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Why Isn’t Evidence Based Policy More Common?

Nov 30 2018 - 08:11

Everyone believes in evidence-based decision making, but why is it so hard to find the evidence we need?

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Why Aren't There Electric Airplanes?

Nov 29 2018 - 20:11

A key challenge in building electric aircraft involves how much energy can be stored in a given amount of weight of the on-board energy source. Although the best batteries store about 40 times less energy per unit of weight than jet fuel, a greater share of their energy is available to drive motion. Ultimately, for a given weight, jet fuel contains about 14 times more usable energy than a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery.

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A Picture Is Worth More Than A Thousand Words To The Trained Eye

Nov 29 2018 - 13:11

What a medical doctor sees in social media posts can tell an entirely different picture than the one intended to be told. As the saying goes "the devil is in the details."

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Ding Dong the Donut Hole is Gone - Changes in Medicare Part D

Nov 29 2018 - 10:11

Medicare Part D provides coverage for the cost of drugs. It is a complex system with varying out-of-pocket costs. The stakeholders, beneficiaries, insurance companies, manufacturers and the feds are all trying to shift costs to someone else. Two graphs will show the value of Part D to patients and what all the fighting is about.

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The Polarization of Society: Even Scientists Become Tribal

Nov 29 2018 - 01:11

One would think that in a world where facts can be easily verified, it shouldn't become so polarized. But a new paper in the European Journal for Philosophy of Science argues that polarization is the natural outcome when groups of people disagree. In fact, the authors document a major example of polarization within the scientific community itself.

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The Polarization of Society: Even Scientists Become Tribal

Nov 29 2018 - 01:11

One would think that a world in which facts can be easily verified should not become so polarized. But a new paper in the European Journal for Philosophy of Science argues that polarization is the natural outcome when groups of people disagree. In fact, the authors document a major example of polarization within the scientific community itself.

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Junk or Joke Science? Too Hard To Tell With This Study.

Nov 28 2018 - 02:11

Researchers ingested Lego Heads to see how quickly they excreted them. This "work" was published in a journal.

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The Scientifically Ignorant Drive GMO Debate

Nov 27 2018 - 23:11

How can you identify a scientifically ignorant person? Ask him if he's concerned about the health effects of GMOs. If the answer is yes, you've identified somebody who probably couldn't pass an 8th grade science test. Too harsh? Not according to the latest Pew poll. 

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Winter Is Coming. So Is Norovirus. Any Hope Out There?

Nov 27 2018 - 17:11

Winter is on the way and the hideous norovirus (stomach virus) always comes along for the ride. Are we still helpless against this little monster? What's going on out there? You may be surprised.

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A Scientist Created World’s First Gene-Edited Babies. Why The Uproar?

Nov 27 2018 - 14:11

Given the rogue nature of one scientist, should we expect "designer babies" to follow?

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Canada Takes On The Cost Of Pharmaceuticals

Nov 27 2018 - 07:11

Our northern neighbor is considering public payment for nearly all pharmaceutical costs. The model makes its assumptions known, its cost and benefit analysis clear, and provides a blend of new taxes to support the plan. If it was not for some academic hand-waving over special needs and interests it might actually be feasible.

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The 'Journal of Controversial Ideas' Is a Fantastic Idea

Nov 26 2018 - 21:11

Plenty of bad papers are accepted as true because the academic who wrote it is famous. On the flip side, many good papers are never written out of the fear that it could cost an academic his job. So, how about we just eliminate real names and publish papers under fake ones instead? That's the fundamental idea behind a new journal, not-so-subtly called The Journal of Controversial Ideas, set to launch next year. This idea is so good, I wish I'd thought of it first.

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Another Useless Report On Industry Payments To Physicians

Nov 26 2018 - 06:11

There is a growing cottage industry in reporting industry payments to physicians, the implication is that they alter our behavior. Is there any proof?

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Lead Poisoning: Another Reason to Avoid Alternative Medicine

Nov 21 2018 - 23:11

The CDC's latest report shows dangerously high lead levels in children who live in households that contain spices, herbal remedies, and ceremonial powders -- in other words, the sort of things we associate with alternative medicine and other "natural" or "traditional" practices.

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Debunking Myths About Organ Donation

Nov 21 2018 - 16:11

Since anyone can be in a position to be touched by this topic, whether it be for yourself or a loved one, raising awareness can start a worthy dialogue in families. A lot has changed in transplant medicine.

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Cranberries, the Microbiome, and Conflicts of Interest

Nov 21 2018 - 08:11

A small study of the Thanksgiving cranberry raises the issue of when science in the public interest transitions from informing to advocacy and then to marketing.

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A Little State Debunks A Big Lie: The DEA's Opioid Scam.

Nov 21 2018 - 07:11

The October DEA National Drug Assessment, which claimed that opioid analgesic pills were doing most of the killing was pure BS. Now there is even more evidence of this, courtesy of New Hampshire. Only 9% of OD deaths were from pills, the rest for heroin and fentanyl. More lies put to rest.

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ACSH in the Media: Coast to Coast AM, Komen, and Beyond!

Nov 20 2018 - 21:11

Just as you've been toiling away in preparation for your upcoming feast, we have been toiling away teaching the world about science. Last week, we appeared on the wildly popular Coast to Coast AM and more!

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Do High Deductibles Delay Care For Patients With Diabetes?

Nov 20 2018 - 10:11

Diabetes + High Deductibles = Delays in Care A study tries to show that this is true, but the evidence is unconvincing

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We Are Seeing Physicians Less and Nurse Practitioners More - Do You Want Brand Name or Generic?

Nov 20 2018 - 08:11

Visits to primary care physicians are down, visits to nurse practitioners are up. And savings are nowhere to be found. Two great business strategists, Clayton Christensen, and Michael Porter provide some understanding.

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