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Ahead of the Curve

David Baltimore's Life in Science

Shane Crotty

Shane Crotty's biography of David Baltimore details the life and work of one of the most brilliant, powerful, and controversial scientists of our time. Although only in his early sixties, Baltimore has made major discoveries in molecular biology, established the prestigious Whitehead Institute at MIT, been president of Rockefeller University, won the Nobel Prize, and been vilified by detractors in one of the most scandalous and protracted investigations of scientific fraud ever. He is now president of Caltech and a leader in the search for an AIDS vaccine. Crotty not only tells the compelling story of this larger-than-life figure, he also treats the reader to a lucid account of the amazing revolution that has occurred in biology during the past forty years.

Basing his narrative on many personal interviews, Crotty recounts the milestones of Baltimore's career: completing his Ph.D. at Rockefeller University in eighteen months, participating in the anti—Vietnam War movement, winning a Nobel Prize at age thirty-seven for the codiscovery of reverse transcriptase, and co-organizing the recombinant DNA/genetic engineering moratorium. Along the way, readers learn what viruses are and what they do, what cancer is and how it happens, the complexities of the AIDS problem, how genetic engineering works, and why making a vaccine is a complicated process. And, as Crotty considers Baltimore's public life, he retells the famous scientific fraud saga and Baltimore's vindication after a decade of character assassination.

Crotty possesses the alchemical skill of converting technical scientific history into entertaining prose as he conveys Baltimore's huge ambitions, intensity, scientific genius, attitude toward science and politics, and Baltimore's own view about what happened in the "Baltimore Affair." Ahead of the Curve shows why with his complex personality, keen involvement in public issues, and wide-ranging interests David Baltimore has not only shaped the face of American science as we know it today, but has also become a presence in our culture.

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AIDS Alibis

AIDS Alibis tackles the cultural landscape upon which AIDS, often accompanied by poverty, drug addiction, and crime, proliferates on a global scale. Stephanie Kane layers stories of individuals and events -- from Chicago to Belize City, to cyberspace -- to illustrate the paths of HIV infection and the effects of environment, government intervention, and social mores. Linking ordinary yet kindred lives in communities around the globe, Kane challenges the assumptions underlying the use of police and courts to solve health problems.

The stories reveal the dynamics that determine how the policy decisions of white-collar health care professionals actually play out in real life. By focusing on life-changing social problems, the narratives highlight the contradictions between public health and criminal law. Look at how HIV has transformed our social consciousness, from intimate touch to institutional outreach. But, Kane argues, these changes are dwarfed by the United States's refusal to stop the war on drugs, in effect misdirecting resources and awareness.

AIDS Alibis combines empirical and interpretive methods in a path-breaking attempt to recognize the extent to which coercive institutional practices are implicated in HIV transmission patterns. Kane shows how th e virus feeds on the politics of inequality and indifference, even as it exploits the human need for intimacy and release.

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AIDS and the Social Sciences

Common Threads

edited by Richard Ulack and William F. Skinner

Though more than 150,000 AIDS-related deaths have been reported worldwide and between 5 and 10 million people are now infected with its precursor, HIV-1, the deadly and relatively new AIDS virus is still a mystery. AIDS and the Social Sciences: Common Threads, an enlightening examination of the AIDS epidemic from the viewpoints of various social sciences, provides us with clues to that mystery. The essays' original research and firsthand accounts from social scientists offer an excellent overview of the research agendas and directions for a disease that is an increasing presence in our society.

Sociologists, geographers, anthropologists, psychologists, social workers, and people in government agencies converge in this book to discuss the social, political, economic, legal, moral, and ethical issues related to AIDS. Their methods of approaching the study of AIDS range from a case study approach to survey research to participant observation.

Among the topics examined in this distinctive collection are the geographic origins of AIDS, the psychosocial aspects of AIDS, the impact of AIDS on women and children, and the federal funding patterns of AIDS-related research. One chapter traces the diffusion of the pandemic in major urban areas, smaller cities, and finally rural America. Another documents the devastating impact the disease has had on central and East Africa, some areas of which have as many as one in four adults who are HIV-infected.

AIDS and the Social Sciences could serve as a primary or supplemental text for college courses and is an important resource for anyone interested in social science or public health.

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AIDS at 30

A History

VICTORIA HARDEN

Society was not prepared in 1981 for the appearance of a new infectious disease, but we have since learned that emerging and reemerging diseases will continue to challenge humanity. AIDS at 30 is the first history of HIV/AIDS written for a general audience that emphasizes the medical response to the epidemic. Award-winning medical historian Victoria A. Harden approaches the AIDS virus from philosophical and intellectual perspectives in the history of medical science, discussing the process of scientific discovery, scientific evidence, and how laboratories found the cause of AIDS and developed therapeutic interventions. Similarly, her book places AIDS as the first infectious disease to be recognized simultaneously worldwide as a single phenomenon. After years of believing that vaccines and antibiotics would keep deadly epidemics away, researchers, doctors, patients, and the public were forced to abandon the arrogant assumption that they had conquered infectious diseases. By presenting an accessible discussion of the history of HIV/AIDS and analyzing how aspects of society advanced or hindered the response to the disease, AIDS at 30 illustrates for both medical professionals and general readers how medicine identifies and evaluates new infectious diseases quickly and what political and cultural factors limit the medical community’s response.

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Alabama and the Borderlands

From Prehistory To Statehood

Edited by R. Reid Badger and Lawrence A. Clayton

Born of a concern with Alabama's past and the need to explore and explain that legacy, this book brings together the nation's leading scholars on the prehistory and early history of Alabama and the southeastern U.S. Covering topics ranging from the Mississippian Period in archaeology and the de Soto expedition (and other early European explorations and settlements of Alabama) to the 1780 Siege of Mobile, this is a comprehensive and readable collection of scholarship on early Alabama.

