By: Rebecca Cerio
Our weekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.
Football’s Problem With Danger and Uncomfortable Questions – George F. Will and Jason Reid raise interesting issues at the intersection of culture and science in The Washington Post. What should be done when the entertainment we want to see risks the health (and lives) of the entertainers? These two opinion pieces discuss the ethical ramifications of the accumulating evidence that football players’ neurological health is being degraded by the violence of the game they play.
Well-funded Investigators Should Receive Extra Scrutiny – Jeremy Berg suggests in a comment in Nature that even the new NIH rules raising the bar for funding researchers already receiving >$1 million in grant money from the NIH aren’t stringent enough. His suggestions? Close loopholes that would allow exceptions and start the scrutiny at below $1M. Also, “…special consideration should be given to investigators with strong proposals who have few or no other sources of funding, such as those at the beginning of their careers or established, productive investigators. Funding these applicants would probably have a bigger impact — by helping to develop a new lab or keeping an effective one functioning — rather than providing incremental support to an investigator who already has substantial other support.” As the NIH struggles to divvy up the increasingly shrinking pie, discussions like this are becoming more common in the world of science funding.
Writing About Autism Science? 10 Things – Emily Willingham gives 10 very thoughtful suggestions for science writers discussing autism. It’s worth a read for anyone else, though, to get an idea of how writing in the media about particular diseases affects people with those diseases. Also, there are some great tips on what NOT to say when discussing scientific studies in the media (protip: Correlation does not equal causation!)
Have an interesting science policy link? Share it in the comments!