Letter: False Nobel Prize claims to benefit start times agenda
To the Editor:
Before accepting Pam Hartnett’s claim tying school start times to Nobel Prizes, I recommend that folks read the scientific journal articles by the winners Hall, Rosbash and Young, or at least the Nobel Committee’s citation.
This year’s Nobel prize in medicine and physiology is not an endorsement of Hartnett’s idiosyncratic view of school start times.
The prize was for three decades of work, mostly on fruit flies. The winners identified the specific genetic, protein, and chemical cycles associated with circadian activity in organisms.
That was important scientific work, but the circadian mechanisms in mammals generally and humans specifically are far more complex and can be reset by a variety of external stimuli as well as individual behavior.
The chain of logic from the TTFL feedback loop kicked off by the period and timeless genes to school start times is a tortured one, most of which has not been validated by any properly designed and executed experiments like those of the Nobel laureates.
If some people prefer later start times, that’s fine, but don’t use false claims about Nobel Prizes to make me pay any more taxes to satisfy their personal preferences.