Science & Society

myglutenfreedatingIf you have to go without gluten but want to maintain the texture of popular foods that contain this sticky protein, you are forced to use substitutes containing extra sugar, extra fat, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose and xanthan gum, none of which are all that great from an overall health perspective. Given that, opting for a gluten-free diet makes little sense unless it's necessary.

When Paul Krugman, a famous liberal economist who has gained enduring cultural prominence by writing for the New York Times, actually put his philosophical beliefs to practical use, he helped give us Enron. Today, Dr. Krugman wisely avoids anything that translates to the real world. In the Sarbanes-Oxley culture he helped make necessary, he can stay out of jail if he sticks to polemics about Republicans.

Americans lead the world in adult science literacy, just like America leads the world in science output, but there are substantial differences among Americans when it comes to knowledge and understanding of science topics.

The details beyond the averages are important and while numerous pundits will lament that everyone does not know everything, that is not realistic. What is important is that as many people as possible have access to knowledge.

An independent report commissioned by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) released yesterday has found bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination are commonplace in the culture of surgeons. Apologizing and committing to genuine action to address the “toxic culture” is a positive step, but the actual detox will require more radical surgery to some deeply held beliefs and a transplant of new attitudes about who is, and what it is to be, a doctor.

I had just completed a 10 kilometer run with a local running club, as I try to do every Labor Day. Every year I get a little bit slower, a price I’m happy to pay for being lucky enough to be able to run another year! At 10:30 am I sat down on my day off to do something that I rarely ever do—write a personal account, a narrative of something that is going on in my professional life. 

Yes you too can be a college professor just as long as you let go of the archaic idea that the only legitimate way to be a professor is to be tenured and have no other enterprises or income.    The day of the professor who does nothing but research and teaching and can never be fired is over.  In fact it was never traditional that such was the case.

It was inevitable.

The “Look at me! I can smoke pot legally!” generation has traded in the toast for the toke.

Instead of “tying the knot,” they are now “trying the pot.” Want the new couple to kiss? Forget about clinking your glass. Just inhale some gas. Tossing the bouquet? What a waste! If the bride is going to toss something that a bunch of single women will pounce on like a tiger on a baby antelope, it might as well be a brick of cheeba.

Women living in poor areas in the UK are almost twice as likely to develop clinical anxiety as women in richer areas. However, whether men lived in poorer or richer areas made no difference to their levels of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). These are amongst the main findings of a major survey on how socio-economic factors affect mental health in the UK.

The study was part of the much larger EPIC program, which looked at the relationship between chronic diseases and the way people live their lives. The Cambridge group followed up the health of 11,422 women and 8,878 men resident in Norfolk, UK. Using detailed health and lifestyle questionnaires, they were able to unpick some of the factors which contributed to poor health over the 15-year period of the study.

Before "Love and Math" I had a bad attitude about pure math. I’m fairly certain that mathematician Morris Kline didn’t like pure mathematicians either. Here’s a quote from his book, “Mathematics, The Loss of Certainty.”

I’ll be honest, I like Equal. If I had my way, my morning would consist of a kiss from my wife and a cup of Double Black Diamond Extra Bold coffee with a packet of Equal and a little bit of French Vanilla creamer thrown in. Super bold coffee with sweetness added? I like contrasts.

What’s even more of a contrast, and more confusing to people who know me, is that someone who won’t eat store-bought jelly - doesn't even want it in the house - someone who would, given his way, never let his family eat anything that wasn’t grown, killed, processed and cooked by anyone but him, would consume an “artificial” sweetener at all.