President promises Carter Center not to ‘dilly dally’ on GECOM’s advise

first_img…as PPP calls out Granger for bad faith, failure to comply with ConstitutionThe Carter Center representatives, who are in Guyana to get a perspective on the elections situation, met with President David Granger on Monday. There, the President assured them that there would be no more delays once the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) advises him on holding elections.Caretaker President David Granger and team during his meeting with the Carter CenterAccording to the Ministry of the Presidency, Granger was accompanied in the meeting by Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence and Minister of State Dawn Hastings.The Carter Center was represented by Associate Director of Democracy Programmes, Brett Lacy; senior adviser and international electoral expert, Carlos Valenzuela; legal analyst, Anne Marlborough and political adviser, Nicholas Jahr.Last week, the Carter Center representatives had met with Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo and the Chair and Commissioners of the Elections Commission.In an address to the nation following the meeting, Granger repeated the substance of previous statements, that GECOM is an independent agency and that he has to await advice from GECOM before he can name an election date.“I am committed to providing governmental assistance to the Commission to ensure that the forthcoming elections will not be contaminated by mismanagement or malpractice,” President Granger said in his statement.The President went on to then claim that he acted expeditiously throughout the year to ensure that General and Regional Elections are held. To support this claim, he cited his consultations with GECOM and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, as well as his belated appointment of GECOM Chair, retired Justice Claudette Singh.Bad faith, failureThe People’s Progressive Party wasted little time in responding to Granger’s claims in his address to the nation. The party said that while GECOM is indeed an independent agency, it is not independent of the Constitution of Guyana.“The caretaker President conveniently ignores this fact and attempts to convey the impression that GECOM, being an independent body, can afford to ignore its obligation to comply with the Constitution of Guyana.”The party stated that in its order after ruling that the No-Confidence Motion was validly passed on December 21, 2018, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), on July 12, 2019, was clear that: “The Guyana Elections Commission (“GECOM”) has the responsibility to conduct that election and GECOM too must abide by the provisions of the Constitution.”Countering the President’s assertion that he has acted expeditiously to conduct elections, the PPP noted that Granger has, in fact, done nothing to comply with the constitutional provisions that were activated when he lost a No-Confidence Motion last year.“The Caribbean Court of Justice had ordered that the provisions of Article 106 (6) and (7) of the Constitution apply to a No-Confidence Motion, and that upon the passage of this motion of no confidence in the Government, the clear provisions of Article 106 immediately became engaged. The caretaker President remains deliberately oblivious to this order.”According to the party, as per Article 106 of the Constitution, the Cabinet has not resigned. “Also, the Granger-led Government has not been acting in a caretaker capacity – rather it has been deliberately delaying the elections while engaging in a heist of taxpayers’ monies and public resources in the most corrupt acts our people have seen in Guyanese history.”No expeditious moveThe party also pointed out the fallacy of the President claiming that he is acting expeditiously to hold elections, when his party’s representatives on GECOM – Vincent Alexander, Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman, are continuously pushing proposals that do the opposite.“The caretaker President claims that he acted “expeditiously” to ensure that credible and regional elections are held and to substantiate this, he referred to the meetings that led to the appointment of a new GECOM Chairperson. The caretaker President seems to have selective amnesia, forgetting that it was his illegal action – the unilateral appointment of a GECOM Chairman – that led to the need for a new appointment in the first place. ““The caretaker President talks up his assurance in the actions of his Commission to ready itself for constitutionally mandated General and Regional Elections – which ought to have been held since March 21, 2019 – even as his minions at the Elections Commission advance actions that will delay elections. How then can the Commission act expeditiously to advise on its readiness for elections?”The fact that it is the President who has to set an election date within the confines of the Constitution and that it is GECOM who must be prepared and hold elections by that date, rather than the other way around, has been put forward by legal luminaries for months.Article 61 of the Constitution states that “An election of members of the National Assembly… shall be held on such day within three months after every dissolution of Parliament as the President shall appoint by proclamation”.The President has not even made any moves to dissolve Parliament, a necessary prequel to the holding of elections. The law says nothing about GECOM advising the President on when he can call elections or dissolve Parliament. But when questioned about this, Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon had also insisted that GECOM has to advise the President before he can dissolve Parliament or make moves towards calling elections.A GECOM meeting is scheduled for today, where it is anticipated that the Chairperson will make a pronouncement as to an election timeframe, after weeks of meeting the full Commission.last_img read more

