Archive for 'Science' Category

Green Quackery

By Anthony - Last updated: Monday, November 21, 2011

George Monbiot’s principled stand on nuclear power after the Fukushima incident, and the resultant green backlash he harvested was an interesting moment this year. After a prominent green, Helen Caldicott, went critical on him he had an epiphany. Over the past fortnight I’ve made a deeply troubling discovery. The anti-nuclear movement to which I once […]

War and Drug Development

By Anthony - Last updated: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The pharmacologist Tu Youyou is the person who discovered the malarial treatment artemisinin. Now 80, she was charged with the task of finding a cure for malaria, needed to help the North Vietnamese who were losing more soldiers to malaria than the Americans. She scoured old Chinese herbal textbooks for the cure: She and three […]

Luc Montagnier flees terror of France for China

By Anthony - Last updated: Sunday, January 23, 2011

As a brief follow-up to this story, here’s some shock news from Science about the Nobel Prize winner. Virologist and Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier announced earlier this month that, at age 78, he will take on the leadership of a new research institute at Jiaotong University in Shanghai. What has shocked many scientists, however, isn’t […]

Science cuts

By Anthony - Last updated: Sunday, October 10, 2010

More news on the impact of cutting science funding: The forthcoming report from Research Councils UK will warn that a cut in £1 billion in the amount of funding they can provide for scientific research would lead to a fall in GDP of more than £10 billion. It will argue that public investment in scientific […]

Science is vital

By Anthony - Last updated: Saturday, October 9, 2010

If you haven’t signed the Science is Vital petition, please do. Today, hundreds of scientists protested in London about the scale of proposed cuts to science funding. Other developed nations know the long-term consequences of cutting science funding far outweigh the short-term gains of cuts. Sweden, the US, France, Germany are all increasing spending on […]

Hitchens, cancer, and quackery

By Anthony - Last updated: Saturday, October 9, 2010

A few years ago I was lucky enough to meet Christopher Hitchens at the Hay Festival, the great writer and intellectual of our time. Sadly, while promoting his biography, Hitch 22, in which he muses on a false report of his death, he was taken ill and diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. In his […]

Paracetamol: Recall bias and media bias

By Anthony - Last updated: Friday, October 1, 2010

Just a short note. A couple of years ago there was a great deal of fuss about paracetamol and a possible link with asthma in children [Lancet]. The study reported on was a large retrospective study (205 487 children) involving surveying parents about their children’s previous paracetamol use and symptoms of asthma. There is an […]

Oliver James’ selective attention deficit

By Anthony - Last updated: Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oliver James is often called on to pontificate on psychological or mental health issues by the media. I’ve previously mentioned him on this blog, when he suggested up to 80% of the population were mentally ill, and that abuse during childhood, and living in a “sick” society, led people to vote for individuals like Barrack […]

Homeopathic Society complain about methods

By Anthony - Last updated: Monday, February 22, 2010

Chief Executive of the British Homeopathic Society, Cristal Sumner, states with regard to the Parliamentary Science committee’s devastating report on homeopathy: ‘It does seem an irresponsible way of decision-making for a Committee of four voting members to draw conclusions that impact the health and welfare of thousands of patients from just four and half hours […]