Science Policy For All

Because science policy affects everyone.

Science Policy Around the Web – October 18, 2012

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Photo Credit: Adamo Photo

By: Jennifer Plank

Our weekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.

Parsing of Data Led to Mixed Messages on Organic Food’s Value – Recently two independent groups reviewed years of scientific data regarding the benefits of organic food and came to very different conclusions. A study published in 2011 by a group from Newcastle University in England found that organic food was generally more nutritious and contained more molecules that help people fight cancer and heart disease. However, while reviewing many of the same original studies, a group from Stanford University concluded that organic food is not more nutritious than conventionally grown food. Kenneth Chang of the New York Times reviews the methodology used by both groups that led to this discrepancy.

Science in an Election Year – President Obama and Governor Romney were recently asked 14 science-related questions regarding topics such as energy, climate change, and the future of research, and Scientific American evaluated the responses given by their campaigns. The candidates’ full responses can be found here. Additionally, sciencedebate.org asked leaders of congressional committees that impact science policy 8 of the 14 questions that were asked of the presidential candidates- The Top American Science Questions: 2012 Congressional Edition.

Pertussis: Get the Vax or At Least Listen To Why You Should – Tara Haelle, a Double X Science contributor, reviews several recent events regarding vaccines and vaccine exemptions. On September 30, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2109 which requires parents to sign a statement stating they received information about the risks and benefits of vaccines before excluding their children from immunization. The statement must also be signed by a health care practitioner. On September 24, a US District court in Ohio ruled that religious objections were not sufficient for vaccination exemption stating that “the mere assertion of a religious belief . . . does not automatically trigger First Amendment protections,” and that “it has long been recognized that local authorities may constitutionally mandate vaccinations.”  Finally, a study in the journal Epidemiology highlights the importance of family members being vaccinated to protect the health of babies who are too young to be vaccinated and may contract the disease.

Have an interesting science policy link?  Share it in the comments!

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Written by sciencepolicyforall

October 18, 2012 at 1:13 pm

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