2020 SCIENCE

Personal notes and articles on emerging technologies, responsible innovation, science communication and the University of Michigan Risk Science Center, from Center Director Andrew Maynard.

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LATEST ARTICLES

Less than 60% of university news releases link to the papers they cover
Less than 60% of university news releases link to the ...

In an analysis of recent news releases from the top ten US universities, only 59% of them provided links to ...

Source: Wikipedia, Public Domain image. John Vachon(w) for the United States Farm Security Administration(w) - Library of Congress CALL NUMBER: LC-USW36-828 [P&P] Transfer from U.S. Office of War Information, 1944. This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID fsac.1a35422.
MMR Vaccines and Autism: Bringing clarity to the CDC Whistleblower ...

Anyone following the Twitter #vaccinesNOVA hashtag on the evening of Wednesday September 10 would have seen their stream seemingly overwhelmed by ...

Creating Poster Presentations that Tell Stories
Creating Poster Presentations that Tell Stories

This Friday my class of second year Environmental Health Science Master of Public Health students are going to get my admittedly ...

Sixteenth century Aztec drawing of a measles victim
Why aren’t we more scared of measles?

Measles is one of the leading causes of death amongst children worldwide.  In 2012, an estimated 122,000 people died of the ...


Nano silver to be used to treat Ebola patients
Using nano silver to treat Ebola – is it misguided?

On Thursday this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ebola victims in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos will receive Nano Silver in ...

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University of Michigan, polio, and NOVA’s new documentary on vaccines ...

On April 12 1955, the world was informed that the Salk polio vaccine was up to 90% effective in preventing ...

Is fumed silica in food safe?
Fumed silica: Another nano material we need to worry about?

Pick up a jar of chili powder, and the chances are it will contain a small amount of fumed silica ...

Utibe Effiong speaking at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival
While the world watches Ebola, Meningitis continues to kill in ...

“This year alone, there have been 17,000 cases of meningitis in Nigeria, with nearly 1,000 deaths”. It’s a statement that jumped out ...




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NOTES AND THOUGHTS …


Linking press releases to papers: How do universities compare?

September 15, 2014

Following up on my previous analysis of university news releases and whether they link to the papers they highlight, I’ve extended extend the analysis to 30 of the top universities in the US as ranked by US News and World Report. Here are the rankings, based on an assessment of the ten latest news ...

MMR Vaccines and Autism: Bringing clarity to the CDC Whistleblower Story

September 12, 2014

Anyone following the Twitter #vaccinesNOVA hashtag on the evening of Wednesday September 10 would have seen their stream seemingly overwhelmed by the #CDCWhistleblower hashtag. Wednesday was when NOVA’s documentary Vaccines – Calling The Shots aired, and the #vaccinesNOVA hashtag was intended to enable a national discussion between parents, medical professionals and others on ...

Who’s on your “crush and bury” list of science offenders?

September 5, 2014

People who abuse scientific evidence can really get on your wick sometimes.  Fortunately, Sir Paul Nurse – president of the UK Royal Society – has the solution: crush and bury them! Sir Paul was speaking about silencing politicians, lobbyists, religious figures and leaders of organizations who serially misuse scientific evidence.  But why ...

The human side of vaccines and risk

August 31, 2014

Leading up to the new NOVA Special on vaccines (Vaccines – Calling The Shots, airing September 10th, 9:00 PM on PBS), the University of Michigan Risk Science Center be reposting a series of pieces that tackle some of the issues around vaccination, acceptance, anxiety and risk. Each week day between September 2 and September ...

World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers 2015 Announced

August 26, 2014

As a member of the selection committee for the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers, it’s always exciting to see which companies made the bar each year. This year’s Technology Pioneers have just been announced.  They represent 24 of the world’s most innovative and pioneering technology companies. The tech pioneers for 2015 include companies that ...

To Engineer is Human

August 26, 2014

I’ve just had my attention drawn to this inspiring 2 minute video on engineering from University of Michigan PhD student Barry Belmont:   The video’s part of the National Academy of Engineering Engineering for You Video Contest. What I like about it is the way it connects advances in engineering to our needs, hopes and ...

Vaccines, Calling the Shots – New NOVA Special, September 10th

August 23, 2014

NOVA has a one hour special on child vaccination coming out on September 10th, which is sure to stimulate some heated conversation around the topic.  It also features heavily University of Michigan School of Public Health decision-analysis expert Brian Zikmund-Fisher – who also leads the Risk Science Center Risk Communication ...

Is early development exposure to lead linked to obesity later in life?

August 8, 2014

A few of my colleagues in the University of Michigan Environmental Health Sciences Department have just published an interesting paper linking lead exposure to obesity in mice (Faulk et al. Perinatal Lead (Pb) Exposure Results in Sex-Specific Effects on Food Intake, Fat, Weight, and Insulin Response across the Murine Life-Course PLOS One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104273). While ...

Geeking out on the science of risk – check out the new look Risk Bites

August 7, 2014

We’ve been making Risk Bites videos for a couple of years now – if you haven’t seen them, they’re short, understandable and (hopefully) entertaining videos about the science behind human health risks. If you haven’t checked out the channel in a while, please pop over and take a look (http://www.youtube.com/user/riskbites/videos).  We’ve been implementing ...

How far should universities go in hyping research?

August 1, 2014

An article passed through my Twitter stream today from Gizmodo shouting out “Change Your Hair Color By Etching Nano-Patterns Into Each Strand”. It pretty much mirrors a press release from the University of New Mexico claiming “New technology allows hair to reflect almost any color”. Carbon-copy reporting is pretty much standard these days in science ...

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Childhood lead exposure costs Michigan residents an estimated $330 million annually, and a statewide remediation program to eliminate the source ...



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