Two new revolutions in biology—gain-of-function research and synthetic biology—are forcing policymakers to rethink current national and international surveillance and regulatory systems, and any resolution will require international buy-in since the threat entails all living organisms.
Medicines are increasingly the product of complex supply chains, introducing vulnerabilities to their reliability and safety. CFR Senior Fellow Laurie Garrett lays out how G8 and G20 nations can help to remedy the drug safety crisis.
Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, explores the lasting impact of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the anthrax attacks that followed on disaster preparedness and health policy in the United States. Garrett argues that "all our readiness response depends on well-funded police, well-funded fire departments, well-funded hospitals, well-funded public health infrastructures, and precisely the opposite is where we are going right now." Garrett cautions that U.S. preparedness for a major terrorist attack may be decreasing. "As budgets are being cut at the federal level, the state level, and the local level, we're actually less ready than we were in 2001," Garrett says.
Famine in the Horn of Africa underscores the problems of an international foreign aid community struggling to keep up with its commitments at a time of a falling dollar and rising food prices, says CFR's Laurie Garrett.
Missing from the body of literature about 9/11 and the anthrax scare that followed is a sense of what 2001 felt like for those that experienced the events in a very personal way. This bookbridges the divide and offers new insights into the period, presenting its profound implications for public health, mass psychology, governance, scientific integrity, social resilience and cohesion, criminal justice, and America's sense of itself.
With the UN meeting on AIDS funding this week, CFR's Laurie Garrett says the slow response to the AIDS epidemic was the single biggest failure in public health and argues the need to double funding for new treatments to stop the spread of the disease.
On the heels of the 30th anniversary since AIDS was recognized, the UN General Assembly will meet to discuss the next course of HIV/AIDS funding. CFR Senior Fellow for Global Health Laurie Garrett traces the initial failures to contain the spread of AIDS, and calls on international policymakers to adequately fund the combat of the deadly disease.
While many questions remain about the problems at Fukushima nuclear plant, comparisons with the 1986 Chernobyl incident suggest Japan's government is taking the right steps to mitigate radiation damage, says CFR's Laurie Garrett.
The White House's proposed budget for FY2012 tries to balance spending cuts with investment to boost competitiveness. CFR experts examine how well it handles deficit reduction, defense, foreign aid, and spurring innovation.
With food prices at historic levels, unrest is mounting around the world, particularly in import-dependent regions such as the Middle East. CFR's Laurie Garrett says to meet demand going forward, countries will need to enhance food production and efficiencies.
The cholera epidemic that has added to the list of Haiti's post-earthquake miseries is a reminder that what Haiti needs more than anything else is good governance that would lead to better infrastructure and safe water.
Laurie Garrett and El'Haum Alavian discuss the challenge, for the world's richest nations, of assisting emerging economies in their transition to self-reliance in obtaining public goods, and finding solutions that guarantee equitable access to health for the entire family of nations.
In this discussion on Fareed Zakaria's Fareed Zakaria GPS with Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Center for Resilient Studies at Northeastern University, Laurie Garrett discusses why the impact of Typhoon Haiyan was so deadly.
In this panel discussion on NPR's Science Friday, Laurie Garrett discusses the foreign policy implications of recent advances in synthetic biology. With the conversation focused on the iGEM competition, she praises the organization's emphasis on bioethics, but adds that one cannot assume those ethics will be translated to adult-run labs around the world.
In an interview with John Hockenberry for WNYC's the Takeaway, Laurie Garrett discusses the advent of 4D printing and synthetic biology, as well the disconnect between security and science.
Map: Vaccine-Preventable Outbreaks
This interactive map visually plots diseases that are easily preventable by inexpensive and effective vaccines. The Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations has been tracking news reports on these outbreaks since the fall of 2008.
More About Laurie Garrett
"I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks" was awarded both Gold (Science) and Silver (Current Affairs) medals in the national eLIT Awards competition in May 2012.