Science Education & Policy

With over half a million robotic surgical procedures performed last year, this mode of surgery is quickly becoming a standard in the medical industry, particularly for urology and gynecology. Yet, no standard for training the surgeons behind the robot exists today. Since the start of robotic surgery, there has been a need for a universal training system to ensure surgeons are fully prepared to deal with any situation they encounter in the operating room.

A simple test using a raisin can predict how well a toddler will perform academically at age eight, according to a new paper. Using just the piece of dried fruit and a plastic cup they have devised a test based on how long a 20-month old child can wait to pick up a raisin in front of them. 

When I was an elementary school student, schools in my hometown administered IQ tests every couple of years. I felt very scared of the psychologist who came in to give those tests.

I also performed terribly. As a result, at one point, I was moved to a lower-grade classroom so I could take a test more suitable to my IQ level.

Consequently, I believed that my teachers considered me stupid. I, of course, thought I was stupid. In addition, I also thought my teachers expected low-quality work from a child of such low IQ. So, I gave them what they expected.

Last month, it was announced that Belgium based Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) and London based SABMiller have agreed to merge for around $106 billion, the third largest deal in corporate history. The new company will produce an estimated one third of all beer sold worldwide.

Why would anyone agree to a higher tax? The most common technique is to convince enough citizens that someone else will pay for it. Vermont is happy with higher taxes when voters know they will get far more money from the federal government than they ever pay but most people are more skeptical. Social Security is always a decade away from insolvency because the money is spent right now.

And sometimes voters can be convinced that a tax on X will only be used on Y. California recently had a referendum on education funding, which was going to be narrowly applied - but politicians did not tell voters that it was going to be narrowly applied so they could use other education funding for other purposes.

The accuracy and reliability of expert advice is often compromised and needs to be interrogated with the same tenacity as research data to avoid weak and ill-informed policy, according to risk analysis scholars writing in Nature.

A new analysis finds tobacco users pay more for a health insurance plan from the Affordable Care Act exchanges than non-tobacco users in nearly every county of the 37 states that used to sell their plans in 2015. 

In some instances, up to 46% more. The authors say future research may determine how many enrollees facing these surcharges will simply decide not to be truthful about their smoking status, or perhaps avoid buying health insurance altogether. 

Colleges and universities in the United States remain among the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the world. But, concerned about rising costs and the job prospects of young men and women with undergraduate degrees, Americans these days tend to view education as more of a business proposition.

As a result, conversations on the broader value of a liberal arts degree have been overshadowed. Furthermore, an awareness of the shortcomings of graduate education, especially in PhD programs, and its implications for higher education as well as for American society in general have been entirely absent in these conversations.

Though England, Scotland and Wales hold the top three spots as the most violent countries in the developed world, in America the ability to obtain a gun until after you have committed a crime leads even the ultra-violent UK to claim America needs to change.

Many in America contend guns do not cause crime any more than spoons cause obesity and instead point to the mental health - and drug-use to combat it - relationship. There haven't been any mass shootings that have occurred which did not involve mental health drugs.

Donald Spector, inventor and Chairman of the Board of New York College of Health Professions, believes that technology could be used to curb violence better than gun bans, which are the reason why the UK has so much crime.

Here at the American Council on Science and Health, we meticulously avoid politics because science, in its purest form, is a quest for the truth while the essence of politics is lying well, preferably without getting caught. And, even if you do get caught, it probably doesn’t matter, since lying is part of the job description.

Hence, our mission is, by definition, incompatible with political discussion or debate.

This, however, does not mean that if a public figure, elected or not, is using his or her soapbox to spread bad science or medicine, that we won’t go after them. And we do so emphatically, since the bigger the audience that an individual commands, the more harm they can do.