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Showing posts from February, 2019

Blog Post from September 6, 2015

In light of recent events, I decided to visit my blog from September 6, 2015, the day that Eric Lipton's article was published.  Here it is again for you to compare and contrast against claims made by Lipton and others. That is all.  1. What is your relationship with Monsanto? I have no formal relationship with the company.  Friends, former students, colleagues from previous jobs work there.  They once made a relatively small donation to my university to cover travel/production costs of my science communication program in August of 2014.  The entire original amount was reallocated to a campus charity. Monsanto does not fund my research and never has. I have spoken at the company twice about science communication and enjoyed collegial hospitality. As is clear by emails, I'm glad to share thoughts and opinions with them on science communication. I hold no formal capacity in this regard. I do this with any company and show no special favor to Monsanto. 2. What is y

W-9 Forms and Secret Payments

I hate like hell giving screen-time to Paul Thacker.  He has shown a persistent mission to hassle me, dig endlessly through my emails and other records, and then construct kook conspiracy theories and false associations.  Today is his latest installment is his proof that I am not an independent scientist, and just a paid industry hack like him.  He shared this today on Twitter.  His goal?  To erode trust in a public, independent academic scientist with a strong record of public service-- because I'm changing hearts and minds about science.  That must be stopped.  From Paul's Twitter feed 2/11/2019 Paul posted this today.  Glad I unblocked him.  And nice of him to publish a document with my social security number, address and phone number fully visible. So what is this W-9?  Sometime in mid 2014 I received a phone call from Lisa Drake, someone I never met before.  She worked in Colorado and had a role in customer contact, etc for Monsanto.  She said that f

Bittersweet Access Denied

The website from yesterday is gone.  Access denied.  Despite the fact that this was our central scientific organization making a major blunder, the internet was strangely silent, and it made me uneasy.   This situation is nothing but bad optics, but the criticism had to be levied, because it was the truth. Damn the torpedoes.  But it was enough time for at least a subset of the anti-technology movement to grab it and run with it.  I'm holding my breath and hoping for a clarifying statement that acknowledges the findings of the awardees, but frames them within the limitations of the experiments performed. I'm also waiting for the claims that this was the secret hand of Monsanto, infiltrating the AAAS corps of lackeys, and having the page pulled.  We indeed live in strange times. I'm glad that scientists in places like Sri Lanka examine public health issues, formulate hypotheses and test them as they can. We just need to keep it real. If we ar

What Am I Missing?

I humbly ask this question.  What am I missing?  Tonight I read the press release for the AAAS about the 2019 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award, going to two Sri Lankan physicians / researchers that apparently confirmed a deadly causal connection between a kidney disease (Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Origin; CKDu) and the herbicide glyphosate. Congrats, congrats! Wow, I must have missed this.  Certainly a concrete link would be big news, and if AAAS is awarding someone for this research it must have been a prominent publication.  But I scan the literature almost daily and never saw this.  The names of the awardees seemed strangely familiar.  Then it hit me... this was the 2014 paper where they looked at hard water consumption in Sri Lanka and then suggested a tie between CKDu, heavy metals and glyphosate.  The paper presented a hypothesis.  There were no data.  There were no experiments.  It was a decent  hypothesis that could be tested.  At the time the anti-ag