Great news for bees…

…with a new review published in the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability!

The authors, including renowned UK bee expert Professor Dave Goulson, present the facts about neonicotinoids and pollinators. They discuss the background to the issue, and present evidence for how these pesticides really affect all insects, including bees. Most importantly, they also explain how previous ‘field tests’ that the big political decisions are being based on, “lack the statistical power” required to be considered as true ‘evidence’.

The authors conclude:

Their wide application, persistence in soil and water and potential for uptake by succeeding crops and wild plants make neonicotinoids bioavailable to pollinators in sublethal concentrations for most of the year.

Not only is this great news for bees, it also shows how imperative it is for governments and regulatory bodies to understand and critically assess ALL the evidence before implementing policy decisions.

© Manu Saunders 2013

What’s Science Mummy?

[an edited version of this is published at The Conversation: ‘Science education the key to better public debate‘]

Late last year, the Media reported gleefully that Australians were “more interested in science than sport!”. This news came via a poll run by ANU which you can download here.

The first lot of data presented in the report shows the respondents ranking their interest in “a range of topical issues”. This data shows that we are more interested in health, medical, general scientific and environmental issues or discoveries than music, politics, ‘sports news’ or films.  Well, ‘sports news’ isn’t necessarily ‘sport’ is it? I prefer to watch an actual game of rugby than a sports news bulletin, and I’m sure others do to…but that’s just being nitpicky.

But the report doesn’t tell us the demographic range of the respondents. All it tells us is that the sample size was relatively small (only 1200 people), and less than half of those surveyed (43.2%) actually submitted their responses!

The really interesting bit is the rest of the report that didn’t make the news. Continue reading