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Cross-Check

Cross-Check

Critical views of science in the news

Maybe nuclear power isn't so bad after all

Even before the colossal oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico highlighted the downsides of fossil fuels (as if we needed reminding), nuclear energy was looking better to me.

May 11, 2010 — John Horgan

Grassroots spying might make world peace possible

Except for a smattering of neo-Social Darwinists, religious nuts and arms merchants, everyone wants world peace, right? In a truly peaceful world, nations would not just stop fighting wars; they would cut back their armies and arsenals to levels sufficient for self-defense and internal policing.

April 28, 2010 — John Horgan

Why soldiers get a kick out of killing

Do some soldiers enjoy killing? If so, why? This question is thrust upon us by the recently released video of U.S. Apache helicopter pilots shooting a Reuters cameraman and his driver in Baghdad in 2007.

April 23, 2010 — John Horgan

DMT is in your head, but it may be too weird for the psychedelic renaissance

You know that psychedelics are making a comeback when the New York Times says so on page 1. In “Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning In,” John Tierney reports on how doctors at schools like Harvard, Johns Hopkins, UCLA and NYU are testing the potential of psilocybin and other hallucinogens for treating depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism—and for inducing spiritual experiences.  Tierney’s brisk overview neglects to mention the most mind-bending of all psychedelics: dimethyltryptamine, or DMT.

April 16, 2010 — John Horgan

Can brain scans help us understand Homer?

In recent posts, I’ve knocked neuroframing, neuroweapons and neurobics. Next up: neuro-lit-crit.

New York Times culture reporter Patricia Cohen reports that for insights and inspiration literary scholars are turning, inevitably, to neuroscience and evolutionary psychology.

April 7, 2010 — John Horgan

"Neuroframing" the global warming issue won't win converts

Last week the Garrison Institute, a retreat center just a few miles down the Hudson River from my home, hosted an impressive symposium on “Climate, Mind and Behavior.” An organizer made the mistake of inviting me to the meeting’s wrap-up session Friday.

March 16, 2010 — John Horgan

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