Some miscellaneous science notes today:
Terence Kealey has written a book about the effectiveness of government funding of scientific research. His view: not effective. I'm a little dubious. (Grain of salt: I earn my paycheck through such funding.*) One example discussed is the failure of a Federal flight program just months before the Wrights got airborne. I think the question to ask is not whether government research can invent airplanes, but whether it can discover the Bernoulli principal that keeps them in the air.
Vatican endorses GM food. A wise, ethical, pro-science position from the Church. Perhaps this doesn't really belong in my science post, since as Renato Cardinal Martino correctly observed "This controversy is more political than scientific." Amen, Your Eminence. Amen.
Not convinced GM food is an acceptable substitute for "organic" comestibles? Check the Independent. My conclusions: Organic food: tastes yummier. Non-organic food: better in all other ways.
From the "Drugs that would make Dr. Jonathan Crane jealous" file: inhaling the neurotransmitter oxytocin makes you trust people and take extra social risks. Here's the original article in Neuron. I can't even count the ways that could be abused... frat parties, casinos, military recruiters...
Finally, Moody's is investigating whether it gave out AAA investment ratings due to a computer error. Really, Moody's? Really?
* Well, not for the next 12 month funding cycle, but still...