Science & Society

The United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS) is very popular with people who have no serious issues, because it is free - if they have to wait a few weeks, it is no big deal. For doctors, it isn't so great. The cost to attend medical school is not high, around $15,000 per year, but in their first year they will only earn about $30,000 annually. A specialist is almost 50% higher and that is part of the reason why the UK is losing General Practioners, at the bottom of the wage scale, faster than they can replace them.

The far left in America loves government. Advocacy groups are always calling for new laws, new regulations, new bans and more layers of bureaucracy to put a stop to whatever they dislike. The right is increasingly suspicious of it, regarding every policy as a road to George Orwell's "1984".

That was not always the case. In the 1950s and '60s, it was the left who was on the right and the right was on the left. Government meant law and order and the right was opposed to anarchy and protests promoted by the left.

Confucius stands guard at Beijing's Renmin University. George (Sam) Crane, Author provided

By Sam (George T.) Crane, Williams College

Standing up for science. Credit: Sense About Science

By Lydia Le Page, University of Edinburgh

The 3rd annual John Maddox Prize has been awarded to Emily Willingham, a science writer in the US, and David Robert Grimes, a physicist at the University of Oxford, in recognition of their work in the face of public hostility.

Come play with us. For ever. And ever. And ever. Alex Eylar

By Baden Eunson, Monash University

Recently, the Danish Toymaker Lego announced its plans for a reality TV show to be launched in 2015, rumored to be based on the idea of Master Builders, the top “construction workers” in the insanely successful Lego Movie earlier this year.

If it isn't taxes, it is OPEC but oil prices are likely to go up - people are still going to drive. It's necessary.

So is physical fitness but a new economics analysis finds that if prices to swim go up, people are inclined to drop it rather than pay more - but a gym membership stays. That's reason enough for economists behind a new paper to advocated a new government subsidy.

The work by Brunel University London's Health Economics Research Group consisted of interviews with 1,683 people, 83% of whom took part in physical activity in some form. It found that people facing 10% higher entry fees to swimming pools were 29% less active, once other variations such as their age and differences in income were taken into account. 

Jean Tirole's theories, capturing reality as an afterthought? IMF, CC BY-NC-ND

By David Spencer, University of Leeds

It’s that time of year again – when academic economics, thanks to the Nobel Prize announcements, is thrust into the public gaze.

Saturday, I launched my first project to crowd-fund my PhD dissertation research in science communication Louisiana State University.

Country music's soaring popularity in the Northeast isn't so much a novelty as it is a rebirth. Image: US Navy

By Clifford Murphy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

A family-focused intervention program for middle-school Mexican-American children leads to fewer drop-out rates and lower rates of alcohol and illegal drug use. . 

High-school aged youth that participated in the Bridges to High School program when they were in seventh grade were more likely to value school and believe it was important for their future. They reported lower rates of substance use, internalizing symptoms such as depression, and school drop-out rates compared to adolescents in a control group.