“Work and leisure are complementary parts of the same living process and cannot be separated without destroying the joy of work and the bliss of leisure.”
Much has been said about the difference between money and wealth and how we, as individuals, can make more of the latter, but the divergence between the two is arguably even more important the larger scale of nations and the global economy. What does it really mean to create wealth for people — for humanity — as opposed to money for governments and corporations?
That’s precisely what the influential German-born British economist, statistician, Rhodes Scholar, and economic theorist E. F. Schumacher explores in his seminal 1973 book Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered (public library) — a magnificent collection of essays at the intersection of economics, ethics, and environmental awareness, which earned Schumacher the prestigious Prix Européen de l’Essai Charles Veillon award and was deemed by The Times Literary Supplement one of the 100 most important books published since WWII. Sharing an ideological kinship with such influential minds as Tolstoy and Gandhi, Schumacher’s is a masterwork of intelligent counterculture, applying history’s deepest, most timeless wisdom to the most pressing issues of modern life in an effort to educate, elevate and enlighten.
The efficient market hypothesis is a special case in finance. It explains only tiny fractions of observed phenomena. Perhaps its major contribution is a formal definition of an ideal market world, to which policy formulations may be directed and against which they can be measured. Indeed, it seems unlikely that the infirmities of market action ever will be so minuscule as to render the EMH more than a special case, though it may explain more in the future than it does now. However things evolve, during the evolutionary course the shackles of the EMH should be unloosed from corporate and investing culture.
Part I presents behavioral finance as to how prices of stocks are formed?including a theoretical framework, empirical evidence, and psychological explanations. It integrates these materials into a model of market and investor behavior that can be used as a lens through which to analyze a wide variety of legal rules and policies bearing on market regulation and corporate governance. Part II is a series of prescriptions on the implications of this account relating to investor governance. It starts with a proposal to promote and expand investor education concerning the cognitive biases behavioral finance exposes. It proceeds to introduce and propose reforms in three critical areas of law and policy that this model impacts: (1) the market regulatory environment in which investors participate, including suitability and churning rules and policies relating to day trading, margin trading, and circuit breakers; (2) the legal duties of boards of directors in making capital allocation decisions such as equity offerings, dividend distributions and stock acquisitions; and (3) issues in corporate and securities litigation, principally the reliance requirement in securities fraud cases and the stock market exception to the appraisal remedy in cash out mergers.
The efficient market idea turns out to be an aspiration worth pursuing, but one never likely to be realized. These proposals and prescriptions therefore operate both to push the reality toward the ideal and to deal with the gap that will persist. The article has a major public policy subtext too, at stake in the discussion of how prices are formed is the overarching question of capital allocation. Society is better off in terms of aggregate wealth when its resources are allocated to those best able to deploy them. Investors allocating capital based on rational calculation will produce that result, while those allocating based on sentiment will not.
A word on methodology concludes the piece concerning where the piece fits in the bourgeoning legal literature drawing on behavioral social science. Throughout the intellectual history and genealogy of behavioral finance, legal scholars with a social science inclination have drawn on various strands of thought pioneered in these fields, importing the work of the cognitive psychologists, principally behavioral decision theory (which they call BDT). Concerns of the lead importers center on the usefulness of BDT to legal scholarship and policymaking generally include whether all it will do is furnish criticism of law and economics and fail to offer its own positive theories of law or normative prescriptions. Whatever power BDT has for legal scholarship in general, this Article should leave no doubt that it furnishes a positive theory of market behavior quite different than that of efficiency (imported and promoted by some law and economics devotees) and that this theory carries with it substantial normative implications for law and legal policy in the fields of securities and corporate law.
