Science Policy

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Category archives for Science Policy

Score One for the Lumpers

Remember that new species of leopard that was “discovered” earlier this year? Well, it wasn’t really discovered so much as recategorized as a unique species (it was originally discovered in the early nineteenth century). That’s a picture of it on the right if you don’t remember. Anyway, there’s an Editorial in PLoS Biology arguing that…

What is a Gene?

It’s not entirely obvious at first, but this article in the New York Times is about the problems with gene patents in a world where one gene does not equal one protein. Now, we’ve known that this model isn’t entirely correct, what with alternative splicing and all. Additionally, the human genome also contains many “genes”…

A couple of weeks ago I suggested that the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) would no longer be funding de novo genome sequencing projects via white papers. They appear to be shifting their focus to resequencing projects to study variation (ie, this) and take a closer look at well studied organisms (ie, ENCODE, which…

The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) is experiencing a financial crisis. They have received financial support from the Department of Energy (DOE) for over fifty years. The DOE has cut funding, which may force SREL to close down. SREL operates as a unit of the University of Georgia, but depends on money from the DOE…

The Press and Our Educational System Suck

Matt Nisbet and Chris Mooney are arguing that science education is so fucked up and the press are so piss poor that scientists need to go swift boat vets in order win the public debates against anti-science types. According to Nisbet and Mooney, the general public are too stupid to understand the real science, so…

A discussion of open access data using bird flu and other disease data as examples. The recent scares over bird flu have led many researchers to investigate the epidemiology, genetics, and disease risks of the virus. The researchers are focused on both preventing the transmission of the virus into human populations and preparing for a…

The Lost Biologists

The NYTimes reports on the impending budget crunch at US science funding agencies. The last Congress only passed spending bills for the military and domestic security, leaving nine others at the same level as the previous year. If we take inflation into account, the stagnant budgets result in a decrease in funding of 3-4% for…

Beating a Dead Centaur

There is currently much debate over the ethics of chimeras — organisms that are partially one species and partially another. This debate is especially heated when humans are one of the species involved. Nature has published an editorial on the controversy. I don’t intend to comment on the position of the editorial, but rather on…

We still have a chance to increase the NIH budget for this year. Go here to contact your US Senators and Representatives to request that they increase the NIH budget — the last congress failed to vote on a budget for the NIH, resulting in a FY2007 budget identical to that of FY2006. From the…

Eugenie Scott and Glenn Branch are two of the leaders in the movement to keep the science in science classrooms in American public schools. Both Scott and Branch hold administrative position at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), and they’ve displayed great commitment to maintaining the scientific integrity of American primary and secondary education.…