The NESACS Blog
From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
Categories:

Archives:
Meta:
February 2019
S M T W T F S
« Jan    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728  
08/14/14
Watch-Outs 64. International Year-Light, Light Sheet Microscope, Merchants of Doubt
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:55 am

Each year it seems another technical topic is celebrated
Chemistry, crystallography, statistics,… 2015 it is LIGHT.
We bring the topic up in our professional development
class and learn things along the way.

An innovative idea of light sheets used in microscopy of
biological samples is highlighted.

While a hundred pages are still to be digested, it is
important to bring up conflicts that occur, how
they are represented and their outcomes in a must
read book called Merchants of Doubt.

2015 YEAR OF LIGHT AND LIGHT TECHNOLOGIES
SOURCE:  IYOL Blog
The scientific sponsors include European Physical Society,
SPIE, Optical society, IEEE Photonics Society, American
Physical Society and international light sources network.
Many of the discoveries concerning coherent and incoherent
light will enjoy commemorations and the celebration will be
an educational opportunity.

LIGHT SHEET MICROSCOPE
SOURCE O. Hanrahan, Photonics, July/August 2014, p. 20
Light Sheet Microscopy LSM advances biological studies
The author compares and contrasts LSM with confocal
microscopy with lower phototoxicity and higher speed.
Scattering and absorption are larger issues.
LSM can optically section samples, be minimally invasive
by using two objective lenses (focus the light sheet
and collect fluorescence emission), a digital camera
and 3-D image display.  Speed, sample handling and
cost of total system will lower with time as this
method will find its place.

MERCHANTS OF DOUBT
SOURCE:  N. Oreskes and E. M. Conway, “Merchants of
Doubt
,” Bloomsbury Press NY, 2010
“How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on
issues from tobacco smoke to global warming.”
This is scintillating reading describes how a small
group of prominent individuals create smokescreens
to block and obfuscate issues which have impact
on commercial and big businesses.  I read just this morning
an op-ed piece about how EPA rules should not be allowed
because it will raise costs.  As we realize, this can, properly
communicated and used, motivate innovation.

The book documents the 50+ year history of conflicts
of business interests with scientific results and conclusions–
from tobacco-cancer, second-hand smoke-illnesses,
pesticides-Silent spring, acid rain-acidification of
waterways, coal burning-air pollution, global warming-
economic forecasts. 

The “debates” were manufactured,  the authors claim, based
on PR misdirection and ‘alternate reality’ views.  Interesting
commentary by one of the sources to escape the public
attention to previous public positions.  These approaches
are legalistic possibilities, and in legal terms, do not have to
be true, but only plausible.

One Response to “Watch-Outs 64. International Year-Light, Light Sheet Microscope, Merchants of Doubt”

  1. site admin Says:


    From Merchants of Doubt:
    Crux– P. 247

    We saw … how the Heartland Institute distributed reports,
    sent faxes, and met with members of congress on behalf
    of Phillip Morris. Heartland also sponsored the National
    Journalism Center, “developed to train budding journalists
    in free market political and economic principles. Phillip
    Morris’s point of view was that people should not be
    discouraged from smoking, but they made common cause
    with various groups and individuals committed to “free
    market political and economic principles.”

    Perhaps this is why among the scores of think tanks and
    organizations that Phillip Morris supported, we find the
    seemingly obscure Ludwig von Mies Institute. Ludwig
    von Mies, an Austrian aristocrat, was one of the
    founders of modern laissez faire economics.

    And this brings us to the crux of the story, THE PIVOT
    POINT AROUND WHICH THESE DIVERSE
    CHARACTERS CAME TOGETHER. The link that
    unites the tobacco industry, conservative think tanks,
    and the scientists in our story is the defense of the
    free market. The issue was not so much free speech,
    it was free markets. It was the appropriate role of
    government in monitoring the marketplace. It was
    regulation. The ideology of laissez faire economics.

    When the cold war ended, the new threat that was
    created was environmentalism. Environmentalists
    were “watermelons” green on the outside, red on
    the inside. Each of the environmental threats was a
    market failure, a domain in which the free market
    had created serious neighborhood effects…
    regulation is the slippery slope of socialism
    creeping communism.

    Ozone hole—hidden agenda not just to save our
    environment but to change our economic system
    Second-hand smoke—if we are not careful in
    delineating government’s role in regulation they
    will control our lives.
    Free market fundamentalism—the common good
    is best served by the uninhibited pursuit of
    self-interest.
    Free markets is the tenet of laissez faire that free
    and competitive markets bring supply and demand
    into equilibrium and ensure the best allocation of
    resources.

    CONTESTED: prices can be displaced from their
    equilibrium ideal for long periods of time. There
    can be costs that markets cannot account for—
    pollution.   Regulation is needed to address external
    costs, by preventing them or compensating those
    saddled with them.

Leave a Reply