Medicines Shaped by Profit and Politics
Penn Science Policy and Diplomacy Group Blog
by Penn Science Policy
6M ago
by Gabriel Iván Vega Bellido This is the second post in our series on the consequences of outside influences on the performance and communication of science. 1. Introduction Medical research has a history going back to when the Egyptians started documenting the medicinal properties of plants, but it has drastically changed in the context of the industrial revolution and capitalism. Though these changes have undoubtedly contributed to medical advancements and an increase in longevity, the interests of industry can often be in tension with optimal human health. Some notable examples of this incl ..read more
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On The Rise and Fall of Psychedelic Research: Ethical Lessons For Its Revival
Penn Science Policy and Diplomacy Group Blog
by Penn Science Policy
6M ago
by Clara Raithel This is the first post in our series on the consequences of outside influences on the performance and communication of science. More than fifty years after the criminalization of psychedelic drugs, psychedelic research is experiencing what many call a “renaissance” [1,2]. Researchers across the world conduct clinical trials testing the efficacy of psychedelic drugs, such as ecstasy (MDMA), mescaline, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and psilocybin, as a form of treatment against various mental diseases, with some pointing towards therapeutic potential [3,4]. This increase in ..read more
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Reflecting on depictions of scientists over the centuries
Penn Science Policy and Diplomacy Group Blog
by Erin Reagan
10M ago
By Gabriel Iván Vega Bellido  This is the ninth post in our series about how science is communicated and the consequences thereof. Most people don’t interact with professional scientists on a regular basis. Therefore, the depictions of scientists in popular media play a significant role in influencing the general public’s expectations, trust, and understanding of the scientific community. If you were to ask your friends and family who aren't in scientific fields about their understanding of a scientist, their responses would likely be shaped by a mix of both real-life and fictionalized po ..read more
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Philly Spotlight: Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni's Room
Penn Science Policy and Diplomacy Group Blog
by Erin Reagan
1y ago
By Kay Labella For Pride Month, the PSPDG blog is collaborating with students from LTBGS and Lambda Grads for a series of posts highlighting the LGBTQ+ community and related matters at Penn and beyond. Looking for your new favorite bookstore, ideally one with a rich and storied history? Well, look no further than Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni's Room. The oldest queer bookstore in the United States still in operation, Giovanni’s Room was founded in 1973 by Tom Wilson Weinberg, Dan Sherbo and Bern Boyle. These three members of the Gay Activist Alliance (GAA) created a space that was part booksho ..read more
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Biography Spotlight: Ben Barres
Penn Science Policy and Diplomacy Group Blog
by Erin Reagan
1y ago
By Kay Labella For Pride Month, the PSPDG blog is collaborating with students from LTBGS and Lambda Grads for a series of posts highlighting the LGBTQ+ community and related matters at Penn and beyond. Dr. Ben A. Barres (MD/PhD) was born September 13, 1954, in West Orange, New Jersey. After graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Biology, he went on to obtain his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School in 1979. While in his neurology residency at Weill Cornell Medicine, Barres found himself intrigued by neurodegeneration and glial cell function; he subsequentl ..read more
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Science Diplomacy to Address LGBTQ+ Exclusion, Harassment, and Career Limitations in STEM
Penn Science Policy and Diplomacy Group Blog
by Erin Reagan
1y ago
By Stefan Peterson For Pride Month, the PSPDG blog is collaborating with students from LTBGS and Lambda Grads for a series of posts highlighting the LGBTQ+ community and related matters at Penn and beyond. Members of the LGBTQ+ community in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) deal with many challenges beyond those of their non-LGBTQ+ peers. Scientists worldwide share experiences of fear of coming out to colleagues, which is reasonable when considering that harassment is 30% more likely for LGBTQ+ individuals in STEM than their non-LGBTQ+ peers. Harassment and discrimination again ..read more
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Hidden Inconvenience: The Search for Gender-Inclusive Restrooms at UPenn
Penn Science Policy and Diplomacy Group Blog
by Erin Reagan
1y ago
By Maxwell Pisciotta For Pride Month, the PSPDG blog is collaborating with students from LTBGS and Lambda Grads for a series of posts highlighting the LGBTQ+ community and related matters at Penn and beyond. It is no secret that if you’re looking for a gender-neutral restroom on the University of Pennsylvania campus, they are often difficult to find. The difficulty, of course, depends on your department, the buildings which you occupy, the age of those buildings, and the school that owns those buildings. Ultimately, this is to say, that yes, there are gender-inclusive restrooms throughout camp ..read more
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Interview with Kevin Schott, Director of Engagement for the Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative
Penn Science Policy and Diplomacy Group Blog
by Erin Reagan
1y ago
By Kay Labella For Pride Month, the PSPDG blog is collaborating with students from LTBGS and Lambda Grads for a series of posts highlighting the LGBTQ+ community and related matters at Penn and beyond. Founded in 2022 by Dr. José Bauermeister, the Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative was created to address persistent health disparities facing LGBTQ+ communities. PSPDG, in collaboration with LTBGS, was fortunate enough to interview Kevin Schott, Eidos’ Director of Engagement, about this fantastic partnership that aims to streamline turning academic research into social impact. Could you tell us more ..read more
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The evolution and impact of scientific preprints in academic communication
Penn Science Policy and Diplomacy Group Blog
by Erin Reagan
1y ago
By Amanda N. Weiss This is the fourth post in our series about how science is communicated and the consequences thereof. Peer-reviewed manuscripts often serve as the primary way to disseminate information within academia. People trust that the information they’re reading is reliable and rigorous, as other experts in the field have already vetted the paper to make sure that it’s of high quality. However, peer review can be a slow process, preventing valuable information from reaching audiences in a timely manner. This can be a barrier in fields that are rapidly advancing, and is especially prob ..read more
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Bias in peer review: Who is given a voice in science?
Penn Science Policy and Diplomacy Group Blog
by Erin Reagan
1y ago
By Clara Raithel This is the third post in our series about how science is communicated and the consequences thereof. Whether it is an application for research funding, or a manuscript sent to a scholarly journal for publication, writing is an essential aspect of scientific work. The majority of the resulting output is evaluated by other scientists, in a process referred to as peer review. The ultimate purpose of this evaluation is to ensure the originality, importance, and quality of the academic work before it is executed, or made publicly available. In other words, grants are awarded, and m ..read more
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