Science & Society

TransAsia ATR 72 Crashes Into Keelung River

A twin engined ATR 72-600 turboprop suffered an engine failure shortly after takeoff from Taipei Songshan Airport, destination the Kinmen islands.  The plane, which was less than one year old according to Flightglobal crashed into the Keelung river.  The number of survivors is uncertain at this time.
AirAsia 8501 - News, Rumours, Facts And FACs

Until such time as an official report is issued it will be difficult for both professionals and ordinary members of the public to determine what most probably happened during the last flight of AirAsia 8501.  That is most unfortunate because passengers have a right to fly as safely as is humanly possible, and safety cannot be assured unless manufacturers, operators and pilots have the most up-to-date knowledge available about the causes of accidents, so as to avoid repetition.
Does only spending what you make lead to suicide? In the world of weak observational studies, it can. Suicides in Greece reached a 30 year all-time high in 2012, with a sustained upward trend starting in June 2011, the month that the government introduced austerity measures to get loans and help pay down the country's debts, currently at 175 percent of GDP and caused by overspending on social services. 
One saved the U.S. space program, another invented a better treatment for leprosy and a third spawned an industry in the American Midwest - but you have probably never heard of these female "legends of chemistry".

Their names are Mary Sherman Morgan, Alice Ball and Rachel Lloyd and they all had amazing accomplishments in chemistry, but their work was nearly lost to history.


Mary Sherman Morgan, Alice Ball and Rachel Lloyd. Credit: The American Chemical Society

This week ACS Reactions shines the spotlight on them so they can get some proper acclaim:

Women – and little girls even more so – are desperate to see images and stories that don’t actively oppress them onscreen, says Olivia Murphy. Image: Nadia Mel, CC BY-SA

By Olivia Murphy, University of Sydney

A new study indicates that sexual behavior among female university students in Sweden has changed during the last 25 years, with behavior now appearing more risky than before.

The surveys were taken as part of contraceptive counseling delivered at a Student Health Center in Sweden. 
Though the anti-vaccine hotbeds in the United States are strongest in regions that are overwhelmingly Democratic, a new paper says it may not be Democrats that are most anti-vaccine. Why would they be? the authors argue, when Democrats like government the most.
In American scientization of politics culture, evolution acceptance is a big deal, as is climate change. Yet other science acceptance issues get much less attention.

Why? Evolution and climate change are not the most pressing short-term science issues we face, food, energy and medicine are. I am in awe of evolution but no one dies if some crank school district wants to put religion side-by-side with biology in a classroom, and American CO2 emissions from energy, obviously our biggest polluter, are back at early 1990s levels, thanks to science finding ways to make natural gas extraction better. 
In 2013, President Obama threatened to shut down the government if Congress did not do what he wanted. Congress replied in kind and so we got The Sequester, where government functions were halted unless they were specially exempted. NASA and the National Science Foundation were shuttered, the Smithsonian Panda Cam was turned off, science was doomed - but while scuttling science the president kept 436 personal White House staffers were kept on the payroll as "essential".
90 percent of the American public consider themselves spiritual so why is there a belief that 'religious' people are less likely to accept science? Environmentalism is certainly akin to its own religion, as is alternative medicine, and they are also widely considered anti-science, yet all three groups consider themselves fans of science - just not some science they happen not to like.