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Perspectives

An offbeat, refreshing look at solutions brought to you by the business leaders and academics, policy makers and designers who are in the field.

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Most women who give birth in the United States do so surrounded by a variety of health professionals, including doctors or midwives, nurses and doulas. The combined expertise in the room ensures that if something goes wrong, the best care possible is at hand.

Such is not the case in many developing nations. A recent report from Nigeria estimates that 20 percent of births there take place in “NOP” conditions, meaning No One Present. The birthing mother delivers her own baby, cuts its cord, and tends to herself. Hard to imagine.

Worldwide, more than half of all births in developing nations take place without a doctor, midwife, nurse, or skilled attendant present. Too often, the outcome is tragic: an estimated 287,000 women still die in childbirth every year, in what are...

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In the rainy Brisbane summer of 2011, James Powell, a geochemist and National Science Board member, and John Cook, physicist and Climate Communication Fellow at the University of Queensland, began discussing an idea. Cook had been running the website Skeptical Science since 2007 explaining what peer-reviewed science had to say about global warming and, in this way, combatting global warming denial with reason and facts. He had written numerous papers, coauthored books, and won the Eureka Prize in 2011 for the advancement of climate change knowledge. All of this, on a shoestring budget helped by donations through the site.

Yet the public perception of climate change science and scientists worldwide remained muddied.

During his research on the psychology behind climate...

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Other Perspectives

Around the world, 34 million people are infected with human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. Women, young adults, and at-risk populations, such as injectable drug users and commercial sex workers, are most heavily affected. Though a number...
Mutinta’s five-month-old daughter has diarrhea. In developed nations, a stomach complaint like that might be a mere nuisance. However, in Zambia’s vast countryside—without electricity, water, soap, and medicine—diarrhea is a matter of life...
When you look into the faces of your students and your children and your grandchildren, tell them that you were there when it began. Tell them that a promise has been made to them. Tell them that the leadership of your country believes it...
What do you consider a design issue? Beauty? Form? Material? How about reducing disease, saving chimpanzees, or helping to prevent crime? While not yet the conventional attitude, a new field called public interest design is bringing...
Those familiar with the debate in the developed world about the virtues of private versus public education will not be surprised to find the same arguments raging when it comes to providing education to some of the poorest children in the...
Named by Time magazine as one of the “10 Ideas That Will Change the World,” collaborative consumption describes the shift in consumer values from ownership to access. Collaborative Consumption (www.collaborativeconsumption.com) currently...