Today, as part of the preparation for my AAAS science policy fellowship, I filled out a brief survey on science and public policy. Several of the questions dealt with “science-based policy,” and overall the wording of the questions assumed that policy should be “science-based.” I was uncomfortable with this language,... [Read More]
Industry-funded research and publishing independence
Industry funding of scientific research was in the news last week. The most prominent story was that Coca-Cola is funding obesity research. But I had an interesting Twitter exchange about a different story: Clif Bar and Organic Valley are funding research on organic agriculture at UW-Madison. To paraphrase the Tweet... [Read More]
Somehow this piece on the character traits of chronically late people showed up several times on my Facebook feed this morning. The sweeping generalizations in the quotations reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write a post on a common fallacy that I like to call statistical essentialism. In this... [Read More]
Public Policy: What Philosophers of Science can Contribute
I spent last week in Washington, DC, interviewing with about 10 different federal government offices as a finalist for a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship. As you’ll see from those slides, AAAS policy fellows are primarily natural scientists and engineers; while it’s common to have a handful of social... [Read More]
When "Feeding the World" Doesn't Mean "Feeding the World"
A common lament in the GMO controversy is that both sides really want the same thing. As Ottoline Leyser puts it in a piece in PLoS Biology from this summer, “The most frustrating thing about this situation is that almost everyone wants the same outcome: a reliable, sustainable, equitable supply... [Read More]