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Apr 01, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 7)

Improbable Science

  • Good coverage of bad science
  • Bad layouts of good articles
There’s the likely and the unlikely, the possible and the improbable. What follows is most certainly improbable. Continuing the series on “science gone bad” is Improbable Science, a creation of David Colquhoun who, some might say, has seen the light a bit by expanding his offerings to include “good science.” First, though, the bad. It is quite good, actually, if making people aware of bad science is a good thing. David does a credible job of tackling things done in the name of science that aren’t all that scientific. The layout of his pages is definitely “bad.”The center section deals with his current rants, whereas others are left as links in the Recent Posts section. Tighter organization is called for, but if you want a single post that gives the flavor of the site, check out the link titled “University Abandons Homeopathy Degree.” As for the “good science,” it’s a description of how David thinks science should be administered on a campus. I’ll leave its “goodness” to the reader to decide.
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*The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as reflecting the viewpoints of the publisher, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the publishing house, or employees and affiliates thereof.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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