Peter Dizikes: Writings on Science and Society


Political Science
Review of The Art and Politics of Science, by Harold Varmus.
By Peter Dizikes. The New York Times, February 15, 2009

A smiling Harold Varmus looks out from the cover of his memoir, “The Art and Politics of Science.” Behind him hangs a copy of Jacques-Louis David’s celebrated portrait of Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, the French chemist. Varmus is one of our leading scientific figures, a Nobel Prize-winning cancer researcher who advises President Obama, but I’m not sure this is an auspicious image. Lavoi¬≠sier’s own entanglement in politics led to his beheading during the French Revolution. Thankfully, Varmus seems quite adroit in public matters.

He has also written a perceptive book about science and its civic value, arriving as the White House renews its acquaintance with empiricism. Varmus recounts his laboratory career and tenure as director of the National Institutes of Health, then surveys topical issues like stem-cell research. One implication of this book is that far from disconnecting politics and science, we should find better ways of linking them.

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My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Slate, Salon, Technology Review, and numerous other publications. You can learn more about me here.

SELECTED ARTICLES BY PETER DIZIKES

E. Coli and You
The New York Times, June 29, 2008

The Meaning of the Butterfly
The Boston Globe, June 8, 2008

Joseph Needham's Grand Question
Seed, May/June 2008

Pure Science
The New York Times, April 13, 2008

Nature Nurtures Learning
The Boston Globe, December 31, 2007

Genes Open New Frontier in Privacy Debate
The Boston Globe, September 24, 2007

Cambridge Scientists Put on a Show
Nature Network Boston, May 1, 2007

Edward O. Wilson Sees Accord on Climate Action
The Boston Globe, January 29, 2007

Genome Human
The New York Times, July 30, 2006

Galileo Groupies
Slate, February 3, 2006

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Peter Dizikes: Writings on Science and Society


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Measure for Measure
Technology Review, July/August 2010

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