You see, this is why you want to fill your administration with smart, qualified, thoughtful, and innovative people–especially in the sciences. From The Times
A major investment in fighting tropical infections and chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes in poor countries would transform international perceptions of the US, according to Harold Varmus, who co-chairs the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.
In an exclusive interview with The Times, Dr Varmus said that American diplomacy had undervalued the role of medicine and science in fostering friendly relations with developing nations.
He is asking President Obama to endorse a plan from the US Institute of Medicine that would almost double annual US support for global health to $15 billion by 2012.
Dr Varmus is also advocating a “Global Science Corps” of scientists willing to spend at least a year working in a poor country, and a network of science attachés for every US embassy.
Scientific exchange, he added, could repair some of the damage done to American’s reputation by the Iraq war. “One very healthy way to build relationships up when they have deteriorated is to get the scientists together,” he said. We’re used to internationalism, it’s part of the way we live.
“We’re all trying to understand the same forces of nature, which are pretty much the same in every country. We’re trying to understand the same problems, we use the same methodologies, the same rules of evidence. There’s no doubt that this is a very very fertile field which I think needs to be further incorporated into our foreign policy.”
Granted, global health was one of the few areas where the Bush Administration’s performance wasn’t totally abysmal. Still, so much of the Obama Administration is such a breath of fresh air.
Hat tip to Bora of A Blog Around the Clock