Science & Society

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.


On my first day at the Erice School of Science Journalism this past week I attended a lecture by Alessio Cimarelli, who discussed "When Data Journalism meets Science: a "Hackathon"". The speaker (who owns the site called "dataninja") showed several examples of how to mine the web to construct databases and display results on several topics. It was quite interesting to see the techniques he used, but I felt compelled to interrupt him at some point, in the interest of the school participants.

How effective has the war on science by Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists and their progressive donor base been?

Very effective. Effective enough that even when reading about the Irish Potato Famine of 1850, which caused millions to suffer and die, an alarming number would let many perish if it meant using science to prevent it. 


Americans lead the world in adult science literacy, it has nearly tripled since 1988. What other trend occurred since 1988? A lot fewer people read newspapers.

If people are smarter about science than ever, and they read fewer newspapers than ever, newspapers were not doing a very good job covering science. And in the 2000s, the 'churnalism' culture, pretending to be doing journalism when it is just a rehashed press release (such as this) caused people to stop subscribing and just sign up for a press release RSS news feed.

But analysts and journalists alike have blamed the Internet for the demise of newspapers. It's been claimed so much that people assume it must be true.