Author Archives: jedstevenson

Rebooting democracy

In the New Scientist, Niall Firth channels a frustration with the democratic process that many in Britain are feeling in the wake of the general election. The system’s broken. Nothing changes. All politicians are the same. Why vote? It’s a … Continue reading

Posted in politics, UK | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Adwa

The defeat of a European invasion force by Africans 120 years ago presents challenges for how we remember. How are historical memories kept alive? And what meanings should we assign to them? Jed Stevenson This week in 1896, an army … Continue reading

Posted in africa, Ethiopia, history, Italy, lifespan, memory, war | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The year in 9 books

Some people send around a poem, a verse of scripture, or a pithy quotation at the end of the year. Not one to do things by halves, I hereby give you nine books. 1. Carbon democracy: Political power in the … Continue reading

Posted in books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fighting for life and sight in Ethiopia

ABEL WAS BORN with one eye larger than the other. The difference wasn’t striking, but it caught the attention of the doctor who delivered him, and Abel’s father Getahun sought advice on what might have caused it. “There’s nothing wrong … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, children, Ethiopia, health, medicine | Tagged | 2 Comments

Eye cancer in Ethiopia, revisited

My son suffers from a cancer of the eyes that is fatal if untreated. Now three years old, he’s leading about as close to a normal life as a child can with such a disease — thanks in large part … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A distorted lens

Before They Pass Away, a project of the Anglo-Dutch photographer Jimmy Nelson, provides a window on some of the indigenous peoples of the world. His photographs — reproduced in a coffee-table book and a lavish website — are beautiful. But … Continue reading

Posted in anthropology, Ethiopia, indigenous people, justice, photography, politics, Westernization | Leave a comment

The EPA: A victim of its own success?

William Ruckelshaus was the first director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In a recent interview he reflected on what’s changed during the 43 years since the agency was established — and in particular since the passing of landmark … Continue reading

Posted in anthropology, climate, environmental science, health, politics, USA, water | Leave a comment