Science & Society


By: Karin Heineman, Inside Science

(Inside Science TV) – Who can forget the winter of 2013-2014? Record-breaking cold temperatures and heavy snowfall hit from the Rocky Mountains all the way to the East Coast.

Although the majority of Americans still believe that global warming is happening, the especially blustery winter caused some people to question whether global warming is really happening.

“Almost invariably we find that after any winter a drop off in belief in the existence of global warming," said Barry Rabe, a political scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

America has a health care problem. It is excellent, the best in the world, but it is expensive. Rather than solving the problems of defensive medicine costs, designed to prevent lawsuits by conducting unnecessary tests, or tort reform to prevent lawyers from convincing people they are 'suing an insurance company' so the cost won't matter, America has instead created mandates so everyone is forced to buy insurance, and then subsidized people who can't afford it.



It's easy to sneer at people for protecting their backyards, but what if there's a compelling reason to do so? Mickey DeRham photos, CC BY-NC

By Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University.

The term NIMBY – “not in my back yard"– has long been used to criticize people who oppose commercial or industrial development in their communities. Invariably pejorative, it casts citizens as selfish individualists who care only for themselves, hypocrites who want the benefits of modernity without paying its costs.


Too much to ask. wavebreakmedia / shutterstock

By James Hayton, University of Warwick

What makes Americans afraid is the topic of the first comprehensive nationwide study by Chapman University. According to the Chapman poll, the number one fear in America today is not Muslim terrorists or Russian imperialism or Ebola, it's...walking alone at night.

The Chapman Survey on American Fears included 1,500 nationally representative participants. The top five things Americans fear the most are:


Sperm donation for fertility issues has been common for some time and ovum donation has become increasingly accepted by women as well.

That leads to sociological questions about selection; everyone says they will love their kids no matter what, but given a book to choose from, what traits in a donor do people consider most important, beauty, intelligence or health?
Last week I did an update on the anti-vaccine situation in America compared to 2012, when my book, Science Left Behind, was published. I noted that things have gotten better, primarily because people on the left have turned on those people on the left who make up the bulk of the anti-vaccine movement; primarily wealthy, progressive elites.
The Sciences occur in actual colleges with codes of discipline, more importantly a "college" of people known in each field keeps the peace and diffuses most situations  remotely similar to  #Gamergate.  
When most people think of first responders, they think of paramedics or combat medics or other medically-trained personnel doing CPR and other life-saving procedures in stressful situations.

They do not think of acupuncture.
 
A review article in Medical Acupuncture - since it is a review, it is collating other articles about acupuncture, rather than science or medicine - argues that first responders should be trained in integrative medicine approaches such as acupuncture, hypnosis and biofeedback to provide adjunctive treatment to help relieve patients' pain and stress. Maybe they could teach some yoga and the benefits of organic food during the next earthquake as well.
Science Left Behind, a book I co-authored in 2012 with Dr. Alex Berezow, covered the ways that anti-science beliefs had become mainstream among political progressives in the United States. 

It addressed dozens of topics but the three biggest ones denied by progressives (along with a few fellow liberals and Democrats) were the findings that anti-vaccine, anti-biology and anti-energy science positions were overwhelmingly left.