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Upholding the Value of Expertise

Michael White at Adaptive Complexity responds to a recent Huffington Post piece written by Terry Newell, which bashes "the democratization of science," saying "who cares what the experts say?" Newell argues that relying on individuals' expertise fosters "skewed judgments on complex questions." He adds, "A majority that feels it can safely ignore science can create far more havoc than science itself, and it will then be woefully ill-equipped for the twenty-first century." White writes in response that because, by nature, "any science is incomplete and imperfect," and because scientists still "have to make decisions about policy, about your health, about business plans, about things that matter to society," inevitably "few people come out of that process looking clean, but that does not mean expertise has no value."

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.