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

Our Know-Nothing, Anti-Science, Anti-Intellectual Presidential Candidates

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Other than getting a major fact wrong, the worst possible feeling for a journalist is the gut-wrenching notion that all of one’s efforts are for naught. For me, it has become increasingly difficult to escape this dreadful feeling, given the state of politics in America. Continue reading

The New York Times Should Seriously Consider Not Writing About Science Anymore

This article was originally published on RealClearScience.

G.K. Chesterton once quipped, “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” He was speaking of the most important things in life, such as faith, volunteering, and parenting. He was not speaking of journalism. That, if done badly, should be ceased. Continue reading

We Made Portland Angry. We Don’t Apologize

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

We recently published a list of the 10 Biggest Junk Science Stories of 2013. At #5, was the rejection of water fluoridation by the citizens of Portland.

The left-wing alternative newspaper Willamette Week was particularly unhappy with the placement, calling RealClearScience a “national lab-rat news aggregator.” Our editorial team thinks that was meant to be an insult, but nobody is quite certain. We like lab rats. Continue reading

Why Is a Socialist Allowed to Teach Economics?

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

We don’t cover economics regularly because it is not traditionally considered science. Furthermore, the field too often generates research and commentary that employs more voodoo than a witch doctor. It is largely for these reasons that economics is often referred to as the “dismal science” and why President Harry Truman wanted to meet a one-armed economist. Continue reading

A Skeleton in America’s Closet

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

The government shutdown has dragged a nasty skeleton out of America’s closet and put it on full display for the world to see: Americans are bitterly divided, and there is little hope on the horizon for reconciliation.

The “us vs. them” nature of our public discourse has grown so sourly partisan that we can no longer agree on basic facts. Each team has its own experts and news sources, so it is entirely possible for a person to never hear an intellectual point of view from the opposite side. In the rare few instances we choose to interact with the “enemy,” accusations of dishonesty are among the first words on our lips.

In other words, we live in a society where it is “my facts vs. your lies.” Continue reading