Big Brothers Big Sisters reaches ‘Dream Sponsor’ goals – in just one day

first_imgAnyone interested in supporting this initiative is encouraged to contact the agency directly at 250-787-9674. Just one day after announcing their need for ‘dream sponsors,’ Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fort St. John says they have reached their goal for donations needed to buy beds for families in need.The association says the overwhelming response from the community made it possible for more beds than originally needed were donated and can accommodate some extra families, bringing it up to a total of eleven beds being secured for local families.One company offered full sponsorship for the initial beds that were needed, while other residents and businesses made donations toward additional beds and bedding.- Advertisement -Executive Director Danielle Armstrong says there has been a greater need for the Holiday Hampers this year, and the generosity of people in the community always takes her breath away.“We were confident that the community would help to address this need, but how quickly it all came together was amazing,” she remarked.While the need for beds has been addressed, Big Brothers Big Sisters still has their Adopt a Family – Holiday Hamper program ongoing.Advertisementlast_img read more

France storm semis after whipping Uruguay

first_imgFrance took the lead in the 40th minute from the unlikely source of defender Varane, who glanced home a fine header from an Antoine Griezmann free-kick.It was only the Real Madrid player’s third goal for France and represented redemption for Varane, who was largely blamed for the goal which saw France lose at the quarter-final stage to Germany four years ago.Griezmann, who counts several of the Uruguay players as close friends, scored a second in the 61st minute, but it was mostly due to a howler from La Celeste’s goalkeeper, Fernando Muslera.The usually dependable stopper flapped at Griezmann’s 20-yard shot and agonisingly saw the ball float over the line.Fernando Muslera made a terrible mijudgement to hand France their second goal© AFP Johannes EISELEIt was Griezmann’s third goal of this World Cup, but his first not from a penalty.That goal secured the victory but did not end the drama in Nizhny Novgorod, as Uruguay’s frustration boiled over in the 67th minute when Kylian Mbappe fell to the floor.Uruguay skipper Diego Godin gestured with the teenager to get up, then tried to pull him from the turf, sparking a melee which involved most of the players and saw French coach Didier Deschamps come onto the pitch to try to calm tempers.France’s victory was merited as it was they who had the bulk of possession and always looked the most likely to score.They might have scored as early as the 15th minute when Mbappe mistimed a close header.The lightning-quick Mbappe and Griezmann struck fear into the Uruguayan defence all afternoon.In midfield, France’s N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba snuffed out any potential threat posed by Uruguay.And up front for La Celeste, Luis Suarez cut an isolated and agitated figure as his team desperately went in search of an equaliser as Edinson Cavani was ruled out with injury.Increasingly, Suarez vented his frustration with Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana, who, coincidentally, was the official in charge of France’s quarter-final 2014 defeat.The Barcelona star was partnered by Cristhian Stuani after a week of will-he-won’t-he speculation surrounding Cavani ended up with the Paris Saint-Germain striker failing to recover from a calf strain.Without Cavani, Uruguay posed little threat.A tight and nervy encounter to begin with, the game burst into life after Varane’s goal.Until that point Uruguay had struggled to get into the French penalty area, but within four minutes of the goal would have been level except for an exceptional save by Hugo Lloris.The French skipper saved superbly with one-hand from defender Martin Caceres, whose header from a free kick look destined to go in.Diego Godin could have scored from the follow-up, but that was the closest the South Americans would come to scoring all afternoon.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Raphael Varane’s goal was redemption for his mistake against Germany four years ago© AFP Mladen ANTONOVNIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia, July 7 – France became the first team to reach the World Cup semi-finals as goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann gave them a deserved 2-0 victory over Uruguay on Friday.It is the first time France have been in the last four since 2006 and sets up a mouth-watering clash against either Belgium or Brazil, who play later on Friday, in St Petersburg on Tuesday.last_img read more

