The summary of the fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has been released, and it confirms that climate change is real, dangerous, and caused by us. More than 97% of science papers that take a position on climate change support this conclusion.This unprecedented level of scientific certainty has not stopped legions of pundits from rejecting evidence, questioning scientists' motives and qualifications, and proposing ever-sillier ideas that scientists themselves are part of a vast international green conspiracy. If only that were true.
There are academic pharmaceutical researchers still publishing independent, peer-reviewed articles, just as there are still farmers who have small farms with the kinds of smiling animals one sees in children's books. But more and more pharmaceutical research is done factory farm-style, with organized precision and efficiency, all paid for by drug companies. Welcome to new science.
Here is a link to Harvard University Psychology Professor Steven Pinker's now "infamous" essay in the New Republic titled "Science Is Not Your Enemy." "Geeze, who in their right mind would think that science is their enemy?" Memo to self, "Write an essay some day called "The Christian faith is not your enemy."
Why do some people believe in phenomena rejected by science, like chemtrails, but deny real problems demonstrated by massive amounts of scientific evidence, like climate change. Why do so many people accept a theory for which there is no scientific evidence while rejecting a serious and potentially catastrophic phenomenon that can be easily observed and for which overwhelming evidence has been building for decades? The problem is that science denial is, in the case of chemtrails, a wacky distraction and, in the case of climate change denial, a barrier to addressing an urgent, critical problem.
Marc-André Gagnon, assistant professor at Carleton University, argues in a recent article that more than 80 per cent of new drugs entering the market are merely carbon copies of existing drugs -- commonly called "me-too" or "follow-on" drugs -- without any real therapeutic advance. Such criticisms, however, reveal a complete ignorance of the nature of the innovation process in the pharmaceutical industry.
The federal government recently announced a reorganization of the National Research Council to make it more "business-led" and industry-focused. Since then, many politicians have encouraged support for science that serves market interests. I believe we should support science because curiosity and the ability to ask and answer questions are part of what makes our species unique.
Despite breakthroughs in Franken-foods and robotic technology, science hierarchies employ the same age-old formula against women where a bumpin' body takes centre-stage over a beautiful mind. Have Einstein's IQ? Cool. But don't you dare look like him; and if you're heading down the family way, smack on the cocoa butter, prance like a photo shopped yummy mummy --two days after birth, because that is the rule -- and whip up that killer tuna casserole. Pronto.
Canada's ability to gain a competitive advantage in the global economy increasingly depends on industry's R&D intensity and the success in translating basic science and knowledge into commercial products. With this change, the National Research Council of Canada is returning to these historic roots by renewing its focus on industrial research, new growth and business development.
On Prime Minister Diefenbaker's Black Friday, it was announced that 14,000 jobs would vanish. The most sophisticated aircraft in the world, the Avro Arrow, would be dismantled and the pride of an entire country was slain along with it. I believe Canada has what it takes to produce another Avro Arrow.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is an important factor to our society. Girls' accomplishments in STEM are created by the quality of female leaders around them. Once young girls see themselves as successful as the leaders before them they will believe in the potential for academic growth therefore a positive outcome will result out of it.
While the safety and efficacy of vaccines for childhood infectious diseases is very well established, doubt continues to be sown among well-meaning parents. We need to demand that our government stop speaking out of one side of its mouth about the importance of the modern, science-based immunization schedule, while with the other side approving the sale of useless homeopathic hokum to be promoted as an ineffective alternative. If we do not, we risk a return of deadly childhood diseases like the 100-day cough of pertussis or the deadly, paralytic polio.
Decisions are being made these days with few nods to actual evidence-based thinking. This should not be a surprise to those who have paid attention of course, as the government has been consistently cutting funding to scientific research and development and shifting its focus instead to "industry based," private sector research and development. Essentially, the government is investing in outcomes instead of investing in possibilities.
An article published in Scientific American this week demystified a commonly held colloquialism -- Rachel and Ross knew it, Monica and Chandler certainly knew it: men and women can't be "just Friends." Nomenclature aside, men carry certain chromosomal differences from women. It's why our balls drop and our voices get deeper. It's not why we get to be douchebags and blame Darwin for our douchebaggery.