[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Scholarship knows no geographical boundaries. This science diplomacy and biotechnology journalism article introduces an original concept and policy petition to innovate the global translational science, a Science Peace Corps. Service at the new Corps could entail volunteer work for a minimum of 6 weeks, and up to a maximum of 2 years, for translational research in any region of the world to build capacity manifestly for development and peace, instead of the narrow bench-to-bedside model of life science translation. Topics for translational research are envisioned to include all fields of life sciences and medicine, as long as they are linked to potential or concrete endpoints in development, foreign policy, conflict management, post-crisis capacity building, and/or peace scholarship domains. As a new instrument in the global science and technology governance toolbox, a Science Peace Corps could work effectively, for example, towards elucidating the emerging concept of "one health"-encompassing human, environmental, plant, microbial, ecosystem, and planet health-thus serving as an innovative crosscutting pillar of 21st century integrative biology. An interdisciplinary program of this caliber for development would link 21st century life sciences to foreign policy and peace, in ways that can benefit many nations despite their ideological differences. We note that a Science Peace Corps is timely. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations released the Fifth Assessment Report on March 31, 2014. Worrisomely, the report underscores that no person or nation will remain untouched by the climate change, highlighting the shared pressing life sciences challenges for global society. To this end, we recall that President John F. Kennedy advocated for volunteer work that has enduring, transgenerational, and global impacts. This culminated in establishment of the Peace Corps in 1961. Earlier, President Abraham Lincoln aptly observed, "nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." We therefore petition President Barack Obama, other world leaders, and international development agencies in positions of power around the globe, to consider deploying a Science Peace Corps to cultivate the essential (and presently missing) ties among life sciences, foreign policy, development, and peace agendas. A Science Peace Corps requires support by a credible and independent intergovernmental organization or development agency for funding, and arbitration in the course of volunteer work when the global versus local (glocal) value-based priorities and human rights intersect in synergy or conflict. In all, Science Peace Corps is an invitation to a new pathway for competence in 21st century science that is locally productive and globally competitive. It can open up scientific institutions to broader considerations and broader inputs, and thus cultivate vital translational science in a world sorely in need of solidarity and sustainable responses to the challenges of 21st century science and society. "Let me say in conclusion, this University is not maintained by its alumni, or by the state, merely to help its graduates have an economic advantage in the life struggle. There is certainly a greater purpose, and I'm sure you recognize it. Therefore, I do not apologize for asking for your support in this campaign." President John F. Kennedy On the occasion of the Peace Corps Campaign, On the steps of the University of Michigan Union.
Omics A Journal of Integrative Biology 06/2014; 18(7). DOI:10.1089/omi.2014.0079 · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: WHO reform has become a perennial subject of debate that has seen familiar issues raised time and again by incumbent director-generals and member states. This paper begins by reflecting on the distinct nature of WHO reform debates since the 1990s and the global factors behind the pressures to change. It then argues for a shift in focus, from fixing a single UN organization, to the collective health needs of a rapidly globalizing world. The achievement of effective global health governance will require more fundamental changes, beginning with recognition of the shared responsibility for reform. The challenge in the twenty first century will require an even greater willingness to delegate authority and resources to a supranational entity. The compromise may be that the mandate and powers of a global health organization may need to be more carefully circumscribed, but more meaningful in terms of effectively delivering the essential functions needed to protect and promote health in a globalized world.
