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A Challenge for Scientists

Progress is important in science, but true progress is attained through "criticism, skepticism and debate," writes John Beddington, the UK government's chief scientific advisor, in New Scientist. "Great" researchers challenge the status quo, but only if they have the facts and evidence to back themselves up, Beddington says, and if their challenge stands up to scrutiny, they should be "celebrated." But researchers should also be careful that they don't become "fixated on divergence," especially in the face of consensus that has been built on evidence and fact, he adds. Uncertainty in science will always exist, but researchers shouldn't be afraid of communicating them. "Indeed, as scientists we must be more transparent, more open to describing the gaps in our knowledge," Beddington says. "Skepticism is the driving force for further discovery and better evidence." The challenge is in making both evidence and uncertainty public so that the research community can better challenge those who misuse scientific evidence to their own ends, he adds.

The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.