The Scientific Activist

Archives for March, 2007

South Africa, Here I Come!

There won’t be too much going on here at the blog for the next few weeks, as I’ll be in South Africa through mid April. It’ll be part travel and part community outreach (an educational project in conjunction with the South African Education and Environment Project (SAEP)). Hopefully I’ll be able to check in along…

Back in August, I reported on an ACMD study buried in the back of a UK government report. The study gave strong evidence that the current drug classification scheme in the UK was fundamentally flawed and was not based on the actual danger of a given drug. The study has now been published in this…

Last week I mentioned an upcoming hearing by the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to “Examine Allegations of Political Interference with Government Climate Change Science.” The hearing happened on Monday (19 March), and it even got a bit of media coverage in the process. The testimony of the witnesses can be downloaded here.…

Not that HIV/AIDS is an important issue or anything… but it appears that Republican presidential hopeful John McCain hasn’t been thinking much–or at all–about HIV prevention. The New York Times blog The Caucus reports that when asked about the subject at a recent campaign rally in Iowa, McCain looked completely stumped: Did he support the…

First, the good news, though. Phil Plait (of the Bad Astronomy Blog) reports today at The Huffington Post that the House just passed HR 985, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. As he notes, scientists have plenty of reasons to be happy about this: Scientists in government agencies (NASA, NOAA, FDA, etc), laboring for years under…

While most of the candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination have been in a race to see who can most shamelessly pander to the Religious Right, Rudy Giuliani has more or less remained above the fray. So far, this strategy has paid off surprisingly well, as recent polls have indicated. Even more surprisingly, though,…

(See update here.) The Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform–chaired by Henry Waxman–will hold part two of its “Hearing to Examine Allegations of Political Interference with Government Climate Change Science” on Monday, 19 March, at 10:00 am EST. The full witness list is supposed to be made available later today (Update: It looks like…

The Texas House voted today 119-21 to overturn governor Rick Perry’s executive order requiring mandatory vaccination against HPV (human papilloma virus) for girls entering the sixth grade. The bill, HB1098, still requires final approval in the House before moving along to the Texas Senate. Perry could attempt to veto the bill, but his veto could…

On 2 February, Texas became the first state in the nation to enact a mandatory vaccination scheme for human papilloma virus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer. The vaccine, Gardasil, is produced by Merck. Although welcomed by many, this was a surprising development since it was brought about by an unusual executive order from…

I’ve been openly skeptical of the shift to the right that we’ve seen lately by those vying for the Republican nomination for the presidency. Although my skepticism is targeted more at the inevitable swing to the center that their rhetoric will surely take after the primaries (despite the continued influence that the right wing voters…