Category Archives: Medicine

Charles Sabine’s battle

il_logoIN 1996, an NBC war reporter and his crew were captured by a renegade platoon of mujahideen guerrillas near the Bosnian town of Doboj. As the sun set and the call to prayer went up, the reporter stared at a blood-spattered wall while a young warrior pulled the pin from a grenade, replaced it with his finger and pressed it to his head. The warrior closed his eyes and prayed…

This article first appeared in Intelligent Life in autumn 2009.

Anthony Allison, unsung hero

il_logoSIXTY years ago, a young graduate was kicking his heels in Oxford, waiting to embark on his medical studies, when he was invited to join an expedition to a country he knew well. Kenya was his childhood home, but this would be more than a nostalgia trip for him. His head stuffed with new-fangled notions about human evolution, he saw it as an opportunity to put his ideas to the test. Thus began one of the great unsung scientific journeys of the last century, whose impact continues to be felt in this one…

This article first appeared in Intelligent Life in spring 2009. To continue reading, click here.

Wanda

titlepieceI met Wanda (pronounced Vanda) in late 2003, a year before she became my mother-in-law. She was nearly 80 and her mind was as sharp as a scalpel. Behind her glasses, her pale-blue eyes sparkled with intelligence. She disliked sentimentality but was a sucker for beauty, and would gaze in rapture at the ice-dancing on television. She was happy when surrounded by family, but she had a more private pleasure too: losing herself in the city. She would wander aimlessly through the streets of London and, though short-sighted, would leave her glasses behind when she went…

This article first appeared in the Guardian on 9 June 2007. To continue reading click here.

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