Europe has a science problem.

56% of French and 17% of Italians have used homeopathy, which is considered a medication under the law in those countries. There is no evidence, anywhere, in the scientific literature that homeopathy is any better than a placebo.
Glyphosate was declared non-carcinogenic by the EU's EFSA and ECHA, as well as the US's EPA. It's the most used weedkiller in the world and it's crucial to ensure reliable food production. It's banned in France, the Netherlands and Austria.
GMO crops are the linchpin of agricultural modernisation in the developing world, and they're credited with saving millions from starvation. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that existing GMO food poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food.
Yet, European countries regulated GMOs into inexistence because of - yes you guessed it - the precautionary principle; EU and nation-states' verious moratoria on GMOs violate international trade rules, at the expense of exporters in developing countries (and European consumers!)
The AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective, as per EMA assessment yesterday, MHRA etc. In the past weeks, European governments have done their utmost to undermine the most affordable vaccine in use - likely the only hope to fight covid-19 outside the Global North.
Just like American climate change denial horrifies us, we should start working on our home-grown science problems. They're unworthy of modern societies, and hold back our economies, our health and our productive capacity.
(A note: a prior version included a point on nuclear power. While I think that the main objections to nuclear in Europe fall under the same category of anti-scientific risk-aversion, concerns over waste disposal are also logistical in nature. I've deleted because off-topic.)

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More from @leonardocarella

11 Mar
Ogni giorno in Italia muoiono ~2000 persone. La probabilità di morire per un individuo in un giorno è quindi 2k/60m in media. Se 150k persone ricevono il vaccino in un giorno, ci si aspetta che 150k*(2k/60m) = 5 persone muoiano nello stesso giorno in cui vengono vaccinate.
Le morti di infarto sono circa 120k all'anno, quindi circa 330 al giorno. Quindi ci si dovrebbe aspettare che 150k*(2k/60m) = 0.825 ≈ 1 persona muoia d'infarto nello stesso giorno in cui viene vaccinata.
Questo è senza contare che c'è una relazione positiva fra rischio d'infarto e priorità di accesso ai vaccini (dovuta, per esempio, all'età). Quindi non solo non c'è prova che gli incidenti isolati riportati dalla stampa non sono in rapporto di causa-effetto con il vaccino...
Read 4 tweets
27 Feb
On a first read of Worlds of Welfare, students often have troubles figuring out what it means that the conservative (continental European) welfare systems are hierarchical and status-differentiating. The Italian vaccination programme is set to become the new canonical example.
"Sicily: trainee lawyers also included among priority groups"…
In Tuscany, university lecturers and admin are being vaccinated, but doctoral students are up in arms that they were excluded.…
Read 4 tweets
25 Feb
I am terrified at the potential mess they could make of House of Dragons. The Dance of the Dragons is great raw material, but it doesn't come with extensive source dialogue, and lends itself to the temptation of going full-on CGI at the expense of the (highly complex) plot.
The fact that the two main characters - Rhaenyra and Alicent - are Strong Female Leads™ also comes with the risk of repeating the mistakes of the Dornish plot, where insistence on the Girl Power stuff is just one-note and results in flat, unlikeable characters.
Another way of screwing it up could be just overimposing the Starks/Lannisters boring goodies-vs-sexy baddies dynamics on the Blacks-vs-Green civil war. No. The Blacks are not the goodies. Give us two sides of deeply flawed characters to cheer for.
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
A word of caution: many aspects of the social, political and informational mess that led to extremists storming the US Capitol are present in Western Europe too. (1)
I. Political Violence

Wednesday didn’t happen in a vacuum: it happened in a context of rising right-wing terrorism, aimed at their adversaries in the elite (pipe bombs mailed to Obama, Biden, Clinton, DNC) and among the public (Charlottesville, El Paso, Pittsburgh, Charleston).
Europe has seen its share of the same violence.

Against parliamentarians: Jo Cox, Labour Party MP, and Walter Lübke (CDU politician in Hesse) have been assassinated. Plots against other politicians, in Germany and the UK, led to further convictions. (3)
Read 24 tweets
6 Jan
hey @tomhfh your fan club is angery ImageImageImageImage
me reaping me sowing @tomhfh ImageImageImageImage
"soyboy" @tomhfh ImageImageImageImage
Read 4 tweets
9 Nov 20
There's an interesting PhD on the politics of whiteness to be written on the electoral shifts in 2016 and 2020 in (1) Scots-Irish areas in Appalachia, (2) German-Scandinavian areas in the Midwest, and (3) 20th century Irish-Polish-Italian white migration areas in the Northeast. Image
This is what the arrow map looked like in 2016.

Basically, Trump overperformed *again* in 2020 in the places where he did best in 2016 (Appalachia), and fell back in the places where in 2016 he overperformed only slightly (Midwest) or just barely (Northeast). Image
Now I obviously know nothing about this, but I'd love to read up on whether and why white voters in the three regions differ in their political attitudes - especially in terms of whether part of it comes down to distinct geographic subcultures beyond social composition.
Read 4 tweets

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