Science & Society

Imagine a scenario where a group of people get together to frame the debate about science and even set out to conspiratorially place papers in highly-respected journals, selecting the ideal names to have on the paper and which publications would be most likely to publish it.

It must be those evil corporate chemical shills again, right?

Not this time, it was the International Workshop On Neonicotinoids in 2010 and it explains a lot about how the anti-science contingent has managed to maintain so much mindshare in media: they know how to work the system and created a 4-year plan to do just that.

What do you presume about me? auremar/Shutterstock

By James Williams, University of Sussex

Muslim communities are not be as victimized by violent crime nor are they as dissatisfied with the police as most sociology papers claim.

An examination of statistics in the Crime Survey of England and Wales between 2006 and 2010, generated by nearly 5,000 Muslims, reveals few differences between Muslims and non-Muslims in relation to a range of violent personal crime including assaults, wounding and threats - the types of crime that scholarly literature, media reports and anecdotal evidence all suggest have disproportionately affected Muslim communities. 

Instead, statistical analysis reveals few statistically significant differences between Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Sikh respondents in respect of many personal crime types included within the Crime Survey.


Australia recently had an election where they asked for a dramatic departure from previous fiscal policies. 

The reasons were simple, in hindsight. Everyone wanted more money from an increasingly larger government but incomes were declining. Inflation is still happening, government employees still get raises, but average Australian income declines showed what government claims about economic health did not.  

Increases and declines in economies have always happened but new work in the Economic Analysis and Policy journal finds that people are not better off than they were 20 years ago.  



Diversity is listed at the bottom of priorities for human resources professionals in large firms yet many mangers still feel threatened by diversity policies.shutterstock

By Jennifer Whelan, Melbourne Business School

Many large organizations are now on their second or third wave of diversity and inclusion programs.

A good number of them are still struggling to identify obvious improvements in the metrics they hoped to see changes in. Yet, ironically, increasing numbers of people are beginning to express “diversity fatigue”.


What if whether you got a job was determined by which web browser you used? Shutterstock

By Mark Burdon, The University of Queensland and Paul Harpur, The University of Queensland

Staff recruitment and retention are an ongoing challenge for employers. Proponents of big data in the workplace are now claiming they can change that.

It's pretty common in culture, from Turkey to Tennessee, for a public that otherwise does not condone rape to joke about it when it comes to male criminals. And the more heinous the crime, not only does it become acceptable, but almost demanded in a justice system that often favors criminals over victims.

But raping women isn't acceptable in civilized countries. In the modern decade, 'gender' has become a subjective thing. Anthropology papers will even strangely let 'other', including alien life forms, be considered a valid gender in their surveys.


Frank Priestley, President of the Idaho Farm Bureau, notes that some consumers will benefit from GMO labeling laws - if those consumers are organic farmers and have an audience so educated by advertising that they will pay almost any price for 'health'.

No one was as surprised as farmers that a GMO warning label law, almost identical in verbiage to the California version written by the lawyer who got Prop 65 warnings on every product in every business of the state and made himself a multi-millionaire in lawsuits enforcing it, failed in Oregon this month.

After the mid-term elections in the United States, a lot of Democratic staffers are looking for new jobs.

A new study finds that it's better to focus on skills in that new resume, and put the recent experience section farther down the page. For those outside the Washington, D.C. beltway, leave your blog off the resume entirely, according to political scientists from Duke University.


Female American athletes get less coverage in the media due to gender bias and instead what attention they get focuses more on attire, or how attractive, sexy or ladylike they are, write Emily Kaskan and Ivy Ho of the University of Massachusetts Lowell in Sex Roles, an interdisciplinary behavioral science journal offering a feminist perspective. 

Kaskan and Ho looked at how pervasive small subtle biases and stereotyping of American female athletes are and what types of "microaggression" exist, examining how they put pressure on athletes and other women, as well. They reviewed popular Internet articles and research from the Psychinfo database, using keywords such as 'sexism,' 'sports media,' 'Serena Williams' and 'Olympic coverage.'