Virginia Schutte says the March for Science won’t meet her goals or those set out by the organizers. Here, she shares some alternatives. When I was in graduate school, I learned to create classes using backward design. Backward design encourages setting goals and then planning a course of action to meet those goals. This strategy can be applied to almost…
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The announcement to create the position of a chief science advisor (CSA) for Canada by Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan has been well received by the scientific community. Bringing science to the forefront of the public sphere is a goal to be applauded, as is that of recognizing and valuing the contributions of research communities within Canadian society. In particular,…
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Last month, General Electric announced that by 2020 the company would not only have equal numbers of men and women in its entry-level technical programs, but would also increase the number of women in its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) positions from 14,700 to 20,000. The news came as a welcome surprise. In many countries, women are, and always…
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Much anticipated initial results of the Canadian chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) clinical trial for multiple sclerosis (MS) were announced on March 8. The results demonstrated that the CCSVI procedure is ineffective compared to a neutral procedure in a group of 104 MS patients after 48 weeks. The outcome of the study at this time point serves as an important…
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After spending nearly 15 years in biomedical science laboratories in two different countries with publicly funded health systems, I finally feel able to write down some thoughts on the explosion of physician scientists being trained across the world. I think we have been on a very dangerous path for some time now and need some bold moves at the level…
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CRISPR Technology: Officially Off-Limits?

CRISPR, a technique that allows for precise gene editing, is taking the research world by storm. It has three components: a Cas9 enzyme that snips the DNA, a guide RNA that tells Cas9 where to snip, and the CRISPR sequence on the DNA that is recognized by the guide RNA. Because of its simplicity and remarkable precision, it has broad…
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Do Americans hate science? They certainly seem to hate it more than they used to, as they rage against experts in every field. This is more than a traditional American distaste for eggheads and intellectuals. Americans, increasingly, are acting (and voting) on myths and misinformation about science, and placing themselves at significant risk. In Texas, for example, “personal-belief exemptions” among…
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This past summer, the future of our postdoctoral association’s Science Policy Committee was uncertain. We were without purpose, our programming was sporadic—a seminar here, a blog post there—and overall interest seemed low. As a co-chair of the committee, which had dwindled to a grand total of two members, I struggled to identify ways to engage our postdoc community and to transform…
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