Science & Society

A survey conducted by researchers from the University of Chicago's Program on Medicine and Religion delves into the relationship between attitudes toward organ donation and the Islamic faith.

Previous surveys have found that Muslims are less likely than other religious groups to believe in organ donation and that religious values may be the obstacle. 

The American Muslims surveyed who interpret negative events in life as punishment from God are less likely to be organ donors than those with a more positive outlook. Overall levels of religiosity among American Muslims did not influence attitudes toward organ donation.  


Robin Thicke may have sung "Blurred Lines" and appeared in a teenage fantasy video with a lot of naked women, but when a photo was revealed of him in a suggestive situation with another woman, he found that the line was actually not all that blurry to his wife.(1)

What changed? She had been fine with his canoodling before. He has no idea and men meeting women across the nation are just as confused about where their blurred lines are. 


Science is frequently employed in the advertising industry, often as a positive selling point for products and services. Four out of five dentists recommend a type of gum. A prophylactic is “tested” in a lab full of leggy researchers. A “breakthrough”diet therapy will help you shed those pounds – and keep them off.

The patina of science can be used to provide a sense that a product is tested under rigorous conditions,though that may not be the case.

When advocates want governments to take over some aspect of society, the argument is often an economic one - the money saved will be a suitably cosmic number.

Yet in the trenches of government-run industries the reality is much different. Taxes are finite so committees learn to cut costs where they can. Older people, perhaps because they have already led full lives, are being denied proper access to cancer care, according to an editorial by Queen's University Belfast academic Professor Mark Lawler of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology.


I will blog my real time reaction to Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Seth MacFarlane's Cosmos remake. From the perspective of a relatively young astrophysicist and science educator.

7:20 PM CST: I love astronomy and astrophysics. When people would ask me what my dream job was since I was 16 I would say a theoretical astrophysicist. That was when I read "A Brief History of Time" by Prof. Stephen W. Hawking. Now I am at the entry level of the university or college educator career track. This reboot was made to appeal to a younger audience. So it will be interesting to see if I like this. If I don't, then it would not bode well.

If you feel ill, chances are you go to the Internet before you see a doctor. Most Americans have seen dramatic rises in health care premiums thanks to new government mandates and penalties, but the cultural groundwork to visit doctors less was laid a decade ago in most developed nations. 

Professor Sue Ziebland, Director of the Health Experiences Research Grou at the University of Oxford, share findings with health practitioners and researchers at the South West Society for Academic Primary Care (SW SAPC) meeting at the University of Bristol on Thursday.


Female professors are less cooperative than men, which is exactly what we would expect from watching the behavior of men and women in groups. That is the claim recently published in a letter to Current Biology.

Or, at least that’s the tabloid version of the letter. For example, here on Science 2.0, the article reads as follows.

There is a naive belief among some advocates that if people just had more money, their problems would be solved. Yet the saying 'money does not solve everything' exists as a truism for good reason.

Less worry about basic needs is obviously good for society - in developing nations, farmers that were able to use science and technology to be competitive with Europe and America showed dramatic improvements for their own families and their communities - and once basic needs are met there is more time to focus on education and culture. In America, this was accomplished in the last century by providing cheap electricity for all.


It may seem like social media is a great way to engage people, but outside creating a flash mob of dancers or overthrowing an African dictatorship and replacing it with another one, armchair activists aren't accomplishing much.

'Talk is cheap', the saying goes, and retweets and likes are even cheaper. 


Lower incomes are associated with higher obesity, though lower income in America is very much a relative term. Poor and minority kids lead the country in bedroom television ownership, so being poor in the US is not the same as in other countries.