Science & Society

Michael Massing at The NY Review of Books weighs in on the future of news organizations in the era of blogs:
A group of researchers from Indiana University's Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research (CHPPR) say they have found that support for government health insurance for individuals under age 65 remains virtually the same regardless of how the plan is described or how involved the government would be.   So support is not a 'framing' issue, public relations or political roadblocks, it seems to be a fundamental disagreement about what the government can and cannot effectively do - and that falls along political party lines.
Folsom, CA – August 11, 2009 – On Monday, August 17th at 1:30PM in Hensill Hall 113, attendees of the 90th Annual Pacific Division Meeting of the AAAS in San Francisco will get to learn about the latest efforts in science communication from some of the brightest minds in the field.

The symposium is called “Good Science is Only Part of the Job: Communicating Science to the Public.” (Online link:
I finally got around to reading Carl Sagan’s The Variety of Scientific Experience, a volume edited by his wife, Ann Druyan, and based on a series of Gifford Lectures on Natural Theology that Carl delivered in 1985 at the University of Glasgow.
I recently read an article regarding a specific therapist's idea for a movement to treat World of Warcraft players with video game addiction.  These types of articles are not uncommon, World of Warcraft (WoW) currently has millions of subscribers worldwide so there is an interest in anything

Last week I posted a column on cost accounting. But I didn’t say it was about cost accounting, and nearly eight hundred people read it.   Let’s try a (ahem) “scientific” experiment, starting with this announcement: This column is about cost accounting too. I’ll share the readership numbers with you next week!

Among the first things we teach students of business operations are the cherished principles of incremental cost (cost resulting from an action taken, minus costs that would have resulted had the action not been taken), opportunity cost (cost relative to the next best alternative), and sunk cost (past, irrecoverable, and hence irrelevant costs).

Ploughing through the Codex just now, I come across this (with particular reference to MRSA), by Brigitte Nerlich of the University of Nottingham, England:

Words matter in public health

... media coverage of hygiene and cleanliness in hospitals tended to portray doctors and nurses engaged in a heroic "battle" against "intelligent super bugs. This was personified by the modern matron wielding the weapon of "cleanliness." Interviews with hospital matrons revealed a gap between the media portrayal and the reality on the wards. Matrons said that the limitations in their authority over contractors, and time constraints made it impossible for them to spend even half their time as a "visible presence" on the wards. ...
A while ago, I warned of the developing geek culture making it cool to be a geek.  Technically, I was probably about 5 years late in this warning, but a recent article on the girls geeks love and a article on how to raise a geek girl confirmed that the geek culture is here and is planning to stay.
The Commonwealth Fund,  a private foundation devoted to health care reform, has issued a report saying that President Obama's proposed health care plan would help more than 13 million uninsured young adults ages 19-29 gain coverage.
As you might imagine, I get a lot of press releases.  As I have said here before, I like getting them because it's difficult for me to know all the good things happening out there, especially if an organization lacks the budget to hire an expensive PR firm.  A little proactive work helps get your message out.