Science

Improving Disaster Readiness Worldwide

Courtney Durham— Considering the current impediments to disaster risk reduction and growing risk from climate change, a number of policies can help nations shift the balance from reactivity to proactivity. First, disaster managers should build contingency plans for a variety of disaster scenarios, drawing on the Sendai Framework for Disaster

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Pandemic Grief

Dorothy P. Holinger— A friend recently told me, “I’m irritable, sad, and I get mad so easily. I can’t seem to get anything done. I don’t know what’s the matter with me. And it’s hard, scary to leave home. I think I must be depressed.” No, my friend is not

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The Endangered Species of the Polymath

Peter Burke— People are talking more and more about polymaths these days, but at the same time, living examples of this intellectual species are becoming more and more difficult to find. By polymath I mean, like the ancient Greeks who coined the term, someone who has mastered many intellectual disciplines,

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Grasses in the Northeast

Lauren Brown and Ted Elliman— In the countryside of the Northeastern United States, many of us take great pleasure in the sight of open meadows—shimmering waves of green, lavender, and gray that evoke nostalgic images of our agricultural past and provide space and sky in our otherwise forested northeastern landscape.

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Getting Lost in the Wilderness in the Digital Age

Jon T. Coleman— I was born in Boulder, Colorado, in the Age of Aquarius. My little sister arrived two years later, on the second anniversary of Earth Day. Geography and history predisposed the Coleman children to think like mountains. My parents furthered the cause by taking us hiking in the

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Diabetes among Native Americans

Arleen Marcia Tuchman— Like African Americans, Native Americans did not suffer from diabetes. At least, that was the nearly universal belief in the first decades of the twentieth century. Not that they were healthy. Tuberculosis was ravaging their communities. Trachoma, enteritis, and other infectious diseases were rampant as well. But

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What Kind of Life Are We Saving?

Bernard-Henri Lévy— The only debate that has truly engaged Europe and the United States is the one about the comparative vices and virtues of the Korean and Chinese, Thai or Singaporean, Confucian or liberal models for compelling people to meet health requirements. To their credit, a number of so-called learned

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The Mountains Are Calling—but Who Gets to Go?

Caroline Schaumann— In the Covid-Age, the value of nature runs high. Beaches and mountain trails are overrun with those seeking a respite from lockdowns and social restrictions in the cities, and campervan and RV life is surging in popularity. When Yosemite National Park reopened in early June, the precious few

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Slow Motion

Barry Perlus— Those in the Northern Hemisphere who have recently stepped outside just after nightfall to view Comet Neowise know that the window of time in which to view this current marvel is limited to a few hours before it disappears below the horizon. The apparent movement of celestial bodies—galaxies,

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Colonialism and the Plague in Manchuria

William C. Summers— Historical discourse on the development of non-Western countries is overwhelmingly framed in terms of colonialism and its aftermath. This is especially true in the case of medicine and public health. The role and conception of health and sickness have been invoked as central to both modernization and

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