on October 27, 2011
Dr. Singer and Dr. Daar do an excellent job of laying out the problems facing those who do not have adequate access to basic healthcare. They describe the problems, propose some practical solutions, and explore the work being done by those trying to implement them. The writing style is very non-academic and easy to read. I highly recommend!
on August 26, 2012
I published a long review of Singer and Daar's book in the April 2012 issue of the Literary Review of Canada. I found that the book had some strong points, but at least as many weak points, and overall I found it lacking in complexity and needlessly self-promoting for the authors. (I won't repeat my review here, but will put it on SSRN shortly for those who are interested.)
But the reason I am writing this review is to draw attention to the fact that Andrea Lesperance, who posted on Amazon a glowing five-star review of the book, has failed to disclose that she is an EMPLOYEE of the authors' organization, Grand Challenges Canada. Ms. Lesperance is a Project Director at Grand Challenges Canada, and the book's authors, Peter Singer and Abdallah Daar, are senor executives at Grand Challenges Canada.
Basically, Ms. Lesperance posted a stellar review (five stars) of a book written by her bosses, WITHOUT disclosing that connection.
Anyone reviewing a book written by their bosses arguably has a financial conflict of interest. I won't speculate why this happened with Singer and Daar's book, but ask yourself what the reasons might be.
I also think that Amazon needs a better conflict of interest policy, but that's another story.
on October 26, 2011
"An engaging account...inspirational. The authors of this book are role models for how empathy and dedication to social justice can serve as powerful forces to solve our most difficult global challenges."
Calestous Juma, Kennedy School, Harvard University
"Daar and Singer show us how to rise to the grandest challenge of all: to make sure that science keeps its promise to all people, not just the rich. They point the way to how we can heal sick, protect the vulnerable, reach the unreached, and bring human dignity to all. Essential reading."
Ismail Serageldin, Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina
"The last two decades have seen a dramatic transformation in the way medical research and innovation is pursued. No longer is science ruthlessly focussed on the diseases of affluent societies; now we recognize the importance of preventing premature death in every setting. This remarkable change has often been initiated and always facilitated by the work of doctors Abdallah Daar and Peter Singer and their Centre for Global Health in Toronto. They have particularly advocated for taking the excitement of modern biomedical research to countries with major medical needs. This is both their own story and the story of the emerging field of global health, one that is full of remarkable characters who have fuelled this revolution. It is a fascinating story, made richer because of the direct involvement of Daar and Singer, and also, crucially, because there is so much at stake."
Professor Sir John Bell, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University
"Abdallah Daar and Peter Singer have created a gift for all those committed to tackling global health and development challenges. They highlight the critical role that so many truly inspiring people from diverse countries and disciplines play in building innovative action-oriented solutions to deeply intractable and unacceptable global health problems. Their compelling stories show us how traditional vaccine scientists, venture capitalists, plant biologists, pharmaceutical executives and bioethicists contribute to global health. And they challenge deeply held views about the lack of trust that limits private-public interactions, as well as stereotypes about the lack of innovation in Africa. Readers will learn and be humbled by the authors' compassion, strong belief in science as the key to development and their unwavering optimism that we can improve the health of all if we act together."
Derek Yach, Senior Vice President, Global Health and Agricultural Policy, PepsiCo Inc.