Science & Society

There are two features of life on the African continent that are fundamentally deadly to socioeconomic development. These are lack of cleanliness and punctuality.

There is plenty of discussion on macro and micro economics and the big theories of economic development, but it seems the African worldview is a primary problem. It is opportune to discuss more fundamental inhibitors to economic development and growth. In my view this entails a fundamental change in how things get done.

Since the early 1900s, a subset of wealthy elites with a Malthusian mindset have been convinced that the world is overpopulated. Rather than let poor people starve, as British policy in the home of Malthus advocated, later generations sought to breed out the poor with eugenics, and forced sterilization. After World War II made eugenics wildly unpopular, proponents reframed their ideas as "population control." Groups like Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club and Environmental Defense Fund were all founded by former eugenics advocates. Their supporters, like Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren, also advocated forced sterilization and abortion, to limit population. 

Chad Orzel wrote a column on his blog last week about James Blachowicz’s opinion piece in the New York Times titled “There is no scientific methods”. The Times article talks about how methods in science and those in, say, the humanities, are similar and then tries to make some point out of it regarding the validity of any thought.
Environmental groups in major cities all across America have sent their armies marching, a last, desperate attempt to ideologically plunder everything they can before the November election.

They have good reason to gain as much ground as possible now. While Republicans will insist that we are doomed if Hillary Clinton wins the White House, and Democrats will claim the same about Donald Trump, either one is going to be bad news for environmental groups.

In this Policy Forum, Neil Ferguson et al. use results from a model of virus transmission to analyze the current Zika epidemic in Latin America, suggesting that it may have already peaked. Evidence increasingly suggests a causal link between Zika infection and microcephaly, as well as other serious congenital anomalies, prompting the World Health Organization to declare the Zika epidemic an international health concern in February 2016.

Here, using a model incorporating factors that determine the scale and speed of emerging viral infection in naïve populations, Ferguson and colleagues estimate that the current epidemic in Latin America will be over in three years; they base this estimate largely on the transmissibility of Zika and the time between cycles of infection.

In response to an overtly science-hostile bill by the state government in Vermont (1), the U.S. House of Representatives preemptively passed a softball GMO labeling law in 2015.

Anti-science groups (Friends of the Earth, NRDC, Union of Concerned Scientists, et al.) and their paid Deniers for Hire (Sourcewatch, US Right To Know, every other organic trade rep) were understandably apoplectic, because it was not going to handicap domestic agriculture and thereby make the organic food process more attractive.(2)

As some of you may be aware, even on the western seaboard of the Atlantic, Theresa May is shortly to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, after Andrea Leadsom withdrew from the competition to become next leader of our Conservative Party.

Shortly before this happened, though, Michael Deacon, Parliamentary sketchwriter for the Telegraph, wrote this article, In a world of post-truth politics, Andrea Leadsom will make the perfect PM, which begins:

Though the physician wage gap between genders is virtually nonexistent in the private sector, that hasn't carried over to academia yet, where female academic physicians at public medical schools had lower average salaries than their male counterparts. Age, experience, medical specialty, faculty rank and other factors don't really account for it, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine

The truth is being suppressed across the world using a variety of methods,  and not just physical violence. Bribery, extortion and defamation legislation are also used, according to a special report in the 250th issue of Index on Censorship magazine.

It is time for NHS England to "do the right thing" and fund pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, argue two senior public health doctors in The BMJ today.

Directors of public health Jim McManus and Dominic Harrison, say despite overwhelming evidence that PrEP against HIV infection is largely safe, effective, and cost effective, NHS England has declined to make it available on the NHS, arguing that HIV prevention is the responsibility of local government.

Such an approach, they write, "confounds its advocacy of a health and care system integrated around the best outcomes for the citizen and perpetuates an incoherent national approach to HIV prevention."