Science & Society

Parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis go on to have fewer kids after the first signs of the disorder manifest or a diagnosis is made, according to an article in JAMA.

Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Developoment (OECD) countries that lead in innovation are easy to spot - you look for the ones that have the most scientists in the private sector. 

Countries like the United States, Korea and Japan are responsible for the bulk of the world's technology design and they have over 75% of researchers employed in the private sector. 

In other OECD countries, the numbers are much lower - scientists are instead government employees and the need for innovation is last. This worries Spain, where research and innovation lags. In OECD countries overall, only 45.4% of scientists work in the private sector, the rest are being funded by taxes rather than corporate profits. In Spain, it is half that.

20 year ago, some teens were always trying to get sex - and they talked about it. But their behavior was not stored in an NSA database somewhere.

If it were stored with the IRS, such discussions might be safe because they could be lost with a Nixon-ian phone call or two, but otherwise someone can find out about sexy talk in the modern age - "sexting". A new psychology paper surveyed college students (naturally) and found that more than 50 percent of those surveyed reported that they had exchanged sexually explicit text messages, with or without photographic images, as minors.

Though everyone recognizes there is a problem, during a generation when lots of efforts were made to increase diversity, the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) pipeline in academia remains primarily liberal white men.

That's not to say there haven't been efforts. Women and minorities are well-represented, though groups with less advocacy, like handicapped people and political conservatives, are routinely dismissed.

An analysis of e-cigarette uptake across 27 European countries published in Tobacco Control finds that they are mostly used by current smokers or would-be quitters - approximately 29 million people.

In the 1830s, jails were an all-purpose solution for a lot of issues. Inmates lived in squalor and people truly did not want to be there so there was a lot less crime. The downside was that nobody really cared about the people who did not belong there, like those with 'retardation' who had been abandoned, or people who were mentally ill but not criminals.

Western journalists dutifully issue accolades for friends in the business who are killed covering military conflicts - but they are primarily highly-paid elites and very much do not want to take unnecessary risks.

When you add in the complexities of a dictatorship, where corporate and local journalists who want to remain out of jail only go where they are told to go, the coverage becomes even more pointless.  But citizen journalists in places like Syria can go places corporate journalists won't, or can't, according to a paper in the Index on Censorship magazine. It found more reports were coming from citizen journalists than traditional media, in all areas of the country, with the exception of Homs.

The hive mind is alive and well on Twitter.

Rather than being a participatory forum, an analysis of 290,119,348 tweets from 193,522 "politically engaged" Twitter users during the 2012 presidential campaign conventions and debates found little creative thinking. Instead, it was just retweeting "elites" like Bill Maher and Sean Hannity.

Vani Hari, the Food Babe, has demanded answers

 American und Tchech Budweiser in Tray Self-proclaimed Food Babe, Vani Hari has an online petition asking demanding that Anheuser-Busch and Miller

In US states that strongly embrace myriad anti-science beliefs, like California, Washington and New York, dangerous preventable diseases like Whooping Cough have come roaring back after a long hiatus, due to a belief by cultural elites that as long as uneducated poor people get vaccines, things will be fine.

It is going to take a lot to combat the entrenched mentality that causes some to distrust science and medicine, because groups have spent a lot of money promoting conspiracy stories about pharmaceutical companies and doctors and selling their 'alternative' medicine. It will take education, awareness and nurses can help, write Emily Peake, APRN, MSN, FNP-C, CLC, and Lisa K. McGuire, MSN, MBA-HCM, RN.