John M. Marzluff— Charles Darwin started his treatise on natural selection by reminding readers of how human action has transformed domestic animals. Domestication occurs because artificial selection imposed by humans causes exceptionally rapid evolution. The domestic animals we house in agricultural settings also provide a new theater for the development
Frank Snowden— Ebola painfully exposed the extent of global unpreparedness to face the challenge of epidemic disease despite the warning provided by SARS. But however heavy the burden of suffering in West Africa was, the world was fortunate that the calamity was not greater. By a consensus of informed opinion,
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
Jonathan Bate— During the great pandemic lockdown, people on Twitter have been “dreaming of other places”—beautiful places that they remember and of which they have treasured photographs. What they are really dreaming of is other times, happier times, special memories. William Wordsworth, whose 250th anniversary falls on April 7, was
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
Helen Yaffe— COVID-19 surged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December 2019, and by January 2020 it had hit Hubei province like a tidal wave, swirling over China and rippling out overseas. The Chinese state rolled into action to combat the spread and to care for those infected.
Frank M. Snowden— Some features of “Wuhan virus” are now apparent. In early December it began its career as a human disease after a “spillover” from its natural animal reservoir—possibly among bats—unleashing a severe respiratory disease. The megacity of Wuhan in central China was Ground Zero for this emerging infection,