So long for now… And a few parting thoughts.

Posted 3 February 2013 by Victoria Charlton

It’s funny how life goes.  After an embarrassingly short tenure here on SciLogs, I am now the proud owner of a shiny new job in science policy, and will sadly be putting away my netbook for the time being in the name of political neutrality.   But before I sign-off for the last time, I thought I’d share some of the ideas that have been on my “to blog” list over the past few weeks.  Thoughts are my own, as... Read more

On the Curious Science of Christmas Shopping

Posted 21 December 2012 by Victoria Charlton

It struck me yesterday, while battling my way around a jam-packed shopping centre in Essex, that anthropologists must really like Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I usually enjoy Christmas too. But for those scientists who get their kicks out of the study of humanity, the prospect of the annual festival of spending must be truly mouth-watering. Because what I experienced yesterday – I find it quite traumatic to talk about – was nothing less than mass hysteria, brought about by... Read more

I say “Pharma”, you say?… Philanthropist?

Posted 6 November 2012 by Victoria Charlton

Generosity is a rare quality in business, and it’s certainly not the first word that springs to mind when thinking about the drugs industry.  Big Pharma is not widely known for its Big Heartedness.  So, last January, when I heard about AstraZeneca’s plans to give away valuable data on several of its patented compounds, I was curious about what exactly had been slipped into the tea up at AZ HQ.  Had CEO David Brennan accidentally mistaken an exciting new schizophrenia... Read more

Electronic cigarettes: smoke without fire?

Posted 24 October 2012 by Victoria Charlton

“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times.” Mark Twain           For my first blog post here on SciLogs, I thought I’d choose a subject that we can all agree on.  Smoking.  It’s bad, right?  I mean, really bad.  Obviously.  But are there any exceptions?  Are all cigarettes really unequivocally, indisputably, “disgusting-habit-breath-stinks-probably-going-to-kill-you” bad, or are some just “waste-of-money-don’t-see-the-point-you’re-feeding-an-addiction” bad?  As a famous novelist once (almost) said: are all cigarettes equal,... Read more