# Wider scientific ethics

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How can you tell which idea will lead to a cancer cure and which will lead to the death ray?

Well for example, you can certainly reasonably deduce that a scientist working for the military in developing laser wepaons is more is quite likely to cause wider harm to humanity than a scientist simply using a lazer to measure the distance to the moon. The retraining hand would be on the shoulder of the former but not the latter.

As for carcinogens......I assume you are refering to drugs. That is largely taken care of by medical regulatory bodies. Scientists have to prove their new drugs are not harmful in any way before they can even get them to medical trials.

Edited by Greg Boyles

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Clearly you can't. But, for example, you can certainly reasonably deduce that a scientist working for the military developing more powerful explosive devices is quite likely to cause wider harm to humanity than a scientist simply reasearching aromatic compounds.

Any censorship on ideas will, given enough time, lead to an idea being dismissed that would have lead to a, for instance, cancer cure. Even in your example it is just possible that the research in this area would give a researcher an idea that branches off and becomes benefitial to humanity.

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Any censorship on ideas will, given enough time, lead to an idea being dismissed that would have lead to a, for instance, cancer cure. Even in your example it is just possible that the research in this area would give a researcher an idea that branches off and becomes benefitial to humanity.

Straw man argument. If it works for the medical profession then there is no reason to think that it couldn't work for science in general.

Applied medical research - new surgical techniques and drugs - is already heavily regulated and this regulation is responsible for high western medical standards. But there is no shortage of new surgical techniques and drugs etc.

Edited by Greg Boyles
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Straw man argument. If it works for the medical profession then there is no reason to think that it couldn't work for science in general.

Not really how do you know it works for the medical profesion? How many ideas has the system prevented?

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Not really how do you know it works for the medical profesion? How many ideas has the system prevented?

Do you prefer a Josef Rudolf Mengele type approach to regulation of the medical profession?????

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Do you prefer a Josef Rudolf Mengele type approach to regulation of the medical profession?????

Of cource not but how does this argue my point? I didn't say the system shouldn't be in place just that idea's will be lost. (edit) The point being that ethics has it's place and shouldn't be used where it can only hinder.

Edited by dimreepr
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If you wish to impose DDT on africans then perhaps should should also educate them enough to make an informed choice about whether thay wish to accept it or not.

Establish that his is happening. And explain to me how I am "imposing" this on anyone.

I suspect, if they were adequately educated on the chemistry of DDT, then most of them would reject your imposition, as have the vast majority of westerners, and stick with mosquito netting and windows screens!

Establish that this is not happening.

Yes! Knee jerk reactions like spraying DDT on the houses of people completely ignorant of the long term and wider dangers of it!

Again, establish that they are ignorant. And all of the prior analysis. Assertion counts for nothing.

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Of cource not but how does this argue my point? I didn't say the system shouldn't be in place just that idea's will be lost. (edit) The point being that ethics has it's place and shouldn't be used where it can only hinder.

Read my post in "Earth Science" titled "Limits to growth" taken from an article in the Scientific American.

The reason for my suggesting this is that the current poorly regulated and wild west nature of the scientific enterprise is accelerting us towards what this article is predicting will happen rather than saving us from it.

All our current global problems are caused by our misuse and overuse of technology to treat the symptoms of over population and over consumption. In solving one problem we create a worst problem that future generations must contend with. For example oil energy increased food production etc only to bring about global warming. DDT to reduce crop losses only to threaten the extinction of birds of prey and perhaps increase the instance of diabetes and cancer.

Politicians and legislators are continually playing catch up with scientists and the new technologies they develop. And as long as science continues to provide short term ban aid solutions we will collectively never address the underlying structural problems - over population and over consumption.

Therefore science and scientists should be subject to self regulation and restraint in a similar way that the medical profession is.

Again, establish that they are ignorant.

Come on swansont. Are you really going to sit here and argue that the average african is as educated and savy about DDT as you are?

In advocaing the use of a highly dangerous chemical the onus is on you to prove that africans are adequately aware of the dangers and freely choose to use it. The people whose houses you wish to spray DDT on, not the corrupt african politicians who he tell you that you can use it on their people.