TENSION MOUNTS AMONG DONEGAL’S BRIGHTEST YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS

first_imgSome of the Donegal finalists in this year’s competition for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur pictured with Danny McEleney of Donegal Local Enterprise Office and Gerry Moan at their training day in the Donegal Local Enterprise Office in Letterkenny.Tension is mounting among some of Donegal’s brightest young entrepreneurs, as the race towards the county final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition enters its closing stages.The local finals of the contest will take place on September 10th and there is €50,000 to be won in three different categories on the night.However before any of the short-listed finalists can get their hands on the cash, they first have to go through an intensive local mentoring and boot-camp programme.“This is the second year of the competition and we were delighted to see that entries were up this year,” Michael Tunney Head of Enterprise in Donegal Local Enterprise Office said. From those initial entries a total of 25 businesses progressed to the mentoring stages an experience Mr. Tunney said he believes will benefit them all greatly.“All of the finalists in last year’s local competition were so thrilled with the training and assistance they had received, that many said they felt like winners irrespective of who actually took the various titles.“It is a nice incentive for applicants to try and capture the investment prizes, but even if they don’t, taking part in the Business Bootcamps will help them fine tune their business plans, learn new enterprise skills and avail of the highest quality one to one mentoring and business coaching.”Well-known business trainer Gerry Moan is leading the Bootcamp this year, helping the local finalists work on fine-tuning their proposals ahead of the final. “To win you really need to be at the top of your game because there is a significant investment prize in each category and opportunities to progress as well to the regional finals.The Local Enterprise Office in Donegal has €50,000 to invest in three local businesses or start-ups – Best Idea (€10,000 investment prize), Best Start-Up (€20,000 investment prize) and Best Established Business (€20,000 investment prize),” Mr Tunney added.The local finalists will continue their boot-camp mentoring programme ahead of the county final that takes place in Letterkenny on September 10th.EndsCaption Some of the Donegal finalists in this year’s competition for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur pictured with Danny McEleney of Donegal Local Enterprise Office and Gerry Moan at their training day in the Donegal Local Enterprise Office in Letterkenny.TENSION MOUNTS AMONG DONEGAL’S BRIGHTEST YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS was last modified: September 2nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Jim McGuinness and wife expecting their sixth child

first_imgFormer Donegal GAA boss Jim McGuinness and wife Yvonne are expecting their sixth child.The All-Ireland winning manager and his solicitor wife recently relocated to Scotland with their other five children.The Irish Daily Mail reports the new arrival will be the couple’s sixth child under the age of nine. The couple already have five children including Toni Marie, Mark Anthony, Jimmy Jnr as well as twins Bonnie and Aoibh.The couple’s latest addition is expected to arrive before Christmas.Friends of the family say they are over the moon at the new addition.Yvonne, a sister of Donegal GAA star Colm McFadden, only recently joined Jim in Scotland where he works with Celtic FC. A friend said “Everyone is delighted for them, they are such a nice couple. But they’ll certainly have their hands full with six small children.“But they are so organised and just take everything in their stride. It’s going to be a busy house and that’s for sure.McGuinness is one of the biggest names in GAA in recent years.He turned around a trouble Donegal team to capture the Sam Maguire by beating Mayo in 2012.He left the team in 2014 to take up a position with Glasgow Celtic FC where he works as a sports psychologist and also coaches some of the club’s underage teams. His fascinating life has led Irish film-maker Kirsten Sheridan to make a film on his life based around his autobiography, Until Victory Always.The film, which will be produced by Fastnet Films, does not have a director or cast yet.Jim McGuinness and wife expecting their sixth child was last modified: August 16th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:babydonegalGAAJim McGuinnesslast_img read more

