By Adam Kucharski, Lecturer in Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and author of new book The Perfect Bet.
Throughout history, gamblers have turned to science in their search for profitable betting strategies. But gambling has also had a huge impact on scientific research, shaping everything from probability to game theory, and chaos theory to artificial intelligence.
The School’s Director, Prof Peter Piot charts the social, political and human history of the AIDS epidemic in his newly released book, AIDS Between Science and Politics, which also looks at the ongoing challenges in tackling the disease.
Prof Piot, who was the founding executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), recounts his experience as a clinician, scientist, and activist tackling the disease from its onset in the early 1980s to today. The AIDS pandemic was not only disruptive to the health of millions worldwide, but also fractured international relations, global access to new technologies, and public health policies in nations across the globe. As he struggled to get ahead of the disease, Prof Piot found science does little good when it operates independently of politics and economics, and politics is worthless if it rejects scientific evidence and respect for human rights. Read more
“I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of ‘premonitory symptoms’, it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it.”
Perhaps it is just as well that the School had…
Fresh off the press is a new book by a London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine expert on changing attitudes to drugs, tobacco and alcohol, and their regulation.
‘Demons: Our Changing Attitudes to Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs’ (Oxford University Press) by Professor Virginia Berridge, Director of the School’s Centre for History in Public Health, was launched last week and considers varying attitudes from the 19th century to the present day, looking at how and why various substances have been regulated differently, while considering recent debates in public health in the light of historical changing attitudes. Read more
This month Wendy Macdowall, Maggie Davies, and Liza Cragg publish the second edition of their book, Health Promotion Theory.
Described as “a readable and engaging overview of health promotion theory and practice from a public health perspective”, the book explores the origins and development of health promotion.
Aimed at both students and practitioners, it highlights the philosophical, ethical and political debates that influence health promotion today while also explaining the theories, frameworks and methodologies that help us understand public health problems and develop effective health promotion responses. Read more
We are facing an 'apocalyptic' threat from antibiotic-resistant superbugs, according to a new book by England’s Chief Medical Officer.
In The Drugs Don’t Work, published today, Professor Dame Sally Davies highlights how the misuse of antibiotics by patients and doctors has led to the emergence and spread of pathogen strains that cannot be controlled by currently available medicines. And unless we urgently research and develop new treatments, we risk soaring mortality from routine infections within a generation. Read more
Disgust, nutrition and conflict feature in this month’s round-up, with the release of two new books written by or with contributions from School researchers, plus an award for another recently published title.
In her new book, Don’t Look Don’t Touch: the science behind revulsion, Dr Val Curtis argues that harnessing the disgust response can help to ensure the success of hygiene and healthcare programmes worldwide. She draws on the work of biologists and animal behaviourists to explain the evolutionary value of disgust and how it can be utilised in work to reduce infectious diseases. Read more
Band-Aid for a Broken Leg: Being a Doctor Without Borders and Other Ways to Stay Single is published in the UK in early February. A launch reception is held at the School on Tuesday 29 January at 5.30pm.
Written by Damien Brown, a Master’s student at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the book recounts his experiences working for Médecins Sans Frontières in various African countries as well as in an Aboriginal Australian town. Read more
Principles of Medicine in Africa (4th Edition) is published this week by Cambridge University Press. Edited by David Mabey and Chris Whitty from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, along with Geoff Gill (University of Liverpool) and Martin Weber (World Health Organization, Jakarta), the book combines classical clinical medicine with a rich understanding of the major environmental and cultural influences on health and disease.
An updated and expanded edition of Professor Nick Black’s award-winning book, Walking London’s Medical History, is published by CRC Press this week. This guide to the fascinating history of health care from medieval times to the present day features seven walks in central London, each with a key theme.
The new edition also covers the care provided for Londoners beyond the city with a motoring tour of Kent covering asylums, military hospitals, convalescent homes and 18th century sea-bathing institutions.
The first edition won awards in 2007 at both the BMA and Society of Authors book awards. It also received praise in several media outlets, including Time Out, and coverage on BBC News. Read more