To test the hypothesis that lecturing maximizes learning and course performance, we metaanalyzed 225 studies that reported data on examination scores or failure rates when comparing student performance in undergraduate science, technology, engineer- ing, and mathematics (STEM) courses under traditional lecturing versus active learning. The effect sizes indicate that on average, student performance on examinations and concept inventories in- creased by 0.47 SDs under active learning ( n = 158 studies), and that the odds ratio for failing was 1.95 under traditional lecturing ( n = 67 studies). These results indicate that average examination scores improved by about 6% in active learning sections, and that students in classes with traditional lecturing were 1.5 times more likely to fail than were students in classes with active learning. Heterogeneity analyses indicated that both results hold across the STEM disciplines, that active learning increases scores on con- cept inventories more than on course examinations, and that ac- tive learning appears effective across all class sizes — although the greatest effects are in small ( n = 50) classes. Trim and fill analyses and fail-safe n calculations suggest that the results are not due to publication bias. The results also appear robust to variation in the methodological rigor of the included studies, based on the quality of controls over student quality and instructor identity. This is the largest and most comprehensive metaanalysis of undergraduate STEM education published to date. The results raise questions about the continued use of traditional lecturing as a control in research studies, and support active learning as the preferred, empirically validated teaching practice in regular classrooms.
This article introduces the emergency purchasing situation (EPS) as a distinct buying context. EPSs stem from an unexpected event (unanticipated need or timing of a need), as well as high product importance, which are associated with a short time frame for consumer decision-making. Our conceptual review integrates largely disconnected strands of research and theories relevant to EPSs and offers a series of independent propositions to understand how these situations might affect consumer decision-making, specifically heuristic versus reflective information processing in product evaluation. We discuss changes induced by the buying context in terms of regulatory focus, perceived time pressure, and stress. Our propositions further account for purchase involvement in the form of product importance, purchase risk, and product substitutability. Finally, we consider how individual differences (expertise and trust) may affect evaluation processes. Our discussion reflects on the implications of our model, avenues for future research, and how an understanding of EPSs can be used to improve managerial practice.
There may be 147 companies in the world that own everything, as colleague Bruce Upbin points out and they are dominated by investment companies as Eric Savitz rightly points out. But it’s not you and I who really control those companies, even though much of our money is in them. Given the nature of how money is invested, there are four companies in the shadows that really control those companies that own everything.
Un segnale critico circa lo stato del corrente dibattito teorico in economia, è come frasi del tipo “la scuola di pensiero neoclassica non è l’unica” e “l’economia è un argomento politico e non una scienza” risuonino alle orecchie dei più come radicali. Nonostante l’approccio Neoclassico abbia dominato gli ultimi decenni della teoria economica, Chang è convinto che “non esista un solo modo ‘giusto’ di fare economia”, e che la realtà economica sia talmente complessa da non poter essere totalmente analizzata da una sola teoria.
“Esistono almeno nove diverse scuole di economia, ognuna con i propri punti di forza e debolezza,[...] che concettualizzano diverse unità economiche di base (ad es. individui contro le classi), si concentrano su diverse prospettive (ad esempio la macroeconomia contro la microeconomia), si pongono domande diverse (come massimizzare l’efficienza con risorse date oppure aumentare le nostre capacità di produrre tali risorse nel lungo periodo), e provano a fornirci risposte con differenti strumenti analitici (ad es. la razionalità assoluta contro la razionalità limitata).
The Facebook Data Science group that experimented on user emotions until recently operated with few boundaries and little oversight. Since its creation in 2007, Facebook's Data Science group has run hundreds of tests. One published study deconstructed how families communicate, another delved into the causes of loneliness. One test looked at how social behaviors spread through networks. In 2010, the group measured how "political mobilization messages" sent to 61 million people caused people in social networks to vote in the 2010 congressional elections.
Paul Glimcher Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making, NYU -------------------------- There is now compelling evidence that neuroeconomists have identified the biological signature of preference. Brain activity in the ventral striatum and the medial prefrontal cortex appears to be the physical instantiation of the mental process of liking and disliking for everything from consumer goods to leisure activities. Glimcher will present evidence that activity in these brain areas can now be used econometrically to predict choice. Standard neurobiological models of network convergence can be combined with these measurements to take these insights a step further -- allowing both for the accurate prediction of new classes of choice errors at a behavioral level and for the development of choice procedures to minimize those errors. These are examples of how economics and neuroscience are being drawn together so we come to understand the nature of human decision-making at the levels of economics, psychology and neuroscience.
Federally funded projects in several states and localities are testing ways to use convenience and peer pressure to get prison inmates and people who owe child support to make better decisions.
In Texas, most parents who go to prison still owe child support even though they might not have a job. That’s a problem for inmates because the typical inmate responsible for chlld support payments in the United States leaves state prison about$20,000 in debt, making it harder to pay for housing, transportation and food. It can also be a problem for state child welfare agencies because if states record too many cases of late and unpaid child support payments, they are at risk of losing some federal funding.
Technically, Texas already has a solution: The state offers a process where inmates can lower the amount that inmates owe due to their lower income level while in prison. It’s called modifying their child support order status. But fewer than a third of eligible inmates take advantage of it.
"We are living in an age when sleep is more comfortable than ever and yet more elusive."
The Ancient Greeks believed that one fell asleep when the brain filled with blood and awakened once it drained back out. Nineteenth-century philosophers contended that sleep happened when the brain was emptied of ambitions and stimulating thoughts. “If sleep doesn’t serve an absolutely vital function, it is the greatest mistake evolution ever made,” biologist Allan Rechtschaffen once remarked. Even today, sleep remains one of the most poorly understood human biological functions, despite some recent strides in understanding the “social jetlag” of our internal clocks and the relationship between dreaming and depression. In Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep (public library), journalist David K. Randall — who stumbled upon the idea after crashing violently into a wall while sleepwalking — explores “the largest overlooked part of your life and how it affects you even if you don’t have a sleep problem.” From gender differences to how come some people snore and others don’t to why we dream, he dives deep into this mysterious third of human existence to illuminate what happens when night falls and how it impacts every aspect of our days.
Imagine you have some kind of voice within you asking, 'Am I behaving morally or not?'" says Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist and author of the book The Honest Truth About Dishonesty. "That voice sometimes is asleep."
Reason TV's Naomi Brockwell talked to Ariely at Tribeca Film Festival's Games For Change conference, where Ariely and his team set up a "Truth Box," a sort of confessional where participants could record themselves talking about a meaningful lie they'd told in their lives.
"Having to face some of your own past and some of the lies you've told... is actually a very interesting process for us as researchers and, I think, also very cleansing for the people who are participating in it," says Ariely.
Ariely studies economics by running behavioral studies in a lab setting and says he's discovered that people are less likely to lie when presented with a "moral reminder" of some sort. This can be as simple as something like a disclaimer urging participants not to lie. But he's also demonstrated that urging participants swear on the Bible or recall the Ten Commandments before running an experiment resulted in less cheating overall.
An individual's penchat for cheating, Ariely says, is determined by the balance between two conflicting desires. Most people want to gain the edge that cheating or lying might give them but also don't want to think of themselves as immoral. Ariely has uncovered through experimentation that creative people tend to cheat more on average.
"Imagine it's all about rationalization. You want to look at yourself in the mirror and feel good about it. You also want to benefit from cheating. It's all about telling stories. If you're creative, you can tell better stories, which means you can cheat a little bit more and still feel good about yourself," says Ariely.
Watch the video above for a deeper discussion about cheating, lying, and what to do about it. Approximately 7 minutes.
LONDON – In last month’s European Parliament election, euroskeptic and extremist parties won 25% of the popular vote, with the biggest gains chalked up in France, the United Kingdom, and Greece. These results were widely, and correctly, interpreted as showing the degree of disconnect between an arrogant European elite and ordinary citizens.
Less noticed, because less obviously political, are today’s intellectual rumblings, of which French economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a withering indictment of growing inequality, is the latest manifestation. We may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the neoliberal capitalist consensus that has prevailed throughout the West since the 1980s – and that many claim led to the economic disaster of 2008-2009.
Particularly important is the growing discontent of economics students with the university curriculum. Undergraduates’ discontent matters, because economics has long been the West’s political lodestar.
This discontent was born in the “post-autistic economics movement,” which started in Paris in 2000, and spread to the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Its adherents’ main complaint was that the mainstream economics taught to students had become a branch of mathematics, disconnected from reality.
The revolt made little progress in the years of the “Great Moderation” of the 2000s, but was revived following the 2008 crisis. Two important links with the earlier network are US economist James Galbraith, the son of John Kenneth Galbraith, and British economist Ha-Joon Chang, author of the best-selling 23 Things They Don’t Tell You about Capitalism.
In a manifesto published in April, economics students at the University of Manchester advocated an approach “that begins with economic phenomena and then gives students a toolkit to evaluate how well different perspectives can explain it,” rather than with mathematical models based on unreal assumptions. Significantly, Andrew Haldane, Executive Director for Financial Stability at the Bank of England, wrote the introduction.
People tend to stereotype psychological phenomena. It’s tempting to think that stress is always bad, resilience is always good, and so forth. Like other stereotypes, these beliefs help us neaten the world and extract signal from noise. Also like other stereotypes, such beliefs are misleading and often harmful. Call me pessimistic, but whenever the media breathlessly praises a practice or trait—meditation and grit come to mind—I always wonder about its downsides. Jogging is great for you, but not always, and not in every way (ask my knees). The same goes for happiness.
My own favorite human characteristic, empathy, is no different. Recently, empathy has gotten lots of good press. Books like The Age of Empathy, The Empathic Civilization, and The Better Angels of Our Nature suggest that empathy is on the rise, and might provide a cure for many of our social ills. Barack Obama is likely the most empathy-positive president in history, often suggesting that curing our country’s “empathy deficit” is mission critical.
But empathy is not always used in the service of good. Two papers last month highlight this idea through evidence that people use empathy to use other people, manipulating them through a savvy understanding of emotions.
A controlled voting system can help a community manage resources sustainably so that future generations can still enjoy them, according to a study published today in Nature1 and re-enacted in this Nature Video. Having empirical support for the long-held view that people are mostly cooperative could help to design better public policies aimed at preserving shared resources, such as clean air or fish stocks.
There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that people are not purely self-interested. But although economists have long studied how people cooperate in groups, they have not looked specifically at whether individuals are happy to share resources with future generations, who cannot return the favour
As you'll know the Psy-Fi Blog spends a lot of time pointing out to a (largely disinterested) audience of investors that there's a huge amount of psychological research out there that we can use to guide our investing behavior. In fact there are vast reams of the stuff, far too much for me to ever even summarize, let alone analyse. But as we saw in Behavioral Law and Disorder the Supreme Court, like most investors, has failed to take account of this by requiring investment professionals to benchmark themselves against the Efficient Markets Hypothesis, a failed meme if there ever was one.
Well, no more. The Supreme Court of the United States (aka SCOTUS) has donned kipper ties and white suits and boogied into the late-mid-twentieth century with a ruling that markets can no longer be regarded as entirely efficient. Somewhat surprisingly, however, the justices have based their findings not on the wealth of research that's accumulated over half a century but on an op-ed piece in the New York Times. It makes you wonder why you bother.
Standard equilibrium concepts in game theory .nd it di¢ cult to explain the empirical evidence in a large number of static games such as prisoners. dilemma, voting, public goods, oligopoly, etc. Under uncertainty about what others will do in one-shot games of complete and incomplete information, evidence suggests that
people often use evidential reasoning (ER), i.e., they assign diagnostic signi.cance to their own actions in forming beliefs about the actions of other like-minded players. This is best viewed as a heuristic or bias relative to the standard approach. We provide a formal theoretical framework that incorporates ER into static games by proposing evidential games and the relevant solution concept- evidential equilibrium (EE). We derive the relation between a Nash equilibrium and an EE. We also apply EE to several common games including the prisoners.dilemma and oligopoly games.
Keywords: Evidential reasoning; causal reasoning; evidential games; social projection functions; ingroups and outgroups; evidential equilibria and consistent evidential equilibria; Nash equilibria; the prisoners.dilemma and oligopoly games; common knowledge and epistemic foundations.
Alessandro Cerboni's insight:
Even an attempt to reconcile classical approach with the behavioral but doomed to fail.
In developing an appropriate corporate governance framework, should Nigeria copy international paradigms that may or may not fit our context? Should we borrow wholesale the rules-based or principle..
the United Kingdom’s principles-based system of corporate governance adopts a “comply or explain non-compliance” stance. The UK Combined Code of Corporate Governance contains recommendations for companies covering directors, board structure, remuneration, accountability and audit, and relations with shareholders. It also contains recommendations for institutional shareholders covering their responsibilities to enter into dialogue with companies, to evaluate governance disclosures and make considered use of their votes.
