Author Archives: Bill Gardner

About Bill Gardner

A health care researcher and a child and quantitative psychologist by training. I am an American living in Canada and am Professor of Paediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Community Health & Epidemiology at Dalhousie University; and Professor of Pediatrics, Psychology, and Psychiatry at The Ohio State University. I also blog at The Incidental Economist (theincidentaleconomist.com) and you can follow me @Bill_Gardner on Twitter.

The plight of poorly-educated US women: Trickle down isn’t happening

I have a post on The Incidental Economist documenting the decades-long and continuing decline in life expectancy among poorly-educated white women in the US. The figure below (from J. Olshansky and colleagues) shows the sharp decline in life expectancy among … Continue reading

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Conservative Reformers and Equality of Opportunity

Avik Roy argues in the National Review Online that For many of today’s conservative reformers [e.g., Roy, Reihan Salam, or Ross Douthat], equality of opportunity — especially for the poor — is the highest moral and political priority. As AEI’s … Continue reading

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The new consensus on IQ

The relationships among intelligence, race, human development, and genetics are among the most important topics for students of inequality. These topics are also sites for recurring ideological battles, most recently involving Jason Richwine’s research on Hispanic immigration to the US. … Continue reading

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Predicting smoking risk from your genes

Your genes can increase your risk of developing a smoking habit. In a great new study, Avshalom Caspi and his colleagues show that you can use individual genomic information to predict (to some degree) who will or will not smoke. … Continue reading

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DSM-5: Obsolete on Arrival?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, version 5 (DSM-5) will soon be officially released. This is the American Psychiatric Association’s official taxonomy of the mental disorders and the criteria that clinicians should use to identify and treat them. (And to bill … Continue reading

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Is parsimonious medicine only about avoiding wasteful care?

Jon Tilburt and Christine Cassel make a distinction between parsimonious medicine and rationing: parsimonious medicine is not rationing; it means delivering appropriate health care that fits the needs and circumstances of patients and that actively avoids wasteful care—care that does … Continue reading

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AIDS, Science, and the Well-Being of the Poor

Science reports on the startling increase in life expectancy in southern Africa accomplished through programs that supplied highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to HIV-infected residents. This began in 2004 (see Figure). Since then, life expectancy at age 15 for the affected … Continue reading

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Liberté, egalité, randomiser! On Obama’s Pre-K Initiative

The standout policy announcement in President Obama’s State of the Union address was his commitment to implement universal pre-kindergarten education. This is wonderful, but everything depends on how it is implemented. What I want to see is a further commitment … Continue reading

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‘Existential Risk’ as hysterical rhetoric?

I claim that global warming should be viewed as an existential risk to humanity. The trajectory of global temperature is headed to a region where the consequences to humanity are uncertain, but have a large probability tail that includes true … Continue reading

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Trapped on Spaceship Earth

In the last post, I summarized arguments from Nick Bostrum about the Fermi Paradox (the surprising absence of evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations). Bostrum suggested that there may be a ‘Great Filter’, that is, that there is a problem (or problems) … Continue reading

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