Edited by Greg Boyles
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT_and_malaria

Here's is some info on the subject. I don't believe you should use DDT as your base argument for this thread Greg. It was first compounded in the late 1800's. Try to hold that guy responsible. It was found to be a popular insectiside starting in the 1930's. Hard to hold those responsible too. Not to mention that there are only connections (not proof) between that drug and illnesses in the regions DDT levels were over normal. I'm sure you could find similar connections like that all over the place.

Secondly, those medical boards do not regulate the science behind the drug itself. Before a drug can be cleared it has to undergo a battery of tests to decide whether or not it is harmfull to the general public. I belive it is the drug company that brings it to this point and not the particular scientist. As we've found out through trial and error, there are no sure ways to cover the scope that a drug or chemical may have. How would you propose to come up with a test that says this product will not hurt anyone or anything EVER? It's impossible. We have to look at the general field that a product is applied to and go from there. The only way to hold a company at fault would be if they knowingly withheld information or were negligable when announcing a products use. Then it would amount to a criminal misdeed instead of an unintentional oversight.

People being held acountable for wanting to know how the world works is an absolutely rediculous thing to want. It's like saying that Newton is responsible for every plane crash and dumbass that jumps off a bridge to their death. It's like saying the inventor of rope should be accountable for inventing a way for people to off themselves throughout its existance. Or maybe the companies that make rope should be held accountable. I'm sure we could apply some sort of sciences to the application of using a rope for hanging. Therefore it would fall into the catagory of science, and is to be held accountable for future incident. Make sense?

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http://en.wikipedia....DDT_and_malaria

Here's is some info on the subject. I don't believe you should use DDT as your base argument for this thread Greg. It was first compounded in the late 1800's. Try to hold that guy responsible. It was found to be a popular insectiside starting in the 1930's. Hard to hold those responsible too. Not to mention that there are only connections (not proof) between that drug and illnesses in the regions DDT levels were over normal. I'm sure you could find similar connections like that all over the place.

Secondly, those medical boards do not regulate the science behind the drug itself. Before a drug can be cleared it has to undergo a battery of tests to decide whether or not it is harmfull to the general public. I belive it is the drug company that brings it to this point and not the particular scientist. As we've found out through trial and error, there are no sure ways to cover the scope that a drug or chemical may have. How would you propose to come up with a test that says this product will not hurt anyone or anything EVER? It's impossible. We have to look at the general field that a product is applied to and go from there. The only way to hold a company at fault would be if they knowingly withheld information or were negligable when announcing a products use. Then it would amount to a criminal misdeed instead of an unintentional oversight.

People being held acountable for wanting to know how the world works is an absolutely rediculous thing to want. It's like saying that Newton is responsible for every plane crash and dumbass that jumps off a bridge to their death. It's like saying the inventor of rope should be accountable for inventing a way for people to off themselves throughout its existance. Or maybe the companies that make rope should be held accountable. I'm sure we could apply some sort of sciences to the application of using a rope for hanging. Therefore it would fall into the catagory of science, and is to be held accountable for future incident. Make sense?

Drug companies employ scientists to 'clear' new drugs before they can bring them to drug trials. Therefore the medical authorities are effectively regulating the scientists employed by the drug company.

My critics do not seem to want to hear this so I will again repeat it!

I am suggesting the scientific regulation be fosused on applied science, such as drugs developement and insecticide product development and genetically modified crops, rather than on pure research, such as 'how the world works'.

PErhaps if there was adequate scientific regulation in the 1930s then DDT would never have been developed as an insecticide and there would no dilemma as to who to attribute blame for it to now.

Edited by Greg Boyles
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PErhaps if there was adequate scientific regulation in the 1930s then DDT would never have been developed as an insecticide and there would no dilemma as to who to attribute blame for it to now.

Perhaps if there would have been adequate testing in the 1930's it wouldn't have been developed as an insectiside. This is why I asked you if there was some kind of test that could account for every possible affect that a product could have on anything.

I do believe over the past half century or more there have been advancements in the regulatory process of harmfull products. As there are medical boards for drugs, there are also boards for toxic chemicals and other hazardous products. What is it about recent techknowlegy that accountability knowingly falls through the cracks? DDT was produced before there was any oversight of hazardous chemicals. It can't be used as a reason to have oversight and accountability now. So if there is a reason for further accountability, lay something down for us that can be applied to todays processes.

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Perhaps if there would have been adequate testing in the 1930's it wouldn't have been developed as an insectiside. This is why I asked you if there was some kind of test that could account for every possible affect that a product could have on anything.

I do believe over the past half century or more there have been advancements in the regulatory process of harmfull products. As there are medical boards for drugs, there are also boards for toxic chemicals and other hazardous products. What is it about recent techknowlegy that accountability knowingly falls through the cracks? DDT was produced before there was any oversight of hazardous chemicals. It can't be used as a reason to have oversight and accountability now. So if there is a reason for further accountability, lay something down for us that can be applied to todays processes.

Medical regulatory bodies do not tolerate individualism in GPs in going off and treating people with natural remedies or drugs that they have a hunch will help, rather than scientifically verified drugs and methods.

Nor should we tolerate scientists going off and trying to solve global warming etc through their own pet projects. We can no longer afford to continue with this approach. It may have served humanity in the past but now it is increasingly putting humanity and the global ecosystem as we depend on it at risk.

The example of DDT and other substances is exactly the reason that scientific regulation is required......so that scientists/business are prevented from making similar mistakes in the future.

I can't give you a future reason why regulation is required because I cannot predict what noxious substances scientists/businessx will come up with.

But let's implement a comprehensive regulatory safety net before they do come up with the next DDT or what ever.

But not just noxious chemical but regulation of all the technologies that are currently being developed as a short term quick fix for climate change and all our other mounting global environmental problems.

By reaching for short term quick fixes scientists are pushing us towards a crash in the human population rather than moving us away from it. I.E. Scientists are facilitating society to avoid fixing the underlying structural problems of western society - over population and over consumption. On such matters we need to put an end scientific individualism and start implementing a globally coordinated scientific strategy on climate change etc that gets all scientists singing from the same hym book. Central to that global strategy will be human population reduction and management.

And some sort of global regulatory body for science and scientists is required for that.

Edited by Greg Boyles
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Come on swansont. Are you really going to sit here and argue that the average african is as educated and savy about DDT as you are?

In advocaing the use of a highly dangerous chemical the onus is on you to prove that africans are adequately aware of the dangers and freely choose to use it. The people whose houses you wish to spray DDT on, not the corrupt african politicians who he tell you that you can use it on their people.

Don't move the goalposts or shift the burden of proof. I am not advocating the use of DDT, I am asking you to come up with some substantial justification for your position. For once.

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Medical regulatory bodies do not tolerate individualism in GPs in going off and treating people with natural remedies or drugs that they have a hunch will help, rather than scientifically verified drugs and methods.

Nor should we tolerate scientists going off and trying to solve global warming etc through their own pet projects. We can no longer afford to continue with this approach. It may have served humanity in the past but now it is increasingly putting humanity and the global ecosystem as we depend on it at risk.

This is a strawman. GPs are not medical scientists. Scientists are not policy makers.

Scientists are facilitating society to avoid fixing the underlying structural problems of western society - over population and over consumption. On such matters we need to put an end scientific individualism and start implementing a globally coordinated scientific strategy on climate change etc that gets all scientists singing from the same hym book. Central to that global strategy will be human population reduction and management.

So you're using an assumption that some sort of global regulatory body would prevent scientific advancements from resulting in indeterminable practical outcomes which may or may not result in indeterminable negative side effects to demand scientists be curtailed to research which is in line with your own sociopolitical agenda...

No thanks.

Edited by Arete
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Don't move the goalposts or shift the burden of proof. I am not advocating the use of DDT, I am asking you to come up with some substantial justification for your position. For once.

Sorry swansont but I cannot provide you with proof that average africans have no idea exactly what DDT is. But most would agree that it is a reasonable assumption given the general education standards in africa.

I actually tried a bit of googling on the subject but all I came up with is dip $%#& westerners telling africans and western opponents that they ought to accept the use of DDT to eliminate malaria. But nothing about them taking the trouble to educate africans about the health risks of and contraversy surrounding DDT. A bit about the Stockholm conevention trying phase out the use of DDT in Africa while WHO is simultaneously trying to promote its use. Here's another example of groups of scientists all heading out in different directions and undermining each other. Here again is an example of why we need a global regulatory body for science so that all scientists are singing from the same hym book. This is a strawman. GPs are not medical scientists. Scientists are not policy makers. Rubbish! A medical degree follows the scientific method and doctors are indeed trained as scientists before they go on to specific medical training. So you're using an assumption that some sort of global regulatory body would prevent scientific advancements from resulting in indeterminable practical outcomes which may or may not result in indeterminable negative side effects to demand scientists be curtailed to research which is in line with your own sociopolitical agenda... No thanks. Well we will see in the next few decades wont we. Given that there is already substantial mistrust of science within the general public and the fact that few of you have or will have lasting answers to our global problems you may find such regulation being increasingly imposed on you whether you want it or not! The problem is that much of the public recognizes there is a major global catastrophe looming (peak oil, peak food, peak fish, climate change, over population.....) Major party politicians want act decisively because they fear losing their cash flow from major business donors. The scientific community exhibits nothing but disunity as to what to do about this problem - some advocate solar voltaics and thermal, others wind power, others nuclear power.........some recognize over population as the problem, some don't and some are just too afraid to acknowledge it due to the very difficult questions that follow. The public wants a unified narrative of what we are going to do about this and they just aint getting it from either source. Outside the scientific community disunity is seen as death. The only way that the scientific community can provide leadership that may have some hope of being respected by the majority of the general public is to present a unified public voice that encompases what do do about over population, dwindling oil supplies, global warming,........ That can only be acheived via a global regulatory body and public face. Have all the scientific debates you want internally, disclose these debates to the public or not but present a consensus global voice to the general public through the regulatory body. Edited by Greg Boyles ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Sorry swansont but I cannot provide you with proof that average africans have no idea exactly what DDT is. But most would agree that it is a reasonable assumption given the general education standards in africa. Your claim was that they are not being made aware of the effects of DDT, regardless of the source. I actually tried a bit of googling on the subject but all I came up with is dip$%#& westerners telling africans and western opponents that they ought to accept the use of DDT to eliminate malaria. But nothing about them taking the trouble to educate africans about the health risks of and contraversy surrounding DDT. A bit about the Stockholm conevention trying phase out the use of DDT in Africa while WHO is simultaneously trying to promote its use.

Here's another example of groups of scientists all heading out in different directions and undermining each other.

Here again is an example of why we need a global regulatory body for science so that all scientists are singing from the same hym book.

I would fight against any regulatory body telling me what opinion I have to have or that decided on a single course of action for any problem whose solution had multiple approaches. In my experience scientists respond much better to cooperation than coercion.

Rubbish! A medical degree follows the scientific method and doctors are indeed trained as scientists before they go on to specific medical training.

Medical doctors are not trained to do research.

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The premises in the OP are faulty in several regards.

First of all, all research that may lead to harm, pain or suffering of humans and (depending on the local laws) usually also includes vertebrates or at least mammals is to be approved by an ethics committee. This include non-medical research. Also note that it is usually not a rigorous control per se, but it has to be documented that either no harm is done (which in case of humans may include e.g. social stigmatization) or at that at least the benefits far outweigh the costs (e.g. experimental treatment of terminally ill persons).

Drug trials follow slightly different rules than basic research and are more strictly controlled. That being said, there are no regulatory elements in place to establish potential harm (with exception of trials, in which a test population is exposed to the harm). Toxicological parameters are treated especially lax, for instance. The data is usually very limited (e.g. LD test on, say, ten rats) and the majority of compounds below a certain production volume do not need to be tested at all. This is not matter of overseeing the research, but rather the lack of regulation of the industry.

Toxicological projects are rarely getting funded. The EPA, for instance has declared interest in figuring out the potential harm of nanomaterials, alas, they do not have the budget to fund it. Scientists (especially toxicologists) are interested in researching harmful long-term effects, but the funding agencies (in a way the regulatory bodies of research, if you will) and hence, politics, disagrees.