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Alcoholism in America

From Reconstruction to Prohibition

Sarah W. Tracy

Despite the lack of medical consensus regarding alcoholism as a disease, many people readily accept the concept of addiction as a clinical as well as a social disorder. An alcoholic is a victim of social circumstance and genetic destiny. Although one might imagine that this dual approach is a reflection of today's enlightened and sympathetic society, historian Sarah Tracy discovers that efforts to medicalize alcoholism are anything but new. Alcoholism in America tells the story of physicians, politicians, court officials, and families struggling to address the danger of excessive alcohol consumption at the turn of the century. Beginning with the formation of the American Association for the Cure of Inebriates in 1870 and concluding with the enactment of Prohibition in 1920, this study examines the effect of the disease concept on individual drinkers and their families and friends, as well as the ongoing battle between policymakers and the professional medical community for jurisdiction over alcohol problems. Tracy captures the complexity of the political, professional, and social negotiations that have characterized the alcoholism field both yesterday and today. Tracy weaves American medical history, social history, and the sociology of knowledge into a narrative that probes the connections among reform movements, social welfare policy, the specialization of medicine, and the social construction of disease. Her insights will engage all those interested in America's historic and current battles with addiction.

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Alternative Health Care

In November of 1998 The Journal of the American Medical Association devoted an entire issue to alternative medicine for the first time in its publishing history. According to survey results reported in the journal, 83 million Americans used some form of alternative medicine to preserve and maintain their health in 1997, a sharp increase from the 61 million who turned to alternative forms of care in 1990.

Michael S. Goldstein's Alternative Health Care is the first comprehensive account of the growing presence of alternative medicine in American society. Beginning with the basic premises of alternative medicine, Goldstein's book examines the clinical, economic,  and political realities of the broad range of alternative care options and practices in the United States and explains why alternative medicine has become a viable choice for so many people who are ill or who seek to remain healthy.

Bringing history, policy, practice, personal experience, and in-depth sociological analysis together into one comprehensive volume, Goldstein -- one of the first recipients of funding from the National Institute of Health for research on alternative medicine -- also studies the complexities of the relationship between spirituality and alternative medicine and the changing role of alternative medicine in the larger context of American health care. Probing such issues as the corporatization of medicine, the role of alternative medicine in health care, and the dynamic relationship between conventional and alternative treatments, Goldstein's Alternative Health Care is more than the long-awaited introduction to the many forms of alternative medicine. It is also the measure of the implications of such care for practitioners, businesses, policymakers, and patients alike.

Alternative Health Care is the definitive guide for the millions of Americans interested in alternative medicine and treatment, American health care, the sociology of medicine, and American social issues.

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An Alternative History of Hyperactivity

Food Additives and the Feingold Diet

Matthew Smith

In 1973, San Francisco allergist Ben Feingold created an uproar by claiming that synthetic food additives triggered hyperactivity, then the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorder in the United States. He contended that the epidemic should not be treated with drugs such as Ritalin but, instead, with a food additive-free diet. Parents and the media considered his treatment, the Feingold diet, a compelling alternative. Physicians, however, were skeptical and designed dozens of trials to challenge the idea. The resulting medical opinion was that the diet did not work and it was rejected. Matthew Smith asserts that those scientific conclusions were, in fact, flawed. An Alternative History of Hyperactivity explores the origins of the Feingold diet, revealing why it became so popular, and the ways in which physicians, parents, and the public made decisions about whether it was a valid treatment for hyperactivity. Arguing that the fate of Feingold's therapy depended more on cultural, economic, and political factors than on the scientific protocols designed to test it, Smith suggests the lessons learned can help resolve medical controversies more effectively.

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The Altruism Equation

Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness

Lee Alan Dugatkin

In a world supposedly governed by ruthless survival of the fittest, why do we see acts of goodness in both animals and humans? This problem plagued Charles Darwin in the 1850s as he developed his theory of evolution through natural selection. Indeed, Darwin worried that the goodness he observed in nature could be the Achilles heel of his theory. Ever since then, scientists and other thinkers have engaged in a fierce debate about the origins of goodness that has dragged politics, philosophy, and religion into what remains a major question for evolutionary biology.

The Altruism Equation traces the history of this debate from Darwin to the present through an extraordinary cast of characters-from the Russian prince Petr Kropotkin, who wanted to base society on altruism, to the brilliant biologist George Price, who fell into poverty and succumbed to suicide as he obsessed over the problem. In a final surprising turn, William Hamilton, the scientist who came up with the equation that reduced altruism to the cold language of natural selection, desperately hoped that his theory did not apply to humans.

Hamilton's Rule, which states that relatives are worth helping in direct proportion to their blood relatedness, is as fundamental to evolutionary biology as Newton's laws of motion are to physics. But even today, decades after its formulation, Hamilton's Rule is still hotly debated among those who cannot accept that goodness can be explained by a simple mathematical formula. For the first time, Lee Alan Dugatkin brings to life the people, the issues, and the passions that have surrounded the altruism debate. Readers will be swept along by this fast-paced tale of history, biography, and scientific discovery.

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Altruism, Morality, and Economic Theory

Presents a collection of papers by economists theorizing on the roles of altruism and morality versus self-interest in the shaping of human behavior and institutions. Specifically, the authors examine why some persons behave in an altruistic way without any apparent reward, thus defying the economist's model of utility maximization. The chapters are accompanied by commentaries from representatives of other disciplines, including law and philosophy.

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