Archives for June, 2008

Obama, JFK and the sixties

by revere (originally posted at Effect Measure) Does the Obama candidacy signal a return of “the sixties”? It’s possible. What does that mean? Even those us who were there remember the sixties imperfectly. Not because we were permanently stoned. Memory is selective. We remember it as better than it was. We were young, and that makes…

Friday Blog Roundup

Bloggers have a lot of food worries: Andrew Schneider at Secret Ingredients reports that most U.S. government agencies aren’t checking meat for the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA – but University of Iowa assistant professor Tara Smith (of the blog Aetiology) and her researchers found MRSA in 70% of the pigs they tested at 10 Iowa and…

House Passes Nanotechnology Safety Bill

By Michael Stebbins, originally published at Scientists and Engineers for America Action Fund The House just passed the National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments Act of 2008 by a vote of 407 to 6. H.R. 5940 reauthorizes and refines the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), notably strengthening the commitment to environmental and safety research. This seems particularly important…

Do you know of any cases of Parkinson’s disease among workers at flavoring companies?   David Egilman, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Brown University, is aware of two cases of Parkinson’s disease in men in their fifties who were flavorists at a large flavorings company.  The plant alone had 15 “flavorists.”  (The average age of onset for Parkinson’s is 60 and it is a relatively…

CBS 60 Minutes on Worker Safety

Set your wristwatch alarms or your VCR for this Sunday (June 7) at 7:00 pm (EST) to watch CBS’s 60 Minutes and a hard-hitting story on OSHA and its failure to protect workers and communities from combustible dust explosions.  CBS’s correspondent Scott Pelley  interviews Carolyn Merritt (former Member of the US Chemical Safety Board), Tammy Miser (whose brother Shawn was killed…

By Susan F. Wood, PhD Much has been written at the Pump Handle and elsewhere in the media and scientific literature about ensuring that science appropriately drives government policies.  Questions and concerns have abounded regarding inappropriate non-scientific interference, while at the same time many health and environmental agencies (and the scientific staff within them) continue their incredibly…

Occupational Health News Roundup

The human rights group Amnesty International has released a report criticizing forced labor and dangerous working conditions in Brazil’s sugar cane industry, which feeds the country’s booming ethanol industry. Eduardo Simoes and Inae Riveras report for Reuters (via Gristmill): Amnesty said that in March 2007, 288 workers were rescued from forced labor at six cane…

For the first time since 2005, the full Senate chamber is debating climate legislation: the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, or CSA. Although the chances of this legislation becoming law this year are slim, it could lay important groundwork for the next Congress and Administration. If you want to know the key details about what the…

The 65 or so high school seniors of Tygarts Valley High School shared a moment of silence during their graduation ceremony last night (The InterMountain reports) to mourn the death of Adam Lanham, 18, who died on Friday, May 30 at ICG’s Sentinel Mine.  The young coal miner was a 2007 graduate of Tygarts Valley High School,…

U.S. Slipping on Science

At a summit at the World Science Festival, panelists agreed that the U.S. is losing its stature as a leader in science. Panelists cited two reasons: diminished funding for research, and “a perceived high-level disdain for science.” Keith B. Richburg of the Washington Post explains: