The UK charity Sense About Science (previously) has announced the winners of its 2019 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science:forest fire expert Bambang Hero Saharjo and pharmacist Olivier Bernard.
The John Maddox Prize previously is awarded annually by the UK organisation Sense About Science (previously) for "individuals who promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so."
Sense About Science (previously) is a UK group that advocates for evidence-based policy; as part of that mission they give out the annual Maddox Prizes for people who brave political and social retaliation to infuse difficult public policy debates with factual evidence.
I gave the annual Sense About Science lecture last week in London, and The Guardian recorded and podcasted it (MP3). It's based on the Waffle Iron Connected to a Fax Machine talk I gave at Re:publica in Berlin the week before.
Adam Rutherford's amazing book A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived is on shelves in the USA now; debunking the absurd claims made by genetics testing companies — claims about your distant relationship to ancient kings or the percentage of your genes that came from Vikings.
The Conservative Party — and free market ideologues — have waged a long war on "safety culture," insisting it was a nonsensical, incoherent regulation that acted as a drag on every business except no-win/no-fee lawyers, who exploited these rules to victimise poor corporations with punishing lawsuits.
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee put out a public call for suggestions on subjects it should investigate and one of the three winning pitches came from Stephanie Mathisen, campaigns and policy officer at Sense about Science, who suggested an inquiry into transparency in algorithmic decision-making.
Chris from Sense About Science writes, "Nominations are now open for the 2016 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science. Now in its fifth year, the prize recognises the work of an individual anywhere in the world who promotes sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so."
Chris from Sense About Science writes, "Had trouble sleeping recently? This week Ask for Evidence is turning its attention to the multitude of claims about sleep — how you should be doing it, what you should be wearing for it, what you should be doing it on. — Read the rest
Chris from Sense About Science sez, "Thundersnow, willy-willys and the hottest/coldest seasons on record, there's certainly no shortage of headlines about the weather. But many meteorological terms we hear are misused, say early career researchers."
In the 2015 Sense About Science lecture (MP3), Tracey Brown discusses the worst casualty of politicization of science, from fluoride to climate change — the truth.
It's true that people with substance abuse problems can "detox" when they get clean, but the kind of "detoxing" offered by stuff in the grocery store or pharmacy has no basis in science and is just a scammy way to scare you into opening your wallet (the companies that sell "detox" can't even say what "toxins" they're getting rid of).
What can we do when politicians, advertisers and journalists make misleading claims which fly in the face of evidence? Last year here at Sense About Science we launched a campaign (as featured on BoingBoing) to get more people asking for evidence – for the claims make by politicians, companies, NGOs or anyone else. — Read the rest
"Health and Safety" is the all-purpose excuse for any stupid, bureaucratic, humiliating rubbish that officialdom wants to shove down our throats. In the Interests of Safety, from Tracey Brown and Michael Hanlon, is the antidote: an expert dismantling of bad risk-analysis and a call-to-arms to do something about it, fighting superstition and silliness with evidence.
Victoria from Sense About Science writes, "International Clinical Trials Day is on Tuesday May 20th but half of all clinical trials have never been published and some have not even been registered. Help the AllTrials.net petition get to 100,000 signatures by International Clinical Trials Day and end the era of secrecy. — Read the rest
Victoria from the UK's Sense About Science writes in with news about its Ask For Evidence campaign, a structured system for demanding evidence of sciencey-sounding claims from governments and companies, such as claims that wheatgrass drinks accomplish something called "detox" (whatever that is). — Read the rest
Sense About Science is a UK non-profit aimed at making science more understandable to the public. Right now, they're hosting a virtual plant science panel, where you can submit questions directly to scientists and see them answered on the Sense About Science website. — Read the rest
The UK's Sense About Science charity surveyed some of last year's science-related boners pulled by celebrities. From New Scientist:
— Read the rest
Did you know that when you eat meat, it stays in your gut for 40 years, putrefies and leads to a disease that kills you?