Quoted at E-Magazine on Presidential Science & the Election
E-Magazine has a feature out on the (non)-role of science issues in this year's presidential race as well as the failed attempts at a Science Debate. I'm quoted in the article, as is my friend Chris Mooney, and other experts such as Harvard's Sheila Jasanoff.
Of note are these plans and comments from Obama's science staffer:
Democratic nominee Barack Obama often cites the role of science and technological innovation in driving the U.S. economy. Jason Grumet, Obama's climate change advisor, told E, "Senator Obama believes that there is a fundamental need for transparency in government. He does not believe that you can answer political questions solely with science, but there has to be clarity and integrity in how science is used in the political process." Grumet says that the campaign has created a science policy group to search out ways to elevate the role of science in government. Some of the ideas under development include setting conflict-of-interest rules for scientific advisory boards, ensuring that political appointees in positions with research mandates have proper scientific credentials, and creating a new scientific advisory group for the president.
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A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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