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Dec 01, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 21)

Sense about Science

  • Organization, links to VoYS program
  • Nothing significant

I don’t think many people would argue with the fact that there is a great disconnect between scientists and the general public. Scientists get frustrated with how little the general public knows about science, and the general public is oftentimes distrusting of scientists. This disconnect in communication is exacerbated by misinformation in the media. Thus, enter Sense About Science, an independent charitable trust that valiantly crusades against the misrepresentation of science and scientific evidence in relation to important issues in society. Topics discussed on the site range from alternative medicine, to food additives, to science for celebrities. One of the best features of the site, though, is the information related to the Voice of Young Science (VoYS) program. This program exists to get research scientists who are early in their careers involved in public debates about science. Good for them for encouraging the next generation of scientists to care about science both inside and outside of the laboratory.

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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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