[W]e’ll keep things simple this week, especially in light of the holiday. Here are a few of the things from the domain of science that I am thankful for.
Science and Faith
You may have heard, although frankly it is probably just as well if you didn’t, that Elon Musk got some mixed results from SARS-CoV-2 rapid tests last week. … [T]he math involved in interpreting these tests is not altogether intuitive, and many of us might be uncertain what to do with such equivocal outcomes. And for some of us, that may already be or may become a concrete reality rather than a hypothetical exercise. So let’s talk through the numbers.
I was reminded recently that just about two years ago, I wrote about the centenary of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic. … Now, two years later, we are in the midst of another global pandemic of a respiratory virus. I think maybe this time we might benefit from a look forward instead.
I am reasonably confident that, regardless of the [election] results, we’ll still need to come to grips with our political polarization or political sectarianism. To that end, we may benefit from a body of psychology and sociology research identifying the nature of the divide, some contributing factors, and most helpfully, possible interventions that have demonstrated some efficacy in reducing animosity.
[W]hile I suppose the national races could be seen as a referendum on competing pandemic responses, there’s a lot more on the ballot than the presidential race. Via ballot initiatives, voters in several states have the option to directly decide or influence science policy.