Update on Government and Science

by Bill Butos The New York Times of January 22 reports that the Obama administration has created a “billion-dollar government drug development center to help create medicines”  as part of the federally funded National Institutes of Health. According to the article, its rationale is to undertake research leading to the commercial development of drugs that … Continue reading Update on Government and Science

Epistemic monopoly is still a bad thing

by Roger Koppl McClatchy-Tribune Information Services has been distributing my op ed with Dan Krane on "Science rules the FBI should obey."  We discuss an example of epistemic monopoly in action, namely, the FBI's failure so far to release anonymized data from its vast NDIS (National DNA Index System) data set.  The NDIS data set contains … Continue reading Epistemic monopoly is still a bad thing

The Death of Paul Samuelson and Selection Bias

by Mario Rizzo   Paul Samuelson has died at the age of 94. There is already a big New York Times obituary lauding his many contributions and more will inevitably follow. Many economists will want to use this occasion to demonstrate how much they appreciate economics as a science and how this appreciation transcends ideological divides. This will … Continue reading The Death of Paul Samuelson and Selection Bias

Against Magical Thinking

by Roger Koppl The term “magical thinking” has different meanings, most of them involving something like extrasensory perception or the efficacy of spells.  Here I define it as an argument, one of whose steps requires something impossible.  (Larry White helped me with this definition, but gets no blame for it or anything I say here.) … Continue reading Against Magical Thinking