Ó DOMHNAILL IS LATEST POLITICIAN TO WARN OF NoWDOC DOWNGRADE

first_imgTHE HSE is refusing to confirm cutbacks but it appears they are looking at chopping three-quarters of its nighttime service in the county.Donegal South West Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has said that any downgrading of the NoWDOC service in County Donegal would be totally outrageous and an outright attack on rural communities.Senator Ó Domhnaill said: “The NoWDOC service provides emergency out-of-hours GP care from several centres across the North West including Carndonagh, Letterkenny, Derrybeg and Mountcharles. “HSE management have revealed that they propose to redeploy the reception staff from these outreach centres in Co Donegal, and centralise the reception service in Ballybofey.“This proposed downgrading, together with the speculation that the NoWDOC service in 3 outreach centres will be withdrawn from 12 midnight to 8 am on weeknights, is totally and utterly unacceptable.  It is claimed that local GPs in these areas are anxious to reduce the NoWDOC overnight shift because the HSE is withdrawing grant aid allowing GPs to employ a locum doctor for the midnight to 8am shifts.“I understand that the HSE are awaiting proposals from the GPs on what alternatives they would propose.  However it is my firm believe that there can be no downgrading whatsoever of the NoWDOC services in rural areas given the fact that these areas are up to 80 miles from Letterkenny General Hospital.  The very fact that someone would need GP care in the middle of the night indicates that they are too ill or injured to wait until the morning, and they believe their case is urgent. Reducing the access to this urgent care could put patients in danger.“I am today calling on the Minister for Health to intervene to ensure that emergency access to GP care is maintained at all centres in Co Donegal. I am also urging the GPs and the HSE to retain the service in its current format,” concluded Senator Ó Domhnaill. Ó DOMHNAILL IS LATEST POLITICIAN TO WARN OF NoWDOC DOWNGRADE was last modified: October 24th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalnowdoc serviceslast_img read more

PATIENT BUS SUBSIDY COST HSE €100 PER PATIENT – ON EACH TRIP

first_imgTHE HSE ended a subsidy for Donegal patients travelling to Dublin hospitals because of the massive costs involved, donegaldaily.com can reveal.Marley Coaches have been told that it is losing its €100,000-a-year contract.But figures released to us by the HSE show that an average of just five patients per journey were using the service. “It worked out that the subsidy per patient per trip was close to €100,” said one HSE source.“That was not value for money or sustainable in any way shape or form.“That was why the service was ended.”Patients complained yesterday about the end of the service with Cllr Patrick McGowan accusing Government ministers of slipping in the cutbacks just before heading off on holidays.  PATIENT BUS SUBSIDY COST HSE €100 PER PATIENT – ON EACH TRIP was last modified: July 12th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

DOHERTY CALLS FOR DATABASE TO IMPROVE SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME

first_imgSinn Féin’s Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty and Health Spokesperson Deputy Caoimghín Ó Caoláin, will this week call on the Health Minister to establish a database to outline the specialised health and educational services currently used and needed by people with Down Syndrome.Deputy Pearse DohertyThe Donegal South West Deputy and his party colleague Deputy Ó Caoláin are expected to raise the issue with the Minister in the Dáil this week.It comes after a Parliamentary Question tabled by Deputy Doherty last week revealed that the number of children with Down Syndrome currently in main stream education is not known by educational authorities. “This week our Health Spokesperson and I will be calling on the Health Minister to look at the benefits which the establishment of a central database for children born with this condition could potentially yield.”“A number of constituents have approached me about the issue of children with Down Syndrome and the services available to them – particularly in relation to educational supports.”“Down Syndrome is not currently listed on the low incidence list with the Department of Education and Skills, and this means that the Department has no idea how many children in mainstream education have the condition in our schools.”“Understandably, this lack of information poses great difficulty for resource allocation and makes the provision of adequate educational supports quite difficult to estimate.” “While there already exists a state wide Intellectual Disability Database which at present is operated by the Health Research Board on behalf of the Department of Health, the voluntary nature of the register, coupled with the fact that registration often occurs later in childhood means that it is not possible to accurately estimate service demand in a timely manner for people with these conditions.”“In our question to the Minister, we will be asking if he has considered the benefit which such information gathering could potentially yield particularly for the planning of both health and educational services by providing information on trends in demographics, current service use and future service need.”“This is about future-proofing the system and ultimately improving the services which people with Down Syndrome require both now and as they get older.”DOHERTY CALLS FOR DATABASE TO IMPROVE SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME was last modified: May 20th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalDown SyndromePearse Dohertylast_img read more

