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.
In May 2015, Pope Francis issued an encyclical with the subtitle “On Care for Our Common Home.” The letter addressed various environmental issues, such as pollution and climate change, and it reminded all of us that we are to steward the Earth, not plunder it.
The Pope’s missive demonstrates that he is both theologically sound and scientifically literate, a very rare combination. That is why he should now author an encyclical urging the world to embrace the life-giving promise of biotechnology.
Read the rest at Leaps Magazine.
The United States is being hit by two large foodborne illness outbreaks — first, the E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce, and now a salmonella outbreak in beef that has sickened more than 200 people. These high-profile cases underscore the inadequacy of the safety measures meant to protect our food supply. If we are serious about addressing this issue, we must implement food irradiation. Read the rest at USA Today.
La Croix, a popular and “naturally” flavored sparkling water distributed by the National Beverage Corp., has been sued for including synthetic ingredients, among them a cockroach insecticide. This is yet another example of trial lawyers using junk science in an attempt to score a jackpot verdict, and the outcome of the trial has implications for local beverage companies, such as Talking Rain and even Starbucks. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.
The University of Washington has just released a study that boldly declares there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. If true, this would have a profound impact on the Washington state wine industry. But is it true? Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.
Xi Jinping should be promoting evidence-based medicine, not quackery. Read the rest at Foreign Policy.
It’s a tale fit for a sci-fi novel: 21 diplomats in Cuba suffer from symptoms like hearing loss and brain damage. And Cuba stands to lose a lot. Read the rest at USA Today.
We’ll all be smarter, healthier and savvier if we dump unscientific buzzwords and health fads. Read the rest at USA Today.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a medical school professor with bureaucratic know-how and a long, pro-science resume. That makes him an excellent choice to head the Food and Drug Administration. Read the rest at USA Today.
To curb the ongoing tidal wave of opioid addiction and overdose deaths, state and federal governments have put in place policies that restrict doctors’ ability to prescribe opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet. Although well-meaning, these policies are unleashing several unintended — yet entirely predictable — consequences. Read the rest at Stat News.