A tetralogy of science news

Four more picks from the latest science news by David Bradley

  • Tales of the unexpected: a night with Tim Radford – My mentor at The Guardian, Tim Radford, told tales of science writing at a special event last week and warned the audience that the public can be very squeamish about new scientific practices, whether it is test-tube babies or heart transplants. This reaction, he warns us with his long view of how societies adapt to science, is a fleeting one.
  • Reboxetine doesn’t work – Reboxetine is not approved for the drug market in the US, but is prescribed elsewhere. Now, a German study reveals that this antidepressant doesn't really work, but that's not the only problem, there are issues with the way drugs are tested highlighted by this finding. You see, reboxetine works fine in animal models, but has been shown to be ineffective and potentially harmful in people.
  • Why was that paper retracted? –  Editor to Retraction Watch: “It’s none of your damn business”, well it is very much the science community's business, whatever the reason we should be told, it's the only way peer review and the scientific can progress beyond the current status quo that has existed for several hundred years and serves the publishers and editorial boards more than it does the scientists.
  • Free chemistry dictionary for word processors spellcheck – Adam Azman has just released version 3.0 of his free chemistry dictionary for Word and OpenOffice, which sciencebase hosts. We will be uploading the new version ASAP.