Science & Society

Do you want a better sex life and a better relationship to go with it? Sociologists say surveys show that if men take up more of the child-care duties, splitting them equally with their female partners, heterosexual couples have more satisfaction with their relationships and their sex lives, according to new research by Georgia State University sociologists.

Daniel L. Carlson, along with graduate students Sarah Hanson and Andrea Fitzroy, all of Georgia State University, used data from more than 900 heterosexual couples' responses in the 2006 Marital Relationship Study (MARS). 

They found that when women were responsible for most or all of the child care, both parties reported both the lowest quality relationships and sex lives.


Democratic parties in four states have recently removed the names of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from their annual fundraising dinners, a move now under consideration in at least five other states.

In February, a blogger at journal publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS),  issued a random, unsubstantiated smear against the organization I now run, the American Council on Science and Health - she claimed, bizarrely, that we lost our credibility decades ago by being shills for Big Tobacco. Ironically, she is an award-winning journalist.

Same-sex couples encounter more obstacles to fertility treatment than traditional couples,  said Ann V. Bell, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Delaware, who noted that the U.S. medical system is standardized to work with heterosexual couples.


Imagine if Big Ag industry lobbyists created a special section inside the US Department of Agriculture, where they got to define what artificial additives would go into their products and who could check their food for accuracy in labeling, all while claiming a special "health halo" for their products. Most people would object.

The $100 Big Organic industry doesn't object, though. 
Dr. Chuck Benbrook is an economist who may be an adjunct at Washington State University but calls himself a research professor and tells the public he is an expert in biology. Why so many organic food proponents believe a guy about something as complex as genetic modification when he can't even get his own title correct is a mystery we can't solve today but we know his credibility sure won't be bolstered up by an op-ed he just published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  
Though it is the common metric, hospice use is not really an indicator of quality of end-of-life care.

Instead, when researchers in the U.S. studied variations in patterns of hospice use between states, they found troubling trends.  Shi-Yi Wang, MD, PhD, Yale University School of Public Health and coauthors discuss the variations in the timing and duration of hospice enrollment and their implications in an article published in Journal of Palliative Medicine (doi:full/10.1089/jpm.2014.0425). They performed a retrospective analysis of Medicare patients who used hospice services during the last 6 months of their lives.
Recently we were treated to a repeat of a three part series,
A decade ago, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) cared little about science. They were run by a staffer from the Democratic party who was put in the place to mobilize soft-money donations from friendly foundations and political committees. Republicans were in power - times were good for them.

Academic scientists barely noticed their partisan skew because Republicans Were Anti-Science. They accepted evolution by 9 percentage points less than Democrats, President Bush funded human embryonic stem cell research for the first time in the NIH but limited it to existing lines as a compromise, so UCS claimed he banned it. And there was that global warming thing.
As reporter Keith Kloor noted in his recent Nature story on the targeting of biotech professors and science advocates,U.S. Right to Know has issued yet a new Freedom of Information Act demand to Washington State University for the email records of Associate Professor of Nutrition Michelle McGuire. The FOIA has resulted in 12,000 documents (not pages) needing to now be reviewed by university lawyers and McGuire.