Other points with regards to DDT have already been argued by Swansont, but I just wanted to add that the harm of DDT to wildlife appeared to be more pronounced than to human health. But again, it was individual research that figured that link out. A politics-driven global oversight would most likely just have cut funding, due to lobbying...

That being said, there are universities who try to implement workshop that try to put ethics and science on a global scale and dream the impact of research on human society. But in the end, without investing actual research these things are more or less a mix of imagination, opinion and science fiction. I would think that a global oversight would be pretty much the same unless it comes up with an enormous pot of gold dedicated to adding actual research to the mix.

Medical doctors are not trained to do research.

QFT

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The public wants a unified narrative of what we are going to do about this and they just aint getting it from either source.

In this case, the "public" (or more correctly - you) want something that deviates from reality.

Scientists will never go away into a little huddle and not come back until they've gift wrapped you a silver bullet solution to your problems. Nor should they - that's not the objective, philosophy or modus operandi of scientific research in any capacity.

An additional layer of regulation won't force science to provide simplistic answers to complicated questions when they potentially don't exist, or when multiple answers share probabilistic significance or when practical solutions might simply need to be multifaceted (e.g. your energy example).

Trying to blame Marie Curie for Fukishima, or Thomas Midgely for the hole in the ozone layer, or expecting a regulatory body to have predicted the negative side effects of their research due to practical applications discovered decades later is unrealistic - can you offer a method by which you would have predicted the discovery of CFC's, then predicted their usefulness in cooling applications, then predicted the impact they would have on the yet to be discovered ozone layer? Or would you have recommended that an inert, non-toxic alternative be used to replace the flammable and toxic substances that were being used at the time and thought it was a good idea too?

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Toxicological parameters are treated especially lax, for instance. The data is usually very limited (e.g. LD test on, say, ten rats) and the majority of compounds below a certain production volume do not need to be tested at all. This is not matter of overseeing the research, but rather the lack of regulation of the industry.

Toxicological projects are rarely getting funded. The EPA, for instance has declared interest in figuring out the potential harm of nanomaterials, alas, they do not have the budget to fund it. Scientists (especially toxicologists) are interested in researching harmful long-term effects, but the funding agencies (in a way the regulatory bodies of research, if you will) and hence, politics, disagrees.

I think people often don't understand the complexity of toxicology in general. It is extremely daunting to predict toxicity, especially in novel drug classes. It's not as if drug designers have an equation that takes in chemical structural data and outputs an LD50 forecast.

There have even been instances of the sodium salt of a drug showing no hazardous side affects while the magnesium salt is lethal, something that would be predicted on chemical or biological grounds to make a negligible difference.

Greg Boyles has shown a pretty awesome ignorance of the way the chemical/drug/bio assay/regulation process happens in the business and science world. We simply don't have a toxicological crystal ball and some people posit that we never will as there are simply way too many variables and parameters to consider.

So Greg, should we stop drug and agricultural chemical discovery all together for fear of yet unknown side effects?

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Again, do the analysis and show that this is true. Apply the ethics of choosing who dies to the problem as well. Of course, everybody dies this is a matter of who dies and when. What were the death and disease rates from DDT when it was in widespread use as a general crop insecticide, and what will it be in much more limited use as vector control. Show me that it's better to be dead than suffer from a chronic disease much later in life, and what the relative numbers will be.

And if we don't learn to analyze the problem we are doomed to knee-jerk reactions.

The best I can do on proof of poor african awareness of DDT is to provide evidence of the poor general education standard in africa:

Mr Nxesi said educational standards were falling because governments were using cheap, lowly qualified teachers who were ill motivated and were, therefore, not able to provide the type of quality education that was needed.<BR _extended="true"><BR _extended="true">He said the resources needed to support education were shrinking now with many schools lacking the proper infrastructure and congenial environment for effective learning.<BR _extended="true"><BR _extended="true">"In our present African situation some rural areas do not have proper classrooms and even teachers and pupils find it tough to measure up to those with all the facilities that make learning very easier." He said school fees was a major barrier, especially to pupils from poor backgrounds and commended the government for implementing the capitation grant saying the ultimate aim of education for all was to make education free and compulsory so that the poor would also have access to education which had the long term effect of eradicating poverty.<BR _extended="true">

There is plenty of material on the web detailing this. If education standards are low then it is reasonable to assume that few are savy about DDT.

