Reassessing airport security

“Terrorists are much rarer than we think, and launching a terrorist plot is much more difficult than we think. I understand this conclusion is counterintuitive, and contrary to the fearmongering we hear every day from our political leaders. But it’s what the data shows.” Bruce Schneier does not want to do away with airport security altogether, but neither does he want to waste any more money at the expense of better strategies to prevent terrorism.
www.schneier.com

Britain’s criminally stupid attitudes to race and immigration are beyond parody

“We fear the arrival of immigrants that we have drawn here with the wealth we stole from them. For much of the rest of the world we must be the focus of bitter amusement, characters in a satire we don’t understand.” Frankie Boyle is not even trying to be funny.
www.theguardian.com

They’d find a cure if Ebola came to London

“We must also tackle the scandal of the unwillingness of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in research to produce treatments and vaccines, something they refuse to do because the numbers involved are, in their terms, so small and don’t justify the investment. This is the moral bankruptcy of capitalism acting in the absence of an ethical and social framework.” Dr John Ashton asks us to respond to the current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa as if it took place in Kensington, Chelsea, and Westminster.
www.independent.co.uk

Also see Face to face with Ebola, a report by Anja Wolz on working for Médecins sans Frontières in Sierra Leone.

God save the British Economy

“Our options, he argues, can be divided into three general categories: austerity, stimulus and doing nothing. He, like an increasing number of mainstream economists, believes we can now scratch austerity off the list.” Adam Davidson talks to Adam Posen, until recently a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, about ways to fix the UK’s economy.
www.nytimes.com

In cancer science, many discoveries don’t hold up

“‘We went through the paper line by line, figure by figure,’ said Begley. ‘I explained that we re-did their experiment 50 times and never got their result. He said they’d done it six times and got this result once, but put it in the paper because it made the best story. It’s very disillusioning.’” Sharon Begley talks to former head of global cancer research at Amgen, Glenn Begley.
www.reuters.com

The curse of TINA

“Think Tanks surround politics today and are the very things that are supposed to generate new ideas. But if you go back and look at how they rose up—at who invented them and why—you discover they are not quite what they seem.” Adam Curtis looks at the history of the Think Tank in the UK and asks why modern politics, for all its Think Tanks, seems so paradoxically short of new ideas.
www.bbc.co.uk