Somaly Mam saved countless girls in Cambodia. Does it matter if her campaign is built on a web of lies?

SOMALY MAM: THE HOLY SAINT (AND SINNER) OF SEX TRAFFICKING

Late last year, Ratha finally confessed that her story was fabricated and carefully rehearsed for the cameras under Mam’s instruction, and only after she was chosen from a group of girls who had been put through an audition. Now in her early 30s and living a modest life on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Ratha says she reluctantly allowed herself to be depicted as a child prostitute: “Somaly said that…if I want to help another woman I have to do [the interview] very well.”

http://www.newsweek.com/2014/05/30/somaly-mam-holy-saint-and-sinner-sex-trafficking-251642.htmlhttp://www.newsweek.com/2014/05/30/somaly-mam-holy-saint-and-sinner-sex-trafficking-251642.html

For better science, call off the revolutionaries

Good science requires a spirit of collaboration, not domination. The debate in social psychology involves some essential criticism of past scientific practice, but revolutions can also lead to a bandwagon effect, in which bullies pile on and bystanders fearfully turn a blind eye. Especially as more disagreements among researchers surface in social media rather than professional publications, there is an insidious temptation to mistake being critical for being right, and to subordinate humility and decency to a “gloating sense of ‘gotcha,’” as the journal Nature put it.

There is a better way forward: through evolution, not revolution.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2018/01/21/for-better-science-call-off-revolutionaries/8FFEmBAPCDW3IWYJwKF31L/story.html

‘We have a responsibility’: CVS vows to stop altering beauty images in its ads and stores

Do companies have a responsibility for the effects of their advertising?

“The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established,” she said. “As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/01/15/we-have-a-responsibility-cvs-vows-to-stop-altering-beauty-images-in-its-stores-ads/?utm_term=.5ce5197dba0d

 

How to Counter the Circus of Pseudoscience

“That is also the case for other health professionals whose practice is based on science, like qualified dietitians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists. Guidelines are revised, advice is reversed — on blood pressure, diet, hormone replacement, opioid prescribing. This can be immensely frustrating for patients, even though it is what we must do to provide the best possible treatment.”

The sun may never set on British misconceptions about our empire

But then what could our teachers have said? Empire was an uncomfortable subject. By the 1950s, an approach that stressed glorious conquest and the benefits of British rule was no longer tenable, and not only for moral reasons. What had been bloodily won was now being lost, usually peacefully but sometimes not, no matter that we would all be friends in the equitable-sounding Commonwealth. National decline would have been an unhappy theme in the classroom. Rather than this awkward mixture of past and present – one that might intimately involve us – it was safer to concentrate on the sufferings of the Paris commune.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/06/british-misconceptions-empire-guilty-colonialism?CMP=share_btn_fb

Physics has a dizzying array of subdisciplines. This short video breaks it down.

How does scientific knowledge progress? What are the implications and consequences of this progress? How does this “map” of scientific knowledge accurately represent underlying reality?

Science Fields

“As Walliman’s animation shows, there’s still a giant “chasm of ignorance” that scientists are seeking to fill. Even though scientists now know a lot about things like optics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and electromagnetism, their tested theories still can’t explain things like dark matter and dark energy. And there’s no complete theory that squares quantum physics with relativity.”

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2016/11/29/13769152/physics-subdiscipline-video