BPA Blowback

Slipping under the radar this week is a new study of BPA. Essentially, the study gives the people who "linked" BPA to everything from mad cow disease to scarlett fever short shrift. I'm no scientist (shock, I know), but the brouhaha surrounding BPA seems to border on the hysterical. Isn't there a segment of society that WANTS to fan the flames of an outlaw chemical that kills everything it touches?

However, maybe it's just me, but there appears to be a growing internet population who've developed certain instincts regarding the "cyber-hype new discovery cycle". Much like the local news---which is so catastrophe or disaster oriented---we're slowly becoming somewhat inclined to treat "bombarding claims" with a degree of hesitancy. Particularly news of a medical persuasion. "Recent medical studies" are de-bunked faster than you can say recent medical studies. If regular milk kills you, wait a few months and it won't. If a new drug helps helps prevent heart attacks, hey---it may not kill you, but that encyclopedia of newly-discovered side effects sure enough will.

Perhaps BPA is dangerous. But Science should just face the music and confess that it's marching to the same drum as society at-large. We want that spotlight. We want to be first announcing the next big thing. Good or bad, we crave that limelight. Aren't we familiar with the type-A know-it-all in school who ALWAYS raised his hand "call me, call me, call me!" What an obnoxious little squeaky wheel jack-rabbit. We'd roll our eyes. Fast forward. We've now see the attention that favors those who make the most noise. Fame! Grants! Recognition! Nobels! Statues! Honors! All the risks are completely balanced by all the rewards. Whether we're in our cubicle, our lab, or at home staring into some desktop data abyss----deep down, maybe we're all just itching to showcase our celebrity scholarship skills. Deep down, don't we all desire to just "get to the championship round".

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu   


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