Kudos to Eric Lichtblau and Scott Shane of The New York Times for a brilliant story on Sunday exposing efforts by the FDA to spy on its own scientists, in pursuit of some whimsical conspiracy in which the scientists were presumed to be working with critics to “defame” the agency.
Agency officials captured emails from its scientists to members of Congress, lawyers, journalists, and even President Obama. An FDA memo said many of these people were “thought to be working together to put out negative and ‘defamatory’ information about the agency.”
These are the people we entrust to tell us what drugs are safe?
Some of the information obtained by the perverse FDA spying is protected by law, including whistleblower complaints to Congress.
The FDA officials who conducted the spying were responding to a complaint from GE Healthcare, which said agency employees had been leaking confidential information, according to the Times report.
The reporters must have been smiling when they wrote this:
While the surveillance was intended to [...]What was the first science blog?
The first science blog? Trying to determine that is a fool’s errand, says science blogging godfather Bora Zivkovic, in a nearly 7,000-word blog post reviewing the origins and evolution of science blogs. Zivkovic, known more properly as the editor of the Scientific American blog network, was present at the creation, beginning in the 1990s, before blogs existed. (At that time, comments were posted on something called Usenet, a kind of Internet bulletin board.)
Zivkovic explains where it all began:
Pin-pointing the exact date when the first science blog started is a fool’s errand. Blogs did not spring out of nowhere overnight. The first bloggers were software developers who experimented with existing software, then made some new software, fiddling around until they gradually hit on the format that we now think of a ‘blog’ today.
If Zivkovic couldn’t track down the first blogger (and he’s not an anthropologist), let’s give him a break, because there is so much that he does know. Some of the first science blogs, for example, arose in response [...]Time mag takes its Top 10 lists to disgusting extreme
On Time magazine’s website you can find all kinds of jaunty Top 10 lists. Top 10 Iconic Junk Foods. Top 10 Zoo Escapes. Top 10 Racy Novels.
But Time has now set a record with one of the most tasteless and repellent items I can remember reading anywhere: Top 10 Comas. (Thanks to the science blogger Ed Yong for calling attention to this.)
These are people, some famous, some not, who lingered in comas before dying. The ranking is based on something only Time’s editors could possibly imagine. Picture a group of them sitting around discussing whether Sunny von Bulow’s coma topped Terri Schiavo’s. Or whether either topped that of a 6-year-old girl who lapsed into a coma after anesthesia for an appendectomy.
Time: Take the damn thing down!
Poca cobertura de ESOF, mosquitos transgénicos en Brasil, sin Ministerio de Ciencia en Perú, y seguimiento controversia Patarroyo
(English intro to Spanish lang post) Many reporters attending the European Science Open Forum (ESOF) in Dublin, but few stories in the Spanish press. And too much attention to James Watson’s unpleasant words to Craig Venter after his conference. That’s not news. In Barcelona, the European Forum of Neuroscience has just started. The Spanish tracker is thee. We’ll see which reporters cover more than what press releases offer. From Latin America: Brazil is going to produce (and release in poor areas) 500.000 genetic modified mosquitoes to fight against dengue. They are designed to produce infertile offspring. In Colombia a reporter followed up the controversy about the banning of Patarroyo’s experiments with monkeys. Another one in México wrote a really nice illustrated story about the human’s influence in the evolution of species. And regarding science policy: Peruvian government announced it’s not going to create a Science Ministry as Humala announced w! hen presidential candidate. Paraguay’s regional research projects have been suspended following the impeachment by President Fernando Lugo. And Dominic Republic launched a [...]Categories: About Journalism Environment & Energy Stories German Language Media Health & Medicine Stories Rastreador Científico en Español Science Stories Links Association of Health Care Journalists Council for the Advancement of Science Writing Health News Review Knight Science Journalism Fellowships Medien-Doktor – The German HealthNewsReview National Association of Science Writers Sigma Xi/American Scientist – Science in the News Society of Environmental Journalists The Observatory —CJR Get Tracker Posts: Entries (RSS) Comments (RSS) Archives: July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006
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