108 posts categorized "Science and Medicine" Feed

By Alexander Kriss, PhD | Matthew, a twenty-year-old man I’d worked with in individual psychotherapy for a few months, began a session saying he was in crisis. “I think I’m a narcissist,” he told me. “I’m terrified of it.” I asked Matthew why he thought this. He said the night before he had, after much agonizing, confronted his boyfriend, Patrick, about his controlling behavior: Patrick decided when they socialized and with whom; he required advance approval of any expenses related to the apartment they shared; he discouraged Matthew from engaging in any interests that did not help to “build the relationship,” especially Matthew’s longtime passion for oil painting. Read more →


By Frederick S. Lane | The name “Anthony Comstock” has been in the news a lot over the last few weeks. That’s really something of a surprise, given that Comstock died almost 109 years ago in his Summit, NJ, home. But he left behind a legacy of legislative and cultural activism that increasingly resonates with the country’s growing Christian nationalist movement.  Read more →


By Frederick S. Lane | For millennia, childless couples were told that their nurseries were empty because of “God's will,” or that it was “all in God’s plan.” Similarly, empty condolences were offered when infants or children died of preventable diseases, unsanitary conditions, unhealthy foods, or foreseeable negligence. Read more →


By Jim Morris | Not long after I became a journalist in 1978—as I was working at a newspaper in Galveston, Texas—I felt the rumblings of what would become a career-long obsession: Explaining the ghastly effects of toxic chemicals on humans—in particular, blue-collar workers. These were the people, mostly men, who did the dirty, dangerous work most of us avoid, in places like Texas City, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana. I detected little sympathy for them when they were burned, gassed, maimed, or soaked with chemicals in the course of their work. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | When loved ones perch at the table together for holiday gatherings, it’s not just the star protein with fixings that gets served. Whether it’s on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other occasion for feel-good feasting in big company, those mashed potatoes and greens come with a side of divergent viewpoints on touchy, real-life subjects. Sometimes they’re served respectfully, sometimes with vitriol, but on many occasions, they stir up tough conversations, and the meals become so ideologically fraught that digestion seems out of the question. Read more →


By Fred Pearce | Whatever its moral pitfalls, the production of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan was a triumph of twentieth-century science. In the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the steam-powered industrial revolution suddenly seemed quaint. But the arrival of the new atomic age had been very sudden. It was the result of a tidal wave of new science about the structure of atoms, and how unstable these supposed building blocks of matter actually were. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | We took the crushing news pretty hard. The TV adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s “Kindred” didn’t get a fair chance when it was cancelled nearly a month and half after all eight episodes were uploaded in December 2022 to stream on Hulu. With the blessing of Butler’s estate, playwright and showrunner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins made bold choices—some of which might make Butler purists gasp—to modernize and expand upon Butler’s classic while staying true to her message. Read more →


A Q&A with Sarah Rose Cavanagh | I was drawn into this topic for a few different reasons. First, I was watching the news and reading articles warning about a growing mental health crisis in our youth—and this was even before the beginning of the pandemic. As a college educator who studies psychology, and as the parent of a teenager, this news was of high concern to me, both personally and professionally. Second, I was observing these battles taking place in higher education, where one side argues that youth need more compassion, care, and flexibility, and the other side says that we’ve already given too much, and that young people need more challenge, exposure, and risk-taking. Read more →


By Margaret Peacock and Erik L. Peterson | “No moral code or ethical principle, no piece of scripture or holy teaching, can be summoned to defend what we have allowed our country to become,” Matthew Desmond says in his transformative book, “Evicted.” Six million Americans are out of a job. Many are surely losing healthcare, unable to pay the rent, have children going hungry. But this situation has been happening to the poor in our major cities long before the pandemic. Read more →


Vibe check. Or should we say mind check? Although May 11 was declared the end of the COVID-19 health emergency, we can’t move on like the pandemic didn’t happen. Lockdown overturned the societal rock to expose many issues, including mental health. And isolation wasn’t the only thing that went at the psyche nationwide. What happens in our surroundings—housing, neighborhoods and cities, the R word—is just as important to track as what goes on in the mind. Which is why we’re recommending this handful of titles from our catalog for Mental Health Awareness Month. Read more →


