This week’s Things Worth Reading covers science journalism, environmental effects on crome, and the New Year’s resolutions of famous people:
- Survival of the Wrongest – David H. Freedman explains why personal health journalism is so self-contradictory, confusing, and (often) wrong, and in doing so, he touches on how this reflects the realities of medical science.
- America’s Real Criminal Element: Lead – Kevin Drum reports for Motherjones on a link between rising and falling crimes rates in the US and childhood lead exposure—and on how much lead is left to be cleaned up. Don’t miss his follow-ups on lead paint and how much of the change in violent crime rates can actually be attributed to lead.
- Famous Resolution Lists: Jonathan Swift, Susan Sontag, Marilyn Monroe, Woody Guthrie – Maria Popova compiled these four charming and inspiring lists. My favorite is one of Woody Guthrie’s: “Stay glad.”
EDIT: I must add two important links to this week’s Things Worth Reading:
- First, a speech on how science transforms understanding by Mark Lynas. In his address to the Oxford Farming Conference two days ago, Lynas apologized for opposing GMO foods based on a gut reaction without considering the science behind GMO.
- Second, a letter from Brent Roberts to his family, explaining what research is and professors don’t really have months off the winter and summer.