Moving past our assumptions

by Chris Devers via Flickr.

If you could improve one thing in discussions between people with differing views, what would it be? I would encourage people (myself included!) to stop making assumptions about each other. The thoughts here have been swirling in my mind for years, and it’s finally time to try to collect my ideas. I’m inspired to action after the recent Public Interfaces of Life Sciences event at the National Academy of Sciences, When Science and Citizens Connect: Public Engagement on Genetically Modified Organisms. The sessions helped me to somewhat solidify my thoughts, and if you were present or if you watched online

Feeling Detached from Food Production? Blame Jethro Tull

Jethro_Tull_(agriculturist)

Many consumers today feel out of touch with how their food is produced and are disturbed by a lot of what they hear about it through their social networks or other sources of information. If it is necessary to assign fault for this phenomenon, I think we could blame Jethro Tull. Jethro Tull!? Ian Anderson and Martin Barre of the more modern Jethro Tull No, I don’t mean the 70s rock band led by flautist Ian Anderson and guitarist Martin Barre, I mean the early 18th century agronomist and inventor named Jethro Tull  (the two Jethros did; however, have similar hair styles).

Journal club

Exciting news came across my Twitter feed today: PubMed Commons is launching a journal club feature. What’s a journal club? As described by the PubMed Commons Team: Around the world, the journal club is a cornerstone engagement with the scholarly literature. Whether in face-to-face meetings or on social media platforms, researchers, physicians, and trainees gather to debate and converse about publications. Participants share their views on methods and interpretations of results. They discuss how publications fit into a broader context or might inform their own research or practice. In short, the journal club can represent a major intellectual investment –

“The GMO Deception” is, in fact, deceptive

A stale, misleading, text worth only about 2 pounds of recycled paper.

Recycling can be a very good practice. Re-using components of electronics, waste paper, and food scraps that would otherwise head to the waste stream can be a great idea. However, sometimes re-use doesn’t bring any value. Recycling bad claims and ideas about GMOs helps no one. Unfortunately, The GMO Deception is a prime example of worthless recycling. A stale and misleading text worth only about 2 pounds of recycled paper. I found out about this text from Marion Nestle’s blog. She promoted this book in a post and by blurbing for it: This week’s reading: The GMO Deception. It didn’t

Thomas Lang makes music for Frank N. Foode™

thomaslang-900

As you know, we’re working on the music for our educational video series, Cooking with Frank N. Foode™, and we are seeking donations to help fund this important part of our new outreach project. Next, I want to introduce you to Thomas Lang, who composed the music for this series. We knew it would be a challenge to create music that fits the topics we would talk about on the show, and bring out both the science and the character of Frank N. Foode™. We were fortunate to not have to look very far to find Tom. Several years ago,