Saturday, October 14, 2006

Science "inaction"

Been following up on some mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya in India and chanced upon this report at news @ Its a report on the apparently ineffective mosquito control programmes at the grassroots level.

"BANGALORE A series of outbreaks of the viral diseases dengue and chikungunya in India are being blamed on the collapse of mosquito control programmes and poorly planned urbanization."

What was a particularly poignant retort to big-budget molecular science was this paragraph. I read it as "scientists get off your asses and do some active work..."

"But Palakkad Krishnaiyer Rajagopalan, former chief of the Vector Control Research Centre in Pondicherry, says that beefing up research won't solve the problem. It is operational failures that are at fault, he says, not a lack of study. "Nobody wants to do fieldwork," he told Nature. "Our scientists are happy devising mosquito control strategies using molecular-biology tools and sitting in air-conditioned rooms.""

See International Costal Cleanup Singapore, a neat case-in-point where people are herded into action and cleaning up the mangroves and beaches. Not that science is not involved, as much data collection is being done besides the collection of trash.

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