Debate over water fluoridation was snappish and heated, thanks in part to the Portland City Council’s September attempt to push fluoridation through without putting it to a vote. (Conspiracy theorists: Activate!) Opponents gathered enough signatures to put water fluoridation on the ballot, and subsequent months saw an escalating public debate featuring protesters on street corners, yard signs stolen and vandalized, and blog comment threads destined to become the stuff of local legend. Staunchly “pro-science” fluoride supporters waved the flag of endorsements from the ADA and the CDC, while front yards across the city sprouted signs urging “No Fluoridation Chemicals” and questioning the wisdom of adding “drugs” to the region’s water supply. By the time the actual vote rolled around, the phrase “can we please not talk about fluoride?” had become a common refrain in polite company.I can identify with the last part. I avoided any mention of the subject on my rare excursions away from the drawing table. Hallett's article gives you a good line into the various factions aligned against it and is pretty empathetic in understanding what motivates them (maybe more than I'm inclined to be). The article is available for free (they usually aren't with The Magazine) so keep reading.