Taboos of Science





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Published on Jul 30, 2012

Hank discusses some of the taboos which have plagued scientific inquiry in the past and a few that still exist today.

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Comments • 16,072

Ed.... ward...?
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"But not in Montana!" aw yeah
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Beccy A
Biological differences between races (even though some research has been done i.e.: black people have sickle cell anemia more often than any other race; asians and native americans tend to handle alcohol worse than europeans because they don't have the same genetic adaptations to consuming alcohol in large quantities... but talking about the research is still frowned upon), biological differences between the sexes (heart attacks have completely different symptoms in women, but most people don't know that! Some medications affect men and women differently. Male and female brains have differences, which people get all butthurt about but really it has more to do with behavior than ability so I don't understand why...). You covered that studying cell development in human fetuses is taboo, as is screwing with the human genome, but really, anything involving human development is somewhat taboo. Abortion, genetic screening of sperm/ova/fertilized eggs for disease... there are even cheap tests for certain diseases that are not widely available because there's a weak taboo about telling parents that a baby has certain diseases before they're born out of a fear that the parents will abandon the baby (hopefully to social services) or if detected early enough, abort the pregnancy. Mental illness is also very taboo. More in society in general than in science, but the bias that people have in the general public does affect what kinds of research is done regarding mental illness. There is less of a focus on what causes mental illness and more of a focus on how to manage symptoms, which is exactly opposite of how we research other kinds of disease. When we focus on symptoms, we develop treatments... when we focus on causes, we develop cures, but while everyone is up in arms about finding a cure for cancer, nobody is looking for a cure for depression or anxiety, only effective treatments. ANY RESEARCH involving illegal drugs. From marijuana to psychotropic drugs like LSD, there has been very little serious research done, and what research exists is often disregarded even when the results of said research might be relevant. Marijuana might be really effective at treating the symptoms of PTSD, and LSD combined with specific types of therapy might even cure it... but we don't actually know because there's only been a few small studies done at all, so the results are not conclusive. Hell, even legal drugs! Cigarettes used to be prescribed to help with digestive issues because tobacco is actually really good for that. It's also common knowledge among military that nicotine helps manage symptoms of PTSD... but that's kind of like saying it's common knowledge that chicken noodle soup cures the common cold... probably not entirely true, but we DO NOT KNOW for sure because we don't do the research, because tobacco causes cancer. Never mind that if we figure out if tobacco actually does help with these things better than current medicines and treatments that we have, and assuming that it does, develop medicines and treatments based on the mechanism, we could actually create new medicines that work for those specific purposes WITHOUT the side effect of shitty cancer.
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Mole May
i laughed too much when u did the joke about cloning and then edited 3 versions of yourself omg!!
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Dr Shaym
There's a medical procedure called "Fecal microbiota transplantation", also known as a "stool transplant". It involves taking the fecal matter from one person and putting in another. The idea is to introduce good bacteria from a healthy person into the digestive tract of a diseased person in order to displace pathogens.
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Teagan P
Some people still think vaccines are "dangerous quackery."
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I guess you can call that last one a "tapoo".
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Human post-mortem reanimation. Nobody talks about it. It seems like the type of thing that humans would work on tirelessly. We sort of decided that death is death and there is nothing we can do once they are dead. We are afraid of Frankenstein's monster I suppose.
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Rick Hinojosa
Why is consciousness a taboo!?! This topic has intrigued me for as long as I've researched the human brain! What kind of surprises me is that I didn't know it was a taboo.
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Eugenics Eugenics Eugenics Eugenics Eugenics
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