Letter to the McGill Daily – Neo-colonial medicine?

I haven’t written for a while, but a recent article in a McGill student paper got me motivated to write the editors. The piece I’m responding to is an opinion piece that claims that scientific medicine is a paternalistic system that displaces traditional practices around the world. Most frustratingly, the difference between scientific and nonscientific medicine is framed as Western/non-Western, and the author labels the scientific establishment “racist, ethnocentric, and neo-colonial”. The article can be…

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Antibiotic usage regulations – too little, too late?

This post is cross-posted from a blog post I wrote for the Science and Policy Exchange. For more insightful writing on science and how it relates to government, the media, and society at large, visit their site http://www.sp-exchange.ca In Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, the narrator reflects sadly upon his past. He recounts arriving at a pristine forest of Truffula trees, which he cuts down to make thneeds, a product that “everybody needs”. Ignoring warnings and…

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Who Watches the Watchmen? Blind Trust Isn’t Enough in Today’s Research Environment

This post is cross-posted from a blog post I wrote for the Science and Policy Exchange. For more insightful writing on science and how it relates to government, the media, and society at large, visit their site http://www.sp-exchange.ca In the spring of 2012, an article appeared in the niche crystallography journal Acta Crystallographica, Section F (“Acta F” to those in the know). This article, “Detection and analysis of unusual features in the structural model and…

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Poor Public Understanding is Killing Basic Research in Canada

This post is cross-posted from a blog post I wrote for the Science and Policy Exchange on December 1. For more insightful writing on science and how it relates to government, the media, and society at large, visit their site http://www.sp-exchange.ca Years ago, I worked for the summer on my neighbours’ cash crop farm. We mostly worked with cabbages. It smelled terrible. My coworkers, tough guys in their forties, learned I was studying in the…

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