Books & Reports on Ethical and Environmental Issues

by Tanja Haser

The Second Tree:
Of Clones, Chimeras and Quests for Immortality
by Elaine Dewar

Published by: Random House Canada
Pages: 528
Pub. Date: September 2004
ISBN: 0-679-31207-2
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{access view=guest}Access to the full article is free, but requires you to register. Registration is simple and quick - all we need is your name and a valid e-mail address. We appreciate your interest in bridges.{/access} {access view=!guest} In her book, The Second Tree, Canadian writer Elaine Dewar, who has received multiple National Magazine Awards and has been nominated for the Canadian Science Writers' Association award, documents a biological revolution. Based on her interviews with leading scientists in cloning and stem cell research, she asks questions about ethics and the reasons why scientists keep pushing forward. Dewar shows her readers the different kinds of motivation, from the dream of curing disease and solving international problems such as starvation, to the very worldly wish to be rich, famous, or simply the first person to achieve a breakthrough.
On her journey, she takes a look at biological history and its most outstanding personalities such as Charles Darwin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and Frederick Sanger, who helped decode a big part of the mystery of life. Dewar also visits biotechnology companies - some of which, for instance, transplant human genes into mice or try to resurrect prize cows - in order to show her readers what is, or what soon will be, possible.

 On The Take:
How Medicine's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health
by Jerome Kassirer

Published by: Oxford University Press
Pages: 271
Released: September 28, 2004
ISBN: 0195176847
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The book, On the Take: How Medicine's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health, deals with one of the hottest topics in medicine and science today: Should doctors and researchers be allowed to accept gifts from drug companies? Is it right that experts who are working for public institutions also serve as advisors to medical companies? How much influence do the drug companies have on the drugs doctors choose to prescribe? The discussion about the new ethics rules at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which were instituted when several senior employees accepted huge payments from drug companies for their consulting work, is only one of many examples of how this issue influences everyday life.
Jerome Kassirer, a former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, writes about the conflicts of interest between profit-centered business and people-centered medicine. He shines a spotlight on the scientific community and warns people to be careful in deciding whom to trust.

 Environmental Change and Security Project Report.
Issue 10, 2004
by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Pages: 106
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The Woodrow Wilson Center's Environmental Change & Security Project (ECSP) is one of the leading projects for environmental advocacy in the United States. In its most recent report, the ECSP asked experts what they think will be the next essential steps for advancement in the environment, population, and health problems. Among the authors are prestigious scientists and politicians such as the former European Commission environment official Margaret Brusasco-Mackenzie, Richard Cincotta of Population Action International, Erika Weinthal of Tel Aviv University, Roger-Mark De Souza of the Population Reference Bureau, and ECSP Director Geoffrey Dabelko.
The report also features sections about the United Nations' ability to preserve peace by protecting the Earth, the population growth in Ethiopia, book reviews, and a new column called "dotPop."

 Environment Matters.
Annual Review
by The World Bank

Pages: 64
Pub. Date: Fall 2004
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Over the next 25 years, the global population will increase by an estimated 2 billion people, the vast majority of whom will be in poorer nations. This increase is going to be one of the primary concerns of the World Bank. This year's Environment Matters. Annual Review looks back on the World Bank's environmental work from July 2003 through June 2004. It highlights upcoming challenges and opportunities the World Bank faces. The review includes articles by experts like Alberto Cardenas Jimenez, the Mexican Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources; Prodipto Ghosh, the Indian Secretary of Environment and Forests; Xie Zhenhua, the Minister of China's State Environment Protection Administration; David Pearce, Professor of Environmental Economics at University College, London; Frances Seymour, Director of Institutions and Governance Program at World Resources Institute; and Doug Miller, President of GlobeScan Inc.

Each of the World Bank's operational regions has written a review of their work in the past fiscal year. The Bank defines the world's regions as: Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia.

 Cloning After Dolly:
Who's Still Afraid?
by Gregory E. Pence

Published by: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Pages: 208
Pub. Date: January 2005
ISBN: 0-7425-3408-1
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Since Dolly's birth in 1998, new cloning achievements always merit a headline. During the last years, cloning has become one of the most important topics in bioethics. Scientists and politicians, religious groups and the public discuss it. With his new book, Cloning After Dolly: Who's Still Afraid?, bio-ethicist Gregory Pence tries to be a voice of reason in this emotional discussion. He wants people to focus on the facts and advantages of cloning rather than on religious views and fears of the unknown. Pence analyzes the fast progress in animal cloning, stem cell research, and many other hot topics. He tries to convince his audience that cloning is the key to saving endangered species and to curing degenerative diseases in the future.{/access}