Too Many Businesspeople Are Duped by Pseudoscience

As a scientist who has spent time in the business world, I am continually shocked by how some of the greatest business minds are susceptible to pseudoscience and magical thinking.

In a way, it’s not surprising. Businesspeople, and CEOs in particular, must be relentlessly optimistic. When investors are scarce and revenues are dwindling, it is a survival strategy. That probably explains why executives often recommend fluffy self-help books — it’s sort of like the prosperity gospel for entrepreneurs. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.

It’s Time to Take Back Control of Seattle

Every once in a while, it is worth pausing to ponder carefully on current affairs and our place in history. I’ve come to the unsettling conclusion that, despite the towering cranes and shiny new buildings, there are some deep pathologies running in our city’s veins. Seattle is in crisis. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.

Yucca Mountain Is the Safest Spot for Nuclear Waste. We Should Pay Nevada to Use It.

An attempt to reopen the Yucca Mountain facility in Nevada, where it was built to store nuclear waste, was recently shot down in Congress. The state’s refusal to become the nation’s central repository for nuclear waste means that we are forced to store it at 80 sites across 35 states — an impractical, expensive and less safe solution. It’s time to tempt Nevadans with an outside-the-box approach: Let’s pay them. Read the rest at USA Today.

Olympia Receives a Failing Grade

During the final days of the last legislative session, lawmakers in Olympia — seemingly without much thoughtful consideration — decided to overhaul education in Washington state by giving in to various demands from the teachers’ union. In a flurry of activity, lawmakers reversed a ban on affirmative action, essentially eliminated a basic competency test for prospective K-12 teachers and cut funding to charter schools. What effects will these policies have? Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.

When Lawyers Take on Science, the Future of an Industry Is at Stake

Last month, a team of scientists obtained a picture of a black hole, providing visual evidence of something astrophysicists have long known to exist but were unable to see. This triumph of modern science was celebrated all around the world. Meanwhile, television ads by law firms are recruiting Americans to join in a gigantic lawsuit against Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) for allegedly causing cancer with its widely used herbicide glyphosate. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.

Opting Out of Vaccines Should Opt You Out of American Society

The ongoing measles outbreaks across the United States and Europe prove definitively that our personal choices affect everybody around us. Although you have a right to your own body, your choice to willfully be sick ends where another’s right to be healthy begins. For that reason, people who “opt out” of vaccines should be opted out of American society. Read the rest at Scientific American.