And as for the rest of you post swansont......

You are only comparing death rates of malaria and DDT exposure. What about the chronic health effects of DDT exposure? There is ample anecdotal evidence to support that and enough for western countries to pahse out its use.

Why then do westerners seek to impose DDT on AFricans when they are not prepared to use themselves. This smacks of double standards. They would rather impose cheap and toxic DDT on Africans rather than supply them with more expensive anti-malarial drugs. Apart from the fact that it is well know that DDT does not just effect the people and communities who spray it.

And it is not you place to decide that the chronic health effects on africans and damage to their local environment is justified to reduce their death rate from malaria. That choice should be made by africans WHEN AND ONLY WHEN they are fully savy of DDT.

Your claim was that they are not being made aware of the effects of DDT, regardless of the source.

I would fight against any regulatory body telling me what opinion I have to have or that decided on a single course of action for any problem whose solution had multiple approaches. In my experience scientists respond much better to cooperation than coercion.

Medical doctors are not trained to do research.

Anatomical pathologists in the depeartment of anatomical pathology at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne were directly involved in medical research on Alzhiemers disease etc when I was working there. They may not have performed the actual lab work but they are fully versed in the scientific process etc and are therefore scientists as well as specialist doctors.

But in the walt eliza hall at the university of melbourne there are plenty of medical doctors involved in research rather than general practice.

At least in medical pathology spheres, those who do a science degree specialise in performing the technical laboratory work while those with a medical pathology degree specialise is interpreting the results of laboratory tests and have the last say on the conclusions (not us laboratory scientists).

So pull your head in swansont and stop prattling on about things you obviously have no direct experience of.

Edited by Greg Boyles
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The best I can do on proof of poor african awareness of DDT is to provide evidence of the poor general education standard in africa:

There is plenty of material on the web detailing this. If education standards are low then it is reasonable to assume that few are savy about DDT.

Put another way, you have no evidence that the people are not being specifically informed about DDT, as you had claimed. Just that education in general is poor.

And as for the rest of you post swansont......

You are only comparing death rates of malaria and DDT exposure. What about the chronic health effects of DDT exposure? There is ample anecdotal evidence to support that and enough for western countries to pahse out its use.

Western countries were able to eradicate malaria. What is the risk/reward? Let's see the analysis.

Why then do westerners seek to impose DDT on AFricans when they are not prepared to use themselves. This smacks of double standards. They would rather impose cheap and toxic DDT on Africans rather than supply them with more expensive anti-malarial drugs. Apart from the fact that it is well know that DDT does not just effect the people and communities who spray it.

You can always pony up the money to pay for the more expensive solutions. How much did you donate to the cause last year? You did give money to this effort, right? And you're upset that your money is being used inappropriately?

And it is not you place to decide that the chronic health effects on africans and damage to their local environment is justified to reduce their death rate from malaria. That choice should be made by africans WHEN AND ONLY WHEN they are fully savy of DDT.

Again, come up with evidence that this is happening.

Anatomical pathologists in the depeartment of anatomical pathology at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne were directly involved in medical research on Alzhiemers disease etc when I was working there. They may not have performed the actual lab work but they are fully versed in the scientific process etc and are therefore scientists as well as specialist doctors.

But in the walt eliza hall at the university of melbourne there are plenty of medical doctors involved in research rather than general practice.

So pull your head in swansont and stop prattling on about things you obviously have no direct experience of.

Anatomical pathologists in the department of anatomical pathology — these were not GPs, now were they? That was Arete's point to which you objected, and the context of the discussion.

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Put another way, you have no evidence that the people are not being specifically informed about DDT, as you had claimed. Just that education in general is poor.

Perhaps they do make a cursory attempt to explain to africans about the risk of DDT.

But one may as well go down to the local Ultratune and try to explain to the teenage apprentice motor mechanic about the chemistry and health risks of DDT.

It is an exercise in fultility unless you are do so to some one with at least a basic science education.

