I've been away this past week so I had little time to blog a few blog-worthy items that crossed my desk. Below is a quick round up of some of the most interesting ones.
Above is a music video featuring some local (to where I am now) talent. Normal service returns after the holiday and we see how well I perform in the Bolder Boulder with jet lag;-)
- A California lawmaker proposes that the state cap the number of out-of-state university students. The Chancellor of UC -Berkeley explains that this would kill the golden goose: "non-residents represent a crucial revenue stream for the campus." There is a solution here, and trust me, it is coming.
- Mark Henderson, head of communication at the Wellcome Trust, has a new book out in the UK on science and policy -- The Geek's Manifesto -- which received a glowing review from James Wilsdon in today's FT. I will check it out and report back.
- Separately, I saw a nice quote from Henderson: "There's very little of what you might term "anti-science" in politics" which is spot on and follows from some of the blog/twitter discussion of GM crops over the past days.
- Baredo et al. 2012 is a new paper on floods in Spain, and ho hum, guess what? After adjusting for societal changes, "there remains no residual signal that might be attributable to other influences, in particular anthropogenic climate change... and serves again to confirm that at this juncture, societal influences remain the prime factors driving insured and economic losses from natural disasters."
- The US National Academy of Sciences has agreed to take on a challenging study related to a highly politicized issue that has centered on science, but which is really about politics. The issue centers on the environmental impacts of a California oyster farm. The issue has Democrats and Republicans trading hats in the "war on science" narrative, so it has received little attention from usual sources.
- I have a new column out in Bridges on The Great American Manufacturing Battle. Excerpt: "a focus on health care, education, immigration, and taxes generally makes more sense than creating special policies in support of particular sectors of the economy." The manufacturing skeptics are winning out over the manufacturing romantics.
- The WSJ (!) takes issue with a truly dumb Republican proposal to terminate US government data collection vuia the US Census: "Republicans try to kill data collection that helps economic growth."
- Earlier in the week Nobel Prize winning economist Alan Blinder had an absolutely brilliant op-ed in the WSJon the importance of fiscal stimulus in the context of the current US economic context. I'd love to hear a cogent rebuttal, but I have seen nothing. Excerpt: "So, as long as the government can borrow on reasonable terms, the crucial short-run question is: Does the economy need more or less demand?"
- Blinder's op-ed reminded me of these comments from Martin Wolf in the FT almost 2 weeks ago, writing on David Cameron's foolish approach to austerity: "With real interest rates close to zero – yes, zero – it is impossible to believe that the government cannot find investments to make itself, or investments it can make with the private sector, or private investments whose tail risks it can insure that do not earn more than the real cost of funds. If that were not true, the UK would be finished"