Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Science as history

I see it's been almost a month since my last post. Obviously, I am not living up to the concept of web logging. A new member of the family will do that to you. Settling Charlie in, and re-structuring my life are somewhat schedule altering experiences.

But I did finish a good book the other day. It had been given to me by my friend, Mike, who thought the subject matter might be of particular interest to me. Interestingly enough, though I had contracted polio just 70 years ago this summer, I have never known the circumstances of that affliction. By the time Salk, Sabin and others took care of business in the 1950s, I was a physically active college graduate with an easily accommodated post polio condition and, apparently, little curiosity about its origins.

So I dipped into Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky expecting to learn a little about polio contagion. Which I did, but I learned a lot more about politics, egos, fund raising, commitment, passion, self-interest, profit and significant aspects of life and business in America. Biology is the basis for the book but it is mostly used as a springboard to its real topic: American History in the early 20th Century.

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