OK, guys. Medical science is awesome. Medical scientists have saved more lives through washing hands, antibiotics and vaccines than all the wars in humankind have taken. We have wiped smallpox off the face of the earth and are going well with polio and TB. BUT, that isn’t to say all scientists are great. Just like every field, there are fantastic people who have cancer-curing lightning shoot out of their arse and people who are wastes of carbon. Human stupidity is a disease of sorts and I thought it would be a good idea to explore some of the cock-ups scientists have made in a new series of articles that I’ve dubbed “Hump-day Cock-ups“.
First up is a topical news story that happened just across the road from us. A couple of weeks ago, the bacteria causing Q fever was releasedout into the open and at least two people (apparently and anecdotally four people now, but I’m not paid enough for journalistic integrity) ended up sick from it. Thankfully, they both recovered. This is basically the equivalent to The Army accidentally dropping a loaded M16 out onto the street. It is a Very Big Bad Thing. I’ll explain why. Continue reading