By Gayatri Patnaik and Christian Coleman | In her compelling Boston Globe article “Celebrating Black History Month as Black History Is Being Erased,” Renée Graham writes that Black History Month this year has a specific purpose and burden, “and that burden is not for Black people to bear alone.” The challenge, Graham notes, “is to save this crucial American history from being eroded book by book, law by law, and state by state.” We couldn’t agree more. Read more →


The Sunshine Pearl-Clutching Brigade is back on their BS and doubling down. Under Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida banned a new AP African American Studies course under the pretense that it’s “indoctrination” that “runs afoul of [their] standards.” This is almost a year after the Florida legislature banned the teaching of “the state-sanctioned racism that is critical race theory” with the Stop WOKE Act. It’s giving unwoke on numerous levels. Read more →


A Q&A with Jasmine Brown | In college, I dreamed of becoming a physician and a national leader who would make a positive impact in many people’s lives. But I was acutely aware of how few Black women there were in senior positions within the medical field, such as the dean of a medical school or chair of a medical department. Black women physicians are even underrepresented at the level of professorship in many medical schools. So, I worried that my career would be severely restricted by a glass ceiling imposed upon me due to my race and gender. Read more →


Bring out your flower bouquets and your brunch reservations! This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and we’re bringing the books to take you into the weekend and beyond. These books show how every kind of mother needs to be valued and supported in the catch-all societal stew we call the US. Mothers of color. Immigrant mothers. Mothers who become parents at a young age. Mothers separated from their families because of incarceration. Mothers challenging the medical establishment about misconceived notions of disability. Read more →


A Q&A with Margaret Peacock and Erik L. Peterson | Erik started collecting sources from China, including social media posts, in January 2020. Margaret had her own set of documents about how the US government was shaping the narrative surrounding the spread of the disease. And we had all this sitting on our computers. Between the two of us, we were worried (1) that we would lose sources, (2) that we would overlap what we were collecting and make each other’s work redundant, and (3) that we would be too siloed in what sources we located. Read more →


A Q&A with Margaret Peacock and Erik L. Peterson | Early in 2020, we realized we were each in the process of collecting sources from the unfolding pandemic. Erik began focusing on the unfolding epidemiology of the pandemic when it was still limited to East Asia, while Margaret was paying close attention to the ways the pandemic was playing out in global media. We realized that we could produce something exceptional if we each brought our areas of expertise to the table to write a book that attempted to cross many facets of the pandemic experience. Read more →


By Guilaine Kinouani | Racism causes harm. Harm to the body. And harm to the mind. Yet it was only in November 2020 that the American Medical Association recognized racism as an urgent threat to public health. Thankfully, many of us did not wait for this penny to drop to tackle its impact. For about fifteen years, I have been working therapeutically with people of color, supporting almost exclusively Black people distressed by racism and experiencing racial trauma. Read more →


What a difference a year makes. Book banning is back—and it’s on steroids. Is it a coincidence that it’s all the rave—more like rage—during Black History Month? The pearl-clutchers have assembled and are targeting not only books dealing with sex and gender but also books featuring Black themes and US history. It’s a predictable flex. A tired flex. Read more →


By Philip Warburg | The Better Buildings Act, now making its way through the Massachusetts legislature, is a monumental step toward curbing fossil fuel use by larger commercial and public buildings. Yet even as we focus on these major carbon polluters, we cannot lose sight of the need to bring clean energy solutions to residential communities, particularly those that have been unable to tap the solar energy that shines on their rooftops. Read more →


By Marga Vicedo | A two-and-a-half year old girl sits on the floor. Her mother lays besides her, making random marks with a brush and paint on a piece of paper. She is hoping her little girl, Jessy, will imitate her. Unlike most children her age, Jessica has shown little interest in imitating her siblings or her parents. She seems content playing alone, placing some set of objects carefully in rows. Jessica did not start to use the brush and paint herself that day with her mom; but, remarkably, she did so three days later, on her own. From then on, her mother made sure Jessy always had paper, crayons, and paints. These tools would open up a new world of experiences and interests for Jessica. Read more →