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Best of Blogs for May 2013: Mythbusters, fracking, and food advertising – oh my!

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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The Best of the Blogs video is here for May 2013. Scientific American‘s Carin Bondar runs through some of the top posts in May from advertising in the food industry, Mythbusters, and fear-mongering and fracking (by yours truly).

Many thanks to Carin for showcasing some great work on the blog network – and thanks to you for reading!

David Wogan About the Author: An engineer and policy researcher who writes about energy, technology, and policy - and everything in between. Based in Austin, Texas. Comments? Follow on Twitter @davidwogan.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. marclevesque 8:15 pm 06/7/2013

    On the gas pipeline running under densely populated areas of New-York — You don’t combat bad science with bad science.

    It’s a given the low budget ‘activist’ video is over the top. As mentioned by David Wogan fracking and radon are not related to the issue of the safety of the gas pipeline in question. But what about the safety of the new pipeline? Countering the activists by saying basically “there are gas pipelines already in existence so questioning the existence of a particular pipeline is ridiculous” is a specious argument. So how does this new gas pipeline compare to other pipelines under heavily populated areas : what diameter is it, what pressure is it at, at what depth is it, what is it made out of, how long is it expected to last, how can the gas be turned off, how long does it take for the flow to stop, what are the soil conditions, what safety measures are in place, is it really as big an innovation as industry is claiming and is it done right ? And if it is done right it surely involves some pretty awesome technology that can help reduce fears if brought forward.

    Furthermore, and to the point, even if countering bad arguments with more bad arguments can sometimes help move public opinion over to ‘our’ side — long term it just perpetuates, and can even increase, the use of misinformation from all sides, but moreover and maybe worse, it can facilitate doubt and cynicism towards scientist’s in general.

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