By the time they graduated from high school, the school-year night owls had lower GPA scores, and were more vulnerable to emotional problems than teens with earlier bedtimes


I-522, the initiative in Washington state that would have required special labels for foods that are genetically modified (a gene has been transferred from another organism to express a natural trait), has been defeated, making two high-profile defeats in a row for detractors of science who were trying to accomplish through legislation what they could not do in the marketplace. A similar California initiative lost last year.

There's a little-known dirty secret in science funding; prior to World War II and the Manhattan Project, the overwhelming majority of basic research was done by corporations. Thus, the tanks, planes, materials advancements and everything else were created by the private sector.


Despite mainstream media coverage of the 'controversy' over genetically modified foods, Americans still don't see the controversy.

The survey found that more than half (53 percent) say they know very little or nothing at all about genetically modified foods, and 25 percent say they have never heard of them. Without being prompted by survey takers, only 7 percent raised GM food labeling on their own as a concern.

Women consistently score lower than men on common assessments of conceptual understanding of physics but there is no clear reason why.

Controlling for student background and test-taking strategies provides little help and therefore claims that the causes of this gender gap have been determined (gender bias, stereotype threat) lack substance.


How much impact can taxes and bans have on the conduct of people?

Quite a lot. A 500% tax would clearly reduce demand while outright bans of desired products keep law-abiding people from using a product - and make the others rich.

In defiance of well-established history of resentment about government steering drink choices for freedom-loving westerners - the UK lost a whole colony when they decided to force their subjects to buy only the brand of tea elites wanted them to buy(1) - a subset of progressive social authoritarians maintain that higher taxes on soda drinks, juices, etc. would fix obese people, despite data showing it has never once worked.


Head Start, the nation's largest federally funded early childhood education program, which serves nearly one million low-income children, has a problem.

Women employed under the program report higher than expected levels of physical and mental health problems, according to scholars who created the first-ever survey conducted on the health of Head Start staff. 
The anonymous, online survey of staff working in 66 Pennsylvania Head Start programs. Of those who participated in the survey, the researchers focused on 2,122 female respondents, which included managers and classroom teachers of three and four year olds, as well as those making home visits to families of infants and toddlers participating in Early Head Start.


One argument for putting a halt to government spending billions of dollars doing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) 'outreach' is that, like all government programs, they become self-serving and never, ever stop.