Science can save lives, but only if society lets it

By Eva Emerson, 11:46 AM April 3, 2014

Society faces lots of problems that science can’t yet fix, from the troubling rise in asthma to the lack of a cheap energy source that doesn’t harm the environment. But there are also plenty of cases in which scientists know enough to avert tragedy. Whether society acts on that knowledge is a separate issue.

The resurgence of whooping cough offers one example. A new type of pertussis vaccine was introduced in the 1990s that avoided many of the worrisome, but ultimately harmless, side effects o...

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