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The Kismet of Basic Science

STANFORD – The British journalist Matt Ridley is usually an insightful commenter on the philosophy and practice of science. But his assessment of the relationship between basic research and technological innovation – in short, that “‘basic science’ isn’t nearly as productive of new inventions as we tend to think” – misses the mark.

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Africa’s Post-Brexit Opportunity

LONDON – The entire world felt the shock waves from the decision by voters in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, and Africa was no exception, especially given its close historical ties with many EU member states. African pundits and public officials were quick to lament the new cloud of economic uncertainty and the potential for catastrophe in the near future.

Namibia has been alone in downplaying the Brexit fallout, most likely because its exports to the EU have declined significantly in recent years. But the rest of Africa is right to be taking it seriously, at least with respect to the short-term outlook.

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Mission: Save the Environment

CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND – Picture this. It is 1966. You are standing in a government office in Washington, DC, watching a uniformed official tell a man in business attire, “Your mission is to eradicate an enemy that has killed more people than both world wars combined. You will have a paltry budget, a small team, and should you fail, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.”

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Unburdening the Facebook Generation

LOS ANGELES – Once again, young people have gotten the short end of the political stick. The outcome of the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum is but another reminder of a yawning generational divide that cuts across political affiliation, income levels, and race.

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Global Cooperation as a Life-and-Death Issue

LONDON – The uncertainty generated by the United Kingdom’s recent vote to leave the European Union – which has sent shockwaves through global markets – has been dominating headlines. But, as we prepare to face new political trials, we must not lose sight of the challenges we already face, especially global health challenges like the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which has no regard for economic performance or political stability.

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