Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mar 8 - Evaluating Alternative Sources of Energy: Solar Energy from Space, Paul Jaffe, Ph.D.

Concerns about global climate change have focused attention on a range of alternative energy sources that have minimal or greatly reduced carbon emissions when compared with conventional energy sources. Assessing how feasible and economically viable these alternative energy sources might be is important from a public policy standpoint in order to ensure taxpayer money is invested wisely.

For decades, proponents of Space Solar Power (SSP) have advocated for the development of satellites that would collect and transmit energy for use on Earth essentially 24 hours per day, all year round. This approach is billed as a way to overcome the shortcomings of terrestrial solar, wind, and other energy sources which suffer from intermittency, locale dependence, and other problems.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Feb 8 - Steven Salzberg, Ph.D. - Bad Medicine: How Alternative Medicine Has Infiltrated U.S. Medical Schools

The video of this talk is now on NCAS YouTube

Alternative medicine has become very popular over the past two decades, thanks to relentless promotion by the media, politicians, and a few highly visible celebrity doctors. Since the early 1990s, the NIH has spent over $2 billion studying complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), but has yet to show that any “alternative” treatment is effective. Part of this funding has been dedicated to establishing training programs in U.S. medical schools. Through these programs, doctors-to-be today learn about treatments based on acupuncture and homeopathy that are little more than magical thinking. In the middle of an intensive training program, most medical students do not have time and are not encouraged to question these practices. These same academic medical centers that host these training programs also offer CAM therapies to
unsuspecting patients.

This talk will review ...