The benefit of comply or explain is that it may encourage good practice over and above legislative requirements however it is only as strong as ability of stakeholders to hold company boards accountable for their decisions to comply and whether they accept justifications for non compliance.
Abstract: Taking into account insights into the reality of human decision-making, is an important challenge for today's policymakers. Are there `cheaper', more efficient and possibly as well more effective, non-financial ways of influencing the behaviour of private and corporate citizens, nudging them towards socially desired choices, for example, in the domain of energy consumption? Can such mechanisms complement or substitute for monetary incentives in fostering sustainable decision-making in policy relevant areas such as energy consumption? If so, what mechanisms might be feasible to implement in actual policymaking? Against this background, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (Ministerie van Economische Zaken) wants to know which "nudges" are the most suitable for application in the field of energy conservation. To this end, in this report we (1) take stock what is known about the effects of non-monetary incentives in general, and legacy reminders in particular, in increasing individuals' regard for collective interests and for intergenerational beneficence, in particular in the domain of energy consumption (literature review); (2) investigate in a laboratory setting the effects of selected non-monetary incentives on a selection of relevant decision tasks (laboratory experiments); and (3) apply the insights from the literature review and laboratory experiments to specific instruments of policy-making in the Netherlands.
Richard Koo examines different ways that balance sheet recessions have played out in Japan, the United States, and the Eurozone since the 2008 global financial crisis.
he world’s leading central banks have added massive amounts of liquidity to the financial system, yet global economies are still stumbling their way through a weak recovery. Banks are holding reserves far in excess of their required levels — twenty times the required level of reserves in the United States, fourteen times the required level in Japan, and ten times in the UK.
According to Richard Koo, chief economist of Nomura Research Institute, these monetary reserves have not led to an increase in private sector spending because the big economies are struggling through balance sheet recessions, and are at risk of getting stuck in a QE trap.
Koo is the author of The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan’s Great Recession, and his work focuses on the effects of government spending in times of recession. At the recent CFA Institute Japan Investment Conference, he examined the different ways that balance sheet recessions have played out in Japan, the United States, and the eurozone since the 2008 global financial crisis.
Emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. Emotional contagion is well established in laboratory experiments, with people transferring positive and negative emotions to others. Data from a large real-world social network, collected over a 20-y period suggests that longer-lasting moods (e.g., depression, happiness) can be transferred through networks [Fowler JH, Christakis NA (2008) BMJ 337:a2338], although the results are controversial. In an experiment with people who use Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between individuals by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others’ positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.
We participated at the international conference of the European Nudge Network on Nudging and behavioural economics Friday the 27th of June. Keynote speaker; Cass Sunstein Harvard professor and former administrator at the White house(Office information and regulatory affairs), co author of the book Nudge and still consultant to president Obama.
The conference was organised by prof. Lucia Reisch, Copenhagen Business school, Pelle Guldborg Hansen, Behavioural researcher at Roskilde University and founder of the nudge network TEN) and Alberto Alemanno , Faculty Director of HEC NYU Regulatory Policy Clinic. The conference was very interesting and could not fail because of its high level contributions by Cass Sunstein, Katie Martin of Ideas42, Owain Service Director of the behavioural Insights team in Great Britain at 10 Downing street, Prof Lucia Reisch, Pelle Guldborg Hansen, Alberto Alemanno and David Mair Head of foresight scanning and research at the EU and of the very presence of a lot of professionals in the field who were very interested to share their experiences .
Cass Sunstein elaborated on past, present and future of nudging.
According to the endowment effect there is some discomfort associated with giving up a good, that is to say, we are willing to give up something only if the price is greater than the price we are willing to pay for it. This implies that the indifference curves should designate a reference point at the current level of consumption. Such indifference maps are kinked at the current level of consumption. The kinks in the curves imply that the utility function is not differentiable everywhere and the budget constraint does not always have a unique tangent with an indifference curve. Thus, price changes may not bring about changes in consumption which may be the reason for the frequent stickiness of prices, wages and interest rates. We also discuss a multiple period example in which the indifference map shifts as the reference point shifts implying that the curves cross over time even though tastes do not change.
