Science Education & Policy

So you're planning ahead for your next trip to a remote location, and you try to make sense of those TripAdvisor listings. Great tool - there's a bunch of there around, but let's focus on that one here. It allows you to type in your preferences, location, restrictions, and it dumps a list of facilities together with easy access to the reviews of previous customers. How could we possibly live without it, twenty years ago?
Now, the point of this article is to make sure you can USE the data you are able to get on the web. I use to say "there's not such a thing as too much information", but then I shoud qualify that statement: it all depends on whether you have a brain and a will to put it to work. 

One hundred years after the Great Influenza pandemic of 1918, global health leadership stands at a crossroads. The United States continues to expand its policy of isolationism at a time when international cooperation in health could not be more important. The state of pandemic preparedness and the necessary steps for protecting the people throughout the world was the topic of The Scowcroft Institute for International Affairs’ 2nd Annual White Paper.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organisation, which is part of the United Nations, but it is really its own agency that shares little in common with WHO. Whereas WHO wants to save lives, IARC has taken to using statistics to scaremonger trace chemicals by conflating hazard and risk. So if high doses, 10,000 exposures of a chemical all at once, might be linked to cancer by looking at statistics, their flawed methodology, where five orders of magnitude are considered equal, will cause them to declare even 1 exposure a hazard. 

And though they do not calculate risk, they frequently talk about risk in their media kits for journalists, which leads to confusion in media and therefore the public.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) branch of the United Nations has added 24 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, bring the total number to 686.
Biosphere reserves are sites hoping to couple conservation of biodiversity and human activity by promoting use of natural resources - which is a fuzzy term for fuzzy sustainable development practices.
The new biosphere reserves are (in alphabetical order of countries):
States that have expanded Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act have higher numbers of individuals with disabilities employed that states that did not.

Medicaid is a taxpayer-funded program that provides free or low-cost health coverage to low-income people, the elderly, and people with disabilities.  As many states are considering work requirements for Medicaid eligibility, the authors of a new paper believe Medicaid expansion is acting as an employment incentive for people with disabilities.
Over 25 years ago, members of Congress saw statistics showing that U.S. people with college educations made more money, and they declared that college education should be a right. The solution was indicative of government - change student loans to being unlimited.

Are young people all making more money? No, they are buried in debt, but schools that were once foundering are now doing quite well. An entirely industry built up around universities for under-achieving students with money. And on the other end, credentialism came into play. A bachelor's degree became what a high school diploma was. 

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is made from corn starch whereas sucrose us usually made from sugarcane or beets. Because starch itself is a simple sugar, a chain of glucose molecules joined together, once it's broken down into individual glucose molecules, it's corn syrup, which is essentially 100% glucose. It becomes high-fructose corn syrup when enzymes are added.

HFCS is sometimes called isoglucose and is used in the food industry to sweeten processed foods such as soft drinks, creams, cakes, confectionery, yogurts etc. to keep costs lower. It's sweeter than regular sugar because the fructose level can be more like honey.

Thousands of lawsuits around the nation claim glyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular weed killer Roundup—causes cancer. These cases are based on pretty much zero evidence, but if trial lawyers can get a jury to accept their false narrative, thousands of more cases may proceed. 

A team of psychologists hope to win a battle in the "reading wars," emphasizing the importance of teaching phonics in establishing fundamental reading skills in early childhood. 

By synthesizing findings from more than 300 research studies, book chapters, and academic journal articles published across a variety of scientific fields, they hope to create an evidence-based account of how children learn to read
Tax and spend politicians and their supporters have begun framing austerity in a negative way. Austerity - spending what you make, or even less so you have a reserve - is now regarded as a negative by people that believe taxes and more government lead to growth, even if those beliefs are what led to their economic collapse.