Science & Society

From "free range" and "grass fed" to "all natural" and "pasture raised", if there is a label that can appeal to consumers, someone will print a label.

And it works. Profit margins are good in the organic/pick-a-process market, and meat is a large chunk of their $100 billion business. It's among the fastest growing components of the overall organic food market over the last decade, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts in the report Branded Refrigerated Meats and Meals: U.S. Market Trends.


Until the early 1900s, scholars took it for granted that they could draw on any area of knowledge to inform their thinking on the major questions of the day. Medieval polymaths such as Hildegard of Bingen (medicine, linguistics, botany, art, philosophy and music) opened the door to Victorian scholars such as Temple Chevallier (astronomy, theology and maths) and Thomas Young (medicine, physics, music and Egyptology).

 Research on alcohol-use disorders consistently shows problem drinking decreases as we age.

Basically, we mature in young adulthood.

Psychologists believe they have found evidence that marriage can cause dramatic drinking reductions even among people with severe drinking problems and is not just another aspect of maturity.

What if I told you that half of the studies published in scientific journals today – the ones upon which news coverage of medical advances is often based – won’t hold up under scrutiny? You might say I had gone mad. No one would ever tolerate that kind of waste in a field as important – and expensive, to the tune of roughly US$30 billion in federal spending per year – as biomedical research, right? After all, this is the crucial work that hunts for explanations for diseases so they can better be treated or even cured.

A group of academics have channeled their inner Bernie Sanders and written a wonderfully naïve op-ed about how to lower drug prices: Destroy the industry that made America the world leader in biotechnology.

It's simple. Let government control drug prices and then corporations will just do what they always do, but it will be a lot cheaper. It is so simplistic it could have been written by Paul Krugman in the New York Times. It is also in defiance of how science, creativity and medical advancement works, and would lead to a mass exodus of science jobs from America.

Someone forgot to tell James Beck that Oceanographers are supposed to work near an ocean. 

China and Taiwan have enhanced government ability to be more effective in ensuring food safety and guarding against food fraud, according to a July 13th panel discussion atthe Institute of Food Technologists meeting in Chicago.


When you can be arrested for letting your children go to the park alone, we might be a little hyper-vigilant, yet on the other side multiple times per week there is indignation that child protective services failed to stop some idiot parents who were harming a child. It may be the precautionary principle run amok but doctors and government workers are the people who will be sued if they are not going overboard looking for problems.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is making $100 million per year scaring people about food and other science. It isn't helping the public be any safer, it is just making people enjoy food less, according to a new study.


Though women outnumber men in all but tenured positions, there is concern that the numbers are still not high enough. If that is true, you wouldn't know it by filing patents with the U.S. Patent and Trade Office over the past 40 years.