Timidity and a Hostility to Competition Have Left Europe a Scientific Wasteland

A recent study published in the Oxford journal Science and Public Policy reveals the harsh reality of the state of science in the European Union: “Europe lags far behind the USA in the production of important, highly cited research.” Read the rest at The Telegraph.

Sorry Bernie, Science Doesn’t #FeelTheBern

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

A lot of Americans seem to be under the impression that there is something unique and (wonderfully) different about Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Yet, other than the fact that he identifies as a socialist — in a world where capitalism brought one billion people out of poverty in just the last 20 years — his other views, particularly on science, are predictable and banal. Time and again, he has planted his flag firmly in the camp of the anti-scientific left. Continue reading

How to Kill a Scientist

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Arguably, it is more difficult to be a scientist today than ever before. Faculty positions are few and far between. A mere 20% of federal grant proposals are actually funded, and the biomedical professors lucky enough to score an R01, the granddaddy of NIH grants, are usually not awarded their first until the ripe old age of 42. In short, there are too many PhD’s and not enough jobs and money to support them. Continue reading

‘Pro-Science’ Democrats Reject Biotechnology

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Imagine if Congress voted on whether or not to teach evolution and climate change in school. And imagine that 73% of Republicans voted against it. The backlash would be easy to predict: The national media, and science journalists in particular, would spend a week making somber declarations of impending educational and scientific collapse that would reverberate across the cosmos.

As it so happens, Congress did just vote on something of tremendous scientific importance: Biotechnology. And, as it so happens, 73% of Democrats voted against the bill. Yet, the national media remained deafeningly and hypocritically silent.  Continue reading

Dr. Oz Hires a Clone to Be His ‘Fact-Checker’

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

There was a brief glimmer of hope that Dr. Oz had changed. In response to criticism that received national attention, the dangerous, money-grubbing quack who makes a mockery of medical science and pollutes our national airwaves issued a press release stating that he has hired Dr. Michael Crupain, who will be “responsible for researching and vetting scripts, evaluating expert guests, ordering and editing medical animations and overseeing liaisons with the show’s Medical Advisory Board. He will also lead efforts to enhance the show’s ongoing dialogue with the medical community.”

That job description is essentially for a fact-checker. Finally, facts matter to Dr. Oz. Right? Continue reading

The Lies that Whole Foods Tells

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

The organic food market is estimated at $63 billion globally, with more than half of those sales occuring in the United States. (If “natural products” are included, the organic market is $290 billion in the U.S. alone.) It’s no wonder, then, why Wal-Mart and other mainstream retailers are jumping onto the organic bandwagon. There is an awful lot of money to be made. Continue reading

The Scientifically Unengaged Drive Biotechnology Debates

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

A lot of ink has been spilled over who is responsible for the pervasive anti-scientific and technophobic attitudes held by the public. Conservatives blame liberals, liberals blame conservatives, and atheists blame anybody who believes in God. But a new review by Australian researchers Craig Cormick and Lygia Romanach in Trends in Biotechnology suggests the possibility of a completely different, and even counterintuitive, answer: The scientifically disinterested. Continue reading