The Scientific Activist

Archives for July, 2006

I’m Back… Sort of

After over two weeks on planes, trains, and automobiles (actually, more like planes, buses, and boats)–on a trip that involved a wild weekend in Newcastle, a relaxing week and a half on a small island in the Norwegian fjords, and an informative three-day NMR conference in the Lake District–I’m finally back in Oxford. I can’t…

From the archives: (19 March 2006) Genetic engineering holds a great deal of promise, from potentially curing a variety of human ailments to addressing nutritional deficiencies through transgenic crops. One project even aims to engineer into bacteria the ability to generate a variety of alternative fuels. When it comes to genetic engineering and its emerging…

Free Market Frenzy

From the archives: (13 March 2006) If sellers are allowed to compete freely without any regulations, market forces will inevitably drive down prices and improve the quality of services so that everyone wins, even the consumer–or so the dogma goes. Life is rarely so simple, and markets don’t always behave so predictably. In the case…

Double Drug Jeopardy

From the archives: (17 February 2006) I’ll be honest with you: I really don’t know what to think about drug companies. I’ll give them some credit, since unlike many of their peers they produce a product that is useful to society and has important humanitarian implications. I want to like them–I really do–but when I…

No More Aspirin, Please

From the archives: (18 April 2006) If Massachusetts were a physician, I’d have mixed feelings about visiting him or her. Sure, Dr. Massachusetts would be incredibly persistent and would do its best to make sure I left its office feeling better than when I arrived, but on the other hand if I had any sort…

Universal Health Care, Duh!

From the archives: (21 January 2006) I had a great trip to the doctor the other day. I showed up for my appointment (one I had made only one day before), waited a few minutes, saw the doctor, and then I left. There was no paperwork, no long wait, no money exchanged, and no stress.…

This post from the archives describes a recent research finding that may be welcome news for some…. (24 May 2006) If you know what I’m talking about, and if you are in fact “cool”, then you might also be interested in the findings presented Tuesday by Dr. Donald Tashkin and his coauthors at an American…

From the archives: (19 January 2006) Which of the following does not belong? (a) abortion (b) medical marijuana (c) physician-assisted suicide Although all three are contentious and litigious medical issues, the answer seems to be choice (b), medical marijuana, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. On January 17, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Gonzales…

Bush Vetoes Stem Cell Act

After it passed in the Senate on Tuesday, Bush proved he was as stubborn as promised and vetoed HR 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, on Wednesday. This was another step backwards for science in the US and a clear violation of the will of the American People. What a shame.

Since January, I’ve been covering Oxford’s animal rights movement, and the response of local scientists, primarily through the organization Pro-Test. This post from the archives describes a particularly informative Pro-Test event. (26 May 2006) On Monday, May 22nd, an audience of about 100 people joined the pro-research organization Pro-Test at a public meeting in the…