The Politicization of Science

Years ago, I interviewed for a job with a law firm that was looking for an epidemiologist with skills in science research design. Their intent was that I would attack the science underlying the claims being brought against their major clients—mostly tobacco companies...

The False War Between Civilizations

About 20 years ago I was in my mid-teens and becoming vaguely aware of the way grown men are perceived and expected to act. One day, while riding the Toronto subway, I saw a woman and her small blond-haired son, about 7 years old, rushing to try to get into the subway...
Poverty Caused the Tsunami

Poverty Caused the Tsunami

In the infancy of the 21st century, two sudden human tragedies have found dramatic attention in the global eye: the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004. That the former, a shocking mass murder resulting in 2,000 deaths, can be compared...
The New Oil

The New Oil

There’s a quote from Tom Brokaw, during the opening moments of the U.S. inva-sion of Iraq, that I just can’t seem to get out of my head. “One of the key aims of this campaign is to avoid damaging the Iraqi infrastructure,” he said. “After all, in a few days we’re...
The Frontiers of Salman Rushdie

The Frontiers of Salman Rushdie

Within days of each other, Salman Rushdie and Leonard Nimoy both came to speak at the National Press Club in Washington. I attended both sessions, hoping to play the fool and deliberately get the two men confused. “Mr. Rushdie,” I planned to ask the great writer. “In...