Science & Society

By Sara Rennekamp, Inside Science  -- News broke this week that the company behind the popular Kind line of snack bars received a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration.

Their offense? Not labeling the bars according to FDA rules -- primarily due to slapping a "healthy" label on a product that did not meet the FDA standards for healthy.

Two women recently had their research paper rejected by a science journal based on an incredibly sexist review of their work – an event that has caused outrage on social media.

While the journal, PLOS ONE, has apologized and given the authors a second chance, not everyone is as lucky.

The case provides an opportunity for journals to adopt an open peer-review system – a process in which scientists evaluate the quality of other scientists' work – so that reviewers cannot hide behind anonymity. But it also shows it is time to get tough on the widespread biases in universities.

Chipotle wins the science ‘foot in mouth’ award for 2015, and we are not even to summer yet. So far there are more than 40 media condemnations and counting.

The fast food chain’s “bold” move, announcing a faux ban on GMOs in its food, has blown up big time. Why faux? Because, as Chipotle well knows, its sodas, beef, pork and chicken dishes, and any food with cheese, are made with ingredients that were derived through genetic engineering.

Proper clinical research exposure in medical school is a somewhat modern invention. Prior to changes implemented by Harvard Medical School in the 19th century, medicine was more application-focused, but gradually medical schools began to expose students to basic and clinical research. By the 20th century it was the norm that doctors would have a foundation in research and physician-scientists were their teachers.

Many overlapping road maps to life extension are opening up.

Recently on Real Clear Science, Ross Pomeroy published an article Why Nothing Can Be Truly ‘Unnatural’, in which he denounces attempts to oppose homosexuality on scientific grounds.  However, after reading it, I am left with the feeling that he is not simply reporting science, but perhaps being a little bit like an old-fashioned nanny telling her charges what is or is not proper.  If so, he will be firing a shot in

To many practitioners of yoga in the United States, its original form would be unrecognizable in everything but the name. What was once about spirituality is now about health and physical fitness. 

If you are going to be a guru in the US, one tenet of yoga remains from the past - go with the flow. As the medical claims of yoga became more prevalent and yoga catapulted into a $10-billion-a-year enterprise, practitioners embraced new marketing success or fell by the wayside. Sanskrit names for postures and religious "om"-ing are out, 'feeling the burn' is in. 
Periodically I get invited to talk about science and food on the nationwide AgriTalk radio program, hosted by Mike Adams - not the Natural News guy,  this is the one who likes farmers.

Joining me today was Roxi Beck of the Center for Food Integrity. You're all used to me so what I say may not be anything new, but Beck made terrific points, namely that even as people are supportive of technology in their phones, they may not want it in their bodies - even with modern medicine adding 30 years to human life expectancy in the last century. 

Economic sanctions and divestment campaigns are attractive but often flawed tactics for accomplishing international political goals.

The social stigma the campaigns create often fails to match the economic pain these campaigns inflict, making the costs of resisting them for governments like Russia, Syria and Iran tolerable in most cases.

Indeed, sanctions succeed less than a third of the time they are imposed, according to researchers at the nonpartisan Peterson Institute for International Economics, and divestment campaigns have an even less certain track record.

Western Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand now have birth rates that are relatively close to replacement, which means that the 'decline of the West', where developed nations birth control and abort themselves out of existence, isn't happening.

It's certainly a more optimistic demographic narrative of the future of the West than we usually get, where declining birth rates and population aging will reduce Europe and the US while Asian superpowers, such as China and India, see huge populations and economies to match.