Failure to Communicate, Part 2: Primary School

Misinterpretation and poor presentation of scientific research interferes with decisions about healthcare, policy, and lifestyle. In part one of this two-part series, we took a look at how scientists can help bridge the gap in communicating scientific findings to the general public through respectful discourse. However, better scientific communication is a short-term solution. It might result in a slight increase in general scientific literacy, but it depends on a public receptive to open, non-judgmental conversation on contentious topics. It’s like building half a bridge and leaving the other half unfinished… Continue reading Failure to Communicate, Part 2: Primary School

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