News Recap 9-17-21
Patch: Lawyer Claims Walnut Boy’s Cancer Caused By Roundup Weed Killer — A mother argues that her youngest son contracted cancer from exposure to Roundup she sprayed in the family’s backyard in the most recent lawsuit against Bayer. Lawyers representing the company say that science disproves any connection between the product and the boy’s condition—and that the mother’s own family members undermined much of her argument.
The Guardian: Production of Forever Chemicals Emits Potent Greenhouse Gases, Analysis Finds — A new analysis of EPA data shows that one of America’s largest PFAS manufacturing plants is also the second largest polluter of the greenhouse gas HCFC-22. HCFC-22 emissions are banned worldwide under the Montreal Protocol, though a loophole allows companies to release HCFC-22 when it’s used as an intermediate in production of another chemical.
Daily Hampshire Gazette: Let the Science Decide on Forever Chemicals in Water — New Hampshire State Rep. Mark Alliegro, Ph.D, praises the Biden administration’s decision to commission new studies on the toxicity of PFAS, and cautions regulating bodies to wait for the results before they take action. He writes: “Instead of restricting PFAS use, policymakers should partner with manufacturers and focus on risk-based environmental stewardship regulations.”
Retraction Watch: Highly Criticized Paper on Dishonesty Retracted — The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has retracted a highly influential 2012 paper over concerns about the integrity of the data. The retraction wasn’t unexpected, as several of the authors called for the article to be pulled in the wake of revelations that some of the data in the study appeared to have been fabricated.
Science: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Promotion, and Tenure — In this new research paper, the authors argue that the academic promotion and tenure processes that typically prioritize faculty grants and publications can fail to fully assess and value entrepreneurial, innovative endeavors that can produce the kind of societal impacts that universities are increasingly being called on to provide. This research paper recommends several fixes that would support a more innovative and diverse professoriate.