By: Rebecca Cerio
Our weekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.
By duboix on Morguefile. Used with permission.
U.S. Requests Censoring of Bird Flu Papers – The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity is requesting that Science and Nature censor data on a laboratory-made avian flu variant that may spread more readily to humans, fearing that it could be recreated by others as a weapon. This is the first time the government has made such a request, and the journals are attempting to find a way to curtail public access to the details of how to create the virus while still allowing the free flow of information to researchers. (by Reuters in The Guardian)
Tobacco company misrepresented danger from cigarettes – A chilling look at how industry bias can affect its own research: when threatened with regulations on cigarette additives, Philip Morris started its own studies into the toxicity of their additives, including menthol. When they found that additives in cigarettes actually increased cigarette toxicity, they changed their analysis protocol to one that hid the increase. In fact, the authors of a case study looking at Philip Morris’ data says, the original data from those papers, if properly analyzed, could be used as evidence that these additives should be banned from cigarettes for making cigarettes more dangerous. The case study analysis can be read on PLoS Medicine for free. (By Elizabeth Fernandez via UCSF press release)
Pitch Perfect: Academic detailing has the potential to significantly improve clinical practice – Many clinicians, researchers, and policy makers believe that comparative effectiveness research is both sorely needed and likely to be instrumental in improving the effectiveness and value of health care. However, getting the results of comparative effectiveness studies into the hands of doctors can be difficult. Thus was born academic detailing: the practice of going to doctors’ offices, much like drug reps do, to meet face to face with doctors. (by Josephine Johnston in The Scientist’s web edition.)
Have an interesting science policy link to share? Let us know in the comments!