So until they can make africans understand DDT at our/their education level they have no right to thrust it upon them.

Western countries were able to eradicate malaria. What is the risk/reward? Let's see the analysis.

You can always pony up the money to pay for the more expensive solutions. How much did you donate to the cause last year? You did give money to this effort, right? And you're upset that your money is being used inappropriately?

I have no interest or inclination to donate money to current aid efforts in africa or any where else in the world.

None of the aid organisations, so far as I am aware, make any serious attempts to compensate for the decreased death rate that they bring about by decreasing the birth rate by an equivalent amount.

I do not and will never donate on principal.

Anatomical pathologists in the department of anatomical pathology these were not GPs, now were they? That was Arete's point to which you objected, and the context of the discussion.

Oh yes they were swansont - you don't become an anatomical patholgist without first obtaining a medical degree. The same with any medical specialist. Doctors, including GPs are indeed scientists in every sense.

The only difference between a GP and a scientist is that GPs are not engaged in research work and scientists with a medical degree plus specialisation (and involved in research) generally don't engage directly in routine laboratory tasks - that is left to the lesser qualified scientists like me with a BSc.

Edited by Greg Boyles
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I have no interest or inclination to donate money to current aid efforts in africa or any where else in the world.

Then please explain how dictating how they spend their money isn't massive hypocrisy.

None of the aid organisations, so far as I am aware, make any serious attempts to compensate for the decreased death rate that they bring about by decreasing the birth rate by an equivalent amount.

Oh yes they were swansont - you don't become an anatomical patholgist without first obtaining a medical degree. The same with any medical specialist. Doctors, including GPs are indeed scientists in every sense.

The only difference between a GP and a scientist is that GPs are not engaged in research work and scientists with a medical degree plus specialisation (and involved in research) generally don't engage directly in routine laboratory tasks - that is left to the lesser qualified scientists like me with a BSc.

You make my point for me. GPs are not generally trained to do research. That's a specialization.

Anecdote: I once asked my doctor how a glucose monitor worked. His response? "I don't know. I'm not a scientist."

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Then please explain how dictating how they spend their money isn't massive hypocrisy.

Because spending their money on disseminating DDT in Africa will ultimately effect me, my children and our local environment and I f'ing well OBJECT.

Preventing malarial deaths in an over populated Africa does not justify the long term adverse impacts of DDT across the globe.

The interests of individuals in Africa do not trump the interests of future generations across the globe.

And more particularly the interest of soft westners who have an unrealistic abhorance of death, and who our out to make a name for themselves in charitable circles, do not trump the interests of future generations across the globe.

You had better start getting accustomed to death swansont because before to much longer westerners will be joining africans in a higher death rate and a shorter average life span . In our case due to antibiotic resistant bugs due to our long misuse of antibiotics.

Africans have coped with malaria for decades and they will continue to cope. It is not for westeners to tell them they should poison themselves slowly with highly toxic insecticides.

You make my point for me. GPs are not generally trained to do research. That's a specialization.

Anecdote: I once asked my doctor how a glucose monitor worked. His response? "I don't know. I'm not a scientist."

A fresh graduate from a BSc is not qualified to undertake research on their own either swansont, so your point is poorly made!

They have to continue their studies with honours, masters and phd or, in rare cases, gain decades of research experience before they take the lead in research projects.

Just as GP have continue their studies with a speciality at which point they may well engage in research relevant to that speciality.

GP's and anyone else with a medical degree is a fully fledged member of the medical science community!

Edited by Greg Boyles
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Preventing malarial deaths in an over populated Africa does not justify the long term adverse impacts of DDT across the globe.

Three points:

1. Africa is arguably the least overpopulated of the continents.

2. Your statement is implicitly racist, suggesting that continued malarial deaths would be useful in reducing the alleged overpopulation of the continent.

3. What evidence do you have that limited and controlled application of DDT in Africa would have a longterm global impact?

The interests of individuals in Africa do not trump the interests of future generations across the globe.

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Because spending their money on disseminating DDT in Africa will ultimately effect me, my children and our local environment and I f'ing well OBJECT

OK. I think I see your thesis. You are opposed to altruism and have many selfish genes.

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