Jonathan Latham – The Biotech Industry is Taking Over the Regulation of GMOs From the Inside

Link to an article by Jonathan Latham:

“The Biotech Industry is Taking Over the Regulation of GMOs From the Inside”

The central dispute between industry and critics like Latham is over which of two approaches to adopt: (1) reasonably prove safety before commercial release, or (2) presume safety (and permit commercial release) until harm is proven.

Tom Bartlett – Can We Really Measure Implicit Bias? Maybe Not

Link to an article by Tom Bartlett:

“Can We Really Measure Implicit Bias? Maybe Not”

 

A problem with “implicit bias” theory is that it has its own implicit bias of the cognitivist and/or politically liberal variety.  In short, the question of detecting “implicit bias” is inexorably tied to a supposed “solution” (or “acceptable” range of solutions) that is less explicitly discussed, thereby denying the political character of how the question is formulated in the first instance.  While no doubt the elimination of bias/discrimination/oppression is important, it is possible to question whether advocacy of political liberalism under the guise of “neutral” science is worthwhile to those ends.  Conservatives, who are mostly the problem in terms of advocating for biased institutions, obviously oppose this stuff because they realize it is set up to be against them and their desired hierarchies of inequality.  Moreover, offering political liberalism as the solution to the problem of bias has the subtle effect of excluding liberalism from being part of the problem — especially if liberalism is seen as being about limiting/softening but still maintaining the sorts of hierarchies of inequality that conservatism seeks.  So consider what follows a critique of “implicit bias” theory from a left perspective.

Bonus link: “Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap” and “A Southern City With Northern Problems”

Martha Rosenberg – They Aren’t All Safe

Link to an article by Martha Rosenberg:

“They Aren’t All Safe: Pharma is Willing to Look ‘Unscientific’ to Sell Vaccines”

Bonus links: “The Vaccination Quandary” (Note: he’s actually referring to Sherri Tenpenny, not Shirley Tenpenny.) and “FDA Commissioner Hamburg Appointed WHO Deputy?: A Sad Legacy” and “Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA” and “Public Interest Group Calls for Investigation Into Harassment of USDA Scientists”

Yarden Katz – Cheerleading With an Agenda

Link to an article by Yarden Katz:

“Cheerleading With an Agenda: How the Press Covers Science”

Bonus links: Stanisław Lem, Solaris and “Economics as Ideology: Challenging Expert Political Power” and Thorstein Veblen, The Higher Learning in America: A Memorandum on the Conduct of Universities by Business Men and Universities and the Capitalist State

David Wineberg – The Man With Two Brains

Link to David Wineberg’s review of Chris Knight‘s book Decoding Chomsky: Science and Revolutionary Politics (2016):

“The Man With Two Brains”

Bonus links: “Decoding Chomsky. Science and Revolutionary Politics. Chris Knight. A Review.” (this review usefully relies on Bourdieu), and “Understanding the Labyrinth: Noam Chomsky’s Science and Politics” (“Chomsky’s stance undercuts the responsibility of scientists to speak out as public intellectuals against dishonest invocation of pretended science [o]n behalf of commercial and political interests.”), and Systemic Functional Linguistics, and Denial AKA disavowal (“In Verleugnung, the defense consists in denying something that affects the individual and is a way of affirming what he or she is apparently denying.”) and “Chomsky, Wolfe and Me” and “Noam Chomsky Responds to Chris Knight’s Book, Decoding Chomsky: Science and Revolutionary Politics” and “When Chomsky Worked on Weapons Systems for the Pentagon”  (“In Chomsky’s writings, individualism and genetic determinism are both taken to astonishing extremes.”)

 

To the extent that Knight (or others) are insisting that Chomsky (or others) assume the position of a Hegelian “beautiful soul” I disagree.  Other other hand, from sort of a Bourdieu (or Bachelard) sort of sociological perspective, it is crucial to understand the institutional field in which a “major” academic like Chomsky operates.  I think Knight is more concerned with how Chomsky is or isn’t a “useful idiot” for military interests like Robert Oppenheimer with the Manhattan Project.