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What environmentalists get wrong about e-waste in West Africa

Jenna Burrell, associate professor, School of Information | September 1, 2016

Beginning in 2009, Ghana’s computer import industry went almost instantly from totally invisible, to worldwide infamy. The work of two photojournalists — Pieter Hugo and Kevin McElvaney — played a key role in this newfound visibility. Their imagery of e-waste and its young victims such as cable burners covered in dirt and soot in an area of Ghana’s capital … Continue reading »

The road not taken: How the migrant crisis in Europe could have been ameliorated

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | August 15, 2015

I was visiting my family in Kent in southeast England. I rounded a bend and there was a queue of cars and trucks. Obviously an accident. I bumped over the median, read my map, and found another route. Another vehicle queue as far as I could see. Another accident? No. This was a tiny part of … Continue reading »

Cultivating the next generation of East African researchers

Alexandra Orsola-Vidal, Global Networks Director, Center for Effective Global Action | August 5, 2015

The demand for rigorous, robust data to inform African decision makers has never been higher. Earlier this month, the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST) Collaborative partnered with the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), the World Bank, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and The Abdul Latif Jameel … Continue reading »

Cecil is dead – now what?

Laurence Frank, research associate, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology | August 4, 2015

The world has been outraged by the death of Cecil, a well-known radio-collared lion killed by a trophy hunter outside Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. I know too well the pain of losing beloved study animals: over 200 of my known lions have been killed by people in the 18 years I have done research on lion … Continue reading »

Let’s stop killing 26,000 African women each year

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | January 21, 2015

January 21 is the anniversary of the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade, striking down restrictive abortion laws across the US.  At the time I was the Medical Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation in London. I still remember a surprised phone call from New York. My friends and mentors, such as Alan Guttmacher … Continue reading »

Africa leaping off-grid

Santiago Miret, Ph.D. student, materials science & engineering | October 27, 2014

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the least developed areas in the world. According to the World Bank, of the approximately 940 million people living in the region, roughly 600 million lack access to electricity. Moreover, the number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa without electricity has actually been increasing as the population growth has outpaced the rate … Continue reading »

The Ebola numbers

Robin Mejia, PhD candidate, biostatistics | October 8, 2014

Last week, over at The Atlantic, Jacoba Urist wrote about a truism in journalism: deaths closer to home matter more. This sounds ugly but makes sense intuitively. We feel the death of a loved one in a completely different way than a death across town, let alone a death across the country. It’s not surprising … Continue reading »

Lessons from an epidemic

Dan Farber, professor of law | October 7, 2014

Ebola’s natural reservoirs are animals, if only because human hosts die to too quickly. Outbreaks tend to occur in locations where changes in landscapes have brought animals and humans into closer contact. Thus, there is considerable speculation about whether ecological factors might be related to the current outbreak. (See this New York Times opinion piece.) At … Continue reading »

God helps those who help themselves

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | July 15, 2014

I grew up in a religious family but I am not particularly religious. I believe that there is (are) some Supreme Being(s) above us, but I consider the religious narrative and beliefs of organized religion to be fiction; albeit fiction with many useful lessons, but nevertheless, fiction. One of my favorite religious stories is of … Continue reading »

Mandela’s work is our own

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | December 18, 2013

On December 5th, the world lost not only a wise and inspiring leader, but a wonderful person in Nelson Mandela. Touching virtually all of our lives, he not only changed the course of world history, but he left us with a vision for change that we must continue to work to make a reality wherever … Continue reading »

Addis, Lucy and food security

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | October 15, 2013

Last week I returned from my second trip to Africa in one month, this time to Ethiopia. I went there as an advisory board member of Food Secure, a large EU research consortium on food security. This was my first time in East Africa, Addis is about 3000 feet above sea level, which means you … Continue reading »

On life and cocoa in the Ivory Coast

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | September 24, 2013

This week I returned from my fourth trip to Africa, this time to the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire, but I gave up on pronouncing it…). I went for a project of ICARF and Mars Chocolate, aiming to understand how to improve cocoa productivity there, but I learned much more about Africa, development and cocoa. I … Continue reading »