Donegal-based animal feed business sold for €17.25M

first_imgThe Donegal Investment Group has announced the sale of its animal feed business, Robert Smyth & Sons Limited, for €17.25 million.The business and its subsidiary companies were acquired by the UK-based Fane Valley Co-Operative Society.It will be business as usual at Smyths Daleside Animal Feeds, as it will continue to trade under the same name and retain local management and staff. Founded in 1865, Smyths is a leading provider of animal feed products and nutrition, located in Ballindrait in East Donegal.The company generated a turnover of €35.5 million and profit before tax of €1.9 million in the year to the end of August 2018.Strategically located near the port in Lisahally, Smyths supplies a broad range of ruminant and monogastric feeds to a diverse customer base across the North and West of Ireland.Fane Valley’s acquisition incorporates Smyth’s subsidiary companies including Burke Shipping Services Ltd, based in Lisahally Port. Donegal Investment Group, formerly Donegal Creameries, said the disposal of the business was in line with a strategic review of the Company’s various businesses and assets.Completion of the Proposed Transaction is subject to approval by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.Ian Ireland, Managing Director of Donegal Investment Group plc, said: “We wish the Businesses, their employees and management, and their new owners Fane Valley, every success in the future. We will continue to support the growth plans of our specialty dairy business Nomadic as well as continuing the strategic review of the remaining businesses and assets of the Company with the objective of maximising value for all shareholders.”Trevor Lockhart, Fane Valley Group – Chief Executive commented: “We are delighted to be acquiring Smyths Daleside Animal Feeds. It has built a strong brand and reputation for premium feed products, flexible and innovative feed solutions and excellent customer service.“The company will continue to trade under the Smyths Daleside name and day-to-day operational responsibility will remain with local management and staff. Customers can therefore be assured of a ‘business as usual’ approach in their dealings with the company going forward. “The acquisition is a ‘natural fit’ for Fane Valley and presents an opportunity for the Co-op to further extend its catchment area for the supply of animal feed products and nutritional services. It will complement the Co-op’s £18m investment in a new feed mill in Omagh, Co.Tyrone in 2010 and demonstrates Fane Valley’s commitment to the future of livestock production in this region. The Board of Fane Valley acknowledges the support of Ulster Bank for the acquisition and for their on-going assistance to the Group”.Donegal-based animal feed business sold for €17.25M was last modified: July 4th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ballindraitDonegal INvestment GroupFane Valley Co-Operative SocietyRobert Smyth & Sons LimitedSmyths Daleside Animal Feedslast_img read more