Public Health 02/2014; 128(2). DOI:10.1016/j.puhe.2013.08.002 · 1.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Biomedical science in the 21(st) century is embedded in, and draws from, a digital commons and "Big Data" created by high-throughput Omics technologies such as genomics. Classic Edisonian metaphors of science and scientists (i.e., "the lone genius" or other narrow definitions of expertise) are ill equipped to harness the vast promises of the 21(st) century digital commons. Moreover, in medicine and life sciences, experts often under-appreciate the important contributions made by citizen scholars and lead users of innovations to design innovative products and co-create new knowledge. We believe there are a large number of users waiting to be mobilized so as to engage with Big Data as citizen scientists-only if some funding were available. Yet many of these scholars may not meet the meta-criteria used to judge expertise, such as a track record in obtaining large research grants or a traditional academic curriculum vitae. This innovation research article describes a novel idea and action framework: micro-grants, each worth $1000, for genomics and Big Data. Though a relatively small amount at first glance, this far exceeds the annual income of the "bottom one billion"-the 1.4 billion people living below the extreme poverty level defined by the World Bank ($1.25/day). We describe two types of micro-grants. Type 1 micro-grants can be awarded through established funding agencies and philanthropies that create micro-granting programs to fund a broad and highly diverse array of small artisan labs and citizen scholars to connect genomics and Big Data with new models of discovery such as open user innovation. Type 2 micro-grants can be funded by existing or new science observatories and citizen think tanks through crowd-funding mechanisms described herein. Type 2 micro-grants would also facilitate global health diplomacy by co-creating crowd-funded micro-granting programs across nation-states in regions facing political and financial instability, while sharing similar disease burdens, therapeutics, and diagnostic needs. We report the creation of ten Type 2 micro-grants for citizen science and artisan labs to be administered by the nonprofit Data-Enabled Life Sciences Alliance International (DELSA Global, Seattle). Our hope is that these micro-grants will spur novel forms of disruptive innovation and genomics translation by artisan scientists and citizen scholars alike. We conclude with a neglected voice from the global health frontlines, the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani, and suggest that many similar global regions are now poised for micro-grant enabled collective innovation to harness the 21(st) century digital commons.
Omics: a journal of integrative biology 04/2013; 17(4):161-72. DOI:10.1089/omi.2013.0034 · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A rising Asia brings to the global arena a new set of increasingly influential players with their own values, histories and strategic considerations. It remains to be seen if these shifts will lead to a clash or convergence in the management of global issues. The critical issues include Asian actors' treatment of sovereignty, their preferences on institutional design, and conceptions of their role in global governance. Global health is fraught with a whole range of collective action problems, which we are failing to address effectively with existing institutional arrangements. This is in part because these institutions are embedded in an anachronistic world order in which Asia is governed rather than governing. Bridging this disconnect will require multiple adjustments. Existing actors involved in setting global health rules will need to adjust to take into account opportunities, constraints and perspectives from the Asian region that may have thus far been neglected. At the same time, Asian state and nonstate actors need to be engaged as co-shapers of the global order - not just in terms of material contributions to existing initiatives, but also in terms of leadership and ideas for reforming and strengthening current institutions.
Global Policy 09/2012; 3(3):324-335. DOI:10.1111/j.1758-5899.2012.00177.x · 1.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This is one paper in a three-part series that sets out how evidence should be translated into guidance to inform policies on health systems and improve the delivery of clinical and public health interventions.
PLoS Medicine 03/2012; 9(3):e1001185. · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the first paper in a three-part series on health systems guidance, Xavier Bosch-Capblanch and colleagues examine how guidance is currently formulated in low- and middle-income countries, and the challenges to developing such guidance.
PLoS Medicine 03/2012; 9(3):e1001185. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001185 · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health is the result of biological and social determinants; both are important. Nature dictates the laws for biological determinants; people create the laws for social determinants. Nature's laws are hard to discover and are eternal whether or not they suit humanity; people's laws are easily written and can be changed at anytime to suit humanity better. So why is it that the public health community, which expends much effort and expense probing natural laws, places negligible emphasis on collection, analysis, and making greater use of the world's public health laws?
The Lancet 01/2012; 379(9812):283-5. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60069-X · 45.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article talks about vaccinomics, which is the integrated use of data enabled multiomics approaches to understand themechanisms responsible for heterogeneity in humoral, cell-mediated, and innate immune responses to vaccines at both the individual and population level. The authors comment on the parallel rise of vaccinomics and global health, and various other topics, including vaccinomics infrastructure science and public health ethics, and public engagement in vaccinomics.
Omics: a journal of integrative biology 08/2011; 15(9):523-7. DOI:10.1089/omi.2011.03ed · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Keywords: Asia-Pacific, genomics and international development, global health, health 2020 policy, knowledge co-production, LMICs, public health genomics, science and society.
Current Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine (Formerly Current Pharmacogenomics) 03/2011; 900(1). DOI:10.2174/187569211794728841
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tikki Pang and Robert Terry from WHO, along with the PLoS Medicine Editors, issue a call for papers for a joint WHO/PLoS collection on the theme of the 2012 World Health Report on Research for Health.
PLoS Medicine 01/2011; 8(1). DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001008 · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Robert Terry and colleagues present working definitions of operational research, implementation research, and health systems research within the context of research to strengthen health systems.
PLoS Medicine 11/2010; 7(11):e1001000. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001000 · 14.43 Impact Factor