Today marked the first real start of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) meeting in St. Louis, MO. One of the topical lectures was held by Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute and the UN Millennium Project. He made the obvious, yet important and daring, observation that people in Africa are dying of disease and starvation not because of corruption and poor governance, but because of simple and basic scientific and technological knowledge not being made available to the African poor. The main reason for this, according to Sachs, is that Third World aid is run by economists, who themselves lack basic scientific knowledge and blame this humanitarian crisis on the African politicians. Crop failure can be remedied by simple measures as putting the esseiantial yet depleted nutrient nitrogen into the soil. And
“to IMF officials malaria is that disease they themselves have to take a pill for when they visit Africa. But simple and cheap anti-malarial bed nets are not made available.”
The AAAS meeting is held in the America’s Center in chilly downtown St. Louis, MO.