Science & Society

In America it seems that Democrats are gaining ground and that therefore the culture is moving to the left. It's actually much different, Democrats have actually moved to the right. President Obama came into office campaigning against two wars but will leave office with three. He never closed Guantanamo Bay and even his lifting of "the ban" on human embryonic stem cell research was just a slight modification of the NIH funding policy under President George W. Bush.


In the 1990s, and more recently during the Obama administration, there has been a wave of protectionism about United States technology and science jobs, with calls to cut visas for foreign-born workers.

It's a modern demonization of Asiatics, minus the buck teeth caricatures. In reality, it is forbidden by law to pay substantially less to someone because they are not a citizen, so foreign scientists and engineers were not undercutting Americans. In the Clinton era, this protectionism directly led to the exportation of jobs overseas - but student visas never slowed down, so we trained foreign students in the best schools in the world and then forced them to go back home to compete with America instead of becoming Americans.


While dating in the workplace is not inherently bad and cannot be effectively forbidden there are certain rules that go with that.  Don’t date subordinates, if you do find them a new supervisor, if you end it don’t also end their employment/threaten their career.  Christian Ott violated all three of these basic rules in how he treated Io Kleiser his student.   The old case of Timothy Slater is more troubling in what happened, reassuring in what was done about him, but should trouble any who believe in due process and redemption for what is happening now.  

In 2009, there was concern that American health care costs were too high. Since the advent of the Affordable Care Act, there is now concern that costs are really too high, only it is not rich doctors and insurance companies being vilified, it is defensive medicine and doctors being willing to sign off on unnecessary things to keep patients happy which, along with lawsuits, was the problem the whole time.

A study in the American Journal of Managed Care finds that more than half of primary care providers reported that they made what they considered unnecessary referrals to a specialist because patients wanted it and many physicians gave into patient requests for brand-name drugs when cheaper generics were available.


The biomedical sciences rarely provide full protocol, data, and necessary level of transparency to verify or replicate studies, according to an analysis of papers published between 2000 and 2014 to determine the extent researchers report key information necessary for properly evaluating and replicating published research, including availability of protocols, data, and the frequency of published novel or replication studies.

The results: 1 out of 441 articles drawn from across the biomedical literature provided a full protocol and no paper made all the data available. The majority of studies didn't state funding or conflicts of interest and replication studies were very rare.


People tend to gain in self-esteem as they grow older but in Western industrialized  nations the self-esteem gender gap is more pronounced - though the actual gender gap in all ways is lower in those same nations. At least on surveys.

Social psychologists analyzed survey data from over 985,000 men and women ages 16-45 from 48 countries. The data were collected from July 1999 to December 2009 as part of the Gosling-Potter Internet Personality Project. The researchers compared self-reported self-esteem, gender and age across the 48 nations in their study.


In choosing the top articles of any year, there are always a few knobs to turn. A top article traffic-wise, for example, could be one from a prior year, since we have articles with millions of readers, and since we carry some press release stuff it could be one of those, and one person may have two.

And since Science 2.0 is all member-driven, no employees or corporate or government overlord, the people who might pick the candidates would most likely be the most active, and therefore one of the candidates. So instead we take it out of anyone's hands and just went by number of readers (not number of pageviews, since a controversial article can generate a lot more of those). And only one per author. And only 5 since, really, no one is reading 10 articles on a list.

A majority of Americans, 54 percent, say it can be necessary for the government to sacrifice freedoms to fight terrorism.

About 50 percent of Americans think it is acceptable to allow warrantless government analysis of Internet activities and communications--even of American citizens--in order to keep an eye out for suspicious activity, only about 30 percent are against this type of government investigation.


At 3 pm on Christmas Eve, millions of radios around the world will be tuned to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Chapel in Cambridge in time to hear the pure voice of a single boy chorister singing one of the hardest solos of the church calendar, the first verse of “Once in Royal David’s City”.

For many, this signals the start of Christmas. Broadcasts of the Christmas Eve service from King’s began in 1928, but arguably it was under the guidance of Sir David Willcocks, who died in September 2015, aged 95, that the service – and the choir – became household names.

We don’t need to be Christian to celebrate Christmas. That’s been true for a long time. We don’t even need to be religious. Considering the commercialization of the holiday, that might be an advantage.

But there is no way to get around the religious iconography. Jesus, nativity scenes and Christian symbols are everywhere. So how do you explain this to your children – or someone else’s children – if you and they are not religious?