Time to Overhaul Science

first_imgA noted advocate of science integrity is leading a team of experts on a program to improve scientific practice and clean up serious failings.The Stanford Medicine News Service has big news: “Researchers announce master plan for better science.” The initiative will be led by John Ioannidis, MD, DSc, professor of medicine and of health research and policy at the Stanford University School of Medicine.We’ve heard from Ioannidis before. He shocked the research establishment a dozen years ago, claiming “Most published research findings are false.” More recently, he complained that “the scientific reward system needs to change” (10/29/14). Last year, his influence led to widespread recognition that “Widespread failure to reproduce research results has triggered a crisis of confidence in research findings, eroding public trust in scientific methodology.”Now, Ioannidis and colleagues at Stanford Medicine have posted a manifesto in the inaugural issue of a new journal, Nature Human Behavior, that addresses four areas of concern in scientific practice: methods, reporting, reproducibility, and evaluation. “There is a way to perform good, reliable, credible, reproducible, trustworthy, useful science,” he thinks, but it’s going to require some big commitments. The impact of bad practice on science’s customers is huge.The manifesto suggests it’s not just scientists themselves who are responsible for improving the quality of science, but also other stakeholders, including research institutions, scientific journals, funders and regulatory agencies. All, said Ioannidis, have important roles to play.Scientists need to understand, he explains, that busy work represents wasted potential. Science is not done for its own sake. Science is for something, and for somebody: the stakeholders, like taxpayers, who throw billions of dollars at it. They have a stake at seeing some motion, some benefit accruing to them, some return on investment.Each year, the U.S. government spends nearly $70 billion on nondefense research and development, including a budget of more than $30 billion for the National Institutes of Health. Yet research on how science is conducted — so-called meta-research — has made clear that a substantial number of published scientific papers fail to move science forward. One analysis, wrote the authors, estimated that as much as 85 percent of the biomedical research effort is wasted.The press release points to a human flaw that plagues science: the tendency to jump the gun and report exciting, serendipitous results, rather than to run a research program to completion according to pre-established practices. Stakeholders need to know about all results, even negative or inconsequential findings. Unexciting results may be even more valuable in the long run, providing a record of what doesn’t work. Another common flaw is massaging data to the point where chance results briefly pop out as statistically significant when they are not.The press release mentions these specific recommendations:Methods: Design your study to minimize bias. Register your flight plan before taking off: what’s your plan? How will you measure success or failure? How will you analyze your results?Reporting: Establish policies to report all findings, even unexciting ones, instead of stuffing them in a file drawer.Reproducibility: Funding agencies and journals can set up standing committees to set standards.Evaluation: The committees can advise, monitor compliance, and incentivize best practices.Given their prominence in society, scientists need to maintain focus on the goal of their work.The ultimate goal is to get to the truth, Ioannidis said. “When we are doing science, we are trying to arrive at the truth. In many disciplines, we want that truth to translate into something that works. But if it’s not true, it’s not going to speed up computer software, it’s not going to save lives and it’s not going to improve quality of life.In an age of post-truth and fake news, Ioannidis’s perspective is refreshing. Dr. Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, took some glee last Friday on FRC’s Washington Watch radio program at the secular media’s recent concern over “fake news.” It presupposes, he says, that truth is not relative. His opening commentary is worth hearing in that regard, because it touches on what Ioannidis also said about science’s goal: the truth, and a truth that works.Update 1/12/17: The paper, “A manifesto for reproducible science,” appeared in Nature Human Behavior and is open-access.Biblical truth is always action-oriented. It’s not just out there in the clouds, unrelated to the way we live our lives. Truth should change a person’s behavior. It should guide the individual in right living. We see a parallel here in John Ioannidis’s statement that “we want that truth to translate into something that works.” We don’t want our scientists just cranking out knowledge on all kinds of irrelevant details. An example we have used before is recording the vocalizations of each animal when you step on its foot. What good is that? Most biological research is done on a few model organisms: among them, E. coli, Arabidopsis, and C. elegans. Taking this to the extreme, suppose scientists ran the same research on 8 million other organisms. At some point busy work becomes ridiculous. How many genomes is enough?Pure research has its place; one doesn’t always know the practical value of an experiment. Michael Faraday wisely responded to a government official who asked what was the use of electricity. Faraday answered, “Some day you will be able to tax it.” But no scientist approaches subject matter without some inkling about its potential usefulness. The practical outcome of science is especially important when others are footing the bill. The stakeholders expect truth, and they expect value. If an independently wealthy researcher wants to go off on his own to record the sounds made by animals when he steps on their feet, fine (just don’t tell PETA).We see the sensationalism of science in many ways, often measurable by the perhapsimaybecouldness index (PCI). This molecule “might” lead to a cure for cancer. This fossil “might” shed light on evolution. This particle “might” help us understand the big bang. The scientist or reporter makes these statements and then runs off to something else, never delivering. I can’t tell you how many news reports I read each week about some new promising finding on cancer. Very few of them ever lead to a clinical trial or proof. Meanwhile, people are dying of cancer every day. It would be better not to make those kinds of statements at all than to tease, if there are no plans to follow through.Here’s the take-home message from this manifesto: Big Science is currently getting a failing grade. The manifesto wouldn’t have been needed if, for the past 12 years at least, scientists had a good report card. Some people reading our pages may get a false impression we are anti-science. No, we are anti-bad science. And we say that scientists need to get off their pedestal and realize that everyone needs to be involved in finding truth that translates into good works. We tend to reify science as a subject apart from other forms of knowledge acquisition. But whether you are a historian, an auto mechanic or a pastor, you also need to pursue truth that translates into something that works for people. Scientists might do it studying petunias or Wolf-Rayet stars so that people can appreciate the beauty and variety of God’s creation or so that engineers can use what they learn for human benefit; historians may seek to understand Hitler’s motivations so that his errors are not repeated; auto mechanics by testing replacement parts so that people can drive safely; pastors by seeking to understand the principles of theology so that people will live righteously and harmoniously together under God. We’re all in this together, folks! We’re all scientists trying to make sense of our world (see Doug Axe’s book Undeniable for elaboration). If you are a “professional” scientist, it’s time to pull your share of the load. Start moving that F grade to an A, for the sake of your stakeholders. They don’t owe you a salary.(Visited 69 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more