Science & Society

(Part of an occasional series.)

There are several ways of measuring risks. Two of the most commonly used are absolute risk and relative risk.

Medical societies recommend that patients with advanced cancer receive palliative care soon after diagnosis, and receive hospice care for at least the last three days of their life. Those recommendations don't match real-life practice, according to Risha Gidwani, DrPH, a health economist at Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Economics Resource Center and colleagues who examined care received by all veterans over the age of 65 with cancer who died in 2012, a total of 11,896 individuals.

In USA Today, Dr. Alex Berezow and I ask what a Trump presidency might mean for science. The reason to ask is obvious; he might win.

And science is one of America’s most important strategic resources. We lead in Nobel prizes and with just five percent of earth’s population we produce over 30 percent of the world’s science.

Sexual Harassment in academic scientific context, why did it shock us?    What we learned over the last six months is that scientist male and female are still human.   Humans when placed in social context will behave like social and sexual animals that we all are.  Schools are not a safe space from this due to simple human nature.   That said, being the thinking animals that we are we need to know how to control and at least manage those impulses.  Now that the shock has worn off, the veil has come off, and we know scientist are just human.  Some common sense would’ve avoided all of this.

The political attack site PRWatch, one arm of the dark-money funded group self-named as the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), is run by a former attorney for the Clinton administration which slashed funding for real science in the 1990s (1) while promoting junk environmental claims about ethanol, so it's no surprise CMD hate pro-science groups who don't cater to the environmental scaremongering CMD gets paid to do.

When does free speech become important? In the halls of academia, it often comes down along political and cultural lines. An endorsement of business mogul Donald Trump leaves academics and students running for a safe speech while a professor bullying a journalism student claims she was oppressed.

When academics do choose to litigate speech disputes with colleges and universities, they end up losing nearly three-quarters of the time, and Michael LeRoy, a professor of labor and employment relations at
University of Illinois
says that is a sign of growing tension between academic freedom and campus speech codes, without recognizing that these issues only go to action when they are the most flagrant sort of violation.

The NHS is far safer inside the European Union, argues Professor Martin McKee at the London School of Hygiene&Tropical Medicine in The BMJ today. He says the EU's international trade agreements now protect public services and that any threat to the NHS instead "comes from our own politicians and not from the EU."

Professor McKee was one of many academics concerned about free trade, specifically the much-politicized Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the United States, because socialized public services like the NHS could be opened up to competition under TTIP.

On the 23rd of April, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America (fanfare!) issued a warning to us British that at the coming referendum we should vote to remain in the EU.  Reactions have been many and varied: some of these can be found in this article from Reuters.

One most ill-advised reactions, though, came when

Patients with lower literacy levels in search for health information may gravitate toward websites advertising services and products, a small study by researchers at Loyola University suggests.

As anyone who has visited the London Science Museum’s current exhibition will know, Leonardo da Vinci is famed as an artist, mathematician, inventor, writer … the list goes on.

He was a figure who did not see disciplines as a checkerboard of independent black and white tiles, but a vibrant palette of color ready to be combined harmoniously and gracefully.

Today, the polymath may seem like a relic of the past.