To be or not be an advocate? This is a question many scientists grapple with. The answer is of course not a simple yes or no, but so many through the years have attempted to make it so. This morning, Tamsin Edwards of the University of Bristol wrote an opinion piece for the Guardian, provocatively entitled, “Climate scientists must not advocate particular policies.” Dr. Edwards makes the claim that scientists should be above the fray. But she gets it wrong in a few ways. Read More
July 31st, 2013
July 10th, 2013
UPDATE, July 11: GA Regulators vote 4- 1 for more solar. We describe how to keep rates low in our update at the bottom of the page.
The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) will vote this week on a new proposal requiring Georgia Power, the state’s largest utility, to use more solar energy.
June 11th, 2013
Asbestos can kill you. We’ve all been warned about the dangers of breathing it in. That is why we test buildings for it and have rules to protect construction workers from exposure to it. But how do we know asbestos is harmful? Because scientists have done studies of the dangers it poses to our health. And I’m glad they have so we can avoid these threats. Read More
June 11th, 2013
The Obama administration yesterday dropped its appeal of a judge’s order to follow the science and allow consumers full over the counter access to the emergency contraception known as Plan B. I never thought I’ve be invoking Kenny Rogers in a blog post, but somehow it now seems to fit: you gotta know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em.The Obama administration should have folded long ago; for reasons unknown, it chose to stay in the game. In the process, it earned a serious black eye. Read More
June 7th, 2013
I’m at a conference this week but wanted to pass along some pretty big news on the Plan B emergency contraception saga, which keeps getting more and more strange. Read More
May 9th, 2013
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday aired a short talk from author and critic Margaret Atwood on two critical issues: the muzzling of Canadian government scientists and the importance of collecting adequate scientific information about threats to public health and safety. It is well worth four minutes of your day to listen in, and I’ve transcribed her remarks below. Read More
May 8th, 2013
On Tuesday, District Court Judge Edward Korman spoke incredibly strongly against the Obama administration’s decision to appeal his order that would require the Food and Drug Administration to use science to determine whether over the counter access to emergency contraception is safe for women of all ages. Read More
A Dangerous Approach: Lawmaker Proposes Changes to How the National Science Foundation Funds Science
May 2nd, 2013
The targeting of specific government grants has become old hat in Washington DC, an easy way to score cheap political points. Targets have included fruit fly research in Paris, studies of duck genitalia, and research involving shrimp on a treadmill, but in all cases, further investigation has shown that the seemingly odd projects have direct ties to real-world applications. These skirmishes have now escalated into power grabs that serve to undermine entire fields of research. Read More
May 1st, 2013
I feel like Charlie Brown.
A few weeks ago, I celebrated as a federal judge ordered the FDA to follow the medical evidence and make the emergency contraception known as “Plan B” available over the counter without restrictions. Under both President Obama and his predecessor, the decision had been thoroughly politicized. I thought that the judge’s ruling would provide the Obama administration with political cover. Surely they would respect the decision. Read More