academia

The Scientific Activist

Category archives for academia

Yesterday, the Institute of Medicine released a report entitled “Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice“. As far as I can tell, the full report is only available for a fairly substantial charge, but these are some of the main recommendations summed up in the report’s press release: All academic medical centers, journals,…

About a week ago, the NIH announced its draft guidelines covering the funding of human embryonic stem cell research. You can read the draft guidelines here and my post on the topic here. As these are draft guidelines, they are open to a month-long period of public comment before the final guidelines are released, and…

By all accounts, yesterday’s UCLA Pro-Test rally in support of animal research was a great success. Up to 800 people showed up for the Pro-Test rally, but only 30-40 people showed up for a concurrent anti-research rally These numbers are particularly notable for two reasons. Firstly, the number of supporters of animal researchers greatly dwarfed…

The gold standard for measuring the impact of a scientific paper is counting the number of other papers that cite that paper. However, due to the drawn-out nature of the scientific publication process, there is a lag of at least a year or so after a paper is published before citations to it even begin…

Via Tom Holder of Speaking of Research comes news that embattled UCLA scientists have formed their own chapter of the pro-research organization Pro-Test. And, they’re already planning their first event: Following in the footsteps of the Pro-Test group in Oxford, UK, students and scientists at UCLA have pledged to stand up against the lies and…

Fine-Tuning Cell Adhesiveness

Cells in higher organisms exist in a dynamic environment, requiring the ability to alternately grasp and disengage from the three-dimensional web of their surroundings. One family of proteins in particular, the integrins, plays a key role in this process by acting as the hands of the cell. Spanning the cell membrane, they link the extracellular…

On Saturday, animal rights extremists torched the car of a scientist at UCLA–just one more incident in a long streak of violent threats and wanton destruction of property. LA Times columnist Tim Rutten gets it right when he states: No sensible person dismisses the humane treatment of animals as inconsequential, but what the fanatics propose…

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…

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…