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 … More >
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 … More >
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 … More >
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 … More >
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 … More >
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 … More >
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 … More >
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 … More >