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Weekend Reads 11/28/20

AstraZeneca’s best COVID vaccine result was a fluke. Experts have questions

Pooling results from trials in the United Kingdom and another in Brazil, the researchers found the two-full-dose regimen was 62 percent effective at preventing COVID-19—a good, but not great result. The half-dose/full-dose regimen, on the other hand, appeared 90 percent effective—a rather impressive result.

The trouble is, there was never supposed to be a half-dose-full-dose regimen in any of the trials.

In Obama’s new memoir, a warning for Biden’s climate plans

In A Promised Land, Obama says that he and his aides first believed that they would get those votes through McCain, a known supporter of cap-and-trade. “In the (very) brief halo of good feeling right after the election, he and I discussed working together to get a climate bill passed,” Obama writes. But in the new, post-election GOP, Republicans weren’t rewarded for bipartisanship. McCain, facing a reelection challenge from a right-wing radio host, soon dropped off the bill entirely.

How America Outgrew the Pilgrims

In some ways, the quiet passing of this event right-sized the role of the Pilgrims. The colony they established, Plymouth, was a small, struggling outpost that never achieved the prosperity or influence of its close cousin, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, settled 10 years later by nonseparatist Puritans. It ceased to exist by 1691. Puritanism—both in Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay—fell into a state of decline within a generation of each colony’s founding.

This Is How Biden Can Lead with Science

The Biden administration will start with a great many challenges. One of them will be to avoid the trap of replacing the destructive biases of the Trump administration with biases of their own.

By authentically welcoming a range of perspectives—and insisting on a common standard of evaluation for all science, rather than privileging data based on political affinity rather than scientific quality—the incoming team can ensure the very best science in the world is utilized to surface, articulate, and fashion the most effective solutions.

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