Behavioral Economics as Apparatus: Producing and Governing "Homo Economicus"
Abstract:The research programme of behavioral economics is gaining increasing influence, both in academic economics and in interest from American policy-makers. This paper analyzes behavioral economics as both a theoretical discourse and implemented governmental practicefrom the perspective of Foucault’s genealogical investigation of neoliberalism andgovernmentality. There exists a jarring parallel between the project(s) of behavioral economicsand Foucault’s theorization of the neoliberal art of governing. Ultimately, I argue that behavioraleconomics should be understood as a political economic apparatus of neoliberal governmentalitythat has the objective of using the state to manage and regulate individuals, interests, and populations – by attempting to correct their deviations from rational, self-interested, utility-maximizing cognition and behavior – such that they more effectively and efficiently conform tomarket logics and processes. In this analysis, I contend that behavioral economics enacts threecomponents of neoliberal governmentality as Foucault describes it: positioning the market as asite of truth and veridiction for the individual and the state; regulating what constitutes theobjects of political economy and governmental intervention – interests and utilities; and producing homo economicus (“economic human”) and diffusing this mode of economicsubjectivity across the social terrain. I conclude by examining the modifications to Foucault’sframework implied by behavioral economics and the further lines of inquiry generated by myanalysis.
Financial services decisions can have enormous consequences
for household well-being. Households need a range of financial services—to conduct basic transactions, such as receiving their income, storing it, and paying bills; to save for emergency needs and long-term goals; to access credit; and to insure against life’s key risks. But the financial services system is exceedingly complicated and often not well-designed to optimize household behavior. In response to the complexity of our financial system, there has been a long-running debate about the appropriate role and form of regulation. Regulation is largely stuck in two competing models—disclosure, and usury or product restrictions.
This paper explores a different approach, based on insights from behavioral economics on the one hand, and an understanding of industrial organization on the other. At the core of the analysis is the interaction between individual psychology and market competition. This is in contrast to the classic model, which relies on the interaction between rational choice and market competition. The introduction of richer psychology complicates the impact
of competition. It helps us understand that firms compete based on how individuals will respond to products in the marketplace, and competitive outcomes may not always and in all contexts closely align with improved decisional choice and increased consumer welfare. The paper adopts a behavioral economic framework that considers firm incentives to respond to regulation. Under this framework, outcomes are an equilibrium interaction between individuals with specific psychologies and firms that respond to those psychologies within specific market contexts. Regulation must then address failures in this equilibrium. The model suggests, for example, that in some contexts market participants seek to overcome common human failings (as for example, with under-saving) while in other contexts market participants seek to exploit these failings (as for example, with over-borrowing).
Behaviorally informed regulation needs to take account of these different contexts.
The paper discusses the specific application of these forces to the case of mortgage, credit card, and banking markets. The purpose of this paper is not to champion policies, but to illustrate how a behaviorally informed regulatory analysis would lead to a deeper understanding of the costs and benefits of specific policies. To further that understanding, in particular, the paper discusses ten ideas:
• Full information disclosure to debias home mortgage borrowers.
• A new standard for truth in lending.
• A “sticky” opt-out home mortgage system.
• Restructuring the relationship between brokers and borrowers.
• Using framing and salience to improve credit card disclosures.
• An opt-out payment plan for credit cards.
• An opt-out credit card.
• Regulating of credit card late fees.
• A tax credit for banks offering safe and affordable accounts.
Yaneer Bar-Yam, Rupert Read, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, New England Complex Systems Institute School of Philosophy, University of East Anglia School of Engineering, New York University
Abstract—The precautionary principle is useful only in certain contexts and can justify only a certain type of actions. We present a non-naive, fragility-based version of the precautionary principle, placing it under formal statistical and probabilistic structure of “ruin” problems, in which an entire system is at a risk of total failure. We discuss the implications this deﬁnition has on current questions about the use of nuclear energy and the creation of GMOs, and address common counterarguments to our claims.