Science

Sovereignty in a Public Health Crisis

Don Herzog— Who should buy ventilators, N-95 masks, PPE, and more? “Governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work,” complained President Trump. “The federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping. You know, we’re not a shipping clerk.”

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The First Earth Day

Richard N. L. Andrews— On April 22, 1970, a handful of volunteers led by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin organized the first Earth Day, which grew into what Newsweek magazine described as “the biggest street festival since the Japanese surrender in 1945.” It included mass rallies of up to 25,000

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Environmental Policy

Richard N. L. Andrews— Environmental protection policy includes three elements intended to protect public health and ecological processes from adverse effects of human activities. One is pollution control, including prevention, safe management, and cleanup of waste discharges, accidental spills, and deliberate environmental dispersion of toxic materials such as pesticides. The

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Multilateralism in Global Health

Kathryn C. Lavelle— The political boundaries that humans construct rarely confine disease. Thus, medicine is humanity’s most transnational endeavor. To understand systems of coordinating relations across states in accordance with certain principles of conduct, international relations uses the term multilateralism, which can be grounded in specific international organizations (IOs) or

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Migration, Disease, and the Making of London Life

Panikos Panayi— On March 24, 2020, Luca Di Nicola, a nineteen-year-old Italian-born chef working in London, died at the North Middlesex Hospital, one of the many thousands of people falling victim to coronavirus in London, Britain, and the world beyond. Luca had moved to work in the city’s massive service

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Competition, Cooperation, and COVID-19

Mark Bertness— Microbial pathogens and diseases were our first and are our oldest enemies. They are a direct threat to human survival. COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS are familiar reminders of how pathogenic pandemics can threaten humanity. These are not exceptions in the human experience; they are the rule. Pathogens are formidable

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How Do You Make Electricity?

Ivo van Vulpen— One of the greatest threats to our prosperity and way of life is a shortage of energy. We don’t often pause to think about it, but our Western society is addicted to energy, and without electricity, it would come to a complete standstill in less than a

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Fiber Connectivity in the United States

Susan Crawford— In the United States, we cannot even imagine cheap, unlimited communications capacity in our homes. Because of decades of political maneuvering by the enormous private companies that sell internet access to American consumers, a lack of leadership at the federal level, and the invisibility of this entire policy

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Books for Troubled Times

Jean E. Thomson Black— Dear Yale University Press Friend, Our mission at Yale University Press is to publish books that, among other goals, stimulate public debate and enhance cultural life. The following titles represent a modest sampling from our history of science and medicine, environmental issues, and natural history lists. The

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Lessons from a Little Fish

Stephen B. Heard— In northeastern Germany, about seventy-five kilometers north of Berlin, a little lake sits nestled in the woods. In the lake’s depths swim little fish—a dwarf cisco, Coregonus fontanae. In the fish’s name, a story is tucked away. Coregonus fontanae is one of a pair of cisco species

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