Join geneticist Kevin Folta and GLP contributor Cameron English on this episode of Science Facts and Fallacies as they break down these latest news stories:
- From biowelfare to bioweapons: There are many sides to the biotechnology revolution, and not all of them bode well for the future
Genetically engineered crops and vaccines are enormously useful applications of biotechnology. But how do we encourage the continued development of these life-saving tools without allowing rouge governments to produce deadly bioweapons? The simple fact is that biotech, like all innovations, can be used for good or evil. Encouraging the former and stopping the latter is not always an easy balance to maintain.
People who believe they “trust science” are more inclined to spread false information. This is because “misinformation” can be dressed up in the trappings of reliable scientific research, misleading even those who think they know how to tell fact from fallacy. The key to properly spotting bad science, according to a new study, is developing a healthy skepticism of every source of information until it proves itself trustworthy. In short, becoming a critical thinker is the best defense against being bamboozled.
- As hesitancy over COVID vaccine mandates reaches fever pitch, fears grow teenagers will forego another life-saving shot: The HPV vaccine
Is it time to mandate HPV vaccines for all teenagers? The question raises difficult ethical questions and stirs up a rebellious urge for manny Americans, who feel this is yet another example of big government encroaching on their right to make health care decisions for their families. Do they have a point, or is HPV such a threat that vaccine mandates make sense?
Kevin M. Folta is a professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida. Follow Professor Folta on Twitter @kevinfolta