The Scientific Activist

Archives for February, 2009

Recently, I wrote about how raising the specter of “Darwinism” as a reason for people’s lack of acceptance of evolution is totally irrelevant. But, Faith in Honest Doubt now has a much more entertaining (and quantitative) metaphorical smack down of the idea. Check it out.

If I ran an agricultural biotech company and I wanted to go out of my way to alienate my supporters and lend credence to my conspiracy theory-peddling critics, I think that this is exactly how I would go about doing so. From The New York Times: Biotechnology companies are keeping university scientists from fully researching…

An article in today’s New York Times profiles the trials and tribulations of young twenty-somethings who lack health insurance. For some it’s out of hubris, but for most it’s because they fall through the cracks–paid enough that they don’t qualify for public health care but still lacking the means to afford health insurance of their…

As part of the stimulus package passed by Congress last Friday (H.R. 1: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), the US will be ramping up efforts to encourage evidence-based medicine. This is a very good thing. Specifically (from The New York Times): The $787 billion economic stimulus bill approved by Congress will, for the…

Today, a court in Oxford found animal rights extremist Mel Broughton guilty of conspiracy to commit arson and sentenced him to ten years in prison for his crime. Broughton was arrested in 2007, after being linked to a failed arson attempt at Oxford’s Templeton College (which followed a successful attack of Queen’s College the previous…

Evolution is an established scientific idea, the unifying theme of biology, and an important field of study. “Darwinism”, on the other hand, is a term used misleadingly by creationists to attack ideas they can’t counter on fact alone and misguidedly by journalists unwittingly assisting this process. With that in mind, the recent essay by Carl…

Last fall, most of the Oxford Biochemistry Department moved into a fancy-schmancy new building (imaginatively named “New Biochemistry”). A few of us stayed behind (have you ever tried to move a 6-magnet NMR facility?), and–to be totally honest–I can’t say that I’m too disappointed about this. Granted, the new building is notable enough to warrant…