What We’re Reading: 04/09/21


A few highlights from around the web that made it into our feeds this week.

Troubling podcast puts JAMA, the ‘voice of medicine,’ under fire for its mishandling of race

Medical journals influence every aspect of medicine, from public attention to clinical care. Editorial leadership determines the scholarship that is published or not. So the airing of a podcast episode hosted by two JAMA editors (for Continuing Medical Education credit!) in which they dismiss and deny the existence of racism in medicine only shined a light on what has been a driving force of systemic racism in healthcare.

The limiting of papers published on how racism affects health and the sidelining of research that studies racism to op-eds or "perspectives" while continuing to publish scholarship criticized as "biomedical racism to a T" has been status quo. There is much work to do. (From statnews.com)

Kati Kariko Helped Shield the World From the Coronavirus

The incredible story of a scientist whose lifelong research focused on mRNA—the genetic strand that plays a pivotal role in the protein synthesis of a cell—has led to the creation of Covid-19 vaccines. For decades Dr. Kariko was convinced mRNA could be used to create vaccines and medicines, yet her career in research was never stable to a single lab. This profile paints a picture of a hero of the bench, a scientist devoted to her work who could care less about monetary gain. Lessons abound for each of us personally and the scientific community at large. (From nytimes.com)

So What’s the Point of Playtime?

Ah, the mystery of the playful mind. A wonderful article that explores playfulness, the function of fun for fun’s sake. Research indicates that play does not seem to have an effect on creativity, intelligence, or emotional control. Its value is both clear and elusive, not quite a learning tool but perhaps a coping tool. Looking at play across species, across ages, still leaves so many unknowns yet a single constant: “play is fun, and fun is good.” (From theatlantic.com)

Well, now we have to end with a little fun.

How To Have A Conversation Again

Reentering social life, a review of where to begin and what to talk about. Good ole fashion tips of the trade from Daily Shouts. (From newyorker.com)

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