Talk: Failures of Scientific Integrity in IAAF Regulatory Policy Making

Here are the slides (in PDF) from my talk given at the French Embassy in Washington, DC earlier this week. I also shared it as a Twitter talk, linked above and here.

Comments welcomed.

Caster Semenya ruling: sports federation is flouting ethics rules


I have a Worldview column in Nature on the flouting of research and medical ethics guidelines by the IAAF in its rush to eliminate certain women from elite sport.

While controversy swirls around issues of sport, sex, gender and fairness, another crucial issue is being overlooked: in my view, such athletes are in effect being asked to act as guinea pigs in medical research, but without the oversight or qualifications that society demands.

Read the whole thing for free here.

A New US Areal No Drought Record


The graph above shows data for the entire period covered by the US Drought Monitor. This week marks the first time in the record that >90% of the US has experienced conditions of NO drought. Some further info:

  • Since 2000, the linear trend in the data indicates that the overall proportion of the US experiencing no drought conditions increased from about 50% to about 60%.
  • According to the Drought Monitor, more than 283 million people currently live in regions experiencing no drought. This is the most people in the history of the US to experience no drought conditions at once.

Climate change is real, and deserving of of aggressive policies for mitigation and adaptation. But the significance of the issue does not subtract from the importance of accurately presenting the science of extremes.