Teaching Angela to Appreciate History
On April 12th, 1955 Jonas Salk announced the results of the Francis Field Trial, demonstrating the polio vaccine he developed was safe and effective. Unfortunately, polio was almost, but not quite, eliminated. An anti-vaccination conspiracy became popular in West Africa just after the turn of the century, allowing the disease to spread again. (Note: Michael said humans have driven smallpox to extinction. That’s not quite right – a small number still exist in medical labs).
Danie Krugel has resurfaced. (This article is in Afrikaans, but the Google machine translation is fairly good). See Stop Danie Krugel for a lot more information. Details about the Randi Million Dollar Prize can be found here.
The Lifelens project has developed a smartphone app that can diagnose malaria accurately, and that can be operated by pretty much any literate person. An excellent development, since global warming is making malaria more geographically widespread.
This week we interviewed science writer Carl Zimmer. We discussed, among many other things, what can be done about bad science journalism (again), cancer and the existence of whales, and Carl’s two upcoming books, Science Ink and A Planet of Viruses.
Note: Michael and Angela could not participate in the interview due to technical issues. Luckily, Owen stepped heroically into the breach.
There are three upcoming Skeptics in the Pub events:
- Skeptics in the Pub – Durban is on Thursday 14th April, at Pizzetta, 139 Davenport Rd.
- Skeptics in the Pub – Cape Town is on Friday 15th April, at A Touch Of Madness, 12 Nuttall Rd, Obs.
- Skeptics in the Pub – Pretoria is on Saturday 16th April, Toni’s Fully Furnished Pizza Co, Deerness.
There is also a visit to the Hartbeeshoek Radio Observatory planned for June 4th.