The Selfish Speed of Science Publishing

Information is instant. I remember the moment when this fact of the digital age was made unequivocally clear to me. It was the summer of 2014 in Montreal and I felt my room shake. A truck? Thunder? An earthquake? An earthquake. The news was up on Twitter faster than it seemed possible to type.

Yet, as the internet breathes immediacy into almost all forms of communication, the dissemination of biological findings has remained embarrassingly slow. Research routinely takes years to be shared, hindering the speed at which science progresses… Continue reading The Selfish Speed of Science Publishing

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The Reality of Brain Trauma in Sports

Recently, concern about the long-term effects of head trauma related to contact sports has skyrocketed. At the center of the controversy are the rising number of former football players suffering from a neurodegenerative condition and the National Football League (NFL), which has largely denied any link between football and degenerative disease. Numerous stories have been written about the tragic deaths of former athletes, and Will Smith starred in a film about the forensic pathologist who first identified abnormalities in a former NFL player’s brain. As media attention increases, the underlying biology is rarely the focus. Reporting is rarely neutral — any head injury is either a sure path to lifelong distress or there is no reason to believe any link at all exists. The reality, however, is murkier… Continue reading The Reality of Brain Trauma in Sports

Good Intentions Can’t Hide Bad Science

It’s bad when a philanthropic organization uses bad science to justify their means, but it’s dangerous when bad science misdirects policy. I’m sure many good people work in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. People with good intentions and scientific reasoning. I’m confident these groups are overlapping and good-willed scientists are carrying out the mission of the Gates Foundation “to help all people lead healthy, productive lives.” I’m sure there was good will, but good reasoning was nowhere to be found when this image was posted on their Facebook page… Continue reading Good Intentions Can’t Hide Bad Science