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Chapter 6 : Health as Creative Adaptation

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Abstract:

From the north-facing windows of his office in the Bronk Laboratory of The Rockefeller University, the elderly Dubos would become lost in thought as he gazed down on the sanctuary that framed his life as a scientist. Several prominent scientists became visible environmentalists during the 1970s, among them Margaret Mead, Linus Pauling, Paul Ehrlich, Barry Commoner, and Dubos. This was a time when scientists were beginning to come out from behind their laboratory benches, partly in response to a growing attitude that scientists were losing the confidence of the general public by not using their expertise on technical aspects of environmental issues. Dubos favored several alternatives to nuclear power and promoted using less energy from fossil fuels and more human energy; producing energy from renewable sources such as plants, wind, and thermal pools; and inventing unique regional solutions to energy needs. Dubos spent the final ten years of his life trying to relate human health to that of the whole earth. To call his idea of collective ecological well-being a theory or philosophy is too grand, especially for someone who consciously avoided giving names or labels to anything that might be construed as a big notion, a sweeping doctrine, or a philosophical system.

Citation: Moberg C. 2005. Health as Creative Adaptation, p 143-176. In René Dubos, Friend of the Good Earth. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817565.ch6

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