Science & Society

With all the tense situation about North Korea, I thought I should do a new post about the situation there. I'm doing this as part of my "Doomsday Debunked" articles I do to help people who are often very scared that the world will end in one way or another. First this is not a risk of global nuclear war. It’s nothing like the Cuban missile crisis. There we had two major powers facing each other on a hair-trigger. And each had the capability of destroying the other’s military capabilities.


In recent years, we have access to a wealth of information thanks to advances in Information and Communication Technology. However, as will be discussed below, the increase of information does not imply more knowledge.
 
As dictionary.com tells us that knowledge is "the acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from the study or investigation; general erudition", while information is the "the act or fact of informing". So I can easily deduce that knowledge is the analysis of information. As a result, I believe that a knowledgeable society must be characterized by a constant innovation which could change our lives (remember that this term is not new and was first introduced by Peter Drucker in his book "The Age of Discontinuity" in 1969).
 
Shrinking travel budgets and the availability of online training have conspired against today's professional associations, the typical first-victims of operational austerity.  Public institutions eager to appease their elected leaders are especially quick to freeze travel during challenging economic times.  This, however, may be a grave mistake.  Why? Because there are hidden, undisclosed benefits to membership associations that are worthy not only of discussion, but of careful consideration by corporate and governmental executives trying to save a buck.  
A bizarre diatribe published by the hard-left political fanzine Progressive.org came across my desk today. I even got a mention. I don't delve into politics much, I am a registered Independent and I voted for Clinton in the 2016 election, those are all known, but I run a non-partisan consumer advocacy non-profit and we don't do politics, so I was surprised anyone in a political site would even know who I am.

Then I looked at the author: Paul Thacker. 
It's been shown that there is no hiring deficit for women in science; women have been hired far more than men for new jobs. Yet women's groups have continued to point to total numbers as the problem, as if to say older men who have been supportive of more diversity and are making it happen on hiring committees should be fired without cause to open up more jobs for women.

Only the weakest candidate wants to be hired as part of a quota. There has to be a better way.

I have always imagined a future that is free of disease. However, we continue to suffer from diseases such as malaria, cancer, and AIDS for which there is no known cure. To make matters worse, other diseases such as poliomyelitis that were once considered to be eradicated are returning.  Recall the success of the vaccine developed in 1952 by Jonas Salk (1914-1995) to combat this scourge, but poliomyelitis is still endemic in Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Egypt.

The "Art&Science" project is coming to the final phase as far as the activities in Venice are concerned. About 100 15 to 17-year-old students from high schools in Venice have assisted to lessons on particle physics and the Higgs boson in the past months, and have been challenged to produce, alone or in groups of up to three, artistic compositions inspired by what they had learned. This resulted in 38 artworks, many of which are really interesting. The 17 best works will be exposed at the Palazzo del Casinò of the Lido of Venice, the site of the international EPS conference, next July 5-12, and the three best among them will receive prizes during a public event on July 8th, in presence of the CERN director general Fabiola Gianotti.

You are about to hear a huge sigh of relief from the entire science journalism community, because Alan Alda, a man who can interview E.O. Wilson and Jim Watson with ease, who hosted the terrific Scientific American Frontiers, and founded the Alan Alda Center for Communication Science at Stony Brook University, has trouble communicating.

A research firm has just bestowed the title “world’s most valuable insurance brand” on a mainland Chinese company. Other outfits issue similar announcements in diverse industries, despite that in 2014 The Economist made this remark about brands: “Their importance may be fading… no one agrees on how much they are worth or why.”

The decline of brands: We should have seen it coming, when mass customization first began to overshadow mass production. Scholars point to info tech to explain the growing irrelevance of brands; online customer reviews and social media now substitute for the “shorthand” information packages that brands once provided.

The right to make one’s own legal decisions is typically denied for two reasons: Youth (minority) and incompetence. Incompetence is a state of mental incapacity to make one’s own decisions in a way which is informed with regard to the consequences and rational.