August 25, 2014

2:44 PM | Know Your Species: SUDV vs. EBOV
Last night, it was confirmed that at least some of the hemorrhagic deaths in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of Congo are from an ebolavirus–but it looks like it’s species Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV), rather than the one ravaging … Continue reading →

August 22, 2014

8:56 PM | If I’m Gonna Drop Anything, It’ll be Bricks, Not Names
I really hate having to justify myself. I hate having to roll out “credentials” and be constantly challenged on whether or not I have the “right” to discuss philosophy or ethics, or why I am actually offering a bit more … Continue reading →

August 20, 2014

6:22 AM | Behavior Analysts to Children with Disabilities: Dissent Is Not Allowed
Image SourceAlthough their academic literature stresses alternatives to punishment, Board Certified Behavior Analysts can easily ignore or even punish children who complain about their punishments. According to the consent language of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board's conduct "guidelines" for behavior analysts, if a child or incapacitated adult says, "Leave me alone," and a parent or guardian signs a legally-written informed consent document to an individual's behavior change program, […]

August 17, 2014

5:19 PM | Aid Organizations Working in Ebola Regions
Last night, Ian Mackay posted this very disturbing logistics/supply chain chart, showing that some personal protective equipment stock in countries battling Ebola are at “zero” – and have been for a while. Articles from the

August 16, 2014

2:50 PM | No, American Doctors, You Don’t Need Tyvek In Case of Ebola
One of the more interesting aspects of the constant media coverage of the latest Ebola outbreak has been watching how developed nations like the United States, Britain, and Canada assume that the entire world is Just Like Them. The Seattle … Continue reading →

August 15, 2014

4:56 AM | Ferguson Police warned me I was committing a federal telephone offense. I was not.
This story of my unpleasant encounter with the Ferguson Police Department is minor compared to the militant assault the people on the ground have suffered. I would like to document it here nevertheless to confirm that their stories about the Ferguson Police are real. I am typing from memory 12:30 am Friday, not yet in bed since the incident.Earlier Thursday evening I called the phone number for the Ferguson Police Department as listed on their website. I asked to speak with their media […]

August 13, 2014

11:49 PM | Recorded interview: St. Louis County Police Department officer: "numerous" Ferguson witnesses
Embedded at the bottom of this post is the audio recording of a telephone interview I conducted today with the media relations officer of the St. Louis County Police Department. They are currently investigating the shooting death of Michael Brown in the city of Ferguson, Missouri which happened Saturday, August 9, 2014.Regarding police restriction of media access to Ferguson, he said he had not seen this while he was in Ferguson every night. He said the scope of the county investigation only […]

August 12, 2014

6:00 PM | Paternalism, Procedure, Precedent: The Ethics of Using Unproven Therapies in an Ebola Outbreak
The WHO medical ethics panel convened Monday to discuss the ethics of using experimental treatments for Ebola in West African nations affected by the disease. I am relieved to note that this morning they released their unanimous recommendation: “it is … Continue reading →

August 09, 2014

5:44 PM | Some thoughts about the suicide of Yoshiki Sasai.
In the previous post I suggested that it’s a mistake to try to understand scientific activity (including misconduct and culpable mistakes) by focusing on individual scientists, individual... -- Read more on
1:58 AM | When focusing on individual responsibility obscures shared responsibility.
Over many years of writing about ethics in the conduct of science, I’ve had occasion to consider many cases of scientific misconduct and misbehavior, instances of honest mistakes and culpable... -- Read more on

August 07, 2014

8:58 PM | Wielding a Red Pen: Correcting a Fear-mongering Ebola Piece with Facts
If you catch me on Twitter, or read the fantastic Red Ink, you might have seen my corrections and edits to the first page of a genuinely awful, fear-mongering piece on Ebola that was inexplicably published by Pacific Standard.1 You … Continue reading →
1:07 AM | The Flaw in “Where Did it Come From?!” Ebola Panic Narratives
I am an aficionado, if you will, of the mystery plague novel. I can probably place the blame for that somewhere between my father and the science fiction he raised me on, and Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain.1 And of … Continue reading →

August 06, 2014

5:32 PM | Ebola, Paternalism, and the Need for WHO’s Medical Ethics Review of Experimental Treatments
The World Health Organization has released a statement (in full, bottom of blog post) that they are going to convene, early next week, a panel of medical ethicists to “explore the use of experimental treatment in the ongoing Ebola outbreak … Continue reading →
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