Scholarly Kitchen: Why Is Science Suffering in the Modern Age?

Kent Anderson writing for the Scholarly Kitchen (“What’s Hot and Cooking in Scholarly Publishing”) asks, “Why is science suffering in the modern age?” Among the causes of the crisis of public confidence in science:

  1. Political and societal dysfunction.
  2. Economic dysfunction.
  3. Mass media dysfunction.
  4. Scientific dysfunction.

Admitting the complexities of the first three, Anderson observes of the last: “Scientists need to become better communicators.”

The article is available on line:


Brown: Calling All Nurse Writers

Writing in the Center for Health Media & Policy at Hunter College’s blog HealthCetera, Theresa Brown, RN, a featured writer in The New Yorker and a regular columnist in the New York Times, invites nurses in “Calling All Nurse Writers”:

Brown explains:

These nurses, and I, all write for the same reasons that physicians do: educating the public about how health care works, outlining ways to make health care better, exploring how hard it is to work in a job that often deals with death, or showing what nurses’ clinical work actually involves. By writing about nursing (or medicine) we learn about the nature of our roles as caregivers and we communicate the importance of that role to readers.

Blog readers are welcome to leave comments.

Joseph Ensign has posted this thoughtful response on this blog:

Nurse in the House?

Writing in today’s New York Times op-ed pages, Theresa Brown calls for federal action to increase hiring of nurses:

Doctors can indeed be heroes. But when a patient takes a sudden turn for the worse, it’s the nurses who are usually the first to respond. Each patient has a specific nurse assigned to watch over him, and it is that nurse’s responsibility to react immediately in the event of an emergency.

That’s getting harder to do, though. Cost-cutting at hospitals often means fewer nurses, so the number of patients each nurse must care for increases, leading to countless unnecessary deaths. Unless Congress mandates a federal standard for nurse-patient ratios, those deaths will continue.

The essay, “Is There a Nurse in the House?” is available on line.

Brown, an oncology nurse, is a contributor to The Times’s “Well” blog and the author of Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life and Everything In Between.