RealClear Radio Hour – Bipartisanship, Money and Politics

9 Oct

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Transcending Bipartisanship

October 8, 2016

Avik Roy, President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP) and author of the study, “Transcending Obamacare,” discusses how he founded FREOPP to forge meaningful bipartisan reform at the federal level, starting with health care. Roy points to the successful consumer-driven systems in Singapore and Switzerland—which subsidize only the least well-off while still offering free-market access to coverage, the latest technology, and high performance to the populace at large—as the models for FREOPP’s reform proposals.

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Money, Politics, and the FEC

October 8, 2016

Lee Goodman, member and former chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), discusses money and politics and their connection to free speech. Goodman recounts how the FEC was created as part of the post-Watergate reforms to curtail government persecution of political opponents and details how the party defending free speech has flip flopped since the mid-century McCarthy era. In the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, progressive attacks on free speech have spread from campus speech codes to the IRS and state attorneys general. (Photo by: Gage Skidmore)

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FEE – Climate Modeling: Settled Science or Fool’s Errand?

3 Oct

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Climate Modeling: Settled Science or Fool’s Errand?

I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to read Daniel Sarewitz’s recent piece Saving Science in the New Atlantis, but it is causing all sorts of ripples across the scientific community, and deserves even more attention from both scientists and policy makers. I interviewed Sarewitz for RealClear Radio Hour this weekend and would like to dig into just one of the many issues we discussed, and that is the misuse of climate models. But first, a little background.

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Like the quip about England and America often misattributed to George Bernard Shaw, science and engineering are two professions divided by a common language. That language, or course, is mathematics, a symbolic abstraction through which we can describe, explain, and sometimes transform the natural world. That matters, for the differences in the way scientists and engineers use mathematics can have profound political consequences when those calculations drift too far from observable reality.

When mathematics jumped from paper to computers, elegance was turbocharged with brute force. This allowed scientists and engineers to develop computer models that simulated physical phenomena. Eventually, some of these simulation models became good enough that “what if” experiments could be conducted more rapidly and conveniently on a computer than by performing physical experiments. Propelled by Moore’s Law, improvements in computing delivered billions of calculations per second, and the most advanced simulation models took on breathtaking levels of sophistication.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

 

RealClear Radio Hour – Big Science

2 Oct

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Big Science Impact

October 1, 2016

Dr. Jeremy Berg, Editor-in-Chief of Science and Professor of Computational and Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, unpacks the declining public trust in the $50 billion publicly funded science industry—from the replication crisis to the politicization of science.

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Big Science Bubble

October 1, 2016

Dr. Daniel Sarewitz, Professor of Science and Society at Arizona State University and co-director of the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes, discusses how the modern Big Science enterprise grew out of the post-World War II Military-Industrial complex. Conceived under the guise of protecting scientific integrity, the system has become an insular, self-perpetuating culture that encourages quantity rather than quality research, Sarewitz argues. Meanwhile in practice, most scientific discoveries follow rather than lead technology in its relentless pursuit of new products and services.

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RealClear Radio Hour – Fashioning America

26 Sep

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Fashioning America

September 24, 2016

Cathy Lynn Taylor, author of Red is the New Black: How Women Can Fashion a More Powerful America, discusses how often misunderstood conservative values and policy choices can empower both men and women.

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RealClear Radio Hour – Penniless Presidencies

25 Sep

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Penniless Presidencies

September 24, 2016

Alan Axelrod, author of Full Faith and Credit: The National Debt, Taxes, Spending, and the Bankrupting of America, opens the conversation explaining why the U.S.’s perilous gross debt to GDP ratio may be past the point of no return. Axelrod’s stories of our most to least fiscally responsible presidents reveal our trajectory—from the parsimonious George Washington to Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase extravagance, Abraham Lincoln’s budget busting Civil War, and modern presidents’ bailouts paving the road to national bankruptcy.

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RealClear Radio Hour – Authenticity’s Rub

19 Sep

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Authenticity’s Rub

September 17, 2016

Glenn Carroll, Laurence W. Lane Professor of Organizations and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, describes how selling “authenticity” became a phenomenon in business and politics. From the microbrewery surge in the 1990s to the insurgent candidates in the current presidential election, Carroll contrasts romanticized attributes and perceived authenticity with objective characteristics and historical context.

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RealClear Radio Hour – Risk, Reward, and Science

18 Sep

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Risk, Reward, and Science

September 17, 2016

Tracey Brown, director of Sense about Science and author of Playing by the Rules: How Our Obsession with Safety Is Putting Us All at Risk, advocates transparent scientific debate and dispelling of misinformation as antidotes to scaremongering. Brown argues that only experience allows us to uncover life’s greatest challenges, and warns that excess risk-aversion will not only halt innovation, but could reverse modern progress.

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