Sharing science in the halls of power

Today’s ceremonies likely mark the beginning of a new level of discord between scientific evidence and American policy. I’ve written here about the dark days of Canada’s own war on science under Stephen Harper, which mercifully have ended, though the work that was damaged has by no means recovered. Now, under the Trudeau government we […]

The Last Word

January 2-6, 2017 To assert one’s humanity is to make choices, even when that choice is to die, says Jenny. “When the time was right, the woman nodded to her doctor, who deactivated the pacemaker that was pumping blood to her heart. The woman died quietly with friends close, exactly the way she’d intended.” Ann finds […]

The Freshwater Bullies of Gatun Lake

The crocodiles should not be a problem. Yes, the population has spiked after being placed under protection, and there have been some attacks recently. But those attacks tend to happen when somebody steps right into the water. The crocs all hang out in the shallows. Stay out of the water and you should be fine. […]

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Intelligent Design

Sylvain Martel of the NanoRobotics Laboratory at Polytechnique Montreal has spent the last 15 years discovering that just as you figure out what you need to design, it often comes about that it’s already been designed. At least, something else already exists with those exact specifications – it’s just being used for a different purpose. He’s […]

The Last Word

November 21-25, 2016 This week, Erik brings his expertise to bear on the placebo and nocebo effects of presidential election results. What are the public health implications of deep disappointment? Of all the factors, low voter turnout may make those effects more powerful. NIH no longer uses chimps for biomedical research. But the transfer to chimp […]

Fat: What is it good for?

Infant mortality in the Arctic has always been a bit of a mystery. Yes, the usual suspects are present — high smoking rates, overcrowding — but the same is true of many communities in the south where far fewer babies die. Nunavut’s infant mortality rate, for example, is four times that of the rest of […]

The Last Word

November 7-11, 2016 This week, Jenny challenges you to define the distinctively universal smell of a school cafeteria — an entrancing mixture of pinto bean juice, gym-shoe tongue and scorched Teflon. On American election day, bipartisan stress could only be put into trivializing perspective by referring to the wider lens of deep time, says Emma. […]

Suggestible You

Our very own Erik Vance has a brand new book out through National Geographic, and it’s called Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain’s Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal. Listen to my conversation with him about such varying topics as the placebo effect, that curse a brujo put on him in Mexico, how […]